AUTHOR: Slublog DATE: 1/20/2004 09:29:00 AM ----- BODY: Iowa - Looks like I was wrong about that one. I really thought Dean could pull it off, despite the barrage he came under in the last week or so. Edwards finishing so strongly is good news for the Democrats - it shows they are beginning to grow serious about winning this election, not just sending a message. Kerry's first-place finish is not as good. Kerry has thus far run a terrible race, and he is the Bob Dole of the Democrat party - a long-serving senator and war hero who is being given the golden ring by his party because voters fear the upstarts. The media has rewritten the campaign script, and some are beginning to talk about a Kerry-Edwards ticket. To which I say - not so fast. The candidates have a major hurdle in their path at the moment, and it's called New Hampshire. The professional voters of that state often disrupt the Iowa momentum by voting for the Iowa underdog. Plus, independents can go to the polls (not caucuses) and cast their vote. We won't know for sure how this race is going until we see what actual voters, not just caucus-attenders, are thinking. That having been said, if Dean loses New Hampshire to either Edwards or Kerry, he's sunk. His concession speech last night reminded me of John McCain's bitter rant when he lost the South Carolina primary to Bush. Some voters last night saw Howard Dean at his worst. --------