…and the winner of the Iowa Caucus, as projected by GeekUSA, is
some rich white guy and a corporate stooge wait a minute what?
(photo stolen from Boston.com cuz what are they gonna do about it?)
To say this is huge would be an understatement. Granted, it’s just a caucus and not a primary, which means little more than “my guy has a bigger fan-base than your guy” bragging rights, but it’s nice to know that, going into the primary season, both the Democratic and GOP front runners are guys that almost no one expected to win.
Well, okay, maybe you could have made a case for Huckabee winning, but only if you were paying attention, and the guy really didn’t seem to gain momentum until a couple weeks ago. The interesting thing about Obama’s win is this: given the chance to vote for the first serious female candidate for President (Sen. Clinton), most young women in Iowa still went for Barack. I’m sure some idiot is going to say “well, that’s just because he’s handsome,” and I’m sure some idiot with a yen for presidential trivia is going to counter with “right, and that’s how Warren G. Harding got elected, because it was the first election where women could vote and he was a good-lookin’ fella by 1920 standards and he turned out to be awful.” Which is ridiculous. Well, except for the part about Harding being awful. Really, he sucked. He sucked so bad, even he thought he shouldn’t be President.
This kind of thinking is ridiculous because what this night in Iowa really proves is that women – younger women, especially – are less likely to throw their support behind someone just because she’s a girl, and more likely to support someone with whom they agree, or in whom they believe. In other words, there’s an entire generation of women now who have grown up in a relatively equal society, who believe that of course some day a woman will be President. Therefore, they don’t have to throw their support behind the first viable female candidate who comes along. I think that the young women who supported Sen. Obama this time around are looking beyond gender, beyond sexism, and instead making their choice based on a desire for change. Sen. Clinton may be a brilliant woman, a strong and passionate leader who would probably make a good President, but this year she’s ironically seen as the status quo candidate. If she ultimately loses, it won’t be because the country’s not ready for a woman to be President, it’ll be because the country wants to try something new.
Gov. Huckabee, by the way, seems like the obvious choice for the GOP nominee for a couple of reasons. One, he’s an Evangelical Christian, and a real Evangelical Christian who actually cares about the sorts of things Evangelical Christians care about, unlike some current commander-in-chiefs we could mention. Two, he’s a really decent guy. He didn’t use city funds to keep his buddy and his girlfriend in a penthouse apartment that was supposed to be used for housing firefighters like Rudy and he’s not a greasy slimeball like Mitt. I may disagree with him on almost everything, but by process of elimination, he does come across as the most human Republican candidate. After George W. Bush, a President so unpopular that he is unlikely to be invited to his own party’s convention come August, and after eight years of Enron and gay sex scandals and Katrina and corruption, they need a guy like Mike Huckabee like a stray dog needs a bath.