Shaken and Stirred
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So, it looks like Kerry won (ugh), with Edwards second (interesting) and Dean well behind at third. Gephardt is out, which will be good for the race overall.

The early stories so far seem to be emphasizing Kerry's win and Dean's "setback" -- rather than the fact that Edwards made such a strong showing, which is what piques my interest most. Thinking about the field earlier today, Edwards was the only person I didn't have any strong negatives for to add to the list -- yet anyway.

The NYTimes has a good piece on where Iowa fits into the bigger picture, which is worth a read.

Tradition holds that a victory in Iowa can be worth a bounce of several percentage points in New Hampshire. But the two states have chosen different winners in all but 3 of the 13 competitive nominating contests since 1972. The only definitive development on Monday was the poor finish by Representative Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, which apparently signaled the end of his pursuit of the presidency and most likely of his political career.

This is an undeniably true paragraph, but it'll be interesting to see where the media try and push the race in the next few weeks. Will they like Dean again now that he's at least a little bit back to being the underdog and his wife showed up to urge voters to support her husband? Only time will tell. And Wes Clark's not even in this picture, but Michael Moore's endorsement has got to mean quite a bit to many voters on the left who both do and don't follow politics all that closely.

Very interesting.

Good night.

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