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Thread: David Brooks on the Iowa Results

  1. #1

    David Brooks on the Iowa Results

    Good take on Obama and Huckabee from the NYT's house conservative...

    [QUOTE]The Two Earthquakes
    By DAVID BROOKS
    Ottumwa, Iowa

    I’ve been through election nights that brought a political earthquake to the country. I’ve never been through an election night that brought two.

    Barack Obama has won the Iowa caucuses. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to feel moved by this. An African-American man wins a closely fought campaign in a pivotal state. He beats two strong opponents, including the mighty Clinton machine. He does it in a system that favors rural voters. He does it by getting young voters to come out to the caucuses.

    This is a huge moment. It’s one of those times when a movement that seemed ethereal and idealistic became a reality and took on political substance.

    Iowa won’t settle the race, but the rest of the primary season is going to be colored by the glow of this result. Whatever their political affiliations, Americans are going to feel good about the Obama victory, which is a story of youth, possibility and unity through diversity — the primordial themes of the American experience.

    [B]And Americans are not going to want to see this stopped. When an African-American man is leading a juggernaut to the White House, do you want to be the one to stand up and say No? [/B]

    Obama has achieved something remarkable. At first blush, his speeches are abstract, secular sermons of personal uplift — filled with disquisitions on the nature of hope and the contours of change.

    He talks about erasing old categories like red and blue (and implicitly, black and white) and replacing them with new categories, of which the most important are new and old. He seems at first more preoccupied with changing thinking than changing legislation.

    Yet over the course of his speeches and over the course of this campaign, he has persuaded many Iowans that there is substance here as well. He built a great organization and produced a tangible victory.

    He’s made Hillary Clinton, with her wonkish, pragmatic approach to politics, seem uninspired. He’s made John Edwards, with his angry cries that “corporate greed is killing your children’s future,” seem old-fashioned. Edwards’s political career is probably over.

    Obama is changing the tone of American liberalism, and maybe American politics, too.

    On the Republican side, my message is: Be not afraid. Some people are going to tell you that Mike Huckabee’s victory last night in Iowa represents a triumph for the creationist crusaders. Wrong.

    Huckabee won because he tapped into realities that other Republicans have been slow to recognize. First, evangelicals have changed. Huckabee is the first ironic evangelical on the national stage. He’s funny, campy (see his Chuck Norris fixation) and he’s not at war with modern culture.

    [B]Second, Huckabee understands much better than Mitt Romney that we have a crisis of authority in this country. People have lost faith in their leaders’ ability to respond to problems. While Romney embodies the leadership class, Huckabee went after it. He criticized Wall Street and K Street. Most importantly, he sensed that conservatives do not believe their own movement is well led. He took on Rush Limbaugh, the Club for Growth and even President Bush. The old guard threw everything they had at him, and their diminished power is now exposed. [/B]

    Third, Huckabee understands how middle-class anxiety is really lived. Democrats talk about wages. But real middle-class families have more to fear economically from divorce than from a free trade pact. A person’s lifetime prospects will be threatened more by single parenting than by outsourcing. Huckabee understands that economic well-being is fused with social and moral well-being, and he talks about the inter-relationship in a way no other candidate has.

    In that sense, Huckabee’s victory is not a step into the past. It opens up the way for a new coalition.

    A conservatism that recognizes stable families as the foundation of economic growth is not hard to imagine. A conservatism that loves capitalism but distrusts capitalists is not hard to imagine either. Adam Smith felt this way. A conservatism that pays attention to people making less than $50,000 a year is the only conservatism worth defending.

    Will Huckabee move on and lead this new conservatism? Highly doubtful. The past few weeks have exposed his serious flaws as a presidential candidate. His foreign policy knowledge is minimal. His lapses into amateurishness simply won’t fly in a national campaign.

    So the race will move on to New Hampshire. Mitt Romney is now grievously wounded. Romney represents what’s left of Republicanism 1.0. Huckabee and McCain represent half-formed iterations of Republicanism 2.0. My guess is Republicans will now swing behind McCain in order to stop Mike.

    Huckabee probably won’t be the nominee, but starting last night in Iowa, an evangelical began the Republican Reformation.

