Iowa Caucus Thoughts

Last night’s Iowa caucus results have the political world atwitter.

The only good news from the Republican side is that Donald Trump did not win.  Other than that, universally disliked Ted Cruz won and aggressive simpleton Marco Rubio pulled off third place behind Trump.

The Democratic side is more interesting.

Hillary Clinton is an impressive candidate.  Almost the entire Democratic establishment supports her candidacy and, by all appearances, she barely pulled off ridiculously narrow victory over Bernie Sanders.

Clinton’s narrow win reveals an interesting paradox. The first viable female candidate for President is part and parcel of the establishment and an old white guy from New England is the insurgent outsider. Anyone who predicted that outcome would be regarded as slightly mad. Hillary Clinton is shrewd, intelligent, and puts in truly inhuman amounts of work. She’s a battle hardened veteran of decades of right wing smears and attacks. She’s probably one of the best policy minds we’ve seen. She is, however, a slightly awkward campaigner; she’s clearly uncomfortable with attack politics and so she often bungles her attacks.

Bernie, by contrast, is more of a wildcard. Younger voters respond to his message, but he seems to be more of a shoot from the hip kind of politician when it comes to tactical choices.

The smart money is still on a Clinton victory in the Democratic primary. But the next few months have some very interesting potential.

  1. #1 by Richard Warnick on February 2, 2016 - 9:26 am

    If it weren’t for the super-delegates, the result would have been a tie between Hillary and Bernie. Funny, last night there were five victory speeches from five different candidates.

    Bernie is plenty tough. I like the way he fights. The Clinton machine is working overtime, and they won’t quit “until the last dog dies,” as Bill used to say. In 2008 they battled all the way to Puerto Rico in June. If they win they’ll be vindictive against anyone who didn’t support them – hence the endorsements.

  2. #3 by Richard Warnick on February 2, 2016 - 9:46 am

    Interesting summary: Why Bernie Sanders Trounced Hillary Clinton Among Young Voters
    Voters under 30 broke for Sanders by 70 points.

    Eight years ago, Clinton could at least console herself with the fact that she lost the youth vote to a younger candidate. On Monday, she lost it to a 74-year-old.

    What Howard Dean once called “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party” is making a comeback. Without Dean of course, he’s sold out to Hillary.

  3. #4 by Richard Warnick on February 2, 2016 - 12:34 pm

    • #5 by Larry Bergan on February 2, 2016 - 10:15 pm

      That’s interesting, but more I’d be interested to know if those coin flips were actually necessary. It’s not illegal to buy off defectors that might have come from the O’Malley race, plus it greatly puzzles me that the crowds Sanders has been presiding over didn’t produce enough participants in the caucuses to overwhelm these older voters who, supposedly, wanted Hillary. All of those Sanders, stadium sized, crowds were overflowing with old people.

      I’ll take the tie, but I’m really skeptical.

  4. #6 by Nathan Erkkila on February 2, 2016 - 3:43 pm

    A victory for anyone other than Sanders is a defeat for the US.

    • #7 by Larry Bergan on February 2, 2016 - 9:34 pm

      I agree. Although I will be voting for Hillary and struggling though another, two steps back for democracy, presidency.

      • #8 by Richard Warnick on February 3, 2016 - 8:01 am

        You live in Utah. You can vote third party without changing the outcome of a presidential election. And the third party will be grateful for your vote.

  5. #9 by Larry Bergan on February 2, 2016 - 10:04 pm

    Bernie Sanders got some heat for bringing up the “Democratic establishment” , but there really is one.

    Every single leader in the party has fallen in line behind Hillary except for one defector. There is some arm twisting going on here, and that has nothing to do with democracy. We should have more then two parties anyway, but everybody knows the two parties don’t allow that. That’s why the most honest, ethical and consistent politician with sterling a record of that over decades, had to change his party to run for president. He chose the right party to do that, but it gets harder and harder to tell any difference between the two.

    Bernie Sanders is exactly what this country needs to contrast the views of our leaders rather then meld them, slowly, towards the radical right. That has been the Clinton policy under the DLC, and it isn’t working for us. It’s a disaster! This notion of “too much division” on capital hill is a joke. Everybody up there is having a swell time. When Joe Biden can get up there and praise Dick Cheney, that should send alarms off.

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