The country, or at least Iowa, wants change. Barack Obama took the Iowa Caucuses handily with 38% of the vote.
Here's the breakdown:
Soon after, Biden, Dodd and Gravel have all announced that they were dropping out of the race.
Obama: “They said this day would never come. They said our sights were set too high. They said this country was too divided, too disillusioned, to come together over a common purpose. You have done what the cynics said you couldn’t do. You have done what the state of New Hampshire can do in five days. You have done what America can do in this new year, 2008. We are one nation, we are one people, and the time for change has come.”
Edwards: “The one thing that’s clear with the results in Iowa tonight is the status quo lost and change won.”
Clinton: “We are going to have change, and that change is going to be a Democratic president in the White House in 2009.”
Clinton's quote was a response to the overwhelming numbers of registered Democratic voters that came out. MSNBC was just reporting 236,000+ voters (80% Dems) and counting turned out for the Democratic Caucus; over 100,000 more than in 2004 and more than twice the amount that came out to vote for Republicans.
On the Republican side, Huckabee easily kicked Romney in the magic underpants. Here's how it breaks down on the GOP side with 86% of the precincts reporting as of this writing:
Frederick of Hollywood 13%
Maverick McStraight Talk 13%
Ron "Read My Lips, No Taxes Period" Paul 10%
Duncan "Why Am I Still Running?" Hunter 0%
Huckabee: "A new day is needed in American politics, just like a new day is needed in American government... It starts here, but it doesn't end here. It goes all the way through the other states and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue."
I do kid, but it really is an historic moment when you stop and think that Democrats in Iowa, with a population that is 97% caucasian, voted for a man of color as their choice to lead the country. Talk about an about face for the staus quo!
Could this really be the start of something big? The turning of the page? Who knows what is going to happen in the weeks and months to come and how this will all play out?
As Arianna Huffington wrote: "...this moment may not last. But, for tonight, I am going to savor it -- and cross my fingers that it may stand as the day that fear as a winning political tactic died. Killed by an "unlikely" candidate -- as Obama called himself again and again -- who seized the moment, and reminded America of its youth and the optimism it longs to recapture. "
UPDATE: Gravel Still In The Race
Commenter Dan brought this to my attention:
MSNBC pundit Keith Olbermann has incorrectly declared that Sen. Gravel has dropped out of the race following the January third caucus in Iowa. This is not true, and Sen. Gravel is still an active member in this race. We are requesting that MSNBC and Keith Olbermann retract their statement, and issue an apology to the campaign for promoting blatantly false misinformation.I would expect a retraction if this is true and according to the Gravel website, it is. But the language is a little harsh, don't you think? "Promoting blatantly false MISinformation?" I'll let that one slide. It's not like Olbermann is the tool of the Republican devil, and with all due respect to Sen. Gravel, it's been over for him for a while now.
Again, Sen. Gravel has not dissolved his campaign, and has no intentions of doing so.