    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/04/opinion/04brooks.html?hp=&pagewanted=print[/url]
    [/QUOTE]

  2. #2
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    An interesting article....I think people may be overreacting to Iowa a little bit. Not to say that these guys arnt going to pick up momentum but these primaries start in Florida on Jan.29th and will be won by Feb. 5th. with such a short time between Iowa and New Hampshire it will be hard to realy build on that because you cant commit the resources you would like if you had a month or so....that being said we will see on the 29th and if they are still in lead then we have something to talk about.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=sec.101row23;2300285]An interesting article....I think people may be overreacting to Iowa a little bit. Not to say that these guys arnt going to pick up momentum but these primaries start in Florida on Jan.29th and will be won by Feb. 5th. with such a short time between Iowa and New Hampshire it will be hard to realy build on that because you cant commit the resources you would like if you had a month or so....that being said we will see on the 29th and if they are still in lead then we have something to talk about.[/QUOTE]

    I agree. Iowa often is misinterpreted as there often an effort to look thoughtful and contrarian since it is such an early and often meaningless vote.

    Let's face it, it is basically Iowa's 15 minutes of fame every 4 years.

  4. #4
    [QUOTE=sec.101row23;2300285]An interesting article....I think people may be overreacting to Iowa a little bit. Not to say that these guys arnt going to pick up momentum but these primaries start in Florida on Jan.29th and will be won by Feb. 5th. with such a short time between Iowa and New Hampshire it will be hard to realy build on that because you cant commit the resources you would like if you had a month or so....that being said we will see on the 29th and if they are still in lead then we have something to talk about.[/QUOTE]

    Iowa is often not a reliable indicator. Where it is interesting on the Democratic side this year, however, is that polls shows NH and SC are very tight. If Obama gets a bump from this win in those states, he likely will have a clear sense of momentum heading into the bigger primaries.

    And, if he continues to win by drawing independents and Republicans as he did last night, it will completely undermine Hillary's argument that she's more electable in the general election -- the main reason she's still winning in the big states, imo. It is stunning that he basically routed Clinton (and Edwards) in one of the whitest and oldest states.

    It will be a tough fight for Obama going forward, but last night gave him a better shot than anyone imagined.

    As for Huckabee, it's a bit different, because he's not doing well in NH. He probably has to hope that McCain wins NH, which would probably kill off Romney, and then he and McCain will have a death match in SC. If no clear winner emerges there, or if they beat each other up too much, a guy like Rudy might have a shot to crawl back into it in the bigger primaries, if his campaign is still going by then.

    But my hunch is it comes down to whoever wins NH and Huckabee.

  5. #5
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2300320]Iowa is often not a reliable indicator. Where it is interesting on the Democratic side this year, however, is that polls shows NH and SC are very tight. If Obama gets a bump from this win in those states, he likely will have a clear sense of momentum heading into the bigger primaries.

    And, if he continues to win by drawing independents and Republicans as he did last night, it will completely undermine Hillary's argument that she's more electable in the general election -- the main reason she's still winning in the big states, imo. It is stunning that he basically routed Clinton (and Edwards) in one of the whitest and oldest states.

    It will be a tough fight for Obama going forward, but last night gave him a better shot than anyone imagined.

    As for Huckabee, it's a bit different, because he's not doing well in NH. He probably has to hope that McCain wins NH, which would probably kill off Romney, and then he and McCain will have a death match in SC. If no clear winner emerges there, or if they beat each other up too much, a guy like Rudy might have a shot to crawl back into it in the bigger primaries, if his campaign is still going by then.

    But my hunch is it comes down to whoever wins NH and Huckabee.[/QUOTE]

    One of the most fascinating things I have seen in poll results is that national polls of Democrats show them saying that Hillary is the most electable, while those of the total electorate show she is the least among the top three Dems. The simplest explanation for that reflects the same dynamic as applies to all national polls at this point, and that is that the electorate in general is not paying as much attention to politics as voters in early primary states have been.

    Seeing as how Obama outspent Edwards substantially and has been getting far more media coverage, most of it fawning and uncritical, I am not surprised he got roughly five voters for every four that supported Edwards. I wish it were not so, but there it is.

    Of course there are a number of polls that show Edwards is the most electable of the three, but Obama supporters don't like going there.

    As for Huckabee, he doesn't have to win NH, but he can't fall out of the top three without losing his momentum. In fact if we see McCain kill Romney and Huckabee is even a distant third, Huckabee will have a hard time regaining present momentum going into SC. McCain would have all the momentum at that point.

