Iowa Public Television

 

Reporters' Roundtable

posted on January 4, 2008

Borg: STATING PREFERENCES. IOWA REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS TELLING THE NATION THEIR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PREFERENCES. IOWA POLITICAL JOURNALISTS ASSESS THE IMPLICATIONS ON THIS EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.'

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ON STATEWIDE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION, THIS IS THE FRIDAY, JANUARY 4 EDITION OF 'IOWA PRESS.' HERE IS DEAN BORG.

Borg: WELL, AS THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES MOVE ON TO NEW HAMPSHIRE AND ON DOWN THE ROAD EVENTUALLY TO THE REPUBLICAN DN DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATIONS, IOWANS HAVE HAD THEIR SAY. THURSDAY NIGHT ANSWERED SOME QUESTIONS AND RAISED OTHER ISSUES. IOWA'S SWARMING CAUCUS SITES DELIVERING SOME SURPRISES, REPUBLICANS GIVING TWO FORMER GOVERNOR THE TOP NODS. ARKANSAS' MIKE HUCKABEE DECISIVELY OUTPERFORMING MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY, REVERSING ACTUALLY THE AMOUNT EACH CANDIDATE SPENT ON THE CAMPAIGN. AND MEANWHILE, IOWA DEMOCRATS WERE PROVIDING BARACK OBAMA WITH SIGNIFICANT MOMENTUM INTO NEXT TUESDAY'S NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY. AND AFTER SEEING LAST NIGHT'S RESULTS, SENATORS JOE BIDEN AND CHRISTOPHER DODD DECIDING TO END THEIR CAMPAIGNS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION. WELL, THAT RAISES PLENTY OF QUESTIONS, AND THERE ARE MORE. WE'RE GOING TO GET RIGHT TO THEM WITH COMMENTS FROM: 'DES MOINES REGISTER' POLITICAL COLUMNIST DAVID YEPSEN; 'RADIO IOWA' NEWS DIRECTOR KAY HENDERSON; 'ASSOCIATED PRESS' SENIOR POLITICAL WRITER MIKE GLOVER; AND 'IOWA PUBLIC RADIO' POLITICAL REPORTER JENEANE BECK. JENEANE, I'M GOING TO GIVE YOU A MULTIPLE CHOICE QUESTION HERE. AS YOU REVIEWED THE THURSDAY NIGHT RESULTS, WHAT DID YOU SAY: I SAW IT COMING AND HERE'S WHY OR, BOY, WAS I SURPRISED?

Beck: I'LL GIVE YOU TWO ANSWERS. FIRST, I CAN'T SAY THAT I NECESSARILY KNEW THAT HUCKABEE WAS GOING TO WIN. BUT MONTHS AGO WHEN MANY PEOPLE WERE COUNTING HIM OUT, I KNOW THAT KAY AND I WATCHED A COUPLE OF HIS DEBATES AND STARTED TALKING IN THE CORNER AND SAYING, 'THIS GUY HAS GOT SOMETHING. IT'S TOO SOON TO RULE HIM OUT.' AND LO AND BEHOLD, HE ENDED UP WINNING. THE TURNOUT IS THE PART THAT SURPRISED ME. I THINK THAT CROWDS WERE GROWING AS THE DAYS WANED AND TURNOUT WAS LARGE TO SEE THESE CANDIDATES. BUT IT'S SO HARD FOR US TO JUDGE BECAUSE WE'RE REALLY IN THAT POLITICAL BUBBLE. I ALWAYS WONDER WILL THEY REALLY SHOW UP ON CAUCUS NIGHT AND, BOY, DID THEY! I THINK TURNOUT, 350,000 IF YOU COMBINE THE Rs AND THE Ds WOULD HAVE BEEN EVEN HIGHER. YOU HEAR STORY AFTER STORY OF PEOPLE WHO GAVE UP AND TURNED AWAY BECAUSE PARKING WAS UNBEARABLE OR THE LINE TO GET IN WAS SO LONG. I THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HIGHER.

Borg: I EVEN SAW -- NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT, I SAW AS AN OBSERVER AT A CAUCUS IN MOUNT VERNON, IOWA, A LADY WHO HAD SCHEDULED HER TIME TO COME TO EASTERN IOWA TO ATTEND THE CAUCUS. SHE MOVED IT ACCORDING TO THE MOVEMENT OF THE CAUCUS DATES. OTHERS CAME FROM MASSACHUSETTS TO BE HERE JUST TO OBSERVE. MIKE?

Glover: THE OUTCOME OF THE CAUCUS WAS NOT A SURPRISE. VIRTUALLY EVERY POLL HEADING INTO THE CAUCUS SHOWED BARACK OBAMA WAS AHEAD AND IT SHOWED THAT MIKE HUCKABEE WAS AHEAD, SO THAT WASN'T MUCH OF A SURPRISE. JENEANE IS RIGHT; TURNOUT WAS AN ENORMOUS SURPRISE. THE LARGEST FIGURE I HEARD PRIOR TO TURNOUT -- PRIOR TO THE CAUCUSES ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE WAS ABOUT 160 AND EVERYBODY LOOKED AS THAT PERSON LIKE THEY HAD TWO HEADS. 240,000 ENDED UP SHOWING ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE ALONE. A HUGE SURPRISE AND WE CAN TALK ABOUT IT, THERE WAS SOME ENERGY ON THAT DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN, EVEN IN MORE ENERGY THAN WE THOUGH IN THE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN.

