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January 19, 2004

IOWA UPDATE: Lots of news over at the Command Post election page, so I won't be blogging a lot on this -- especially as the outcome illustrates that no one who thought they knew what was going on two weeks ago actually did, suggesting that the same applies now. . . .

But here's my favorite bit of current punditry: "CNN TV analyst attributes Dean's loss in Iowa to the capture of Saddam Hussein." Sure. Why not?

UPDATE: Okay, a few comments from watching the candidates on TV.

Gephardt: You have to feel bad for the guy. It's like Charlie Brown and the football -- it gets snatched away every time. He's a decent guy, and he deserved better and I feel kind of bad for him.

Dean: He's mad as hell, and he thinks he was robbed. Two things really struck me about his speech -- the way that as he thanked Tom Harkin and the AFSCME, they seemed to visibly deflate, and just how mad he really was. I think he feels he's been screwed by the media and by the Democratic Party. Also, as I channel-surfed and listened to the commentary, I got the sense that the press people really hate him. I'm pretty sure that the feeling is mutual. (Read this commentary by Taegan Goddard, too.)

Edwards: Missed most of this, but he seemed classy and smart.

Kerry: National health insurance? This is the time to talk about national health insurance? The overall tone of Kerry's talk suggested that he thinks Edwards is the guy to worry about. But he would have done better if his talk had been shorter. A lot shorter. Short enough that Hardball wouldn't cut away for a far-more-entertaining grilling of Chris Lehane, about which I expect Mickey Kaus will have more shortly. . . .

Overall, I'd say that this is good news for the Democrats, and for the country, and bad news for Bush and the Republicans, who would have much preferrred a smashing Dean victory.

And was I wrong to criticize the Des Moines Register poll for showing Clark at only 2%, behind Kucinich's 3%? Yes and no -- Clark's showing 0.1% now (he's tied with "uncommitted"). Well, it's within the margin of error! And, giving the Register credit where credit is due, he did finish behind Kucinich, who's showing 1.3%. I admit it: I was wrong, they were right.