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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The only hope for the Republican Party is Ron Paul, and he is a very long shot. He is probably the best thing that could happen to this country, so it is highly unlikely to happen (as likely as me winning the PowerBall on Sat.).
Ron Paul’s the guy that wants to abolish the EPA and leave environmental protection to the states themselves right?
I think Mitt Romney is the Republican’s best shot. Unfortunately, the money that is helping him crush his competitors in the small states isn’t going to help him in the general elections.