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Huckabee and Obama win in Iowa -

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Huckabee and Obama win in Iowa

Broadcast: 04/01/2008

Reporter: Heather Ewart

In the United States the race for presidency has got off to a suprising start at the Iowa caucuses.
Baptiist minister Mike Huckabee stole the show for the Republicans, and African American Barack
Obama had a decisive win for the Democrats.

Transcript

HEATHER EWART, PRESENTER: To the United States now where the race for the presidency has got off to
both a spectacular and surprising start.

Mike Huckabee, a guitar playing Baptist minister from the deep south, has stolen the show for the
Republicans at the Iowa caucuses, regarded as the first real test of the candidates.

In the Democratic camp, African-American Barack Obama had a decisive win over John Edwards and the
favourite, Hillary Clinton.

Here's a taste of their victory speeches.

BARACK OBAMA, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE: We are choosing hope over fear.

(CHEERS)

We're choosing unity over division and sending a powerful message that change is coming to America.

(CHEERS)

MIKE HUCKABEE, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE: Tonight what we have seen is a new day in American politics. A
new day is needed in American politics, just like new day is needed in American government.

HEATHER EWART: Well, with still 10 months to go before election day, what can we read into the Iowa
results? A short while ago I spoke to Dennis Goldford, professor of politics at Drake University in
Iowa.

(To Dennis Goldford) Dennis Goldford, let's start with the Democrats. Was this a very decisive
result for

Barack Obama? Even though it's the very beginning of the race?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: This is indeed a very decisive result for Barack Obama. This validates his
candidacy.

John Edwards had planned to be the alternative to Hillary Clinton, who was considered originally to
be the principal or dominant candidate and Obama burst on the scene as an alternative to Hillary
Clinton. The question was, could he validate that at the polling place? And he certainly did so at
the Iowa caucuses.

HEATHER EWART: Why do you think he's done so well? Is there an anti-establishment push on here?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: A lot of Democrats love Hillary Clinton but they're not sure that she can go the
distance against the Republicans. The Democrats are very hungry for a victory in November 2008 but
they want to bet on the right horse. They want to make sure they have their strongest candidate so
they're very concerned about electability. Hillary Clinton talks a lot about change, but in many
ways she sounds as though she's running for Bill Clinton's third term and Democrats are worried
that this would be back to the 1990s instead of on to the future. Obama characterises himself as
the candidate for the future.

HEATHER EWART: Do you detect a sense of excitement building around him?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: Certainly, very much so with Obama. There's excitement among the Democrats
generally, and they really could support any of these top three but Obama is bringing in a lot of
new people. Entrance polls suggest that 20 per cent of the Democrats who caucused tonight certainly
were independents rather than Democrats themselves and Barack Obama got fully 41 per cent of those
new participants in the Democratic Caucus.

HEATHER EWART: Were you surprised he did so well?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: Yes, I was. The Clinton and Edwards campaigns have had tremendous organisations.

Obama's organisation was good but it was a novice organisation. It relied a lot on young people who
have tremendous enthusiasm but don't always have the best discipline and focus. So I think it was a
surprising win for Obama but it was a very well constructed win.

HEATHER EWART: Well, Hillary Clinton is certainly sounding as though she's in for the long haul and
stressed that in her speech. Let's take a look at some of that speech at the end of the Iowa count
tonight.

DENNIS GOLDFORD: This is a great night for Democrats. We have seen an unprecedented turn out here
in Iowa and that is good news because today we're sending a clear message, that we are going to
have change and that change will be a Democratic President in the White House of 2009.

HEATHER EWART: Do you think Hillary Clinton would be feeling pretty flat and disappointed right
now?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: Well, she's certainly spinning the results in a favourable way. She may feel
certainly dejected and disappointed but I think this also fires her up to compete even harder. I
mean, she's a tough task master and she will meet with her campaign members and officials and
strategists and say, "OK, what do we need to do to deal with the Obama challenge?"

HEATHER EWART: Hillary Clinton's campaign did way out-spend Obama's in this first primary. What
message, what lesson can be drawn from that, do you think?"

