I've been meaning to write something about the Obama candidacy for a while now, and just haven't found the time, so now that it's the day of the Iowa caucus I thought I'd just jot down a quick thought and prediction that I've been pretty convinced of for the past month. And that prediction is that Obama is going to win it all -- Iowa, the nomination, the Presidency. And I think it ultimately comes down to the fact that he is a rare combination in American politics, in that he is both the "emotional" choice and the "electable" choice. The whole concept of an Obama presidency is just intrinsically inspiring, particularly after the last two terms. And yet at the same time, all the polls suggest that he's the candidate who can beat pretty much any Republican in the field -- unlike Hillary. All the independents in my extended family would vote for him in a heartbeat, and they'd never vote for Hillary. Everything I've read suggests that this pattern is going to repeat itself all across the country.
Traditionally, we've always had to make a tradeoff between the emotional and the electable choices -- "Sure this Howard Dean campaign is exciting, but the guy's never going to win a national election, so let's go with the politically experienced war hero." But with Obama the two sets overlap: you want the guy to win, and he also has the best chance of winning.
So there it is -- we'll see where things stand tomorrow. (My Iowa prediction last year turned out to be dead right, for what it's worth.) The other thing I've been thinking is that it's entirely possible that the Clinton campaign is going to implode quickly -- it's entirely possible that she could start the primary season with back-to-back third place finishes which would be a stunning early defeat. I wouldn't be at all surprised if we had an Edwards/Obama race by Feb 6.