Bill, the Big O and the Big Mo

This is the make or break weekend for the Iowa caucuses. We’re going to find out how big a help or liability Barack Obama’s “celebrity factor” is in winning over voters as Obama’s high-profile supporter Oprah Winfrey stumps for him. On one hand, it’s exciting and potentially groundbreaking political theatre … on the other it could remind people that Obama rides his celebrity and charisma hard, maybe too hard. At the same time, voters will get a look at Bill Clinton as he stumps for his wife Hillary Clinton. The former president will remind people of the “good times” of his presidency, but also the “too good times” and the trouble that went with them. Also, people are going to have to get used to the idea that there will be two presidents in the White House under a Clinton presidency. That’s uncharted territory.

For both Sens. Obama and Clinton — essentially tied in Iowa polls — there is a chance that their strategies this weekend will succeed and a chance they will backfire. If they BOTH backfire, say hello to Iowa caucus winner John Edwards and a whole new ballgame.

My head is with Edwards; my heart with Obama. Clinton would be OK, but brings an interesting and potentially dampening dynamic to the nationwide Democratic ticket.


  1. I’m going to find it interesting if Iowans vote for a woman, a black man, a two-timing divorcee, or a Mormon. Conservativism, racism, sexism, and hostility toward Mormons is rampant under the buckle of the Bible belt, something not recognized by the rest of the country. The recent surge by Huckabee is an example of what we can expect. Iowa has become a marginalized backwater rather than an accurate predictor of what the rest of the country will do. It’s strange – they even talk with a southern accent when I go home any more.

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