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Only in America. After Iowa, the leading Presidential candidates are:




  • An African-American man. The real thing, with a father from Kenya.



  • A Southern Baptist preacher with a sense of humor and a populist streak.


Both Obama and Huckabee get two prizes for winning: a big boost and a big bullseye. Put on your Kevlar, gentlemen.



Who attacks Obama first, Clinton or Edwards? They face the same challenge: beat Obama somewhere.



Now Romney gets tag-teamed by McCain in New Hampshire. Mitt is toast.



Here are my other Iowa awards:




  • Best Speech: Obama, hands down. An elegant, eloquent address. Delivered with cool passion. Three letters: JFK.



  • Lamest Talking Points: At 12:30 a.m., Clinton’s campaign sent this out: “It’s a marathon, not a sprint.” True, but trite. As programmed and predictable as the candidate herself.



  • Worst Reach: Edwards, prompted by Elizabeth, thanking Iowa for second place. Yeah, thanks a lot, Iowa.



  • Best Interviewee: Huckabee has an affable, aw-shucks style that turneth aside a harsh word.



  • Biggest Villain: CEOs. All the Democrats attacked them. So did Huckabee. He said “people think I resemble a guy who works beside them, not the guy who laid them off.”



  • Best Choreography: Obama, again. Don’t the other campaigns know that the worst backdrop is a bunch of sad, sweaty, shifting supporters pretending to be happy? Especially a towering ex-President. Obama was alone at the podium, with the crowd at a distance behind him. He looked like a leader, not a politician.



  • Whitest Teeth: Did you check out the choppers on Chuck Norris? Were they reflecting off Huckabee’s bald spot?



  • Most Overdone Rant: Me. For the last time (until 2011), how can we let one-tenth of one percent of America’s voters – in a place like Iowa – decide our choice for President?


But thanks, Iowa, for the entertainment. Now, on to New Hampshire. And don’t get carried away yet. As Hillary would say, it’s a marathon….



A lot can happen: a scandal, a stumble, a stupid remark. Or, like Howard Dean, a scream. An overseas crisis. A domestic event. And don’t even bring up 1968.



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