Friday, January 04, 2008

Iowa Caucuses - Perception, Not Reality

Reuters/Jim Young

"None of this worries me -- Sept. 11, there were times I was worried." Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani

The Iowa Caucuses are typically a referendum less on big candidates than small ones. Mostly they're about strategy, positioning, advancing. Small state, small sampling, big media attention. For small players, a chance for free national exposure. For players on the bubble, a signal to burst. For big players, a gamble.

From that standpoint, Hillary blew it. She should have ignored the caucuses as Bill did, focusing on forging major footholds in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Illinois.

Standing above the fray in Iowa as her party's presumptive front runner would have made her seem more the front runner. More presidential. More inevitable. A lock.

Instead, the Iowa results make her appear suddenly vulnerable, locked in a tough, tight race. Which isn't the case. At least not yet.

It's too soon to celebrate or run scared, people. Settle down. Concentrate. Try (oh please try) to forget Oprah and remember to focus on the ultimate prize -- the White House.

George W. Bush might be on life support but the slick, sleazy Right Wing Republican machine is still very much alive and kicking. Out for blood. Determined to win. No matter what it takes.

We've seen that before. Twice. So in the democratic primaries we must seek more than quality -- we need qualification. More than celebrity -- we need substance. Much more than likeability -- we need electability.

I don't think it's Obama. More on that later.

Just remember: small state, small sampling, big media attention. Remember this too: Huckabee. Romney. McCain.

Conservative Christians. Religious fervor. Entitlement. Prejudice.


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Anonymous Jack said...

You got it right, Sally. I don't know who it is yet, but we need a democrat who can beat a Republican.

7:29 PM  
Anonymous Marcy said...

Wait til they get to the states where people actually vote. Then Hillary will shine. Pleasepleaseplease.

5:45 PM  

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