IOWAS: A CHANGE IS GONNA COME or HOW THE PRIMARIES ARE LIKE A TRIP TO THE MALL

HillaryHatercartoon2_1.jpg

amyzquinn.thumbnail.jpgBY AMY Z. QUINN Look, it’s not that I’m not excited — moved, really — by the fact that a black man just won the Iowa caucuses. And if a person is elected president in November who is not a white man, it will be one of the proudest and most significant moments in America’s history. There, that’s out of the way. But I’d be a lot more emotional if the Democratic winner of Iowa ever actually won the presidency — since 1972, the only ones who have (Carter ’76 and Clinton ’96) were incumbents competing in Iowa the second time around. In open races, like this year, Iowa winners have included Tom Harkin, John Kerry and Walter frickin’ Mondale. So let’s all take a deep, cleansing breath.

To use a shopping analogy (because really, why not?), the primaries are like hitting the mall with birthday money burning a hole in your pocket. First, you grab something really interesting, something glittery and trendy and different, something that looked cool in the window. Then you make more careful, practical choices, stuff from the middle of the store, and that’s New Hampshire. Super Tuesday is the clearance rack, where you blow whatever money you’ve got left and leave the store feeling like you got your money’s worth.

Then again, if Obama is the candidate who can finally, at long last, get youth support to translate into votes in the booth, he really could be the guy. Steve Thomma, this morning:

The hunger for change swelled Democratic turnout to 227,000, nearly double the record of 124,000 just four years ago.

Obama won by doing what no one thought he could do — drawing young people to the caucuses, as well as independents and people who’d never bothered with politics before. He won 57 percent of those under the age of 30, a plurality of both independents and first-time attendees at the caucuses, and, surprisingly, many of the women whom Clinton had considered part of her base.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.