Today’s Iowa caucuses mark the moment when endless months of vapid punditry collide with the cold reality of the preferences of real voters. I welcome that. But I am blissfully indifferent to the outcome of the primaries. The horse-race-handicapping that will fill the headlines in coming weeks feels meaningless this year.
Whoever wins Iowa, New Hampshire, and the super-Tuesday blitzes following, it seems certain that there will be a strong Democratic candidate and a weak Republican nominee. The GOP leadership knows this, which is why it’s so glum. The Republicans will field either Romney, a fake; Giuliani, a joke; Huckabee, yet another Southern former governor with a lot of faith and no understanding of the world (that worked so well last time!); or McCain, a former maverick who has lashed himself tightly to the sunken ship of the current administration’s failed war policies and is detested by the Republican “base.” I do not see how any of them could win the White House in the current climate. (And no, I do not think Ron Paul is going to ride a dark horse to victory, either.) This may prove wishful coastal-state thinking, and a lot can happen in the next 10 months. But that’s how it looks today.
I have minor preferences among the Democratic field — I find Obama’s freshness and Edwards’ populist fervor a little more inspiring than Clinton’s “I’m competent” pitch. But any of them would make a good president, and any of them would put an end to the governmental nightmare of the past eight years, and that’s all that matters this year.
UPDATE: Josh Marshall suggests that the DC press corps’ long love affair with McCain would be a substantial boon in the general election.
[tags]primaries, iowa caucuses, 2008 primaries, 2008 presidential election[/tags]
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