Friday, January 04, 2008

On to New Hampshire

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 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.


Paul is a Hermit said...

If it is true that America is setting itself up for another Jimmy Carter, then Iowa has helped push the two most like him to the top.
The election of either, would reinforce my belief that America is in decline, notwithstanding the opposite example of these two, men and women who volunteer for military duty.
With leaders like those, even that pool will shrink. It will be interesting to see either of the "people's politicians" institute a draft in order to stock enough fodder for their inept adventures. Or, even worse, let others such as the U.N., dictate their use.

Stylin said...

I am just so glad that she came in third !
I was suprised about Rudy not being anywhere in the top 3

Jolene said...

I listened to Fred talk to Sean Hannity on the way home. He denied, strongly going to be dropping out or every saying that; but indicated it was a rumor started by another camp. The media is over-blowing it. Actual numbers that I saw on Real Clear Politics this morning had Fred coming in 3rd, about 250 votes above McCain. And we all must remember, Clinton 1 didn't win until GA and still ending up going on to defile the white house.

AC said...

I had a friend once who was a music teacher at a high school. She had this great t-shirt printed with "Chorus of Excuses" - I can't remember them particularly, however I am betting we will hear from the Hill'ry camp a spinning list a mile long. It had already started with poll suggestions being dismal.

Right Truth said...

Neither candidate has foreign experience, ... the main thing this country needs is someone who will be strong on Islamic terror and keep America safe. Let's hope that Iowa results do not transfer to other states.

I would rather have Clinton than Edwards or Obama.

Huckabee is Clinton lite? Yes, but I think Bill Kristal got it right ... Huckabee is another Jimmy Carter. God help us all if he wins.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I would rather have Clinton than Edwards or Obama.

I prefer Clinton, only in that I think she carries so much baggage with her, she will be easier to beat in the general election than the message of opitimism and youthful exuberance that Obama and to an extent, Edwards, seem to represent.

Michael said...

I think you hit Hillary pretty good, and also described why she likely will not be the nominee.

It's not that the country isn't ready for a woman, it's more that the country doesn't want an obvious fake. Obama, whatever his faults, has the advantage of being very genuine.

However, I doubt that he's an electable candidate. Not because he's black (for all of America's faults, I think the country is beyond that), but because he just doesn't have the knowledge base, or the actions to back up his sweet talk, or the political capital to swing his own way in his party.

I'd actually like to see Obama head a ticket, simply because I think it'd give the Republicans a stronger chance.

On the Republican side, after New Hampshire, I think we'll see Fred bow out, Huckabee start to lose ground, and McCain and Giuliani start to perform as expected. Romney will drop to the middle of the pack, and is likely to end up as a VP pick. I think he'd be a good one.

Anonymous said...

After the last eight years, it seems to me that one who votes with "the most liberal members" is indeed a change agent. Nearly doubling the turnout for the Iowa caucus singlehandedly also demonstrates an ability to inspire change. But that's just me.

Hilary's vaunted "experience" is so much smoke and mirrors. She is, in fact, a continuation of more of the same...Clinton, Clinton, Bush, Bush, Clinton...well, you get it.

I don't think there is a single candidate on either side with the total package of experience. I do think there is a sharp contrast in how their cabinets are likely to be formulated, and this, to me, is crucial. And let's not forget: Bush 43 had zero experience on the foreign policy front when he was elected, either. Good? Bad? You tell me! ;-)