    McCain's problems will resurface when he gets to states where independents do not participate in the GOP primary, as GOP voters don't like him near as much as independents do.

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=Big Blocker;2300405]One of the most fascinating things I have seen in poll results is that national polls of Democrats show them saying that Hillary is the most electable, while those of the total electorate show she is the least among the top three Dems. The simplest explanation for that reflects the same dynamic as applies to all national polls at this point, and that is that the electorate in general is not paying as much attention to politics as voters in early primary states have been.

    Seeing as how Obama outspent Edwards substantially and has been getting far more media coverage, most of it fawning and uncritical, I am not surprised he got roughly five voters for every four that supported Edwards. I wish it were not so, but there it is.

    Of course there are a number of polls that show Edwards is the most electable of the three, but Obama supporters don't like going there.

    As for Huckabee, he doesn't have to win NH, but he can't fall out of the top three without losing his momentum. In fact if we see McCain kill Romney and Huckabee is even a distant third, Huckabee will have a hard time regaining present momentum going into SC. McCain would have all the momentum at that point.

    McCain's problems will resurface when he gets to states where independents do not participate in the GOP primary, as GOP voters don't like him near as much as independents do.[/QUOTE]


    Edwards spent six years campaigning to win the last two Iowa Caucuses, losing them both. He also had the benefit of being a veep nominee, giving him enormous name recognition and visibility.

    He's as much of a known quantity in Iowa as Hillary is. He didn't lose because he got outspent. He lost because people have considered him and decided to pass.

  7. #7
    Blocker wake up, Edwards is done. stick a fork in him.

  8. #8
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    Some interesting stats:

    Summary of Past Results of Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primaries
    2 January 2008 ·

    In case you’re wondering, the outcome of recent contested Iowa caucuses has been :
    * 2004 D — Kerry (38%), Edwards (32%), Dean (18%)
    * 2000 R — Bush (41%), Forbes (30%), Keyes (14%)
    * 1996 R — Dole (26%), Buchanan (23%), Alexander (18%)
    * 1992 D — Harkin (76%), Uncommitted (12%), Tsongas (4%), Clinton (2%)
    * 1988 D — Gephardt (31%), Simon (27%), Dukakis (22%)
    * 1988 R — Dole (37%), Robertson (25%), Bush (19%)
    * 1984 D — Mondale (49%), Hart (17%)
    * 1980 R — Bush (32%), Reagan (30%), Baker (15%)
    * 1976 D — Uncommitted (37%), Carter (28%), Bayh (13%)
    * 1972 D — Uncommitted (36%), Muskie (36%), McGovern (23%)

    And, while I’m on a roll…the analogous summary for New Hampshire:

    * 2004 D — Kerry (38%), Dean (26%), Clark (12%), Edwards (10%)
    * 2000 R — McCain (49%), Bush (30%), Forbes (12%)
    * 1996 R — Buchanan (27%), Dole (26%), Alexander (22%)
    * 1992 D — Tsongas (33%), Clinton (25%)
    * 1988 D — Dukakis (36%), Gephardt (20%), Simon (17%)
    * 1988 R — Bush (38%), Dole (29%), Kemp (13%)
    * 1984 D — Hart (37%), Mondale (28%)
    * 1980 R — Reagan (50%), Bush (23%), Baker (12%)
    * 1976 D — Carter (28%), Udall (23%), Bayh (15%)
    * 1972 D — Muskie (46%), McGovern (37%)

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2300320]Iowa is often not a reliable indicator. Where it is interesting on the Democratic side this year, however, is that polls shows NH and SC are very tight. If Obama gets a bump from this win in those states, he likely will have a clear sense of momentum heading into the bigger primaries.

    And, if he continues to win by drawing independents and Republicans as he did last night, it will completely undermine Hillary's argument that she's more electable in the general election -- the main reason she's still winning in the big states, imo. It is stunning that he basically routed Clinton (and Edwards) in one of the whitest and oldest states.

    It will be a tough fight for Obama going forward, but last night gave him a better shot than anyone imagined.

    As for Huckabee, it's a bit different, because he's not doing well in NH. He probably has to hope that McCain wins NH, which would probably kill off Romney, and then he and McCain will have a death match in SC. If no clear winner emerges there, or if they beat each other up too much, a guy like Rudy might have a shot to crawl back into it in the bigger primaries, if his campaign is still going by then.

