YES, IOWANS ARE
Huckabee wins big, Edwards beats Clinton.
These are two of the emptiest suits on the modern American political scene -- Huckabee sincere but flimsy as wet kleenex, Edwards thoroughly phoney from hairspray to shoe-polish.
Salient observations from National Review Online's "Corner" blog:
From Mark Hemingway:
Edwards: He came out to give his concession speech to U2's "(Pride) In the Name of Love" and immediately started talking about his grandmother and father working in a textile plant. Suffice to say, I immediately needed an airsickness bag.From Mark Steyn:
Mike Huckabee: The only people I know who are excited about a Huckabee victory are friends who are rigidly pro-life Democrats. That about sums it up.
Hillary Clinton: ...relative to Edwards and Obama, she seems better on foreign policy and national security by a factor of ten. Still, there's something deeply satisfying about watching the Clintons start to go gently into that good night...
Obama: Content-wise, Obama's victory speech was totally lame... But nobody cares. He's likeable, he's upbeat, and he's new. We shouldn't take away from the Senator's achievement tonight. He's made history.[opening lines of the speech:
“They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided; too disillusioned to ever come together around a common purpose."This is clearly a reference to race. Obama has certainly achieved an historic first for a black American. But who among the living are the "they" who said it could "never" be done? Does anyone seriously believe that in 2008 an otherwise able candidate would be barred from success because he's black? Poppycock.]
From Rich Lowry, the money quote:
Here's one way to look at it: 60% of voters were evangelicals. Huck beat Romney among them 45-19%. 40% weren't evangelicals. Romney beat Huck among them 33-13%.Romney strikes me as a little slick and slippery, and I don't totally buy him. Huckabee, on the other hand, is either genuinely unslick, or brilliantly fake-unslick -- but God spare us another (after Bush) dull-minded, hearty-feely, God-channeling, purer-than-thou and oh-so-saved-forever, rote-learned Bible boy in the Oval Office. They're nice enough folks, but they should stay on the farm and not be put in charge of anything that means life-and-death for the whole country, not to mention the world-- at least not in however many lifetimes it will take to remedy the Scandal of the Evangelical Mind.
Huckabee gave a content-challenged acceptance speech full of rambling puffery and a hint of smuggery -- and I began to sense that, for the broad spectrum of the electorate of both parties, he may yet be able to produce negatives even higher than Hillary's!
I predict (I pray) that the Huckaboom will bust, and we can get back to a contest among serious people who belong on the world stage. (That's assuming weirdsmobile Ron Paul finally does the honorable thing and falls on his sword-- and are there other speed-bump candidates still out there? I forget.)
THE HILLARY THING:
The pundits seem to agree: never has so much money, massed organization, and intimidating raw power been expended on behalf of an anointed candidate to such disastrous effect, done in (for this round anyway) by the toxic combination of her own profound dislikability and her husband's bizarre mix of mysterious charm and suffocating self-absorption. I see Bill being muzzled in New Hampshire, perhaps even hidden until his black eyes have healed. Mere Hillary will be loosed upon the world. Which is too bad -- she is eminently beatable by any strong Republican. Obama is not. Crap.
Bottom line: The whole Iowa circus has become ridiculous at the best of times, compounded this year by the Election Strain of Bush Derangement Syndrome. This front-loaded primary mess is the direct result of the delusional state in which the left has been seething since the 2000 election.
Having concluded by early 2007 that they were never going to be able to change administrations through impeachment, they decided to just pretend it was an election year and anoint their unstoppable candidate, whose election was a foregone conclusion -- thereby achieving a virtual change in government, a good year before electoral reality caught up with the comforting delusion.
A strategem well-befitting this gaggle of wrinkled flower-children. Ambitious, if rather unhealthy.
Not gonna happen. Well, maybe it's too soon to say that. After all this excitement, the truth is we're no closer to knowing how it will all come out than we were yesterday.
Bring on the next debate!