Andrew Sullivan makes the case for why the Iowa caucus results are bad news for Clark. According to Sullivan, Clark “was supposed to be the anti-Dean, but adopted Deanish rhetoric. Both positions are now somewhat redundant. The Iowa voters – not exactly centrists – picked Kerry and Edwards to be the anti-Dean candidate, and the shrillness of the Dean-Clark message (the shrillness that so appealed to Paul Krugman) was just as soundly rejected.”
Sullivan seems to assume that the judgment of the Iowa caucus-goers regarding Dean will (a) be replicated elsewhere and (b) apply to Clark, even though he was never judged in Iowa. Both assumptions are questionable. At some level, Sullivan is correct in viewing Clark as the same kind of messenger as Dean. As has often been noted, he’s probably at least as weird. But that’s not his current image among Democratic voters, and in the short-term these voters may not see him for what he is.
By the way, Sullivan is not convinced that Kerry’s the one. To him, Edwards is the big winner. But to what extent was Edwards’ showing in Iowa the product of the Des Moines Register’s endorsement? What northern state primaries is Edwards likely to do well in? Edwards can’t be counted out, but he still seems like a bit of a long-shot.
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