why i keep going on about iowa

Iowa is weird. I get that. Not many people participate in the caucuses. (In 2004, I believe that 125,000 Iowans participated.) And, those that do, rarely pick the president. I believe I read somewhere that Harkin got 78% of the vote in Iowa only to fade away into nothingness a few weeks later. The winner of Iowa tonight very well might not even be the Democratic nominee. What is also true, however, is that it’s vital for Edwards to come in first or second if he wants to stay in the race. No one has as much as he does riding on Iowa. If he comes in 3rd, he won’t have enough momentum to carry him the rest of the way, especially as he finished 2nd there in 2004. So, that’s why I’m paying so much attention to the results tonight.

Thanks again to MM.com correspondent Robert and all the other Michiganders who went west to do their part.

update: It’s all moot anyway. God apparently just let the cat out of the bag. Pat Robertson wins the whole thing in a landslide.

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  1. egpenet
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    No need to provide an update to thenumbers … the good news is all over the media.

    Update on Robertson … God just put him in a weighted bag and tossed him into the Gulf of Mexico.

  2. egpenet
    Posted January 3, 2008 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    After seeing him again on TV tonight, I want to repeat what I said several times before on this blog and others …

    Howard Dean won tonight … 1st, 2nd, 3rd and all the rest.

    Watch the remianing primaries …

    He has worked hard in all 50 states to rebuild the Democratic Party, fighting the old party establishment, even fighting with the Rob Emmanuels and other turks, even Carvell at times … and he has won.

    The Democrats REALLY turned out and brought new, young blood out to the caucuses. I hope it continues. That’s win #1 and #2.

    Win #3 is the platform … the so-called “change” platform is his platform, and the top two entries are clearly running on that … and Hillary SAYS she is running on that
    but she is not, not the change Dean has strategized.

    Meantime, the Republicans cut up the shoo-fly issues-of-fear pie the same old way it’s done by the White House chef … the Evangelical got the biggest piece, and the visiting cousins lined up to divy up the rest.

    As much as I like shoo-fly pie, I could care less who gets the Republican nod.

  3. mark
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    According to CNN, Obama and Huckabee won. Edwards came in second on the Democratic side, so I guess he’ll stay in for a while longer. Good night.

  4. mark
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I just wonder how the 2nd place finish will impact his fund raising. It’ll be interesting to see what happens today.

  5. The Shadow
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    From Michael Moore:

    “It’s the War,” Says Iowa to Hillary — And a “Happy Blue Year” To All! …from Michael Moore

    January 3, 2007


    There was no doubt about it. The message from Iowa tonight was simple, but deafening:

    If you’re a candidate for President, and you voted for the war, you lose. And if you voted and voted and voted for the war — and never once showed any remorse — you really lose.

    In short, if you had something to do with keeping us in this war for four-plus years, you are not allowed to be the next president of the United States.

    Over 70% of Iowan Democrats voted for candidates who either never voted for the invasion of Iraq (Obama, Richardson, Kucinich) or who have since admitted their mistake (Edwards, Biden, Dodd). I can’t tell you how bad I feel for Senator Clinton tonight. I don’t believe she was ever really for this war. But she did — and continued to do — what she thought was the politically expedient thing to eventually get elected. And she was wrong. And tonight she must go to sleep wondering what would have happened if she had voted her conscience instead of her calculator.

    John Edwards was supposed to have come in third. He had been written off. He was outspent by the other front-runners six to one. But somewhere along the road he threw off the old politico hack jacket and turned into a real person, a fighter for the poor, for the uninsured, for peace. And for that, he came in a surprise second, ending up with just one less delegate than the man who was against the war from the beginning. But, as Joshua Holland of AlterNet pointed out earlier today, Edwards is still the only front-runner who will pull out all the troops and do it as quickly as possible. His speech tonight was brilliant and moving.

    What an amazing night, not just for Barack Obama, but for America. I know that Senator Obama is so much more than simply the color of his skin, but all of us must acknowledge — and celebrate — the fact that one of the whitest states in the U.S. just voted for a black man to be our next president. Thank you, Iowa, for this historic moment. Thank you for at least letting us believe that we are better than what we often seem to be. And to have so many young people come out and vote — and vote for Obama — this is a proud moment. It all began with the record youth turnout in 2004 — the ONLY age group that Kerry won — and they came back out tonight en force. Good on every single one of you!

    As the only top candidate who was anti-war before the war began, Barack Obama became the vessel through which the people of this Midwestern state were able to say loud and clear: “Bring ‘Em Home!” Most pundits won’t read the election this way because, well, most pundits merrily led us down the path to war. For them to call this vote tonight a repudiation of the war — and of Senator Clinton’s four years’ worth of votes for it — might require the pundit class to remind their viewers and readers that they share some culpability in starting this war. And, like Hillary, damn few of them have offered us an apology.

    With all due respect to Senator Obama’s victory, the most important news out of the caucus this evening was the whopping, room-busting turnout of Democrats. 239,000 people showed up to vote Democratic tonight (93% more than in ’04, which was a record year), while only 115,000 showed up to vote Republican. And this is a red state! The Republican caucuses looked anemic. The looks on their faces were glum, tired. As the camera followed some of them into their caucus sites, they held their heads down or turned away, sorta like criminals on a perp walk. They know their days of power are over. They know their guy blew it. Their only hope was to vote for a man who has a direct line to heaven. Huckabee is their Hail Mary pass. But don’t rule him out. He’s got a sense of humor, he’s downhome, and he said that if elected, he’d put me on a boat to Cuba. Hey, a free Caribbean vacation!

