Obama, Huckabee take Iowa

Illinois Senator Barack Obama and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses Thursday night, establishing themselves as the early frontrunners for the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominations and handing two earlier favorites crushing losses.

Mitt Romney, who outspent other Republicans 10-1, will finish a distant second while former Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton in third place, close behind former Senator John Edwards.

While Romney’s loss is more crushing in numbers, Clinton’s loss is a serious blow what at one time seemed to be an easy cruise to the Democratic nomination. With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, Obama had 38 percent of the vote with Edwards at 30 percent and Clinton at 29.

On the Republican side, it wasn’t even close with Huckabee jumping out to an early lead and never looked back. NBC called the race for Huckabee at 9 p.m. EST, an hour after the GOP straw votes began. The networks and the Associated Press called the Democratic race for Obama by 9:30 p.m. — two hours after the Democratic caucuses began. With 96 percent of the vote tallied, Huckabee led with 34 percent, followed by Romney with 25, Fred Thompson and John McCain with 13 (with Thompson holding a slight edge in vote numbers) and Ron Paul with 10 (all numbers are percentages).

The third place finish by Clinton was a public repudiation and a humiliating defeat for the Democratic candidate once considered the presumptive nominee. Her loss was even more stinging because exit polls showed she fared poorly with young women and African-American votes.

Clinton put on her game face and praised the strong Democratic turnout (more than 230,000) and promised to move on the New Hampshire where her once large lead in the polls has vanished.

Huckabee leaves Iowa as a candidate Republicans must take seriously. His victory is a resounding defeat for Mitt Romney, who invested millions along with considerable time and resources in Iowa.

Thursday’s results began to thin the herd in the crowded Presidential field. Within minutes of the final result, Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Chris Dodd dropped out of the race.

On the Republican side, Fred Thompson is mulling a withdrawal after eking out a third place finish over a resurgent John McCain. Thompson is out of money and his dismal finish will not help fundraising.

Writes Patrick Healy in The New York Times:

The Democratic and Republican establishments and their presidential candidates, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and former Gov. Mitt Romney, were brought low in Iowa on Thursday night, shaken seriously by two national newcomers who won decisively on messages of insurgency and change.

The victors in Iowa, Senator Barack Obama for the Democrats and former Gov. Mike Huckabee for the Republicans, are as far from the status quo as possible. One is the son of a Kenyan father and a white Kansan mother who entered the United States Senate just three years ago. The other is a former Baptist minister who was best known until recently for losing over 100 pounds and taking on the issue of childhood obesity.

The two winners burst the aura of strength and confidence that Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Romney had tried to cultivate for months, and left both parties suddenly without a clear path to their nominating conventions, let alone November.

Mrs. Clinton’s loss was especially glaring. Her central strategy for much of 2007 was to appear as the inevitable nominee, but Iowans shredded that notion. She tried in recent weeks to convince voters that another Clinton administration could be an agent of change, but Iowans clearly did not buy it.

Without question, Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Romney have the money, the campaign apparatus and the legions of supporters to stay in the hunt for the nomination and to right their campaigns. But Mrs. Clinton’s lackluster finish raises anew questions about her electability, and whether independent voters — twice as many of whom backed Mr. Obama over her — will ever come around to Mrs. Clinton.

And Mr. Romney, who outspent Mr. Huckabee 6 to 1 in television advertising in Iowa, now faces a far more crowded field of rivals in the New Hampshire primary who are eager to tear into his wounded candidacy

All the candidates now move to that primary on Tuesday, which Mrs. Clinton had tried to make a fire wall for her campaign, as it was for her husband’s presidential candidacy in 1992, when he finished strongly in second place.

“If Hillary doesn’t stop Obama in New Hampshire, Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee,” said Robert Shrum, a Democratic consultant who was John Kerry’s senior strategist in 2004.


  1. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Thank The Stars Above that Pillary ended up in third place -what a burn on her. I’m rooting for Edwards, but just the fact Pilliary Dillary Crock landed behind both Obama and behind Edwards getting her mittens burned is joyfull to me.

