Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Iowa and New Hampshire

It's a new year, and an election year. So time for some politics.

The Iowa Caucus and New Hampshire Primary were both mildly interesting. Iowa was interesting because of Mike Huckabee. It's amazing to think about just how diverse the Republican Party is. In many ways it is much more diverse than the Democratic Party (of which I am a registered member of.) I don't think anyone really thinks Huckabee could be win the Republican Party nomination, yet he won pretty easily in Iowa. And he won because of "evangelical/born again" vote. Will future generations look back and marvel at how the religious right and big business were allied together to dominate politics in America. And face it folks, the Republican Party has dominated for a long time now. One could argue that if it wasn't for the divisiveness of Ross Perot, the Republican Party would now be in its 28th consecutive year in the White House.

Anyways, the New Hampshire Primary was interesting because of Hillary Clinton. You have to wonder if her "moment of vulnerability" was simply a brilliant political move. It certainly seemed to give her a victory, and one could argue that a victory for Barack Obama in New Hampshire would have given him an unsurmountable advantage.

Finally, both elections were interesting because of Rudy Giuliani. He may prove to be a brilliant strategist by just punting on the early races and betting that there will be no clear front runner. This only works if he can win Florida and many of the Super Tuesday states. The whole thing reminds me of some kind of game theory problem I had to solve in college. Speaking of which, I once wrote a paper on the absurdity of Iowa and New Hampshire playing such important roles in American politics. If Giuliani winds up being the Republican candidate, he will make my position paper obsolete.

One last thing to note ... Ron Paul. As an understated supporter of Dr. Paul, I was sad to see him only register around 10% in both Iowa and New Hampshire. You would think that such fervent supporters and the money they have raised for him would be able to turn into enough publicity to get his word out, and in turn gain some votes. He actually did quite well among younger Republicans in New Hampshire, but this just once again proves that the "young vote" is irrelevant. It's hard for me to see Paul endorsing another candidate and thus using his followers to give somebody else a decisive advantage, so in the end all of the electronic buoyed hyped of Ron Paul could be for naught. That's too bad.

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