Friday, January 04, 2008

On to New Hampshire for Obama and Huckabee

As Yogi Berra would say, last night’s big Obama victory in the Democratic Presidential Primary in Iowa was Déjà vu all over again.

In March, 2004, Barack Obama surprised everybody by winning a seven candidate Democratic Primary for a U. S. senate nomination by beating his closest competitor (Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes) by almost 30 points. [See here]. This reporter, like many others, thought Obama would win that race by 5 to 7 points. As in last night’s race, Obama had only two significant competitors in 2004. But, in last night’s race, many, if not most, had predicted a three way statistical tie between Obama, Edwards and Clinton. So, as to Obama’s victory over Edwards by 8 points, and Hillary by 9%, that’s far from winning the ballgame, but it puts Obama in a good position going into next Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary.

John Edwards tried to paint his apparent second place finish as a victory for him. And, it was. However, without sufficient organization and money to continue the fight, Edwards can continue to pop up at debates and enjoy the media attention, but he will not be the Democratic nominee for President.

Hillary did the usual Clinton two step, talking about the evening representing a victory for Change, as if she were the change agent and she had won the primary. As to the latter, she was a show horse, not a winner. As to the former, it was Newsweek’s Howard Fineman who noted that the TV shot framing her concession speech included Bill Clinton on her left shoulder and Madeline Albright on her right shoulder, not exactly the image one wants to project change.

With the large Evangelical turnout in the Iowa Republican caucuses last night, the analysts estimated 60% of the Iowa Republican primary caucus voters were Born Again Christians. Putting it mildly, that made it a very good night for Mike Huckabee, who was an ordained Baptist minister before he became Governor of Arkansas. That kind of turnout of voters with a particular focus on religion was made to order for Huckabee, and he used it to beat former Governor Romney by 9 points. Meanwhile, John McCain and Fred Thompson were battling into the evening for a third place finish, each with 13 points.

As this reporter predicted, the mainstream media were delighted to see Huckabee shine last night. For example, local Roosevelt University Professor and former Public Affairs guest, Paul Green, commented [on last night’s CBS Chicago, Ch. 2 10:00 pm news], “Huckabee represents a kind of down home, homespun individual who has tremendous support within the mainstream of Republican Primary voters.”

What was Professor Green thinking? Yes, perhaps Huck is within the mainstream of “Born Again Republican voters,” but if it is just Republican primary voters, then suggesting Huck is within the mainstream of the Republican Primary implies that Green has seen a very different Republican Primary mainstream than the rest of us. This reporter is not predicting the Huckster goes far into the primary season. Not unless he acquires a convincing distaste for the big spending and big tax programs he presided over in Arkansas.
Jeff Berkowitz, Show Host/Producer of "Public Affairs," and Executive Legal Recruiter doing legal search can be reached at You may watch "Public Affairs," shows with Presidential Candidates Richardson, Obama, McCain, Giuliani and Cox and many other pols at
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