  2. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    Sandra, I thought I got 86ed a few times, but I think it is just the CHB server goes through some sort of maintenence cycle cause’ I thought I had been to much of a bad boy cause I wasn’t able to post, but I’m sure now it’s because of some server gyrations. I say that because this inability to post seemed to recur at intervals -one time I could post, another I couldn’t,and for no discernable reason.

  3. Cobaltkid


    You are on the mark here except that you say that #3 exists in the Middle East. It probably does but it’s most radical/fundamentalist proponent seems to reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    Barak, I think you have a good point, but I think this needs to be added: FUNDAMENTALISTS of all religions are the problem. Right now, in the Middle east, we have:
    1.) Fundamentalist Jews stealing land they never owned in the name of racism, nationalism, a 4000 year old fairy-tale and a 2000 year old vendetta,
    2.) Fundamentalist Muslims blowing themselves up over same land,
    3.) Fundamentalist Christians wallowing in hatred of #2 and doing everything they can to escalate the conflict, as they feel they’ll be magically rescued from the consequences of their own depravity.

    Fundamentalism is defined roughly as those who believe their “bible” is the word of God, and literally the absolute truth. Moses and Mohamed were not God, and neither was Charles Darwin. (many scientists are fundamentalists, too……. of a different sort.)
    So anyway, there are decent people of all religions. Probably the majority. But as usual, the crimes of a few screw it up for ewveryone.

  5. ekaton

    Although I disagree with Sandra on some things I agree on others. I’ve never seen her write anything in this venue that would merit a ban. But, I can say from experience that there is at least one rather thin-skinned forum moderator that will ban people if she becomes miffed at them over any little thing. Happened to me quit awhile back. She told me she hadn’t made certain statements and I showed her that she in fact had made those statements. BANNED!! I’m now allowed back in the forums but I don’t go there.

    — Kent Shaw

  6. SEAL

    Sandy: how is it you keep getting booted from all these varous forums you tell us about? I’ve never seen you post anythng that would cause that to happen. Do you have multiple personalities?

  7. Sandra Price

    This information belongs on Reader Rant but I’m 86ed from the forum. I will make this short.

    Tonight on ABC, there will be double debate with the GOP and Dems taking turns. I pick it up at 5 PM Mountain time so Eastern should be 7 PM and Pacific at 4 PM.

  8. ekaton

    I like your use of the term “Rabbi Christ”. As he held Rabbi Christ (PBUH) in high esteem as he was writing The Noble Quran I am certain that Rabbi Muhammad (PBUH) was truly a man of peace also. I wonder how many people realize he was also a Jew, as was Christ (PBUH).

    — Kent Shaw

  9. barak

    It seems to me that if more of you Christians would act like what Rabbi Christ said you should, this world might be more tolerant, and a kinder and gentler place to live.
    Didn’t Rabbi Christ preach turning the other cheek, and understanding that all men are not the same, and that people should live and let live?
    If people would truly follow the spirit of Rabbi Christ’s teachings I believe that we all could find some peace and harmony.
    Pure Islam is similar, and does not advocate violence. It is only the religious extremists of all religions that create chaos and murder in this world.
    Someone, perhaps Franklin or Jefferson, said that “Extremeism in the defense of liberty is not a vice.” I believe that extremeism is a vice regardless of what it is doing, defending, or preaching. Moderation in all things except moderation is far less of a vice.

  10. bryan mcclellan

    Thanks for the compliment Deja Vu.My brother says I’m out on the ledge, and it is so,I am,but only so I can see more clearly what surrounds us.Your point on the working class is one of great contention with me.While CEO’s and market speculators take massive bonus payouts the common man is left to tread water in an ever more tumultuous sea of corporate and government greed.Yesterday an oil futures trader purposely lost $600.00 on a $100,000 trade just so he could go down in history as the one to be the first to pay $100.00 per barrel for crude.This should have brought indignation from at least one of the candidates but I heard nothing said.There are at least 250,000,000 million Americans that could put that $600.00 to good use by getting a head start on next months bills,but the only purpose it served was to ramp up some bloodsuckers ego and screw us over even further.Corporate America,ain’t it grand?As for my musical talents I can carry a tune but have never mastered an instrument much to my chagrin.I do have many pages of lyrics I have written over the years in hopes of one day handing them to Bob Dylan, but I doubt we’ll meet any time soon.I’m also a wanna be metal sculptor as I am a weldor by trade, and I really enjoy making wooden walking sticks of which I have made numerous and passed on to family and close friends.Keep ticklin those Ivory’s with a little Boogie Woogie for me. I will check out Mr Zinn,thanks.PMFOT’s

