The dust has settled over the Iowa caucuses and the media are back in anticipatory mode. The European newspapers are still chewing over Barack Obama’s win and, equally, Hillary Clinton’s loss. Again the Republican candidates are slightly less of interest, but all in all the Republican race is considered more open as the Democratic one. Serious contenders, in the eyes of Europe, are Barack Obama, John Edwards and Hillary Clinton.
There is the one big question when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Is her campaign able to bounce back as her husband’s did in the 1992 primaries, or is her bid essentially dead? Well Hillary Clinton is not Bill and her image of a hard-working, efficient, intellectual woman does not cater to the more emotional wish for change. Moreover, she is deeply connected, in the eyes of voters, with everything that the people feel is wrong with Washington. This will be hard to overcome and she lacks the charms and openness of her husband.
But never, even in the darkest days of the Monica Lewinsky affair, has she been tested so visibly. Unlike her husband, her connection to voters is less emotional than intellectual. It is hard to imagine Hillary Clinton in a McDonald’s, turning the race around by sheer willpower.
The odds are:
35.2% Chance of winning New Hampshire 53.7% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 32.2% Chance of winning presidency
John Edwards is marginalized, his name turns up eventually, but his campaign is clearly not “sexy” enough for the newspapers. He is expected to quit the race and the exciting question about that would be: Who is going to get his endorsement.
John Edwards former Senator and vice-presidential nominee in 2004 who has reinvented himself as an angry populist. Did well to scrape second place in Iowa but, with Obama now clearly the alternative to Clinton, he is expected to struggle in New Hampshire where union votes matter less and he will be outspent once more.
The odds are:
1.6% Chance of winning New Hampshire 2.3% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 1.3% Chance of winning presidency
The only question on Obama, will he be able to keep up the momentum? He is closing in on Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire now and if he wins there, he may well inherit the inevitability tag from Senator Clinton. The far more sober atmosphere of New Hampshire, as opposed to the more lively action at the caucuses, may mull the sound of the change drumbeat a bit. Barack Obama, however, has finally moved into the crosshairs of his opponents’ attention, be it Democratic of Republican.
Barack Obama Senator seeking to become first black president with a message of change and bringing America together again. After a stunning victory in Iowa, he now must repeat the trick in New Hampshire. Questions remain about whether he can build similar excitement nationally in big states where he cannot force himself on voters with the intensity he has shown in the early contests.
The odds are:
65.2% Chance of winning New Hampshire 43.8% Chance of winning Democrat nomination 27.5% Chance of winning presidency
The Republican race will likely see John McCain’s campaign, which was hanging by the fingernails, revive. Mike Huckabee will have a much tougher time with the less religious voters in New Hampshire. And Mitt Romney is obiously getting nervous:
“We cannot afford Barack Obama as the next president. He’s a nice fella and a very well-spoken fella, but he’s never done it,” Romney said in Derry, challenging Obama’s experience while adopting a version of the change message that worked for Obama and Huckabee in Iowa.
I have to thank my sister this time, who not only arranged for the laptop, she let me use her wireless as well. It’s good to have her for a family, too.
“Europeanview” wishes you all a healthy and safe Saturday. Take Care!