I never followed up on Iowa ’08. I had some notes. (Note I’ve taken taking notes more often before just posting stuff. I hate to admit that I’m trying for some sort of quality in my posts, but perhaps I am). I’m a bit late with those, but I’ll resurrect that storyline briefly before jumping ahead to the present and what’s happening in New Hampshire.
From last Thursday (1/3/08):
Since there is no way Mike Huckabee becomes President of the United States, I’m glad to see Mitt Romney and his wallet get the smackdown in Iowa.
I heard David Gergen on the CNNTV audio feed that even a second place finish for Edwards meant he was finished because he has no more cash left. That’s unfortunate if true. He’s clearly a viable candidate, and Romney’s defeat shows that cash isn’t everything. But David Gergen is the former adviser to 23 Presidents, so what do I know?
And amazingly enough, the analysis on CNN still focused on Obama vs. Clinton, even though Edwards is right in there!
Meanwhile, Bill Bennett was very gracious is speaking of how great it was that “Barack Husein Obama” could do so well. If a person doesn’t use their middle name except when signing mortgage papers, a pundit is taking a cheap shot to use it. Many Americans, like those who watch Fox or read Drudge, believe that Obama is a Muslim, and Bennett is playing along.
I heard Hillary Clinton’s and John Edwards’ post-caucus speeches. Hillary’s wasn’t particularly inspiring. Edwards’ speech was tremendous. But Obama had the spotlight, and it’s hard to argue that he didn’t deserve it.
With Obama having all the momentum, it’s very difficult to have much hope in the Edwards run, and that’s a shame.
[I didn’t see Obama’s “historic” speech].
The New Hampshire coverage is ridiculous (at least on CNN)…they’re implying we’ll be up all night watching to see whether Clinton or Obama ‘wins’. The media has created an artificial contest, determining that if one candidate wins by one vote, that is worthy of generating a wave momentum. It shouldn’t. The NH contest should be labeled a tie, and they should take take split delegates and go on to the next state. Likewise, Iowa may have been historic for Obama, and finishing third was a disappointment for Clinton, but you’d think he clobbered her 2-1 based on the media reaction.
They just highlighted how women who made up their minds today favored Hilary 43-36 over Obama, as opposed to the 39-37 the overall poll currently shows. It’s NOT a huge difference. It’s a ridiculously exaggerated analysis to say that Hillary’s emotional moment the other day made such a huge difference.
I know it’s unfair to blame just the media for how quickly two years of meticulous campaigning and hard work by thousands of workers and volunteers can be obliterated by a ten-second video clip or media reports of perceptions that may or may not be mere media inventions but become self-fulfilling prophecies in any case. Americans, overall, are so disengaged as to be susceptible to the media influence. The fact that a lot of people say they’d consider voting for Obama because they “like” him even though they know virtually nothing about him is maddening to me. It is said that one who wants to be part of a movement of change ought to become involved at the grassroots level. Volunteer. Get involved. Well, shit, if all it takes to be elected is to be liked (it worked for Bush in 2000), what’s the point of any of this? What’s the point of anyone developing a 938-point healthcare plan? What’s the point of answering questions from the crowds or from the media? What’s the point of having any clue what you’d do as President if you can get by with being a good speaker and convince people that you’re likable?
I don’t mean to say that it’s unreasonable to support Obama because he’s likable and inspiring. I have not been a Hillary fan. I feel especially bad for the Edwards people (and the Dodd and Richardson and Biden and Kucinich people) but I even feel a little bad for Hillary that no one ultimately cares what you plan to do.
The big story according to the talkies that I AGREE is a big story is the tremendous Democratic turnout to follow the tremendous turnout in Iowa. Regardless of who ultimately wins what, this bodes well for the Dems.
10 minutes of the CNN audio is all I can take.