The Iowa Caucus is over and it is on to New Hampshire. Last night's big winners were Mike Huckabee and Barak Obama. Both won handsomely. In Iowa, it's not about competence this year, it's about change. Both winning candidates won on their ability of connecting with their audiences and I suppose that's fine for Iowa. It's not, however, fine for the rest of the country.
Obama and his supporters can celebrate a black American winning the Iowa caucus. That is of historical note. Unlike previous black candidates and their wins in primaries, Obama did it in a state that is 95% white with no large urban minority votes.
Neither big winner has the foreign policy experience necessary in today's dangerous world. Huckabee knows nothing. He likes to joke he doesn't know much about Pakistan but he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. Yeah, that's not funny.
Obama panders to the far left on foreign policy and I think that is where he really falls on his views of the world. On Pakistan, not long ago he thought it would be a good idea to air bomb them for cooperation in looking for bin Laden. Yikes.
Neither are a true agent for change. In the U.S. Senate, Obama votes each and every time with the most liberal members. He has never reached out to work with the other side. He's a sweet talker, sure, but it is his actions that matter.
Huckabee, while being an aw shucks kind of talker, is Clinton lite. He followed right along the Clinton path in Arkansas and kept on many of the Clinton people from that administration when he came to power. So, instead of governing as a conservative in Arkansas, he raised taxes, was under several ethics investigations and reprimanded 5 times, and left office as the Clintons left the White House - enriching themselves out of a sense of entitlement with gifts from supporters.
It was a good night for McCain. He tied Thompson for third place and that is saying something since he didn't put much effort into Iowa, knowing he'd not be the winner there. He now will ride a wave into New Hampshire where he is in strong competition to win.
It was not a great night for Thompson. Yesterday there was much talk that he would drop out if he didn't have a strong showing at least in third place. That didn't happen. He was virtually tied with McCain. Thompson isn't raising money easily. We'll see how long he competes.
It was a bad night for Hillary. Seems the people didn't really much like her. Even those voting for her simply due to her gender weren't so enthusiastic. She continues to be the media darling. They all know she'll ultimately be the candidate and they don't want to irritate her and Bill. I think a bit of her recent gaffes caught up with her, though most weren't given much play in the MSM. Her gaffe on Pakistan went unnoticed except for some sharp bloggers, like NewsBusters.org. Hillary told Wolf Blitzer that 'If President Musharraf wishes to stand for election, then he should abide by the same rules that every other candidate will have to follow." Problem is she seems to not understand that he wasn't running. He's already been re-elected. This upcoming election is a Parliamentary election. Oops.
She also said, "I think it will be very difficult to have a real election. You know, Nawaz Sharif has said he's not going to compete." Well, she doesn't know he's a convicted felon and therefore ineligible to run. Oops.
Her Smartness is not always so smart. Channeling the voice of Walter Mondale, she pumped up her final appearances by telling her audiences that not just the country would be watching Iowa and the results of the caucus, but the 'world will be watching.' I guess the world watched her, the candidate running on her inevitability, lose big.
Hillary can't seem to get a strong message going. She's adopted the change message to compete with Obama but if she is claiming 35 years of experience on the back of her husband, then the whole change thing looks silly. She is the same she's always been. She embraces a socialist form of big government and feels entitled to rule. She claims foreign policy experience but has none. She attended meetings as First Lady, sure, and traveled extensively on the dollar of the taxpayer, as is her habit, but even the trip to Bosnia touted as a dangerous trip and she's so brave to go didn't exactly pan out for her when the facts came out. She was on a joy trip with Chelsea and Sheryl Crow and Sinbad. Just like her other trips. Chelsea was 15 at the time. How dangerous would the trip have been to take her teenager with her, especially when the Clintons were known as protective parents?
So much for Hillary to the rescue.
On to New Hampshire.