  11. DejaVuAllOver

    Steve and Bryan, I always like your comments. I think musicians are insightful people, in general, although since I is one also I’m probably just flattering myself.
    You guys hit the core of the problem this country has ALWAYS had: a TERRIBLE labor problem. Until we ditch this “get someone else to do the work” mentality and tell the MBA’s and Wall St. and speculators to shove it, we won’t get anywhere. It’s always been this way in this country, from indentured servants to conscripted soldiers to the railroad strikes to the depression of 1857 to the Civil War to the Guilded age of the 1880’s to Mother Jones and the Wobblies to the Great Depression to the current Robber Barons in office now, this country ALWAYS S^%TS ON WORKING PEOPLE. But read Howard Zinn for a much better analysis of same struggle.
    That’s the reason I too like Edwards; he seems to be the only one who has any inkling of the labor problem this country faces right now. And it really is a crisis that’s going to get MUCH worse, soon.
    What instruments do you guys play? Me, honky-tonk / rock piano and Hammond B-3.

  12. Cobaltkid

    Hillary vs. Obama in NH

    There are many of us here in New Hampshire who are still trying to decide how to vote next Tuesday. As you probably know, we have a rather unique system here that allows us to register as Republican, Democrat, or UNDECLARED. Most of us choose undeclared since it allows the most flexibility during primary elections. When we walk into the the polls on election day we must take an R or a D ballot if we are so registered. As an undeclared we can request either ballot. (Upon votimg, we change our registration back to undeclared.)

    In our small town here in the central part of the state we have approximately 3,700 registered voters of which over 65% are undeclared. In the state overall there are 45% who are undeclared.

    Now for the fun part, do I take a D ballot and vote for Obama to keep Hillary from winning or do I take an R ballot and vote for my real candidate – Ron Paul? My thinking right now is to try and see how close the contest is between Hillary and Obama before making a decision. First choice would be Paul who I think will do much better than the so-called experts think.

    As you can see, these options make it very difficult for the beltway pundits to get a handle on what will happen in New Hampshire. Due to this system, polls that cover only one party are frequently inaccurate.

  13. SEAL

    I don’t know where Mr. Shurm was in 2004 but if Obama does take New Hampshire he will undoubtably take South Carolina with it’s majority black voters. That would mean Hillary’s last chance to stay in he race would be Florida where the Clintons are very popular. Actually, Obama does not have to win New Hampshire, just be a close second.

    It will be very close there regardless, unless the voters are turned off by the negative attacking campaign Hillary is sure to run the next fews days. Saturday’s debate may be the determining factor. Obama has not shown well in the debates thus far and this one is going to give the candidates the opportunity to confront each other. Edwards may come out looking the best.

  14. Donnat

    ““If Hillary doesn’t stop Obama in New Hampshire, Obama is going to be the Democratic nominee,” said Robert Shrum, a Democratic consultant who was John Kerry’s senior strategist in 2004.”

    Where was this blinding insight from Mr. Shrum in 2004?


  15. Steve Horn

    Kent – you’re correct about Carter being a nuclear engineer – with that fact in mind perhaps you and others will understand when I say what this country doesn’t need is another damn attorney or MBA as president, what it needs is a scientist or engineer.

    Engineers are trained to identify, understand and resolve problems much as scientists are trained to explore, identify and apply experimental method to make discoveries. Both tend to apply the same method to problem solving, one based on logic, fact and data.

    On the other hand, it seems that attorneys and executives in leadership positions rely more on instinct, emotion, a good-old boy network and gut-feelings.

    Perhaps the reason for the difference is, in part, that “style” really doesn’t matter a damn when you’re trying to fix a problem, only when you’re trying to sell a solution.

    Give me a proven scientist or engineer any day – they don’t end up tripping over emotions, God or personal ties, they just get the job done.



  16. ekaton

    “Carter was/is a professed born again Christian, he was had also been in the military (rather distinguished service in the Navy, if I recall correctly) and had very strong family ties (and true family values).”

