Fox calls it for McCain. MSNBC, too. --Isaac Chotiner
In case you missed it because of all the New Hampshire coverage, I encourage everyone to check out Nazila Fahti's New York Times "Memo From Tehran" about the worsening relationship betweeh President Ahmadinejad and Ayatollah Khamenei: There are numerous possible reasons for Mr. Ahmadinejad’s loss of support, but analysts here all point to one overriding factor: the United States National Intelligence Estimate last month, which said Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program in 2003 in response to international pressure.
It's hard to do justice to the mess that is Gloria Steinem's piece in today's Times but I'll give it a go. She begins: The woman in question became a lawyer after some years as a community organizer, married a corporate lawyer and is the mother of two little girls, ages 9 and 6.
From the NY Sun: Just hours after his wife got choked up on the campaign trail, President Clinton showed anger and frustration as he complained that the press has given a free pass to the nascent front-runner in the Democratic presidential contest, Senator Obama of Illinois. "It is wrong that Senator Obama got to go through 15 debates trumpeting his superior judgment and how he had been against the war in every year, enumerating the years, and never got asked one time--not once, 'Well, how could you say that when you said in 2004 you didn't know how you would have voted on the resolution?
My eyes are beginning to glaze over at the sight of polls, but some new numbers out in South Carolina are worth mentioning. I am generally skeptical of SurveyUSA's data, but Mike Huckabee's lead in their new poll can't go unmentioned. He leads Romney by 17 points, 36% to 19%. Giuliani is all the way down at fifth place with 9%. Perhaps even more embarrassingly, Fred Thompson is in 4th place with 11%. He's done. On the Democratic side, Obama is up 20 (Rasmussen has him ahead by 12).
Noam writes: For what it's worth, Mike and I ran into a Clinton insider last night who offered an additional twist on this argument: Not only does Clinton do better among registered Democrats than she does among independents and Republicans. But he thought registered Democrats would be especially inclined to give her a second look after Iowa and New Hampshire because they'd resent having their nominee chosen by a bunch of interlopers.
Reason's Kerry Howley had an op-ed in the Times yesterday which seemed pretty unconvincing. Here's Howley: If you’ve ever wondered why India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and the Philippines seem readier to elect women than does the United States, here’s your answer: Societies that value a candidate’s family affiliation, and therefore have a history of nepotistic succession, are often open to female leadership so long as it bears the right brand. Benazir Bhutto, Indira Gandhi and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, among many others, slashed through gender barriers on the strength of their family names.
Obama looks and sounds the best he has since the Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner. The crowd has him pumped up and he sounds extremely passionate. Update: TNR friend Charles Barkley writes to say that Obama winning Iowa is a "great start" and he hopes it leads to Obama "winning it all." And who wants to argue with Sir Charles? --Isaac Chotiner
For those who worried that Mitt Romney was out of bad sports metaphors, have no fear: "Just because you won the Silver medal in one event doesn't mean you can't come back and win the gold." Oh, right--he saved the Olympics! --Isaac Chotiner
Sounding as if he works for both Barack Obama and John Edwards, Edwards aide Joe Trippi just spun the results as a big win for change and a big win for those people who aren't named Clinton! No mention of the actual numbers, of course, but Trippi's message was simply that as long as Hillary isn't ahead, it's a win for Edwards. --Isaac Chotiner