Best of all, it wasn’t merely a rejection of Hillary Clinton, it was also a hopeful sign that organized labor, especially the government employees unions, may no longer have a complete stranglehold on the Democratic Party.
Obama had no notable labor union support. Meanwhile, Clinton had massive help in Iowa from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the American Federation of Teachers, along with other unions. The New Hampshire affiliate of the National Education Association, the nation’s largest teachers union, has also endorsed her. In both Iowa and New Hampshire, Edwards has support from the Service Employees International Union.
Obama’s win also demonstrates a new day in politics, one in which race doesn’t matter so much. This is a day too long in coming, but be glad it’s here. Iowa is less than three percent black. And yet that was not a factor. That’s to Obama’s credit, because the Illinois Senator did not run as a black man, but as a man. It is also to the credit of Iowa voters, who saw him that very same way.
Nor, apparently, does gender matter much. Clinton has at times led Obama, nationally, among blacks. And last Thursday night in Iowa, he led Mrs. Clinton among women. There were many affirmative actions taken by voters and candidates, but none forced by government mandate.
The Iowa caucus also contradicted the steady media barrage claiming that money is all-important. To voters it isn’t. Huckabee is badly trailing the other candidates in fundraising, especially former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. But he won.
If voters can see through well-funded campaigns, as Iowa proves they can, why all the campaign finance regulations?
No, I’m no fan of Huckabee. Oh, I do acknowledge and appreciate that he has always been a strong supporter of term limits, his rise in Arkansas politics being in part attributed to that stance. But fiscal conservatives in Arkansas have been thoroughly frustrated with his George W-like spending addiction. Both are very compassionate when spending other people’s money.
Nor am I a fan of Barack Obama. But to see the political establishment in both major parties, as well as a whole slew of the nation’s most greedy special interests, get a good whipping in Iowa was extremely enjoyable.
I am a fan of Ron Paul. No miracles happened in Iowa for his campaign, just a decent showing of ten percent, far above his national polling numbers. Now he's polling at 14 percent in New Hampshire, third place in front of Huckabee. He has proved to the world that he is worth watching . . . but not on Fox.
Elections give voters a chance to speak. That’s half the battle. Someday we’ll achieve the other half and make politicians actually listen.