Henderson: TWO OBSERVATIONS IN THIS REGARD. WE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THE EFFECT OF THE HOLIDAY PERIOD WOULD HAVE ON THESE CAMPAIGNS. SOME OF US THOUGHT IT MIGHT DAMPEN INTEREST BECAUSE PEOPLE WOULD BE SPENDING TIME WITH THEIR FAMILIES, THEY WOULD BE FOCUSED ON THE HOLIDAY. I THINK THE CONVERSE HAPPENED. I THINK THAT PEOPLE HAD TIME OFF FROM WORK, AND THEY WENT OUT AND CAUGHT A FEW CANDIDATES. AND MAYBE THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO WORK ON THURSDAY. THEY HAD IT OFF, THEY WEREN'T AT SCHOOL, AND THEY REALLY TURNED OUT FOR THE CAUCUSES. IN ADDITION TO THAT, TODAY I TALKED TO A PERSON THAT WE ALL KNOW HERE AROUND THE TABLE, JOHN NORRIS. HE'S A PERSON WHO RAN JOHN KERRY'S 2004 EFFORT. HE WAS IN THE OBAMA CAMP THIS TIME AROUND, AND HE MAKES A REALLY FASCINATING POINT ABOUT THIS TURNOUT. HE SAYS THAT THIS MAY HAVE CHANGED THE LANDSCAPE OF IOWA POLITICS FOR YEARS TO COME BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF TURNOUT, BECAUSE THEY GOT NEW PEOPLE IN THE DOOR, WE GOT THEIR NAMES ON THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY ROLLS, AND THIS COULD CHANGE DEMOCRATIC PARTY POLITICS FOR YEARS TO COME. >>

Yepsen: TWO POINTS, DEAN. I'VE HEARD A LOT OF TALK SINCE THE CAUCUSE ABOUT WHY DON'T WE JUST DO A PRIMARY. THIS WAS CRAZY TO HAVE ALL THESE PEOPLE JAMMED IN. WELL, THE ANSWER TO THAT IS IOWA HAS A DEAL WITH NEW HAMPSHIRE. THEY GET THE FIRST PRIMARY AND IOWA HAS THE FIRST CAUCUS. THERE'S ALREADY ENOUGH PEOPLE IN THE COUNTRY THAT WANT TO TAKE THIS AWAY FROM IOWA, SO I THINK THAT THE CAUCUSES ARE GOING TO STAY.

Borg: THAT'S THE POINT I WAS TRYING TO MAKE ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO CAME IN FROM OUT OF STATE JUST TO SEE WHAT WAS HAPPENING.

Yepsen: IT WAS ALMOST KIND OF A TOURIST ATTRACTION. DOWNTOWN DES MOINES PEOPLE WERE THERE WATCHING FOR CELEBRITIES AND STUFF. MY SECOND POINT ABOUT THE TURNOUT IS I THINK IT'S VERY GOOD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS. YOU CANNOT LOOK AT A TURNOUT THAT SIZE. IT WAS TWICE AS LARGE -- BETTER THAN TWICE AS LARGE AS THE ONES THE REPUBLICANS HAD. THERE IS REAL ENERGY ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE AND NOT SO MUCH ENERGY ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. AND I THINK THAT BODES ILL FOR REPUBLICANS IN IOWA IN THIS STATE IN NOVEMBER.

Glover: ONE OF THE PEOPLE THAT'S HAPPIEST ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED THIS WEEK IS TOM HARKIN, THE ONLY REASON OFFICE HOLDER WHO IS UP THIS YEAR. HIS SENATE SEAT IS BALLOT THIS YEAR. AND I THINK WHAT HE'S LOOKING AT NOW IS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. AND DAVE IS RIGHT, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS DEMONSTRATED A LOT OF ENERGY, A LOT OF ENTHUSIASM. THEY'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS ELECTION.

Beck: I WAS JUST GOING TO SAY IT ISN'T JUST DEMOCRATS THAT SHOWED UP. I MEAN IF YOU WENT TO A CAUCUS SITE, THEY HAD A STACK OF A HUNDRED OR SO REGISTRATIONS OF PEOPLE WHO'D COME AND REGISTERED AT THE DOOR, EITHER BRAND-NEW VOTERS OR CHANGING THEIR PARTY AFFILIATION SO THAT THEY COULD SUPPORT A CANDIDATE INSIDE. AND TYPICALLY IT WAS -- OR OFTEN IT WAS BARACK OBAMA.

Borg: I THINK MIKE MENTIONED ENERGY, KAY. A LOT OF THAT ENERGY CAME FROM BARACK OBAMA YOUNG DEMOGRAPHICS.

Henderson: RIGHT. IT WAS INTERESTING TO WATCH HOW THE CHANGE MESSAGE PLAYED OUT. I THINK THAT HE APPEALED TO A YOUNGER GENERATION IN A VERY INTERESTING WAY. BOTH BARACK OBAMA AND JOHN EDWARDS INVITED PEOPLE IN TO BECOME PART OF A MOVEMENT. BARACK OBAMA ENDED MANY OF HIS CAMPAIGN SPEECHES IN THE CLOSING DAYS WITH THESE WORDS: LET'S GO CHANGE THE WORLD. VERY IMPORTANT THAT HE WAS TRYING TO INCLUDE PEOPLE. THAT IS VERY ATTRACTIVE TO PEOPLE OF THE 20-SOMETHING SET. AND IT'S ALSO REALLY INTERESTING IN THAT -- I TALKED TO A COLLEGE PROFESSOR TODAY WHO FOUND IT FASCINATING AMONG HER FEMALE STUDENTS THAT THEY THINK NOTHING OF THE FACT THAT HILLARY CLINTON IS RUNNING, THE GROUND BREAKING NATURE OF HER CANDIDACY. THEY SEE MORE OF AN INSPIRATION IN THE GROUND BREAKING NATURE OF HIS CANDIDACY, AND THIS IS REALLY, REALLY WHAT MOTIVATED A LOT OF YOUNG PEOPLE.

