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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2956

Iowa Said “Away with Clinton-Bush Presidencies” Giving Barrack Obama and Mike Huckabee Big Wins

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles

Iowans preferred two slogans “away with 16 years of Bush-Clinton presidencies” repeated often by Barrack Obama and “Having Lots of Money is Not what is all about, I spent the least” stated by Mike Huckabee. Democratic Obama and Republican Huckabee won handily yesterday on what many considered a vote for change. Obama and Huckabee candidatures are off the beaten path but deemed very viable. Obama’s father is from Kenya and his mother from Kansas and he is the first Black candidate to win a primary in America: a microscopic sampling of retail democracy.

John Edwards and Hillary Clinton were seven to eight percents behind Obama while Huckabee was ahead of Mitt Romney by 11 percent. Fred Thompson and John McCain had fewer votes. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani decided not to contest the Iowa caucus.

Obama and Huckabee will now enter the New Hampshire primary on January 8th with a good deal of momentum in their favour. The fight is not over yet. The stakes awaiting the candidates on February 5th when over 25 states decide to go to polls can only be imagined.

During the 2004 campaign in Iowa the leading Democratic candidate Howard Dean lost by 10 pints to John Kerry and his post election comments turned hysterically hyped bringing an early end to his political career. No such psychological meltdown occurred yesterday. A ghost of candidates on both sides however, will now face immense pressure to be in the race or become also-rans. Chris Dodd and John Biden dropped out yesterday.

Obama and Huckabee emphasized domestic issues like poverty and the need for upward mobility in society. They were both very much the opposite of what Bush represented according to most observers. The last minute campaigns were notably representative of personal and oratorical styles interspersed by occasional slings into their opponents’ mistakes or less glamorous moments and skills.

Even petty incidents got blown beyond proportions as they tried to woo the fairly rural electorate with close to 50 percent of those participating at the caucuses described themselves as evangelicals. Iowa is a predominantly a white electorate.

Democrats and Republicans hammered out issues differently emphasizing national security in totally different ways. Illegal immigration became a key issue for the Republicans while the Democrats wanted a change from the two disastrous terms of the Bush presidency.

On the Republican side, each major candidate picked one or two major issues almost antagonistic to others in the field that gave the impression of a fabricated Republican platform. Romney looked very urbane and pro-Wall Street, Huckabee was all Christian Right, and McCain hammed his militaristic experience and support of the surge in Iraq and Thompson his southern roots. Three Democratic candidates Clinton, Edwards and Obama were consistently for change but divided as to when and how the Iraq war was going to end. Obama was against the Iraq war from the start.

Iowa residents came in record numbers to vote. They debated “change Vs experience” postures presented by Clinton, Obama and Edwards, while the Republican voters had to judge the claims of a variety of candidates-Huckabee, McCain, Thompson, Romney who asked for a review of immigration policy, national security status and a host of other issues.

Nearly 50 percent of the voters were women while number attending the caucus for the first time went as high as 20 percent. The seniors were also there in large numbers. Surprisingly women who voted for Obama were higher than those for Clinton. Money spent on the campaigns did not matter as Huckabee was outspent greatly by Romney. Clinton appeared to have changed her tactics from being perceived as a tough on national security candidate to a more likeable person as she campaigned widely in Iowa. Edwards kept on lashing out at the inequalities present in society while for Obama it was plain “let us get rid of the Bush-Clinton presidencies".

- Asian Tribune -

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