    But my hunch is it comes down to whoever wins NH and Huckabee.[/QUOTE]


    Reguardless of how Rudy finishes in NH and SC he will stay in it till Florida and super tuesday..his whole campaign is centered around winning Florida and the big states which have winner take all delegates on Feb. 5th ( New York, New Jersey, Conn, Delaware and Missouri) Also large states like California, Georgia and Illinois award their delegates by Congrssional District vote (not a winner take all situation ) Rudys numbers are very good in all those states and I think on Feb. 5th things will look a lot different than they do now...at least with the GOP.

    As far as the democrats.. it will be interesting to see how Obama rides this momentum..I am not surprised he won Iowa, they like to go against popular opinion and against the establishment. I do think Clinton should be worried though. She is far from a lock to win this like she once thought.

    Do you think Bill being as visible as he is and as outspoken as he had been is hurting Hilary?? Its hard to make a case that you want to change things when your husband was a sitting president for 7 years. Just wondering what you think about that??

  10. #10
    [QUOTE=sec.101row23;2300491]
    Do you think Bill being as visible as he is and as outspoken as he had been is hurting Hilary?? Its hard to make a case that you want to change things when your husband was a sitting president for 7 years. Just wondering what you think about that??[/QUOTE]

    I think the fundamental problem with her campaign right now is that the electorate wants change, and she has positioned herself as an incumbent. Not a good combination. The former president at her side, the constant reminders of (and her refusal to apologize for) her Iraq War vote -- all of these things make her less than credible as a change candidate, and when she tries to act like one she looks absurd and desperate.

    Her best play, I think, is to be Maggie Thatcher: Tough, cold and competent. But she's tried to match Obama as an inspirer, and she can't. Now, if she change course yet again, she looks even more calculating.

    If she loses NH (big if), she's going to have a hard time stemming the tide against her.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Big Blocker;2300405]One of the most fascinating things I have seen in poll results is that national polls of Democrats show them saying that Hillary is the most electable, while those of the total electorate show she is the least among the top three Dems. The simplest explanation for that reflects the same dynamic as applies to all national polls at this point, and that is that the electorate in general is not paying as much attention to politics as voters in early primary states have been.

    Seeing as how Obama outspent Edwards substantially and has been getting far more media coverage, most of it fawning and uncritical, I am not surprised he got roughly five voters for every four that supported Edwards. I wish it were not so, but there it is.

    [B]Of course there are a number of polls that show Edwards is the most electable of the three, but Obama supporters don't like going there.[/B]

    As for Huckabee, he doesn't have to win NH, but he can't fall out of the top three without losing his momentum. In fact if we see McCain kill Romney and Huckabee is even a distant third, Huckabee will have a hard time regaining present momentum going into SC. McCain would have all the momentum at that point.

    McCain's problems will resurface when he gets to states where independents do not participate in the GOP primary, as GOP voters don't like him near as much as independents do.[/QUOTE]

    Edwards has no shot in the general election. Obama and Hillary would get a lot of independants/quasi reps who voted for Bush the past two elections. None of these people would vote for a wacko like Edwards.

  12. #12
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2300507]Her best play, I think, is to be Maggie Thatcher[/QUOTE]

    Huh? Hillary should focus on oppressing Irish Catholics?

  13. #13
    [QUOTE=JohnnyHector;2300606]Huh? Hillary should focus on oppressing Irish Catholics?[/QUOTE]

    Stylistically, I meant.

    She should be the embodiment of cold competence and hope that voters nervous about Obama's experience flock to her.

  14. #14
    I think there is an overreaction to the Obama win. His campaign did an excellent job (disclosure: I would vote for any Republican over of the Democrat candidates ... soon, I am looking at the Democrat race as an outside party) ...

    With Edwards doing so well, that will hurt Obama and help Hillary in the long run ...

    she will eventually win (and she has the $$ and organization to press on). Once she wins a significant race, the media will be on her bandwagon and she will be almost impossible to stop and probably win the general election (which I'm hoping against)

  15. #15
    [QUOTE=angry jets fan;2300625]I think there is an overreaction to the Obama win. His campaign did an excellent job (disclosure: I would vote for any Republican over of the Democrat candidates ... soon, I am looking at the Democrat race as an outside party) ...