Borg: AND, DAVE, BEFORE YOU COMMENT -- GO AHEAD.

Yepsen: I WAS GOING TO ADD TO THAT, THE OBAMA VICTORY IN IOWA I THINK WILL GO A LONG WAY TO MUTING SOME OF THE CRITICISM THAT'S ALWAYS MADE OF THE IOWA CAUCUSES. WE'VE ALL HEARD THEM: IT'S A LILY WHITE STATE. LOOKS LIKE THIS LILY WHITE STATE GAVE AN AFRICAN AMERICAN POLITICIAN A PRETTY GOOD LEG UP ON THE RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY.

Glover: AND IT WAS INTERESTING, I THINK WE MAY HAVE TALKED TO THE SAME COLLEGE PROFESSOR BECAUSE SHE SAID IF YOU BREAK DOWN THE WOMEN AND HOW THEY VOTED, BARACK OBAMA ACTUALLY WON WOMEN. HE DEFEATED A WOMAN CANDIDATE AMONG WOMEN. SHE RAN PRETTY WELL AMONG BLUE COLLAR WORKING WOMEN, BUT YOUNGER WOMEN, SHE DIDN'T RUN VERY WELL AT ALL. THEY WERE CAUGHT UP IN THE EXCITEMENT OF OBAMA. THE WAY THIS PROFESSOR DESCRIBED IT TO ME IS THEY DON'T LOOK AT HILLARY CLINTON AS A WOMAN. THEY LOOK AT HILLARY CLINTON AS THEIR GRANDMOTHER.

Borg: JENEANE, I WANT TO GO BACK, BEFORE WE GET TOO FAR, TO WHAT KAY SAID ABOUT CHANGE. THERE WAS A LOT OF TALK ABOUT CHANGE, PARTICULAR -- WELL, ON BOTH SIDES, REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, BUT ALSO A LOT OF TALK ABOUT EXPERIENCE AND WHO'S BEST ABLE TO CHANGE OR EFFECT CHANGE. DID THE RESULTS, AS YOU VIEW THEM, DID CHANGE AND THE WAY AND WHO IS BEST EQUIPPED TO DO IT TRUMP EXPERIENCE?

Beck: YEAH, IT DID TRUMP EXPERIENCE BECAUSE CLEARLY IF YOU LOOK AT RESUMES ALONE, SENATOR OBAMA'S IS NOT AS LONG AND NOT AS DECORATED AS SOME OF THOSE THAT HE WAS FACING. I MEAN LOOK AT THE TWO GENTLEMEN THAT ARE OUT OF THE RACE TODAY, SENATOR JOE BIDEN AND SENATOR CHRISTOPHER DODD. BILL RICHARDSON CAME IN FOURTH. SO THE PEOPLE THAT LOOKED PRETTY GOOD ON PAPER JUST DIDN'T HAVE AN IMPACT WITH VOTERS BECAUSE YOUNG PEOPLE SAID, YOU KNOW WHAT, THAT DOESN'T MOTIVATE ME. I DON'T CARE ABOUT EXPERIENCE BECAUSE I'M TIRED WHAT'S HAPPENING IN WASHINGTON AND THOSE PEOPLE ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM, IN THEIR VIEW.

Glover: THE ENTRANCE POLLING ACTUALLY OFFERED CONCRETE EVIDENCE THAT THAT POINT IS ACCURATE. THE ENTRANCE POLLING MADE IT CLEAR. THEY WERE ASKED GOING IN WHETHER THEY WERE VOTING FOR CHANGE OR WHETHER THEY WERE VOTING FOR EXPERIENCE, AND CHANGE WON, AND CHANGE WON HANDEDLY.

Yepsen: IT EVEN WON ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE TOO WITH MIKE HUCKABEE. HUCKABEE WAS CRITICAL OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY. HE TALKED ABOUT A BUNKER MENTALITY THERE IN IRAQ AND TALKED ABOUT ECONOMIC POLICY AND BASHING WALL STREET. HE SOUNDED LIKE JOHN EDWARDS AT TIMES, AGAINST BEATING WHO? THE GUY WAS A FORMER INVESTMENT BANKER. I MEAN MITT ROMNEY AND HILLARY CLINTON, FOR BETTER OR WORSE, BECAME THE ESTABLISHMENT. THEY WERE THE INCUMBENTS AND THIS BECAME A REFERENDUM ON INCUMBENCY. IT BECAME A REFERENDUM ON CHANGE, AND THEY LOST.

Borg: LET'S GO BACK TO SOMETHING WE WERE TALKING ABOUT. I WAS WITH JOHN EDWARDS ON THE EVE OF THE CAUCUSES, ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT, AT A RALLY. HE MADE THE STATEMENT THERE -- I WROTE IT DOWN. HE CLOSED HIS TALK WITH SAYING, WE'RE GOING TO HAVE AN ELECTION, KAY, NOT IN IOWA, NOT AN AUCTION. AND THAT REFERRED TO CAMPAIGN SPENDING. WAS IT AN AUCTION? WAS IT AN ELECTION?

Henderson: WELL, ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE THE TOP THREE SPENT AN AWFUL LOT OF MONEY IN IOWA. JOHN EDWARDS WAS THE THIRD PLACE SPENDER, IF YOU WILL, IN IOWA. BARACK OBAMA SPENT A LOT OF MONEY. HE WAS THE TOP SPENDER IN CAMPAIGN ADVERTISING IN IOWA, FOLLOWED BY HILLARY CLINTON. I THINK WHAT'S REALLY INTERESTING IS ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE IT TURNED INTO SORT OF A REFERENDUM ON WHO WASN'T SPENDING THE MONEY. THAT HOW HUCKABEE TURNED THIS THING AROUND BY SAYING, 'I'M NOT BUYING YOUR VOTE.' I THINK THAT WAS VERY, VERY EFFECTIVE FOR MIKE HUCKABEE. I DON'T THINK THAT AUCTION DISCUSSION ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE HAD ONE BIT OF DIFFERENCE IN THE OUTCOME.

