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My last post was about how popular 'Change' is with presidential candidates and voters.
As long as it's not real, meaningful change.
Thus, the Iowa caucus winner on the Democrat side was Barack Obama, a candidate who utters the word 'Change' in about every third sentence, a candidate whose campaign slogan is 'Stand For Change'. Obama speaks of bridging the partisan divide, of bring unity to america, of restoring hope, and most of all, of implementing change.
For Obama's claim to a new kind of politics, it all sounds rather familiar, doesn't it ? Here are some past presidential campaign slogans:
George Bush Jr - A uniter, not a divider (hey, just like Obama)
Bill Clinton - Build a bridge to the 21st century (so Bill can get to the hotties in the 21st century)
Ronald Reagan - It's morning in america (change)
Herbert Hoover - A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage (talk about pandering)
Warren G. Harding - A return to normalcy (change)
Abraham Lincoln - Vote yourself a farm (I kid you not)
John Kerry - It's flip-flopping traitor time ! (or something like that)
Michael Dukakis - Don't I look like a big boy in this tank !?!?
Obama's a good speaker, and I detected some distinct Martin Luther King inflections in Obama's voice during his Iowa victory speech last night. MLK was a fabulous speaker with a fabulous message. Obama has the inspirational patter down, but I have major questions about his content; not the content of his character, but rather the content of his platform. After all the smoke is cleared away from Barack Obama, I see nothing but the same liberal prescriptions as all the other Democratic candidates are offering. I see the same liberal prescriptions that have been offered for decades. The only difference with Obama is that he isn't nearly as specific as Edwards and Hillary. Obama talks about taking america to a better place, but he doesn't tell us much about how he's going to get us there. Instead, he keeps talking about change and hope and unity, and hopes nobody notices the lack of substance. Yesterday, Iowa didn't notice. Associated Press surveys revealed that the biggest factor with Iowan voters was 'Change'. Only 20% cited 'experience' as a primary factor (Hillary's alleged strength), and another 20% cited the candidate who would stand up for people like them (Edwards' platform).
However he's doing it, Obama has 'shocked the world', at least until the New Hampshire primaries. He's generating lots of energy and buzz, but fame can be fleeting. John Kerry (2004) and Al Gore (2000) won the Iowa caucus and went on to win the Democratic nomination, but other Iowa winners didn't fare so well, like Tom Harkin (1992), and Dick Gephart (1988). My personal favorite Iowa caucus results were when 'Uncommitted' beat both Jimmy Carter (1976) and Edmund Muskie (1972). Too bad 'Uncommitted' didn't go on to become the president in 1976. Then america wouldn't have had to suffer through the Carter era.
On the Republican side, the winner was Mike Huckabee.
This guy is NOT going to be the Republican nominee.
Is he ?