Friday, January 04, 2008

In Huckabee and Obama Wins, Populism Reigns

DES MOINES -- In surprising and substantial victories Thursday night, both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mike Huckabee bucked their party's establishment and won the 2008 Iowa caucuses with populist themes.

Neither Obama and Huckabee are the establishment candidates in their respective parties. Both claimed large margins Thursday night. Both mostly ran positive campaigns that spoke of uniting the country under a broad theme of change. Immediately, Mike Huckabee becomes the most underrated, underestimated force on the Republican side and Barack Obama is the most likely next president of the United States.

Barack Obama 38%
John Edwards 29.7%
Hillary Clinton 29.4%

Mike Huckabee 34%
Mitt Romney 25%

More than 221,000 Iowa Democrats showed up to caucus -- smashing the old record. But the G.O.P. also bucked conventional wisdom by bringing around 90,000 to the caucuses -- also a record.

1. Will this loss by Romney propel McCain to victory in New Hampshire, knocking Romney out of the race and setting up a McCain vs. Huckabee showdown in South Carolina?

2. Will the next poll out of New Hampshire show Barack Obama with a lead equal or greater than 5 points?

3. Is Fred Thompson's Iowa showing enough to keep him in the race?

4. How long does John Edwards plan to stay in this race?

5. Where does Huckabee need to place in New Hampshire?


Paul Seale said...

Barack Obama is the most likely next president of the United States

Excuse me. There is this little thing called a general election. Maybe you havent heard about it.

It is comments like these which give people my self feelings that you are highly biased in your coveraged.

Admittedly, I thought it was okay to this point - but pronouncing Obama as the next president after an Iowa win is beyond even my wildest imagination of how bold you might be.

Next time, at least try to be a little more covert about your beliefs.


David Catanese said...

Great to see you on the blog so late Paul!

But c'mon man, let's be realistic. Given the position the Republicans are in, most unbiased political minds would say the Democrats would have a leg up next year. Not a lock, but the favorite.

It has nothing to do with who I or anyone else wants to win. That's your repeated charge everytime -- when really you can't seem to stomach any analysis independent of your partisanship.

So lighten up bud, Mike Huckabee isn't angry. Why should you be?

Brad Belote said...

I won't go as far as DC did.. but watching everything last night, if Obama keeps this up, I think people could really get behind him.. not just fiery anti-Bush, anti-GOP folks.. but regular folks who realize 1) Obama represents change and 2) want to be part of something special.

Sports metaphors are overused but there is a reason the Patriots drew gangbuster numbers on TV this year: people wanted to be witness to history. With an Obama presidency, they wouldn't just be sitting and watching: they could make it happen.

Paul Seale said...

Be realistic?

You are crowning someone President of the United States after a single victory in Iowa and before many voters get a chance to give this guy a solid shake down and disregarding historic precedent.

Is Obama charismatic? Yes.

Does he have a message? Yes.

Is there a desire for change? Absolutely.

Do people want outright socialism which Obama and Democrats are selling? Maybe, maybe not. The polls I've read say not yet, but its still early in the contest.

However when people start to take a look at the policy substance of that message what it really means (not just the feel good of the moment) then its a different story.

The fact is of the major Republican candidates, besides Huckabee, every single one polls better than Obama.

Obama, while being less venomous of a candidate than Hillary (someone you note as a rock star), is more of a socialist and has vastly less experience.

When people start to look at details of what this guy is selling and how it will take away freedoms and reduce their independence (did I mention the national security card), I think things will be different.

In any case, all this is debatable and is open for interpretation by different points of view.

My only point is that by declaring Obama as President of the United States as you did, you show a bias.

You often wonder how some of us (and Republican candidates) can make that claim. I am trying to communicate that to you. It is up to you whether to listen or not.

And Brad - I would agree with your statement that if things continue then Obama has a real shot.. but remember its just Iowa - there is a long ways to go.


p.s. Last time I checked I want upset. Amazed and frustrated at the seemingly high level of bias, you betcha.

David Catanese said...

You want to be upset?

I didn't crown Obama the next president. I said at this moment, he's most likely to be the next president, based on the odds and the political environment. Words are important. You should spell check yours more often.

But your bias charge is tired and worn. If you really believe it, you obviously have other options for your political news, but you continue to come back here.

I've spent the last 8 months blogging about a Republican candidate for president from our area so our readers and viewers could learn more about him. I've made 2 trips to Iowa to cover Mike Huckabee. Bias against Republicans? You've got to be kidding.

Your bias charge is about as accurate as your prediction Mitt Romney would win the Iowa caucuses.

Paul Seale said...

Tired and worn to you, perhaps, but not to many of us who are readers, viewers or candidates.

While you bring up a hand full of examples of what you would deam Republican leanding post (which I denote in my original post that the coverage over improved, sans the crowning of Obama), it does not clear the way for your statement about Obama. Proclaiming him the next president after a single caucus is ludicrus at best(sorry, most likely the next president).

Ive said what needed to be said - and it aint just me whose thinking it. You can either listen or ignore it.

If you choose to ignore it, then dont whine when Republican officials choose to not trust you.

If you want a good example of what unbiased news would be like - try Gene Hartley. I worked with that guy and he is a class act and in my view - under rated. You might be able to learn a few things from him and how he covers news.

In any case, dont ever say dialogue wasnt attempted. I honestly wish there was more room for it.


Bill said...

Who will be next president? Obama, McCain, Romney? I say the odds are very good that the next president will be a Democrat. I think the votes for Huckabee and Obama were a largely a rejection of the status quo candidates especially Romney and Clinton. It really shows that the Iowa Republicans are also fed up with the Bush Gang. Huckabee was the only Republican to publically criticize Bush while Romney defended the Bush presidency; and, that was about the time that Romney went south and the Huck surged. I predict the congressional Republican unity in support of George W. Bush will really backfire in 2008 elections; we saw the 1st clue in the 2006 elections and a strong 2nd clue in Iowa yesterday. Stay tuned.

Matt said...

Wow. How did I miss this thread?

All I can tell you is my experience with Dave Catanese. He's been fair and unbiased as much is humanly possible. He sought me out in Iowa to see what I was doing on behalf of a Republican candidate. He's said complementary things about Mike Huckabee, whom he's interviewed several times.

He may not agree with my analysis of the issues, but he gives me a hearing, doesn't edit me to death, and doesn't treat me like a right-wing buffoon. He asks tough questions and calls it like he sees it and lets the chips fall where they will.

Dave's the best political reporter we've had in this area in my memory. He's a professional and a heck of a guy.

And for the record, I predicted the Iowa caucuses correctly- the first such prediction to come to pass in a long, long time! :-)