Thursday, January 03, 2008

My Two Cents on Iowa

With tens of thousands of reports making their way around the internet and every pundit and blogger under the sun commenting on the Iowa results, do we really need another commentary on "what the results" mean? Perhaps not ... but I would like to offer the following lines of speculation.

Last week, in the aftermath of the Benazir Bhutto murder, I had speculated:

On a separate note, what will be the impact on the U.S. presidential race? Bhutto’s murder reinforces the line taken by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain that we live in a dangerous and unpredictable world—where experience matters and there is no time for “on the job” training. Whether Bhutto’s death will find its way into stump speeches is something to keep an eye on.

Apparently not much of an impact in Iowa, or not a major deciding factor.

What the entrance and exit polls demonstrate is that there is a longing for "change", especially among Democrats--and that candidates who offered themselves as agents of change, of new ways of doing things, benefitted. I don't know how much foreign policy played into this--but Governor Huckabee was certainly quite critical of the current administration's approach to world affairs and Ed Rollins has emphasized that the governor is not seeking to position himself as a "third term" for president Bush, but as the instigator of a new revitalized Republican revolution--and some speculate perhaps a return to more traditional Republican approaches to international affairs. Senator Obama has tried to portray himself as someone who wants to take a practical, pragmatic approach as a "problem solver".

Will these themes gain traction among the voters?

nik the ap poll did not have foreign policy per se, but democrats listed war in iraq as one of the top three priorities and majority went with obama republicans listed war and terrorism and huckabee led on war and tied with romney on terrorism so there is some evidence to support your contention
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