Glover: THERE WAS MORE THAN A LITTLE -- THERE'S MORE THAN A LITTLE HYPOCRISY IN WHAT JOHN EDWARDS WAS SAYING. I MEAN HE'S TALKING ABOUT PEOPLE RAISING ALL THIS MONEY. HE WORKED OVERTIME TO RAISE AND SPEND ALL THE MONEY HE COULD, AND HE JUST WAS OUTRAISED BY A COUPLE OF HIS OPPONENTS. THERE'S A FAIR AMOUNT OF HYPOCRISY THERE.

Yepsen: THERE WERE INDEPENDENT EXPENDITURE GROUPS RUN BY HIS FORMER CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOUR YEARS AGO THAT WERE COMING IN THIS STATE AND BUYING ADVERTISING. TRIAL LAWYERS GAVE JOHN EDWARDS AND HIS --

Glover: BUT NOT SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS.

Yepsen: YEAH, BUT THEY'RE NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS.

Borg: AS LONG AS WE'RE TALKING ABOUT EDWARDS, HE HAD QUITE AN ORGANIZATION AT LEAST GOING INTO THIS. DID ORGANIZATION PAY OFF FOR ANY OF THE CANDIDATES? THAT IS, DID YOU SEE ORGANIZATIONS -- GO AHEAD.

Yepsen: THEY ALL WORKED. THEY ALL HAD THEIR TURNOUT MODELS. THEY ALL EXECUTED WELL. THEY ALL HAD VERY GOOD CAMPAIGNS. IT'S JUST WHAT HAPPENED, DEAN, IS PEOPLE ARE ANGRY. FOR OVER A YEAR IOWANS HAVE BEEN HAMMERED BY THESE GUYS TELLING THEM YOU'RE IMPORTANT AND YOU CAN CHANGE THE FACE OF THE WORLD AND ALL THIS AND IOWANS BELIEVED IT AND THEY WENT TO CAUCUS. AND SO ORGANIZATION REALLY WAS NOT THAT IMPORTANT.

Glover: AND I ACTUALLY HAD A LONG CONVERSATION WITH A STRATEGIST FOR JOHN EDWARDS. THEY WERE VERY CLEAR GOING INTO THIS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO THEM. THEY ANTICIPATED TURNOUT BEING SOMEWHERE FROM 135- TO 140,000 ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE. THEIR ARGUMENT WAS IF TURNOUT GOES UP FROM THE 124 FOUR YEARS AGO TO 135-, 140,000, WE'RE GOING TO BE OKAY. WE CAN SURVIVE IN THAT ENVIRONMENT. IF IT GETS TO 150 OR A LITTLE BIT BEYOND, WE'VE GOT SOME REAL PROBLEMS. WELL, WHEN IT WENT PAST 200, THEY HAD REAL PROBLEMS.

Borg: DID ENDORSEMENTS HELP AT ALL? I'M LOOKING HERE AT OPRAH WINFREY, FOR EXAMPLE. IT MAY NOT HAVE HELPED OBAMA THAT OPRAH ENDORSED HIM, BUT IT CERTAINLY DREW A LOT OF PEOPLE TO SIGN CARDS AND GIVE THEIR PHONE NUMBERS FOR LATER CONTACTS ON GETTING THEM TO THE CAUCUSES THAT NIGHT.

Glover: IT WAS THE TOP STORY OF THAT DAY. IN FACT, FOR A COUPLE OF CYCLES, BARACK OBAMA AND OPRAH'S PICTURE WAS ON EVERY TELEVISION SET AND EVERY NEWSPAPER IN THE STATE. THAT DOESN'T HURT YOU BUT THE ENDORSEMENTS LIKE FORMER GOVERNOR VILSACK AND HIS WIFE ENDORSING HILLARY CLINTON, THOSE TYPES OF MORE POLITICAL ENDORSEMENTS REALLY DON'T CARRY A LOT OF WEIGHT.

Beck: WHAT SOMEBODY LIKE OPRAH WINFREY CAN DO IS BRING PEOPLE TO THAT EVENT THAT MAY NOT HAVE COME OTHERWISE. SO YOU GET THEM IN THE DOOR AND NOT JUST SIGN THE CARD, BUT THEY HEAR THE MESSAGE. FOR SOMEBODY WHO IS A GOOD SPEAKER LIKE SENATOR OBAMA, SUDDENLY A YOUNG PERSON WHO MAYBE CAME TO SEE WHAT OPRAH LOOKED LIKE IN PERSON HEARD A MESSAGE THAT MIGHT HAVE APPEALED TO THEM AND THEN SAID, HMM, MAYBE I'LL DO THIS, MAYBE I'LL CAUCUS.

Henderson: I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING WAS IT FROZE EVERY OTHER CANDIDATE OUT OF THE CYCLE OF MEDIA. THE DAY BEFORE, EVERY STORY WAS ABOUT OPRAH'S COMING, OPRAH'S COMING WITH BARACK OBAMA. THE DAY OF, THEY WERE HERE, THEY'RE HERE. AND THEN THE DAY AFTER, THEY WERE HERE. HE DOMINATED --

Borg: DIDN'T BILL CLINTON HAVE THAT EFFECT --

Henderson: YOU COULDN'T -- YOU COULDN'T -- IF YOU WERE ANOTHER CANDIDATE, YOU TRIED TO PUNCH THROUGH THAT. HILLARY CLINTON TRIED TO PUNCH THROUGH THAT BY BRINGING HER MOTHER AND HER DAUGHTER OUT ON THE SAME DAY THAT OPRAH CAME.

