Monday, January 7, 2008

Four Campaigns at a Crossroads

Tomorrow is the New Hampshire Primaries. (Unless, of course, you read this tomorrow. Then it's today that's the New Hampshire Primaries.) Candidates on both sides are hoping for a good showing or even a win for their respective parties, but I see two Democrats and two Republicans who absolutely need to win in New Hampshire.

- Hillary Clinton This one's a no-brainer. Hillary's third place in finish and meltdown in the national polls are signs of a campaign in serious trouble. In short, she needs to stop the bleeding that has been going on since she flubbed the question about whether she supported giving drivers licences to illegal immigrants. A win in New Hampshire will help her look like she's back in the hunt for the Democrat nomination.

- John Edwards This one isn't so much of a no-brainer, but it is no less important to consider. John Edwards needs a win in New Hampshire to stave off the notion that he's an also-ran with good hair. At first blush, Edwards's second place finish in Iowa is impressive...until you consider he also came in second in Iowa in 2004. A lot of his success in 2008 was sewn in 2004, but he didn't get the job done in 2004. If Edwards doesn't do well in New Hampshire, if not out and out win it, he will have to deal with people thinking he doesn't deserve to be in the top tier of candidates.

- Mike Huckabee Again, it's a seemingly odd pick, given that Huckabee came in first in the Iowa Caucuses for the Republicans. Whispers on the ground have said that he spent a lot of campaign money in Iowa, but he hasn't picked up that many endorsements. Not every state will have a load of evangelicals willing to vote for him, so he'll have to come up with a way to keep up the Iowa Caucus momentum. A win in New Hampshire will validate Huckabee's campaign in a way that a lower finish just won't be able to match.

- John McCain New Hampshire is McCain's last stand. He won New Hampshire in 2000 and self-destructed. Now in 2008, he's facing a tougher challenge because of Barack Obama. Sure, McCain's big with the independents, but so is Obama. The key to McCain's success is whether the independents will side with McCain, who came in fourth in the Iowa Caucuses on the Republican side, or Obama, who came in first in the Iowa Caucuses on the Democrat side. And let me tell you, if the independents think Obama is more viable than McCain, McCain will be out of the race shortly afterwards.

Four campaigns, two political parties, one goal. We'll see who's left standing after the dust settles in New Hampshire.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

BAGHDAD - Gunmen in five cars kidnapped between eight and 10 neighborhood patrol volunteers in Baghdad's northern Shaab district. Police said the volunteers had been manning a vehicle checkpoint.

BAGHDAD - Seven bodies were found around Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL - Two bodies were found in eastern Mosul, one of them handcuffed and blindfolded, police said.

LATIFIYA - Gunmen killed a neighborhood patrol volunteer at a checkpoint in Latifiya, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - Two suicide bombers struck an anti-Qaeda force in a Sunni Arab district of Baghdad, killing at least 14 people including the leader of the area's neighborhood patrols, police said.

BAGHDAD - A bomb hidden in a street vendor's cart killed four people and wounded 16 others in the Karrada district of central Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - A bomb stuck on the side of a parked car killed one civilian and wounded four, including two policemen, when it detonated near a police checkpoint on the outskirts of Baghdad's Shi'ite slum of Sadr City, police said.

BAGHDAD - Two separate roadside bombs wounded four people in Baghdad's Karrada district, police said.

NEAR HAWIJA - Gunmen killed a married couple and their son whilst they were in their car near Hawija, 70 km (45 miles) southwest of Kirkuk, police said.

SAMARRA - Gunmen killed a member of a neighborhood patrol working as a carpenter inside his shop in Samarra, 100 km (60 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

NEAR BAQUBA - Five bodies with gunshot wounds to the head were found in a town southeast of Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, police said. The bodies of the men were blindfolded and had their hands tied.

KIRKUK - A roadside bomb wounded one Iraqi soldier and one civilian on Sunday, in Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - Two roadside bombs killed a civilian and wounded two policemen in southern Baghdad's Jadiriya district, police said.

MOSUL - Police said a third church had been struck by a bomb in Mosul on Sunday. In all, three churches and a monastery were hit in Sunday's strikes on Christian religious buildings. One of the explosions wounded four people but no one was killed.

MOSUL - One person was killed and three others were wounded, including two children, when gunmen attacked a police station in Mosul on Sunday, police said.

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb killed one U.S. soldier and wounded three others when it struck their vehicle in southern Baghdad on Sunday, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - Six bodies were found in various districts across Baghdad on Sunday, police said.

MOSUL - A body was found in Mosul on Sunday, police said. The source said the victim was reported kidnapped days earlier.

BAGHDAD - Two U.S. helicopters opened fire, killing three militants just south of Baghdad on Saturday, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - U.S. forces said they had arrested a weapons trafficker for al Qaeda in an airborne assault on January 1, 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad. The man was described as the top person on the most wanted list of the U.S. brigade in the area.