    With Edwards doing so well, that will hurt Obama and help Hillary in the long run ...

    she will eventually win (and she has the $$ and organization to press on). Once she wins a significant race, the media will be on her bandwagon and she will be almost impossible to stop and probably win the general election (which I'm hoping against)[/QUOTE]

    Edwards doing well is his spin. He lost by eight points. That's a rout. Just because he didn't congratulate Obama doesn't mean he didn't lose to him.

    Iowa in and of itself means little, but it will give Obama a bump in NH and SC, which are very close right now. If (big if) Obama wins those, Hillary will be in serious trouble.

  16. #16
    [QUOTE=nuu faaola;2300617]Stylistically, I meant.

    She should be the embodiment of cold competence and hope that voters nervous about Obama's experience flock to her.[/QUOTE]

    I know what you meant, but I have grown so bored with the political landscape that my only worthwhile contribution would be a wiseass remark. :D

  17. #17
    I think you like obama? right? anyway ... if Edwards would have done worse, it would have helped Obama in NH and SC ... where Obama still has a good chance ... but I think things will become much tougher from him after that ... I thought Obama and Huckabee gave great speeches afterwards ... even though, I don't really care for either of them ... I thought Edwards speech was very choppy (I thought he was a better speaker than that ... I guess he was probably exhausted) ... the rest of the candidates were pretty ho hum, imo.

    disclosure ... I am a Fred Thompson supporter (use to want Tancredo; I think Tancredo, Hunter, and Thompson are the only consistent and realistic conservatives in the race) Tancredo dropped out ... Hunter has no chance ... Thompson is probably done if he doesn't do well in SC (which I don't thiink he will ... his campaign lacks energy)


    [quote=nuu faaola;2300667]Edwards doing well is his spin. He lost by eight points. That's a rout. Just because he didn't congratulate Obama doesn't mean he didn't lose to him.

    Iowa in and of itself means little, but it will give Obama a bump in NH and SC, which are very close right now. If (big if) Obama wins those, Hillary will be in serious trouble.[/quote]

  18. #18
    [QUOTE=angry jets fan;2300693]I think you like obama? right? anyway ... if Edwards would have done worse, it would have helped Obama in NH and SC ... where Obama still has a good chance ... but I think things will become much tougher from him after that ... I thought Obama and Huckabee gave great speeches afterwards ... even though, I don't really care for either of them ... I thought Edwards speech was very choppy (I thought he was a better speaker than that ... I guess he was probably exhausted) ... the rest of the candidates were pretty ho hum, imo.

    disclosure ... I am a Fred Thompson supporter (use to want Tancredo; I think Tancredo, Hunter, and Thompson are the only consistent and realistic conservatives in the race) Tancredo dropped out ... Hunter has no chance ... Thompson is probably done if he doesn't do well in SC (which I don't thiink he will ... his campaign lacks energy)[/QUOTE]

    Correct, I am an Obama supporter.

    Edwards sticking around may hurt Obama in NH, but it might help Obama in Nevada, where he is weak, Edwards is strong and a Clinton loss there (following losses to Obama in NH and SC) might be fatal.

    The Clinton org is powerful in NH. Obama's best hope is the huge independent vote there. Neither Hillary nor Edwards has much appeal with those voters, and --with Edwards still in--Obama will need them. If he wins NH, look out...

  19. #19
    A great example of how the NYT is liberal - if that is the best they have for a Rep/Con.

    Actually, I like some of his points. But the first highlighted line is overblown. Obama has not reached juggernut status quite yet and, most of all, many will try to stop him him - not because he is an African American (thank God) but because they disagree with his politics.


    Personally, I am elated these two guys won. Score one for candidates who have more integrity and personal appeal rather than political might. Though I disagree with Obama, he has more likability and honesty in his pinky than Hiallry has in both her and her husband's entire bodies combined.

  20. #20
    [QUOTE=JCnflies;2300727]A great example of how the NYT is liberal - if that is the best they have for a Rep/Con.

    .[/QUOTE]

    I think they hired him from the Weekly Standard, and he was also op-ed editor of the WSJ. He's a legit conservative.

    If you require a mouth-foaming neocon, never fear, they just hired Bill Kristol.

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