Yepsen: DIFFERENT ENDORSEMENTS ARE WORTH DIFFERENT THINGS TO CANDIDATES. CHUCK NORRIS FOR MIKE HUCKABEE. BOB VIA FOR HILLARY CLINTON. I THOUGHT IT WAS KIND OF FASCINATING TO SEE THESE DIFFERENT CHARACTERS COME THROUGH IOWA AND TRY TO CONVINCE US THEY KNEW SOMETHING ABOUT POLITICS.

Glover: YOU MENTIONED FORMER GOVERNOR PRESIDENT CLINTON, WHO OBVIOUSLY ENDORSED HIS WIFE -- NOT ONLY ENDORSED HIS WIFE BUT CAMPAIGNED VERY HEAVILY FOR HIS WIFE. IF THERE WAS ANYONE WHO LOOKED IN PAIN ON CAUCUS NIGHT, IT WAS BILL CLINTON BECAUSE BILL CLINTON WAS A PRETTY GOOD PRACTICING POLITICAL WITH PRETTY GOOD POLITICAL INSTINCTS, AND I THINK HE KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO THEM. I REMEMBER ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MIKE HUCKABEE HAD DONE THAT IMPRESSED HIM. HE SAID THAT HUCKABEE -- HE WASN'T SURPRISED MIKE HUCKABEE WON. HE SAID HE'S THE ONLY ONE IN THAT GROUP OF CANDIDATES THAT CAN TELL A JOKE.

Borg: LET'S GO DOWN QUICKLY THE DEMOCRATIC FINISHES. BARACK OBAMA WAS AT ABOUT 37 PERCENT, AS I REMEMBER -- 38 PERCENT, AND JOHN EDWARDS AT 30 PERCENT. HOW SIGNIFICANT, DAVE, IS THE FACT THAT HE -- THAT EDWARDS FINISHED JUST ONE PERCENTAGE AHEAD OF HILLARY. HILLARY'S THIRD PLACE FINISH WAS DEVASTATING.

Yepsen: THAT'S RIGHT. THIRD PLACE WAS DEVASTATING TO HER. THERE WAS ONLY A FEW VOTES THAT SEPARATED THE TWO OF THEM. WE TALK ABOUT THIS HUGE TURNOUT, BUT IT STILL UNDERSCORES THE POINT THAT EVERY VOTE COUNTS. AND HILLARY CLINTON IS REELING TODAY OVER THIS THIRD PLACE SHOWING. HAD SHE GOTTEN INTO SECOND PLACE OVER EDWARDS, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN, PSYCHOLOGICALLY, A MUCH BETTER POSITION FOR HER. FOR OBAMA THIS WAS HUGE. HE WAS ALREADY SKYROCKETING AND DOING WELL IN HIS CAMPAIGN. I THINK HE MOVES INTO THE LEAD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. JOHN EDWARDS AND HILLARY CLINTON NOW HAVE TO STOP BARACK OBAMA IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, OR HE MAY RUN THE TABLE JUST LIKE JOHN KERRY DID FOUR YEARS AGO, AND HE MAY BECOME THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE.

Glover: PEOPLE FORGET THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECT OF THESE EARLY TESTS. JOHN KERRY WON THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION IN IOWA FOUR YEARS AGO. WE MAY LOOK BACK IN A FEW WEEKS AND SAY THAT BARACK OBAMA WON THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION IN IOWA, BECAUSE IT COULD ROCKET HIM TO NEW HAMPSHIRE, IT COULD ROCKET HIM TO SOUTH CAROLINA. IT COULD ROCKET HIM -- BY THE TIME IN THIS COMPRESSED SCHEDULE, WHEN YOU WIN TWO OR THREE IN A ROW, YOU DON'T GET STOPPED.

Borg: CAN HILLARY CLINTON CHANGE HER MESSAGE AND MAKE ANY MODIFICATIONS IN THOSE SHORT FIVE DAYS?

Glover: IN THREE DAYS? I MEAN YOU'VE GOT THREE DAYS LEFT. HOW DO YOU CHANGE YOUR MESSAGE AND PUNCH IT THROUGH AND CONVINCE VOTERS IN THREE DAYS? MAYBE THERE'S A WAY. I DON'T KNOW.

Beck: IT'S NOT JUST A MESSAGE PROBLEM FOR HER. SHE'S NOT HER HUSBAND, WHO IS VERY CHARISMATIC, AND SO IS BARACK OBAMA. SHE'S A BRIGHT WOMAN. SHE'S AN ARTICULATE WOMAN. SHE'S A WELL-STUDIED WOMAN AND IF YOU TALK TO HER ABOUT AN ISSUE, SHE'S GOING TO HAVE AN ANSWER FOR YOU. BUT SHE IS JUST NOT AS CHARISMATIC AS SENATOR OBAMA, AND THAT IS A PROBLEM.

Yepsen: LOOK AT THE SUM OF THE OBAMA MESSAGE, THE EDWARDS MESSAGE, THE HUCKABEE MESSAGE, IT'S A MESSAGE OF CHANGE. HILLARY CLINTON IS THE STATUS QUO. BRINGING HER HUSBAND OUT WAS FINE. IT GOT HER A LOT OF ATTENTION AND SUPPORTER CARDS, BUT IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS IT SERVED TO REINFORCE THE IDEA THAT WE'RE GOING TO GO BACK TO THE PAST. THERE ARE A LOT OF IOWANS THAT DIDNT' WANT TO DO THAT.