    Jimmy Carter, believe it or not, is actually a nuclear engineer! Thats what his job was in the Navy. The man ain’t no dumb butt.

    — Kent Shaw

  17. Steve Horn

    Sandra –

    Carter was/is a professed born again Christian, he was had also been in the military (rather distinguished service in the Navy, if I recall correctly) and had very strong family ties (and true family values).

    People poked fun at him for his family, and I’ll admit that Billy was a rather comical figure.

    I recall Carter being laughed at because he confessed that he “sinned in his mind” because he had impure thoughts regarding another woman. Most of those snickers came from the Republicans. Carter never (to my recollection) imposed his personal life upon the nation, as mentioned in Matthew 6:5-6

    5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

    6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly

    A Christian isn’t supposed to make a big deal about how they feel – it’s a personal thing.

    Now we have a bombastic prick who hides behind (but likely cannot quote or cite) scripture (please note, I did not quote Matthew 6 from memory – I could have paraphrased it but could not have gotten the quote right), who claims to be a Christian but who starts wars, who claims to be an historian but who apparently doesn’t understand world history, who claims to have an MBA but who cannot seem to grasp the concept of budgetary responsibility.

    Also – When Carter came into office we were really in the dumps as a nation, high fuel prices, rampant inflation, Watergate was recent history – when he left after one term our nation was on the mend. Bush stepped into a bed of roses – national debt way down, individual productivity up, oil prices low, inflation low and look what he’s leaving us with.

    People claim that Carter wasn’t a good manager – perhaps he was just more transparent than what we are and were accustomed to – but one thing that Carter both is and was is honest. A true Eagle Scout.

    Now, if the Steve you’re referencing is me, am I a Christian? Well, I’m fairly well read, but if I am or if I am not is a private matter for me. Perhaps how and who I am is just a reflection of a Quaker upbringing (then again, Nixon was a Quaker ….. ).



  18. ekaton

    Then please allow me to say it for you. Bush is the spawn of Satan, the Messiah of hate and fear and evil. If Bush is a Christian then I’m Mahatma Ghandi.

    — Kent Shaw

  19. Sandra Price

    Steve, there is nothing wrong with Evangelicals if they stay out of our Constitution. We knew Bush would not control his power as they ran on a platform to ban abortions, same sex marriagesz, and death with dignity.

    I may be wrong but I was never aware of Carter trying to impose his religion on any level of the government. I love the Habitat for Humanity and have a very close friend in California who has taken over the organization in our county. He’s a powerhouse with others getting people behind the organization. I have no idea if Steve is a Christian or simply a decent and responsible man.

  20. Steve Horn

    Sandra –

    I agree with you – we cannot have another four years of the evangelical right wing of the Republican party leading this nation down the road to failure.

    Hell – I’ll probably even supress the urge to vomit and vote for Hillary if it comes to that. My problem is that, for me, that vote really wouldn’t be cast FOR Hillary, it’d be cast AGAINST the other candidate, and that’s a scenario I’m very, very tired of.

    Just once in my lifetime I’d like to be able to vote FOR someone again (I supported Carter, in fact, I still support Carter for his works with Habitat for Humanity and his efforts to monitor foreign elections to help ensure a fair vote).

    Funny, isn’t it? The only president that I could vote for in my lifetime is a born again Christian, and the one I loathe the most claims the same affiliation. The distinction, I suppose, comes from my reading the Bible, to my eyes, Carter is, in the best sense of the world, a “Christian”, Bush, on the other hand ……. well, mom said if you can’t say something nice …..



  21. LurkingFromTheLeft

    Well, if he’s as smart as some

    …say he is and he snags Bill Richardson for his running mate!

    …and since I am a woman, I understand the freedom thing!

    …I still find it headshakingly funny we got the vote after many others did!

    …btw, I did forget to echo Steve’s sentiments about HRC!


  22. Sandra Price

    Lurking, please tell me you would vote for Obama if he becomes the candidate………If you know any women or gays, you owe them the same freedoms you have at this time. These, among other freedoms need to be protected and Huckabee has sworn to follow the GOP platform, loaded with Prohibitions.