Clearly the political establishment was shocked last night on both sides of the aisle. If I had to sum up what happened last night -- and why a lot of predictions were wrong -- I would do so in 3 words:
... Inspiration beat Organization.
So what do these two, seemingly different winning candidates have in common?
Both Obama and Huckabee are younger than the other candidates, and I think the significance of this has been a bit overlooked. Just as Barack Obama wants to put aside the issues we've been debating since the 60s, Mike Huckabee represents a newer, hipper, kinder and gentler form of Christian conservative -- one that is just as comfortable at a WHO concert as he is in the pulpit...
Essentially, both candidates said: "We can't win by the old rules, so we will just reinvent the rules." Both represent a paradigm shift.
Another interesting thing they had in common was the use of celebrity endorsements. Mike Huckabee got a tremendous amount of juice out of the Chuck Norris endorsement. And obviously, Obama was endorsed by Oprah. These celebrity endorsements often don't work, but in this case -- because of the sincerity and reputations of the endorsers -- both of these surrogates were important to the campaigns.