Henderson: THE CLINTON-BUSH THING DID NOT SELL.

Glover: I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME BILL CLINTON CAME OUT FOR HILLARY CLINTON WAS LAST SUMMER, AND I HAPPENED TO BE TRAVELING WITH OBAMA THAT DAY. THE BIG QUESTION WAS HOW WAS THAT GOING TO HAVE AN IMPACT ON THE CAMPAIGN. A POPULAR FORMER PRESIDENT WHO REMAINS POPULAR WITH DEMOCRATS IS OUT HERE: IS HE GOING TO BE THE ROCK STAR THAT PUSHES HER OVER THE TOP? HIS ANSWER -- AND I CAN ALMOST REMEMBER WORD FOR WORD -- WAS I LOVE PRESIDENT CLINTON, I LOVED HIS TENURE IN OFFICE, I JUST DON'T KNOW ANYBODY THAT WANTS TO LOOK BACKWARDS, WHICH IS A WONDERFUL WAY TO LOOK AT IT.

Borg: BILL RICHARDSON FINISHED WITH TWO PERCENT. NOW, I ALREADY SAID THERE WERE TWO SENATORS, DODD AND BIDEN, WHO DROPPED AWAY AFTER LAST NIGHT. AT 2 PERCENT CAN BILL RICHARDSON EXPECT TO GO ON WITH HIS CAMPAIGN? HE'S WALKING WOUNDED AT THIS POINT. HE STAYS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. THERE'S ALWAYS BEEN A FEELING THAT BILL RICHARDSON WAS REALLY POSITIONING HIMSELF AS A NOD AS THE VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, AND I THINK THAT'S STILL TRUE TODAY.

Glover: YOU'VE GOT TO LOOK AT THE MECHANICS OF IT. BY THIS POINT, IF YOU'RE -- YOU'VE PROBABLY ALREADY BOUGHT YOUR TELEVISION FOR NEW HAMPSHIRE, YOU'VE PROBABLY ALREADY RESERVED YOUR ROOMS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, YOU'VE PROBABLY ALREADY BOOKED THE TRANSPORTATION TO NEW HAMPSHIRE, YOU'VE ALREADY SPENT THE MONEY, WHY NOT -- FOR OR FIVE MORE DAYS. DAVE IS RIGHT, IT'S USELESS.

Borg: TALKING ABOUT GOING ON TO NEW HAMPSHIRE, THEN, LOOKING AT THE FINISH OF MIKE HUCKABEE HERE, SEVERAL PERCENTAGE POINTS AHEAD OF MITT ROMNEY, EVEN THOUGH MITT ROMNEY OUTSPENT HIM, WHAT IS AHEAD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE? IT SEEMED TO ME THAT MIKE HUCKABEE, KAY, HAS A TOUGH GO IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. BUT WHAT DOES HE HAVE TO DO THERE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE TO GET ON TO SOUTH CAROLINA?

Henderson: I'M NO NEW HAMPSHIRE EXPERT, BUT I DO KNOW THAT THE POLLS SHOW THAT MIKE HUCKABEE IS IN FOURTH PLACE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE. AND NEW HAMPSHIRE IS REALLY A CONTEST BETWEEN MITT ROMNEY AND JOHN MCCAIN RIGHT NOW. SO MIKE HUCKABEE IS SORT OF OUT OF THE MIX UNLESS THERE IS SOME SORT OF MIRACLE AND WHEN IT COMES TO A BAPTIST MINISTER, MAYBE THERE BE A MIRACLE. WHO KNOWS? ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN IN POLITICS, AS WE ALL KNOW. BUT I MEAN HE HAS TO GO TO SOUTH CAROLINA. THAT'S WHERE HIS CONTEST WILL BE. Romney: IF HE FINISHES SECOND OR THIRD IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AS A RESULT OF THIS, MITT ROMNEY COULD LOSE, HE'S GOING TO BE OUT OF THE PICTURE, AND THAT JUST MAKES SOUTH CAROLINA THAT MUCH MORE IMPORTANT.

Glover: ONE OF THE BIGGEST SMILES, HE WASN'T HERE, WAS JOHN MCCAIN, BECAUSE HIS FORMULA FOR SUCCESS IS TO SOMEHOW DERAIL MITT ROMNEY. WHAT HE WAS VERY WORRIED ABOUT IS MITT ROMNEY WINNING IT IN IOWA AND THEN STORMING INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE, WINNING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND SUDDENLY HAVING A LOT OF MOMENTUM ON HIS SIDE. HE NEEDED SOMEBODY TO DERAIL MITT ROMNEY, AND THE IDEAL PERSON IS MIKE HUCKABEE WHO HAS NOTHING GOING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE.

Beck: JOHN MCCAIN SHOULD BE SENDING MIKE HUCKABEE A BOUQUET OF FLOWERS TODAY BECAUSE, YOU KNOW WHAT, EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT HOW WELL MCCAIN DID. HE'S TIED FOR THIRD. HE GOT 13 PERCENT. THAT'S NOT MIRACULOUS. THAT'S NOT FAR OFF FROM WHAT HE'S BEEN POLLING OFF AND ON THROUGHOUT THE FALL. THE POINT WAS HUCKABEE STOPPED ROMNEY HERE. AND THE ONE THING I WONDER, THOUGH, YOU KNOW, IS WE TALK ABOUT HUCKABEE WAS THE CHANGE CANDIDATE ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE. JOHN MCCAIN IS NOT A CHANGE CANDIDATE. I MEAN THE MAN HAS BEEN IN THE SENATE FOR OVER A DECADE, SO YOU WONDER IF HE CAN MAKE THAT SAME ARGUMENT OR IF OTHER STATES WILL BE CONCERNED ABOUT CHANGE THE WAY IOWA WAS.

