Presidential candidate John Kerry entered today’s voting a statistically insignificant front-runner and came out a winner. It’s official, Kerry has won the Iowa caucus with John Edwards not far behind. But the real story is Dean’s lackluster performance, a third-place finish.
“We’re still alive,” he said.
But he didn’t take his loss lightly, his rage readily apparent.
His shirt sleeves rolled to his elbows, his voice rising to a shout, Dean tried hard to reset expectations.
“If you would have told us a year ago we would come third in Iowa, we would have taken anything for that,” he yelled and later ticked off the primary states beyond New Hampshire. Dean said he called Kerry and Edwards and told them, “I’ll see you around the corner, around the block, starting tomorrow.”
Dean’s meltdown aside, the implications of Kerry’s win are already materializing. Looking to New Hampshire, Wesley Clark turned his focus to the new leader.
“He’s got military background, but nobody in this race has got the kind of background I’ve got,” said the retired four-star general. “It’s one thing to be a hero as a junior officer. He’s done that. I respect that … but I’ve got the military experience at the top as well as at the bottom.”
It reminds me of too large a group attempting to fit through a narrow doorway–if everyone pushes hard enough, no one gets in. We’ll just have to wait and see if the Democrats field such a battered and torn candidate that Bush’s political homework will have essentially been completed for him.