I watched the Iowa coverage on MSNBC, and the level of giddiness and electricity among the MSNBC punditry was memorable and significant. I thought Hillary's consolation speech last night was gracious, poised and classy, but when she talked about America's need for a champion to look up to for leadership, I couldn't help but think that Obama was that champion. If there is one candidate who can bring the United States back into the good graces of the international community, Obama is that candidate, and the fact that Iowa gave the rest of the country an enormous green light in placing their hopes and dreams and support squarely on his shoulders suggests to me that this country is not so foolish after all.
I haven't watched Chris Matthews recently, so I don't know the context with which he presented his case against Hillary, but after Obama's speech, Matthews was emphatic in his argument that Hillary Clinton has been on the wrong side of the Iraq war from the beginning to the present, and therefore does not represent the change that is needed in this country. He stayed with that point for minutes, as if articulating an absolute truth. It's as if the Iowa results have opened up the flood gates to those Americans who have been so completely opposed to this unnecessary, incomprehensibly tragic war from the get-go that this political phenomenon known as Barack Obama represents the change in direction Americans like me so desperately want.
The experience card was resoundingly trumped last night by the change card. The numbers are exhilarating. 57% of the under-30 vote went with Obama. Of all the numbers I saw last night, that one sticks out in my mind as the most significant.
Had Clinton been the big victor last night (and the idea that experience trumps change), I would have accepted the outcome and given my support to her campaign. As I've stated before, I love and admire Hillary Clinton, and have been enormously impressed with her campaign these past few months. But my heart in this election is grounded in change. I simply don't care that Obama lacks the kind of experience Rumsfeld and Cheney have been boasting about these past seven years. I AM BESIDE MYSELF WITH GLEE THAT IOWA DOESN'T GIVE A DAMN EITHER!
I was five years old when Robert Kennedy ran for president. What I saw on MSNBC last night and what I've observed around the office today comes very close to the kind of political electricity I imaged Kennedy was generating back in '68. My biggest fear is for Obama's safety throughout the election year and the protection he needs against those forces who cannot comprehend the thought of a black president. Benazir Bhutto's death is a huge reminder to us all of the enormous vulnerabilities true agents of change face. It is my hope that his security is super-charged to a level that equals or even surpasses Bush's security. I don't want anything to happen to this man. I don't want another Kennedy situation, and yet I am convinced there are evil forces in this country who are plotting exactly that.
Last night was huge. Obama and his family were beyond radiant. They were transcendent in their beauty, in their promise and fulfillment of that little word called hope. The green light has been given and the entire world is watching this race and wrapping its mind around the thought of an Obama presidency. If that doesn't define change, I don't know what does.
This election now has my undivided attention. I am eager to see how the Clinton camp strategizes and revises their playbook between now and New Hampshire. Edwards is all but done in my opinion. His speech last night was delivered by a guy who was pissed off. The fact that he did not congratulate Obama speaks volumes about his character (along with Jeff's "insider" perspective of Edwards' genuineness). Richardson, unfortunately, was never given a chance. MSNBC framed his result in such as way that his only opportunity for a sound clip was dependent upon whether or not he would drop out. That really bugged me, given Jeff's contributions to Richardson's campaign. But I guess that's how things work in media land, and last night the media shouted it's message loud and clear: Obama is the man!
P.S. Go Huckabee Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!