Well, we were off quite a bit on our predictions. (Except for you, Brent...good job!) But we were in good company! Many pundits thought that the organization of the Romney camp would carry the day...but Huckabee was too much in his element to lose.
As I watched the two campaigns unfold, I was surprised to see Huckabee go after Bush and make this some kind of "holy war" between him and Romney. Especially after Romney's inspiring and well-received speech, I thought that Huck was really shooting himself in the foot. Who would've thought that his strategy would've worked? This is truly one for the books.
But a recent article helps me understand better what happened and also gives me hope for the future. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND YOU READ JIM GERAGHTY'S ARTICLE HERE. So where was the "silent majority" yesterday? Hopefully they are still out there. Maybe this Huckabee win will scare up some Romney support. You know, Huckabee really didn't win by a majority. Not that you have to win by a majority, but part of the reason for his win is that the Republican field is so wide open right now. A lot more Iowans didn't vote for Huckabee than did.
34% of Iowans did vote for Huckabee
66% did not vote for Huckabee
Heck, Ron Paul got 10% of the vote! Anyway, Mike got the most total votes. I think that we can attribute that to those voters who identify with Huck on a personal level. It was identity politics in action. But I am heartened by the article mentioned above that makes the case that Iowans are not issue voters.
After reading the article, it dawned on me that it may have been a political calculation when Huck called Bush's foreign policy: "arrogant bunker mentality". At the time, I thought he had made a huge gaffe, but now it looks more like it may have been pure genius on Huck's part. That is, until the rest of the country weighs in...and I am praying that they do not come down with 34% of Iowans.
Democracy can look messy, but she usually comes up with the right candidate...and for that I am still optimistic.