An early win for Barack

I watched the returns live as they were reported on the Iowa Democratic Party web site. When I first tuned in, it was Edwards 36%, Clinton 33%, and Obama 30%. During the next several updates, Clinton closed the gap on Edwards, and it looked inevitable that she would catch him.

Meanwhile, Obama couldn’t seem to break the 31% margin.

Democrat Iowa returns

I enjoyed watching Obama slowly climb into the lead and then open up some daylight between himself and the other two main contenders. And I enjoyed watching Clinton drop below 30%. Despite several huge advantages (name recognition, Bill’s political organization and fundraising abilities), she attracted less than 30% of the delegates tonight and came in third.

I would love to see a woman elected President of the United States of America — I really would. But equally, I would love to see a black candidate elected President, given the USA’s terribly troubled racial history.

These are early days yet, and tonight the margin between the three candidates was negligible. But Andrew Sullivan gets it right:

This black man won an overwhelmingly white vote in Iowa. Whatever else happens, he has made history tonight.

Meanwhile, Pastor Huckabee carried the night on the Republican side. Sullivan is entertained by the specter of the GOP establishment getting eaten alive by a Christianist monster they created but can no longer control. (Sullivan:  “God is obviously winning this election, isn’t He?”)

I can’t take any pleasure from it. I find it alarming. In an era when the USA faces huge, global challenges, a significant percentage of the electorate is more concerned about theological shibboleths than about vision and competence. Meanwhile, Christianists are lusting after political power like the Roman Catholic Church of old.

In other words, the result on the Republican side is alarming for both the Church and the state of the nation.



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bridgett
    Jan 04, 2008 @ 13:40:45

    Alarming. Yes. But I have to wait and see what’s next before I get too sick over it.


  2. nebcanuck
    Jan 05, 2008 @ 17:27:36

    Though clearly the edge goes to Huckabee for his Evangelical backing, is there not some competency factor contained within? He answers the questions fairly well from what I’ve seen, and since the American public seems set on moving further from the recent neoconservative governance, Huckabee may simply be the best choice.

    Though Giuliani and his ilk may not fit the Christian mold, they also carry the neocon banner far more competently than Huckabee… could that not be as much a factor here?


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