Iowa

My two cents, for what it’s worth: I was happy to see more or less “anti-establishment” candidates win, continuing to undermine the “inevitability” theme that had been running through the campaign. Neither Huckabee nor Obama are my ideal candidate by any stretch, but I’d much rather see a match up between those two than, say, a Giuliani-Clinton race.

Huckabee continues to present an interesting challenge to conservative orthodoxy with his populist themes. I still don’t see these as translating into any very coherent policy positions, and I’m not sure I’d particularly like them if they did. But there’s something refreshing about his candidacy compared to the others. I still have a sneaking suspicion that the Republicans will work their way back to McCain before it’s all said and done, but then again, I also predicted that Al Gore would be the Democratic nominee.

I have so far been less impressed by Obama than some of my friends; his vaunted oratory which seemed to promise to magically transport us to a post-partisan, post-race, post-conflict happy land always struck me as so much hot air. I don’t need or want messianism from politicians. I’m also unsure about where exactly he stands on crucial issues, foreign policy in particular. That said, I’ve always found him preferable to Hillary Clinton, so I can’t be too unhappy about his win.

4 thoughts on “Iowa

  1. Lee,

    I am just as troubled by Gov. Huckabee’s folksiness. Having grown up in the Evangelical and Pentecostal worlds, the man gives me the chills.

    I don’t agree with Sen. Obama on everything, but I think part of it is we’re not used to hearing good speaking. Sen. Obama is a master of rhetoric (in the classical sense of that word), and it’s not messianism to inspire hope. After all, it’s Gov. Huckabee and his supporters who are claiming Jesus is behind them all the way, not Sen. Obama. That’s messianism.

    At any rate, I could never, never vote for Sen. Huckabee, and I would have to hold my nose to vote for Sen. “Shrillary” Clinton.

  2. Christopher, you make a good point. I’m more positively disposed toward Obama than my post made it sound. I definitely prefer him to Clinton. I just worry about any candidate claiming that kind of transformative power that Obama seems to; or at least that some of his followers seem to impute to him.

    And I agree that Huckabee’s use of religion in his campaign is troubling. And I certainly wouldn’t vote for him because his positions are quite far from mine in several areas. The one thing I will give him credit for is that he’s at least talking about real people’s problems, even if I don’ t think he has the right solutions. If the GOP is going to be a viable party worthy of support, it needs to address the concerns of working- and middle-class people, and Huck is at least gesturing in that direction (though I’d prefer someone who did it in a much less sectarian way).

  3. Pingback: More thoughts on Obama « A Thinking Reed

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