DENNIS GOLDFORD: You need enough money to compete but you don't need more money to compete.

Money fuels the campaign car, but if the car itself has problems in its design, all the fuel in the
world won't take you very far.

HEATHER EWART: And of course she has New Hampshire to go, not too many days away. Her husband,
Bill, became the "Comeback Kid", so what's your gut instinct on how the Democratic race is going to
pan out?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: Oh, this is a dynamic process that changes. For example, as you said, Bill Clinton
was the Comeback Kid in New Hampshire. Bob Dole did well in 1988 in the Iowa caucuses and Vice
President Bush in New Hampshire beat him pretty thoroughly. Mike Huckabee won this time but could
well lose significantly in New Hampshire so it's a dynamic process and we go stage to stage by
going State to State.

I think it's impossible at this point to predict. What the caucuses have done on the Democratic
side is winnow the field. Senators Biden and Dodd have dropped out, and that simplifies matters.

HEATHER EWART: On the question of former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee, can he last the distance
in the Republican race?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: I don't think he'll do that well in New Hampshire, unless there's some sudden
surprising change in New Hampshire Republicans. But South Carolina comes up very soon as an
important primary, and at least half the state or more are evangelicals, Southern Baptists and the
like, and Huckabee demonstrates great strength there. At the same time, John McCain has the support
of one of the state's senators, Lindsay Graham, and Matt Romney had been competitive in South
Carolina, it remains to be seen how that will go there. So Huckabee has his work cut out for him in
South Carolina but it could be fertile ground for him.

HEATHER EWART: So do you think he may have a lot of trouble continuing to sell himself in states
where there isn't such evangelical support around?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: I do. Huckabee is viewed with suspicion, if not alarm, by a lot of establishment
conservatives in the Republican party. They either don't like his policies, he's too much of an
economic populist for them, they don't like his inexperience, Republicans are national security
hawks and they don't see him as having any experience whatsoever there, or they simply fear that he
would lead them to electoral disaster.

HEATHER EWART: With President Bush's popularity slumping to new depths it seems almost every day,
do you think a Democratic victory is guaranteed?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: Absolutely not. Democrats have a remarkable capacity to snatch defeat from the
jaws of victory. Republicans have an excellent campaign machine, once they unite on a candidate,
unless they pick a divisive candidate through this process, such as a Governor Huckabee for them or
even perhaps a Mayor Giuliani. But Republicans and their allied, groups, the independent groups who
spend money on campaign advertising and campaign materials have a tremendously well-oiled modern
political party and campaign machine at their service. Democrats tend to creep along and you wonder
sometimes how they accomplish anything. There's an old phrase by the satirist Will Rogers, he was
asked once, "Are you a member of any organised political party?" Rogers said, "No, I'm not a member
of any organised political party, I'm a Democrat." And so much of that does continue today.

HEATHER EWART: Is the United States ready for a female president or a black president?

DENNIS GOLDFORD: That's the big question everybody asks. My own belief with regard to Hillary
Clinton is if she does not get the nomination, or gets the nomination and is not elected president,
it won't be because she's female, it'll be because she's Hillary Clinton. She carries a lot of
baggage after being on the national scene for 15, almost 16 years. She has very high negatives
among a lot of people, even in the Democratic party, and especially among Republicans. So she'd
face a very tough road which is why some Democrats wonder about her electability. For Barack
Obama... Obama's not really running in terms of the politics of identity, as we call it here. He's
not running as THE black candidate, he's running, in some sense, in a way that attempts to
transcend that kind of identity politics. As he said, there aren't red state Americans and blue
state Americans, there's simply Americans and so he's attempting to fashion some sort of message of
unity, the sort of message that George Bush campaigned on in 2000 before his policies became very
divisive.

HEATHER EWART: Well it's clearly going to be a very interesting race. Dennis Goldford, thanks for
taking the time to join us at the end of a very long day.

DENNIS GOLDFORD: You're very welcome.