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Barack Obama
"Lincoln Sells Out Slaves"
by: Rob Kailey - Sep 13
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If You Haven't Seen This
by: Rob Kailey - Apr 28
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Impeach the President?
by: Rob Kailey - Mar 16
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It's the system, stupid!
by: Jay Stevens - Oct 24
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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

Obama wins Iowa

by: Jay Stevens

Fri Jan 04, 2008 at 11:23:26 AM MST


So Obama won the Iowa caucus handily. As predicted, pundits were making sweeping claims about the entire primary based on last night's events. Edwards is in trouble, Clinton is in trouble, etc. But this morning's buzz is all about Obama.

Remember, this is a single primary. It's a mistake to make any sweeping conclusion from last night's political event. But there was one telling fact about last night's caucus: voter turnout. In short, in a state that went for Bush in 2004, Democratic turnout for the caucus was almost twice as high as it was four years ago. Steve Benen:

How one-sided were the results? Mike Huckabee cruised to an easy victory on the Republican side, but his vote totals would have given him a fourth-place finish against the Dems.

Anyway. On with the Obama-rama.

Jay Stevens :: Obama wins Iowa
Here's the video of Obama's victory speech. Here's the transcript. Ezra Klein, Obama skeptic:

Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. They enmesh you in a grander moment, as if history has stopped flowing passively by, and, just for an instant, contracted around you, made you aware of its presence, and your role in it. He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh, over color, over despair. The other great leaders I've heard guide us towards a better politics, but Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves, to the place where America exists as a glittering ideal, and where we, its honored inhabitants, seem capable of achieving it, and thus of sharing in its meaning and transcendence.

Steve Benen:

I think Barack Obama's eight-point victory is every bit as remarkable as it seems, if not more so. This just wasn't an ordinary caucus victory; it was history.

A young, African-American, first-term senator from a big city went to Iowa - an overwhelmingly white, rural state, with a large elderly population - trailed most of the year, and delivered a bigger win than anyone expected.

Matthew Yglesias:

I think the manner of Barack Obama's win is pretty impressive. I can't be the only one who was a bit inclined toward a cynical roll of the eyes at the idea of winning on the back of unprecedented turnout, mobilizing new voters, brining in young people, etc. That sounds like the kind of thing that people say they're going to do but never deliver on. But he did deliver. That's impressive.

David f'ing Brooks!

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.

(I'm a little nervous about Brooks getting weak-kneed for Obama. Can that be a good sign for anybody?)

As for me, well, I thought Obama's speech was fantastic, but a little unrealistic and not a little anachronistic. It was as if he were giving the country a mulligan, offering to take us back to that place we inhabited before the 2000 election, where people are reasonable and interested in competence and good government. I felt it a little hard to swallow the last seven years as if they hadn't existed; I don't think Obama will find much support from the right, no matter how good his ideas or persuasive his rhetoric. If the current incarnation of the Republican party were interested in good ideas, we'd be living in a vastly different country right now.

Still, great speech and happy outcome. It's not secret I prefer Edwards, but Obama is definitely my second-favorite candidate.  

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