Friday, January 04, 2008

IOWANS ON THE MAIN STAGE

The bi-coastal impression of Iowa is that it is flat, and full of corn. That makes it particularly galling that Iowa has such a disproportionate political impact. However, if you've ever been to Iowa, you know that it is a surprisingly diverse state. I mean, it is overwhelmingly white and rural, so that is not very diverse. However, it has rivers, bluffs, prairie, and hills.

Surprisingly enough, Iowa gave the rest of the United States more diversity in its caucus winners than anyone expected six months ago. Remember when Mrs. Clinton's nomination was a foregone conclusion? Everyone thought that running against her was sort of an exercise in futility. Yeah, well, losing to Obama in Iowa is one thing. Losing to Edwards in Iowa is bad. Really bad. Remember when Romney and Giuliani were the leaders and Fred Thompson was the guy Republicans were excited about? Yeah, well, something known as a "Huckabee" is your current leader.

On to New Hampshire. We'll see if either Obama or Huckabee can maintain their momentum into New England. We'll see if they even need to. The rest of the primaries are so close to New Hampshire, and New Hampshire is so small and geographically isolated that it may not matter as much as it used to. Which is to say that Mrs. Clinton may have picked the wrong state in which to lose. Better to win Iowa and then slug out the primaries than have the Myth of Inevitability crushed and slug it out in the primaries.

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