NBC and Fox called Iowa for Huckabee, and it looks like Romney is in second. For Democrats it looks like Obama wins. Interesting results, as we’ve reported before Obama/Huckabee have run positive campaigns with messages of hope and the future and it looks like both will win, if the media’s projections hold. Perhaps it’s time for a shift in politics. We for one welcome the change.
The contenders are Huckabee, Rudy, McCain and Romney.
- Huckabee’s problem is money. If he gets it, he’ll compete. Sadly, in Presidential politics, money provides the platform. Even if a candidate has a popular message, without $$$, his campaign goes nowhere. Huckabee could run out of money, and thus competition, even while his popularity remains high. He made a mistake going negative today, and needs to stay on a positive message – that’s what voters want.
- Romney will continue to spend his personal millions in negative attacks which will increase as he tries to deflect from his flip-flops on just about every issue from abortion to gay-rights. Expect an all-out assault on McCain in New Hampshire, if Romney loses it, he might just be out of the race (even though he’ll probably never drop out).
- Rudy runs out of steam after giving the same 9/11 speech the 10,000th time.
- McCain might make a surge, as people like his integrity and honesty, if not his polices. His attraction is similar to Huckabee – people generally like him. Since he’s a likable guy, and appears honest, Republicans may overlook some of his liberal policies. He may be able to make a surge, if he can contrast himself as a principled person against Romney’s flip-flops. Like Huckabee, he needs $$$.
- Thompson and the Fredheads. Thompson’s problem is basically he doesn’t really seem to be interested in running. His lackluster attitude hurts his popularity, even though his positions are well-liked.
- Duncan Hunter is an interesting candidate, whose positions should have propelled him farther in the primary. Nevertheless, he’s firmly in the also-ran camp, the question is when he drops out, where will his supporters go? We don’t see him lasting much longer, but it could be interesting if he decides to endorse one of the front-runners; his endorsement of a front-runner could give them a boost.
The contenders – Obama, Hillary, Edwards
- Hillary has a simple problem – she has to appear to be different from her husband, but needs him to win. Trying to walk a tight-rope between distancing herself, while embracing him will be fun to watch. Hillary’s success or failure will likely hinge on “Clinton-fatigue”. Will people remember the scandals of the past? Filegate, Chinagate, Travelgate, Ron Brown, stained dress, Lincoln bedroom, and so on. But don’t count Clinton out – she’s got the best machine, and the world’s best politician in her corner.
- Obama has a chance to capitalize on the Clinton fatigue. He must stay focused on the hope and change theme, as that’s what voters want. If he gets sucked in to Hillary’s campaign, he’s finished.
- Edwards still hangs on, but we feel the battle will be Obama vs. Clinton, so the question is when will he drop out, and who will he endorse?
Also-rans: Kucinich, et al.
Kucinich is an interesting guy. We don’t agree with his socialist policies, but he appears to be an honest man and a man of integrity. He had many of the most honest answers in the debates – of either parties candidates. With Kucinich, what you see is what you get. We admire his principled stands and unwavering commitment, if not the policies themselves. According to reports, he advised his caucus people to support Obama if not himself. That could be huge later.
The field – none of the rest are very interesting.
What’s interesting is the Huckabee/Obama surge, and McCain’s re-emergence. What seems to be happening is people are sick of politics as usual, and are moving to honest candidates who appear to have integrity. Right now, personal character and integrity trumps issues. We for one, are glad character counts and millions of personal wealth don’t.
Both Huckabee and Obama can go far if they stay positive with a theme of positive change. If they get sucked into politics as usual both will fall.