Friday, January 04, 2008

Edwards Finishes Strong Second, But It's Just Not Enough


Finishing second in Iowa at first glance seems very encouraging. He beat out Sen. Hillary Clinton for second, but he also finish a distant second to Obama. Edwards garnered 30% of caucus goers which was about three or four percentage points less than a highly encouraging second. This is how far Edwards has come in the four years since a second place finish in Iowa probably buoyed his chance to be John Kerry's VP--not very far.

The big disappointment yesterday was not finishing so far off the pace, but that Edwards's union appeal was completely misrepresented. According to exit polling, the former senator from North Carolina was the third choice among Democrats.

Without a doubt, this fact is the death of Edwards's campaign. He made union involvement the linchpin of his populist campaign. The Edwards strategy was to parlay union-backing in Iowa and Nevada to start strong, but it's not happening. In hindsight, the writing could have been on the wall when one of the country's strongest union, SEIU, didn't endorse him across the board.

New Hampshire looks like a third place finish as does South Carolina. By the time, Nevada comes around, Obama's momentum will be huge over Hillary's comeback kids persona will have taken root.

Another fact that lends credence to the Obama movement was the poor performance of Gov. Bill Richardson, who reportedly instructed followers to back the Illinois senator if he wasn't viable at a precinct.

These second choice caucus goers apparently fled to Obama and might account for the pre-caucus three-way tie in Iowa.

Sen. Chris Dodd and Sen. Joe Biden, the graybeards of the campaign said farewell. It's notable that Sen. Biden, whom many mocked for his pubic kissing up to Sen. Clinton. Was he auditioning to be the future Secretary of State? Apparently not, since most of followers were instructed to choose Obama as their second choice.

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