    Bottom line: People have had it. Iowa will go blue (Happy Blue Year, Hawkeyes!). Whomever your candidate is on the Dem side, this was a good night. Get some sleep. The Republicans won’t go down without a fight. Look what happened when Kerry tried to play nice. So Barack, you can talk all you want about “let’s put the partisanship aside, let’s all get along,” but the other side has no intention of being anything but the bullies they are. Get your game face on now. And, if you can, tell me why you are now the second largest recipient of health industry payola after Hillary. You now take more money from the people committed to stopping universal health care than any of the Republican candidates.

    Despite what your answer may be, I was proud to sit in my living room tonight and see you and your family up on that stage. We became a bit better tonight, and on that I will close by saying, sweet dreams — and on to that other totally white state of New Hampshire!


    Michael Moore

  6. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Hillary needs to drop out now and throw all of her support to Giuliani if their party has any chance of winning.

  7. egpenet
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Dear Corner Brewery: Cut this guy off!

    OEC: You can go home now.

  8. Robert
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    The reason I suddenly stopped saying anything right after that last e-mail was because it was rapidly becoming apparent around here that the entire Chicago GOTV machine was showing up, and I didn’t want to voice my fears about it. That is why I suddenly started asking for more volunteers to come to the state. I posted that desperate plea on many Democratic sites.

    I would have never believed that the Chicago machine was so portable. I wonder if it can have as strong an impact out in New Hampshire. After seeing the incredible number of volunteers they had flood into Des Moines in the last 48 hours of the campaign, I hesitate in fear of possibly underestimating them again. The Obama organization really deserves credit. They did something really quite amazing here. I’ll eat crow only on that one aspect of what happened out here.

    Everything here actually went very much like I expected them too, except the absolutely unprecedented GOTV the Obama people pulled off. The unfortunate thing for us and Clinton, is that it gives a false impression that our campaigns went wrong in some way. They didn’t at all. For example, Hillary got about 20,000 votes more than the 1st place finisher did in 2004 (Kerry). Also, Edwards got over 31,000 votes more this time than he did in 2004. The total number of caucus-goers almost doubled from 2004, with 110,000 NEW caucus-goers coming out. Like I said, of those 110,000, 31,000 were as a result of our increased efforts. The Clinton campaign probably was responsible for at least 25,000 of those new caucus-goers, and Obama probably as many as 54,000 new caucus-goers.

    If we can come together after it’s clear who has the nomination, and fight as one against the Republicans, with all the strengths of each of these very impressive operations, we actually might be able to overwhelm them in the general.

  9. Ol' E Cross
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Robert, I read with much interest, as always. Thanks.

    EgPenet, but I can always go to Aubrees…

  10. egpenet
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Robert … bottom line … Howaie Dean gave the Dems the night! It was fabulous!

    The other bottom line is that Hillary got 29% … and the top line for you is that Edwards beat her.

    New Hampshire is actually very much like Iowa in many respects and so I expect the same outcome and the same split. The exciting thing for me is not only is Hillary being lumped with the old machine, but she is beatable, even with the floor scrubbers’ union support. I’ll wager that the younger voters and independents in NH will clean her clock again.

    As Howard Dean would say … Yeeeeeeeeeeehaaaa!

  11. Impervius
    Posted January 5, 2008 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    How many of those extra voters were actually from Iowa? Obama importing his machine indeed. The only reason not to feel bad was that he beat the Clintons at their own game.

  12. egpenet
    Posted January 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Impervius correctus est.

  13. mark
    Posted January 5, 2008 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone suggested that Obama’s Chicago folks were somehow participating in the caucus as Iowans, Impervius? I hadn’t heard that. There’s certainly a history off corruption in Chicago politics, but I suspect it would be a difficult thing to take on the road.

    Robert, thanks for the update. I’ll move it to the front page.

  14. Posted January 6, 2008 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    After all I’ve seen in Iowa, I really don’t feel motivated to say anything bad about any of the Democratic candidates or campaigns. They all fought hard and relatively cleanly.

    I don’t think this is the begining of the end for the Clinton campaign…not by a long shot. I was surprised to see they were able to overtake us in the west and north of Iowa. We only managed to hang on to the south for the most part. I think that shows strength with moderates, conservatives and independants.

    I’m also impressed with the ability of the Chicago GOTV machine to operate outside of Chicago. I hope they can translate that into similar GOTV operations for the general in cities like St.Louis, Cleveland, Philly and Detroit…dare I dream Atlanta, Miami, Denver or Jacksonville.

    The Edwards team accomplished the most by far with what resources they had. I still feel we have the best candiate and the best campaign structure.

    Despite the obvious attempts of the media to suggest Edwards is somehow out of this thing. We’re not by a long shot. Obama has 16 delegates secured.
    Clinton has 15, and Edwards has 14(the allocation isn’t proportional). A second place finish in New Hampshire on Tuesday will be enough to send us strong into Nevada and South Carolina, and to possible wins there. If we can take two out of the four going into Rediculiously-Super-Tuesday, we will be in good shape to win California and a few other big prizes that day.

    This is going to be a real race. I think that’s good news. For one thing, it helps invigorate voter registration and interest in the process.

  15. Nenny the typing dog
    Posted January 8, 2008 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Robertson said on TV last night that God now tells him that a Democrat will win.


  16. egpenet
    Posted January 8, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Hillary is NOT God … Hillary is Satan, according to Don Imus.

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