Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Last Dance.... Vote!

"It began in Iowa.... Now, U.S. decides." (DMRegister)

It was a whirlwind of anticipation, excitement and finally exhaustion for Iowans.... their 2008 first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses.

John McCain treated the Iowa caucuses like the wallflower at the nominating prom, and saved his dances for the flashier primaries.

More than a year ago, McCain slashed his Iowa caucus campaign staff and blew off the Ames Republican straw poll in August. He finished fourth in the Iowa caucuses this January.... but cornered the GOP nomination.

When he returned to Iowa, McCain bragged about voting against the farm bill, and he never warmed to ethanol.

But now McCain is courting his Iowa wallflower.... he needs Iowa's electoral college delegates.

"I'm going to give you a little straight talk today and one of them is, as you know, we need to win Iowa," McCain said in Cedar Falls last week.

But McCain's wooing seems too little too late. Iowa voters know that it was Barack Obama who courted Iowa, built a strong organization, inspired first-time voters, reached across lines of division and won the caucuses.... eclipsing the preordained prom Queen, Hillary Clinton.

And Obama returned to Iowa to thank the voters when he secured the nomination.

Obama's win in Iowa not only put him on the road to the Democratic nomination, but as he told Iowans at a rally in Des Moines this week, "it vindicated my faith in the American people".... a faith that looked past the color of his skin to measure the content of his character.

Eugene Robinson, a black columnist for the Washington Post, said it best today in "A New Kind of Pride" .... "an amazing thing happened. In the Iowa caucuses, white Americans voted for the black guy. That's the moment Obama was referring to when he said his faith in the American people was vindicated....

"Even if John McCain somehow prevails, that won't change the fact that Obama won all those primaries, or that he won the Democratic Party nomination, or that he raised more money than any candidate in history, or that he rewrote the book on how to run a presidential campaign. Nothing can change the fact that so many white Americans entrusted a black American with their hopes and dreams.

"We can all have a new kind of pride in our country."



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