Look at the numbers:
Obama took 38% of 239,000 votes cast on the Democratic side: 91,000
Huckabee took 34% of 120,000 votes cast on the Republican side, for about 40,000 votes.
Were this the national, this would be a landslide for Obama. And (as George Stephanopoulous said last night) a complete and overdue "repudiation" of the Bush/Cheney administration.
Even if you add together the votes from the top three GOP candidates, Obama all by himself would still win by about 5%.
This is the real news from Iowa. Obama's challengers -- Edwards and Hillary -- committed early, ran hard, and (in Hillary's case) had all the resources they could ask. Edwards in particular distinguished himself by forcing his rivals to define themselves on a number of difficult issues, particularly health care, and deserves great credit for forcing the Democrats to get serious.
But here's the point: it's possible Edwards or Hillary could win over a divided Republican field this year, but it would be a narrow victory. Edwards would bring out the right-wing attack machine (witness their focus on his hair) and Hillary would unite the right. Only Obama offers the chance at a landslide able to change the political landscape forever.
He knows this. He often hints in his stump speech of a desire to win big. He's been attacked by lefty bloggers lately for bringing right-wing framing into some discussions (such as Social Security). But clearly, his blend of charisma and strategy is working -- and to truly remake the politics in this country, isn't he right? It's bold, but really -- don't we need a landslide? A progressive Democratic landslide?
Get ready, folks. I hear a rumbling now...