Thursday, January 03, 2008

Observations on the Iowa Caucuses

On the Republican side:


1.) Huckabee comes across as very, very sincere. There is something about him that makes me want to believe him, to trust him. This frightens me a little, because I don't know what that "something" is. Maybe I've underestimated mannerisms compared to words spoken, because he didn't say much of substance tonight. But that desire in me to trust him still came across.


2.) Romney reeks of wealth and I don't like it. He's just not someone with which I can relate. He is, however, a very well-spoken and charismatic man. His negative campaign strategy and the money he threw at it clearly didn't help him in Iowa. Us mid-westerners are down-to-earth people. I doubt he'll win if he stays on that path. But if you are following him at all, he hasn't been the best at staying on one path anyway. I'm tempted to start calling him Mitt Flip-Flop.

3.) Thompson's 3rd place showing was a bit of a surprise for me, because I expected McCain to do a little better. But it's obvious that the democratic party is just as divided as the republican party, if not more. Their top three were closer together percentage-wise than the republicans, and 4-5-6 were also close in percentage.

4.) I was surprised at Guiliani's poor showing, but since he didn't campaign there I shouldn't be surprised. Up until tonight, I thought he was a solid second or third because of his name recognition and 9/11 nostalgia. I was wrong, and I'm glad.



On the Democratic side:


1.) Obama's headquarters had, by far, the youngest looking crowd I've seen in years. This reeks of Bill Clinton's victory, who likely won because of the college-age vote.

2.) Hillary Clinton is a somewhat entertaining speaker, but she needs a new speech writer. And I enjoyed seeing Bill stand behind her. I don't like her, but I like him even less.

3.) John Edwards is a fantastic public speaker, and his showing tonight excited me the most, even though I haven't chosen a candidate to support yet. I'm a sucker for the underdog I guess (Or as KB might say, I'm just like him because he's cute.)

General observation: what I saw of the speeches, the democratic candidates all brought up their stance on specific issues (health care, in particular, was mentioned by all three) whereas the republicans did not mention any specific issues. Hmm.

Undecided like me? This link may help. Choose your position on the major issue and it shows you which candidates with which you score highest. HT to Tony Myles for the link.

On a personal note, I found myself rather sad tonight as I listened to the speeches of 5 of the top 6 candidates tonight. I was sad because I realized how cynical I've become. And to hear these candidates speak of hope and change made me long for a sense of hope when it comes to our government. I don't remember the last time I felt that way.

I'm counting down to New Hampshire....

5 comments:

Barbara (aka Layla) said...

LOL at the John Edwards/KB comment, I thought that was a clever post Bob did.

I find myself feeling the same way about Huckabee....I like him, but it makes me nervous that I like him because I am not sure why OR if he's qualified.

This is sure going to be an interesting election.

(I've been meaning to thank you for recommending the book "Soul Craving" I have it on order!)

Kansas Bob said...

If you think Romney is wealthy just wait until Bloomberg throws his hat into the race as an Indepenent :(

I think these (major) candidates have the potential to bring change to our nation:

1) Obama: hands down winner in this category.. youthful and energetic.. people are bantering his name with RFK.

2) Edwards: he has been hammering the DC insiders on special interest lobbyists for months.

3) Huckabee: he is not a DC insider and his support of the Fair Tax could bring a lot of change.. I am doubtful that he could make it happen though :(

4) Romney: he is not a DC insider and could bring change.. of course I said that about Bush in 2000 :(

Shane Vander Hart said...

I think Huckabee is qualified. I like the fact it will not be status quo with him and that he is willing to make decisions that may not be the most conventional or "politically wise" thing to do when he sees it as the right thing to do.

I like the fact that he is taking on the GOP leadership which should have realized after 2006 some major changes needed to take place.

While I'm not a Democrat I have to say I really like Barack Obama. He seems authentic. He seems to be a man of character, and I like his unifying things. I have to hold my nose at his positions though.

Iowa certainly voted for change on Thursday night.

Kanas Bob - I hope that Bloomberg does not throw his hat in. The last thing we need is another New Yorker.

Kansas Bob said...

Hey.. watch that about New Yorkers.. I used to be one :)

Although I do agree that we don't need Bloomberg, Giuliani or Clinton.. who is not a real New Yorker!

stephanie said...

B - I agree, this will be one of the most interesting elections I've seen. (And I hope you like the book. It's blowing my mind right now)

Shane - I agree that Obama seems authentic. Will that make me vote for him? Not yet, but I'm not counting it out either. The unifying "thesis" of his makes me root him, but I wonder about it being just political talk and nothing more.

As far as Huckabee goes, I do see him as being the kind of president who does have the potential to be the kind that bucks popularity and does the right thing. But is he all that different than our current president? It doesn't seem so (not to my knowledge of him as a candidate anyway) so I'm not sure they really voted for "change". One major issue with which I disagree with him is his stance on health care. He doesn't believe in universal health care (neither do I) but I do believe in federal regulation of health care. No one should be denied health care, nor should the costs be what they are. If Huckabee's going to sway me to his side, he's got to change in that area. That is an issue of great importance to me.

That said, whoever wrote the issues portion of his website needs a raise. They did an outstanding job.