Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thank you Iowa!


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(Click through if you can’t see this in your reader.)

We were driving back from San Diego, listening to CNN on XM Radio (my kids were thrilled). When Blitzer called Iowa for Barack I nearly drove off the road. I’m elated.

Quickly, here’s my predictions for NH: Barack Wins, Clinton places second (but a distant second). On the Republican side, Romney squeaks by McCain, salvaging his campaign and putting McCain on the ropes. The Republican establishment comes out hard against Huckabee, which leaves him well behind the front-runners.

Beyond that, who knows. I think the Dem nomination is Barack’s to lose. And the only Republican with a shot at challenging him in November is McCain, but I don’t think he can pull off the nomination.


  1. [...] I think Rick is right - it’s Barack Obama’s race to lose at this point - I hope that Edwards and Richardson will stick it out for a while. Their presence is [...]

  2. Great commentary...Iowo makes me think that perhaps America is truly ready for change...and perhaps we are willing to take a risk and move past Old Washington to build a new America. NH will offer us another glimpse tomorrow.

    Jeff Tippett

  3. Rick, Long time reader from Downers Grove, IL. I ate up the poll numbers. Not sure how New Hampshire was lost. The news pundits felt that the emotion Hillary showed and the debate where she was buliied made most older women vote for her. As you might know somehwere in the neighborhood of 47% women voted for Hillary whereas only 34% for barack.

    Thoughts on the Dem rac after NH???

  4. As Rick's (perhaps) only loyal reader from NH, I feel compelled to comment. In the spirit of full disclosure, I voted for Hillary.

    Here's what I think happened. First of you, you must understand that even the most die-hard among us were worn out by this primary season. While you guys were dissected every tear and fumble and put down from afar, we were inundated. We probably got 10 pieces of campaign mail per day - which I now wish we had saved because I would have liked to have weighed the lot (we got both parties', since the former owners of my home were Republicans, and despite the fact that they have not lived here in 8 years). We could not answer the phone. We were getting 10-15 calls per night, always from lovely and slightly over-zealous college kids. Gotta love the energy and commitment, but we did not have one uninterrupted dinner from Thanksgiving until last night. The visitors were also frequent. Every weekend, there were at least 2-3 of them at my door. The Romney people were finally dissuaded when I put the Hillary signs up - and at the time I did that, I wasn't even committed, but it worked like a charm. (I had tried answering in my pj's but even that didn't scare 'em off.) And the ads. Oy. Thank the lord for my DVR for the night time shows, but I finally had to forego the morning shows because I couldn't take the repetition. Over and over and over. The same ads. Rudy's were the worst. Doom and gloom and fear. I think he used the Karl Rove playbook.

    Now that you have the flavor of what life was like here, here's how the last couple of days played out from my POV. 1) I think Obama overplayed his hand. Sorry Rick, but we're not big on vague here, and he wasn't selling anything specific. Yes, people want change, and they want hope, but they want details and he was woefully short on 'em. He is very inspirational, but towards the end much of the talk centered on the perception that he has not actually done anything but talk. It wasn't enough. He also seemed to get a little bit of a swelled head after Iowa. 2) Hillary found her voice. We went to the last rally she did on Monday night and it was packed. She had changed her message and was speaking the crowd's language. She talked about pocketbook issues - jobs, health care, education, fuel prices (pretty big issue here, where we've already poured $1000 into our oil tank this season). And she was persuasive. I was undecided on Monday morning; Monday night I made up my mind. I think others did too. 3) The undecideds decided at the polls, and they went for the devil they knew. I've heard that more than once. 4) Romney was never going to win here. Half of my neighbors moved here from Massachusetts. They would no sooner vote for a former MA governor, even a Republican one, than Hitler. He got a spike in the polls when McCain faltered. At soon as McCain found his authentic voice again, Romney was toast. Also, most of us in the southern tier read the Globe and get the MA news stations, so we're all too familiar with how many times he has "re-branded" himself.

    Anyhow, just one local's observations! It's always a relief when it's over, but it's also a little sad. These guys have been here on & off for a year. It's kind of like a wedding, lots of anticipation and poof! -- it's all over. My daughter will be 18 in 2012 and she's already chomping at the bit for the next cycle!

  5. Allison - Thanks so much for sharing. I've talked at length with a co-worker about this issue: the knock on Barack in IL was that he was a detail guy to a fault. He loved rolling his sleeves up and immersing himself in the minutiae of legislation. And he was really good at it. By far the best piece I've read about Obama's legislative accomplishments (with a focus on his time in the US Senate, not his time in the IL Senate) is here:

    Quote: "But it's the wonky legislation that I love. That and the fact that, for a freshman Senator in the minority party, he has a decent record of getting his proposals enacted. ... I read one too many pieces about his lack of a track record, and I thought: clearly, the people who are writing these haven't had the same 'there he is again!' experience that I have had while researching arcana. So I thought: I should say so."

    It's an interesting dilemma: he's clearly got oratorical skills that are unmatched among the current crop of Presidential candidates. And that's what the vast majority of supporters are responding to. I think this post at Andrew Sullivan's blog is spot-on: Hillary's simply doing a better job projecting details, even though Barack can clearly compete on that level. So far he's choosing not to play there... wonder whether it will continue to hurt him?

    Thanks again for sharing your experience.

  6. [...] the comments to my last post, Allison (a good friend who lives in NH) shared her thoughts on why she thinks Hillary won: 1) I think Obama overplayed his hand. Sorry Rick, but we’re not [...]

  7. [...] 10, 2008 In a comment on Rick Klau’s blog, Allison, apparently a New Hampshire voter, offers her analysis as to what happened Tuesday: 1) I think [...]