Yepsen: TWO OTHER REPUBLICANS WE SHOULD MENTION, RON PAUL AND RUDY GIULIANI. RON PAUL, A LOT OF ENERGY, A LOT OF PASSION AMONG HIS SUPPORTERS, BUT THEY REALLY DIDN'T SHOW UP ON CAUCUS NIGHT. I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED WITH SOME OF THESE YOUNGER SUPPORTERS OF RON PAUL, THEY BOUGHT INTO THE CHANGE MESSAGE BUT THEY ACTUALLY WENT OVER TO THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE AND WENT IN FOR BARACK OBAMA. THE BIG LOSER OF THE NIGHT, RUDY GIULIANI. HE PROVED ONCE AGAIN THAT YOU CAN'T BYPASS IOWA. JOHN MCCAIN MAY HAVE PROVED THAT TOO WITH HIS IN-AND-OUT STRATEGY, BUT GIULIANI WAS JUST ALL OVER THE MAP HERE AND HE DID NOT MOUNT A SUSTAINED CAMPAIGN HERE.

Borg: BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT BYPASSING IOWA. WAS IT A MISTAKE FOR HILLARY CLINTON TO COME INTO IOWA, MIKE?

Glover: I THINK IN RETROSPECT, IF YOU RECALL, A FEW MONTHS AGO THERE WAS A BIG DUSTUP ABOUT A MEMO INTERNAL IN THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN SUGGESTING IT MIGHT BE WISE TO THINK ABOUT BYPASSING IOWA. IN THE LONG RUN AND WITH THE BENEFIT OF 20/20 HINDSIGHT, SHE MADE HAVE MADE A MISTAKE BY PLAYING HERE. THIS IS NOT -- SHE'S NOT A TERRIFIC RETAIL CANDIDATE. SHE DIDN'T SEEM TO HAVE A REALLY GOOD FEEL FOR THE CAUCUSES AND HOW THAT ALL WORKED. BY AND LARGE SHE MAY HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF TO SKIP PAST IT AND TAKE WHATEVER HITS SHE COULD THERE, BECAUSE SHE WAS NOT A GOOD FIT FOR THIS CAMPAIGN, AND I THINK IT SHOWED IN THE RESULTS.

Henderson: I JUST DON'T' THINK SHE'S FIGURED OUT THE RIGHT CHANGE MESSAGE. WE ALL KNOW THIS IS A CHANGE ELECTION, AND REALLY WHAT SHE'S ASKING VOTERS TO DO IS TO TRUST HER TO DO EVERYTHING BUT SORT OF REWIND THE 1990S AND I'LL TAKE YOU BACK TO THE WAY THINGS WERE WHEN MY HUSBAND WAS PRESIDENT. THAT'S NOT A REALLY CHANGE MESSAGE FOR AMERICA.

Borg: THEY DON'T WANT TO GO BACK TO THE FUTURE.

Henderson: YEAH.

Borg: LET'S SPEAK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT IOWANS REVEALED TO THE WORLD YESTERDAY, PARTICULARLY THE NATION AND TO THE POLITICAL PARTIES. DID IOWA DO ITSELF WELL, KAY, IN MAYBE PRESERVING FIRST-IN-THE-NATION CAUCUSES?

Henderson: THEY DID THEMSELVES WELL IF BARACK OBAMA IS THE NEXT PRESIDENT WAS UNITED STATES. I THINK AS DAVID PREVIOUSLY MENTIONED, THE NAYSAYERS WHO SAID THIS IS A LILY WHITE STATE, WITH BARACK OBAMA'S WIN, SOMETHING HAS BEEN SAID BY IOWANS COLLECTIVELY ON THAT FRONT. AND I ALSO THINK THAT ON THE REPUBLICAN SIDE IT'S JUST TOO MUDDLED TO KNOW. IF A REPUBLICAN IS ELECTED PRESIDENT, WE'LL NOT KNOW HOW THEY FEEL ABOUT IOWA UNLESS IT'S MIKE HUCKABEE. HE LOVES IOWA.

Glover: KAY HIT THE NAIL RIGHT ON THE HEAD; IT WILL DEPEND ON WHO THE NEXT PRESIDENT IS. THERE WILL BE A CHALLENGE TO IOWA'S STATUS. THERE IS EVERY FOUR YEARS. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THE PERSON WHO SITS IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND IS RUNNING THAT POLITICAL PARTY WILL DECIDED WHERE THAT PROCESS STARTS. IF IT'S BARACK OBAMA, HE PROBABLY THINKS IOWA IS A PRETTY GOOD PLACE TO START. IF IT'S RUDY GIULIANI, WHAT THE HECK IS IOWA?

Beck: BUT THE FACT THAT 350,000 PEOPLE TURNED OUT ON A COLD JANUARY NIGHT IS HELPFUL TO THE STATE, BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF COMPLAINT THAT NOT THAT MANY PEOPLE OF THE POPULATION EVEN BOTHER TO CAUCUS. WELL, IT IS NOT WALKING IN, PULLING A LEVER, AND WALKING BACK OUT. IT'S A COUPLE HOURS OF YOUR NIGHT, AND 350,000 PEOPLE, AND PROBABLY MORE THAT WALKED AWAY WHEN THEY REALIZED THEY COULDN'T FIND PARKING, WERE WILLING TO GIVE UP THREE OR MORE HOURS OF THEIR NIGHT TO DO IT, SO THAT'S GOOD FOR THE STATE.

