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January 03, 2008

Open Caucus Thread

In the wake of Mike Huckabee's victory, I think it serves us well to remember the Kubler-Ross stages of grief.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm jumping head-first into stage two. Huckabee won by a pretty commanding margin, and identity politics played a stronger role in the Republican caucus than the Democratic one.

Bryan calls that a depressing thought. I tend to agree. Basically, Huckabee was able to shade his record, lie to Iowa voters and play underhanded political games and still win based almost entirely on the fact that he is a Christian. Disheartening doesn't even begin to describe it.

On the plus side, Thompson put in a surprisingly strong showing. Hopefully he now ignores New Hampshire and puts all his energy into South Carolina, where I think his federalist message will play well. He beat McCain, who I think needed a stronger showing in the GOP race and a weaker victory by Obama in the Democratic race. Obama's unbelievable victory (Clinton was third?) may motivate many of the independents McCain is counting on in New Hampshire to vote Democratic in an attempt to make history. McCain may be happy that Romney took a hit tonight, but I think his joy will be short-lived. His NH surge isn't based on GOP voters, after all.

Still, I'd much rather see him as the GOP nominee than Huckabee. When all is said and done, I can vote for McCain because I respect him despite the disagreements I have with his positions and record. I cannot say the same about Huckabee.

Update - How can I say Thompson finished surprisingly strong? Well, I think third place is strong enough to keep him in for now, especially considering Huckabee's win. At this point, economic and national security cons are going to be desperate now for someone they can unify behind in SC. If Thompson plays his cards right, and campaigns like the wind, he stands a good chance of being that guy.

Maybe it's time to help him out a bit. I just did.

These are serious times
. I wish more Iowa voters had realized that.


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posted by Slublog at 11:58 PM

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