All-in-all I'm pleased with the results of Iowa.
First off, I'm glad Barack Obama won. To this point he's my favorite candidate. I took the time to listen to his victory speech and I thought it was one of the best political speeches of recent times. If he keeps this up ...
I'm glad Clinton came in third. While I don't think Edwards would be a bad president, there's a lot about him I don't care for. (But I do agree with much of his criticism of the system). But I'm glad he came in second because that, even more than Obama's win, signals that "Ms. Inevitable" is not inevitable at all. The Democrats have at least two guys that they might like better than her.
I'm sorry Chris Dodd didn't do a bit better, but I'm glad to have him back on the Senate beat where he's performing vital work against the FISA bill.
Biden was a good man running at the wrong time. Richardson will soon drop out. He also never made the case. He'd make a good cabinet level appointment, though.
On the GOP side things also worked out reasonable well. McCain did well enough to go on, and Ron Raul finished with a strong 10% which should ensure his much-needed voice continues to be heard. Thompson's still in the running for now, although he can't seem to shake off the "so-what?" atmosphere surrounding his campaign. Rudy didn't really play in this particular sandbox, so it's hard to know what, if anything his 4% might mean down the road. Blowing off 3-4 states to start the campaign does seem like a long-shot, to me, but what do I know?
The big news is that Huckabee trashed Romney. First off, I'm glad the phony flamed out. With a little luck Granite Staters will tell him to bugger off too and we'll be rid of him. It's kind of sad, because he might have made a good candidate and a constructive president if he's been the guy who was governor of Massachusetts. Instead he revealed himself to be an unprincipled empty suit. That's the last thing this country needs.
There's very little chance I'd support Huckabee for president, but I do think his candidacy is valuable. For a long time the GOP establishment has used (in the most debasing way) the social conservative/religious elements of the party to win elections while treating them and their concerns with thinly disguised contempt. (For details read David Kuo). It's only fair that they get their chance at the top of the heap, but early indications are that the establishment regards this prospect with absolute horror. The fallout from this can only be positive as the establishment push back merely confirms what the social cons and theocons already suspect -- they've been played for fools and patsies by the GOP. They won't become Democrats but they damn well may stay home. If they do the GOP is toast.
Good job, Iowa.