Glover: AND THAT'S SUBSTANCE AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, THAT WON'T MEAN ANYTHING. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THERE WILL BE OTHER STATES WHO ARE JEALOUS AND WANT IOWA'S POSITION. THEY WILL HAVE THEIR OWN ARGUMENTS THAT WILL OFFSET THAT. AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT'S GOING TO BE WHO SITS IN THE WHITE HOUSE AND WHO IS IN THE OTHER PARTY AND WHERE DO THEIR STRATEGIES FIT BEST.

Yepsen: WELL, AND THE OTHER PARTY WILL ALWAYS -- THE LOSING PARTY WILL HAVE A HUGE DEBATE OVER THE PROCESS: OUR PROCESS PRODUCED A LOSER. OUR PROCESS -- OUR MESSAGE WAS TOO EXTREME OR IT WASN'T CENTRIST ENOUGH. THAT'S WORKS FOR EITHER DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS, AND THEY'LL GO THROUGH THIS GREAT ANGST. IF IT'S DEMOCRATS, THEY'RE A PARTY OF RULES, SO THEY'LL HAVE ANOTHER AGONIZING DEBATE OVER RULES. IF IT'S REPUBLICANS WHO ARE ON THE OUTS, THEY DON'T EVEN GET INTO THAT RULES GAME. THEY ALLOW THE STATES TO MAKE THESE CHOICES, AND THEY WILL DEFER TO THE STATES. ONE OTHER WRINKLE IN THIS, CONGRESS IS STARTING TO GET INTO THE ACT. I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY WAY THAT CONGRESS HAS ANY BETTER LUCK SORTING THIS OUT IN FOUR YEARS THAN WHAT THE PARTIES HAVE. BUT FINALLY, DEAN, THE LOSING PARTY WILL HAVE SOME FRONT-RUNNING CANDIDATES. LET'S SAY HYPOTHETICALLY SAY THE DEMOCRATS WIN AND THE REPUBLICANS LOSE. MIKE HUCKABEE, OKAY, IS NOT GOING TO WANT TO CHANGE THE FACT IOWA STARTS THE PROCESS IN FOUR YEARS BECAUSE HE'S ALREADY GOT AN ORGANIZATION OUT THERE. ONE OF IOWA'S BIGGEST FRIENDS IN THIS FIGHT IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY LAST TIME WAS JOHN EDWARDS. HE'S ALREADY GOT AN ORGANIZATION. DO YOU THINK HE WANTED TO MOVE IT TO NEBRASKA?

Glover: THE OTHER THING THAT'S OFTEN OVERLOOKED, AND I THINK CYNICALLY IT SHOULDN'T BE, IS EVERY JOURNALIST -- EVERY POLITICAL JOURNALIST IN AMERICA HAS GOT AN IOWA ROLODEX. THEY DON'T WANT TO START ALL OVER BUILDING AN OHIO ROLODEX.

Henderson: PART OF IT IS INFRASTRUCTURE, THE PARTY. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT NOT A LOT HAS NOT BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT THE STATE OF NEVADA HAVING CAUCUSES IS BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO INFRASTRUCTURE IN TERMS OF THE PARTY, AND THEY REALLY HAD A HARD TIME RAMPING THINGS UP.

Glover: THERE'S A LOT OF FRUSTRATION IN NEVADA. THEY REALLY THOUGHT THEY WERE ONTO SOMETHING THIS TIME. THE CORRESPONDENT OUT THERE IS A GOOD FRIEND, AND SHE COMPLAINED ALMOST WEEKLY ABOUT THE FRUSTRATION OF NO ONE PAYING ATTENTION TO THEM.

Yepsen: WE HAVE TO BE CLEAR: THIS IS NOT CARVED IN STONE. EVERYBODY WANTS THIS FIRST-IN-THE-NATION THING. THE POLITICAL LEADERS IN IOWA IN THREE YEARS ARE GOING TO HAVE TO START FIGHTING FOR THIS, JUST LIKE THEY HAVE FOR THE LAST --

Glover: AND THERE WILL BE A RUN AT THEM. THERE'S NO QUESTION ABOUT IT.

Yepsen: THAT'S RIGHT. ABSOLUTELY.

Borg: THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENTS. ON OUR NEXT EDITION OF IOWA PRESS, WE'LL BE TALKING WITH IOWA GOVERNOR CHET CULVER, AS THE STATE GOVERNMENT IS PREPARING FOR CONVENING THE 2008 LEGISLATIVE SESSION. YOU'LL SEE OUR CONVERSATION WITH GOVERNOR CULVER AT THE USUAL 'IOWA PRESS' TIMES: 7:30 FRIDAY NIGHT, 11:30 SUNDAY MORNING. THANKS FOR JOINING US TODAY.

FUNDING FOR 'IOWA PRESS' WAS PROVIDED BY 'FRIENDS,' THE IOWA PUBLIC TELEVISION FOUNDATION; THE IOWA BANKERS ASSOCIATION... FOR PERSONAL, BUSINESS, AND COMMERCIAL NEEDS, IOWA BANKS HELP IOWANS REACH THEIR FINANCIAL GOALS; BY POLICY WORKS, A PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS FIRM OFFERING LOBBYING, GRASS-ROOTS, AND ADVOCACY SERVICES TO HELP YOU MEET YOUR STRATEGIC PUBLIC POLICY NEEDS. INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON THE WEB AT WWW.POLICYWORKSLLC.COM; AND BY THE ASSOCIATED GENERAL CONTRACTORS OF IOWA, THE PUBLIC'S PARTNER IN BUILDING IOWA'S HIGHWAY, BRIDGE, AND MUNICIPAL UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE.


Tags: Barack Obama campaign 2008 caucuses Iowa politics