Senator Obama’s win in Iowa is a real step forward for the Democratic Party and the Country. But the real results of Iowa are the inside numbers. The number show both promise and danger for the Democrats in November.
First, it was great to see so many more participants in the Democratic party caucus, particularly Republicans who moved over to the Democratic column last night. It shows just how much voters want both the real change we need and support a positive message from a Democratic candidate who’ll bring us that change. Lets hope we can capitalize on this opening.
The second important issue is who voted and why. Hillary lost in just about every demographic group she was counting on to win, especially women. She built her campaign on her national image, but she just so 20th Century now. Yes she a change candidate, but in our gut we know her administration would only be a restoration, a change back to what we had, not to what we need. She’ll just do what a Clinton administration would have done if it had been in charge all these years. Nice, but it’s too late for that now. We are a county that looks forward, steps in the future not back into the past. While Senator Clinton would be a far better President then the current occupant, we need to move forward. Iowa voted for Senator Obama to move the country forward.
Edwards had a positive message of building a better county by helping those in need, lost their job or need health care. However, his angry popularism as some describe it, lost it’s appeal as you went down the income scale. While those who support him already are Democratic, his message does not expand the base to a majority of voters we need for a victory in November.
Those lower income folks we thought would support Edwards voted for Gov. Huckabee. Why? Because he had massage of change, hope and help the needy as well. But more then that, woven into that message soft sell culture massage many in the MSM missed. Many of his religious supporters who were also lower income, feel the reason for our country’s problems is not the caused by the corporate greed described by Edwards, but culture. A culture gone awry. A culture that is pulling away from the basic lessons of Christ that we are our brother’s keeper to a life style of the fun times – we are becoming a county of acid, abortion and amnesty instead of one that is thoughtful, respectful and gives a dam about what is going on around it.
This is in many ways an emotional argument not a policy one, which is the main reason many Democrats and the MSM do not get it and are in danger of not taking Gov. Huckabee’s soft sell of the culture issue seriously. What many Democrats do not understand or care to admit is the race for the Presidency is more about feelings about the candidate than voting who thought up the best policies. Polls have demonstrated voters support Democratic policies but vote Republican. An old Democratic hand once told me “because folks vote for the guy they can have a scratch and a beer with, not some boring old stiff.” Iowa, the Governor has shown he’s that kinda of guy, even if he does not drink.
While Senator Obama did speak of a better future, hope, his values and beliefs, voters still need to get to know him. He must hone his message and make clearer the link between his personal values and his Presidency. This comes with time as he talks more about himself and how his life experiences brought him to where he is and what he has learned from them. However he must be more assertive on this point and quickly. As we saw in 2000 the Republican’s hate machine can easily define a candidate for the public before he has a chance to do it himself.