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What's next?

por DBH, em 04.01.08

(cartoon de Daryl Cagle, retirado daqui)


Para os Republicanos:


The Iowa results, with a victory for a populist social conservative deeply mistrusted by many people in the Republican establishment, also virtually guarantee that the nomination contest will not simply be a battle over personalities and credentials. Instead, the race will now be a deep and probably intensely negative fight for the direction of the party in the post-Bush era.

Here’s what still utterly uncertain: Who will emerge from this demolition derby? Iowa’s historic role is to winnow the field. In 2008, it has the effect of expanding the number of credible top-tier contenders. There are now five people who can conjure at least somewhat plausible paths to the nomination.

There is Huckabee, who must now try to turn what has been a mostly personality-based campaign into an effective national organization with appeal beyond the religious conservatives who formed the basis of his victory here.

There is Romney, who now must find a new rationale for a candidacy that was based almost entirely on the prospect of scoring early victories in Iowa and New Hampshire and using them to build national momentum.

There is McCain, who has been surging in recent polls in New Hampshire — a state that is only looking more favorable for him after Romney’s Hawkeye State humiliation.

And there is Rudy Giuliani, who did not compete seriously here and has only modest prospects in New Hampshire but remains atop many national surveys and is hoping that a fluid race will allow him to sprint from behind on the basis of a strong Super Tuesday performance on Feb. 5. 

Fred Thompson had said in recent days that he needed to come out with a second-place finish. His third place gives him no surge of momentum and compounds his financial problems.

While some of his advisers are recommending that he exit the race, last night they said his plan for the time being is to keep his campaign going and hope for a comeback later this month when the race heads to Dixie in the South Carolina primary.

Para os Democratas:

Sen. Barack Obama heads out of Iowa as the biggest news story in the world and a force that strategists for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton are uncertain how to stop.

With the New Hampshire primary just four days away, Clinton and her team now must convince voters that choosing Obama would be risky for the party and the country — but they must do it in a way that doesn’t make her look small or desperate.

“Everyone underestimated this conflagration,” said a former Clinton administration official.

“If people think he’s electable, they’ll vote with their hearts and not their minds.”

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