Bad Monikers and Worse in Iowa


Well, it's semi-official: A big win for Kerry (38 percent of delegates) and a strong finish for Edwards (32 percent), a stumble for Dean (18 percent), and a suicide solution for Gephardt (11 percent). There's a horse race going into next week's New Hampshire primary, with four strong candidates (add Clark, who didn't campaign in Iowa, to the three above) and one regional contender who may suck away a few percentage points from the frontrunners (Lieberman).

The oddest moments to me last night were: 1) Dean's bizarre, raging concession/victory speech (click here for an audio snippet), where he was screaming pretty much like a madman (no wonder the missus prefers staying at home); 2) Kerry's groan-inducing self-description as the "Comeback Kerry" (a few more bons mots like that and he'll be the "Go Away Kerry" faster than he can say "Jack Kennedy"); and 3) Gephardt's apocalyptic concession speech (in which he brought up his son's bout with cancer as a two-year-old as a way of putting "everything in perspective").

I should confess that I spent the evening flipping between the caucus coverage and the premiere of the new season of American Idol, an exercise in DIY cross-cutting that reflected worse on the presidential candidates than it did on the likes of "Scooter Girl" and "Scat Girl."