On to New Hampshire

Barack Obama inspired record turnout and a surge of young people, and it's all good news for Democrats


Joan Walsh
January 4, 2008 7:55PM (UTC)

People were running up the icy sidewalk to hear Barack Obama's victory speech when I got there, as though they were late to a party they just heard about. If I'd gone by the gigantic HyVee Center earlier, to see where his post-caucus party was scheduled, I might have known in advance he was going to win big. It looked empty from the outside, but when we got in it was packed, all the staff had abandoned their stations to listen and we slipped in the press door just in time.

I admit to not seeing this coming. I'll be giving a lot of thought in the days to come as to what "this" is. I know the caucus experience is a strange throwback, but I was moved by it. Even Hillary Clinton supporters seemed awed by what Obama had done, as am I. I'm particularly inspired by the high turnout, especially of young voters. All the news tonight was bad for Republicans.

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Clearly, there's a long campaign ahead and tonight isn't everything. I think Glenn Greenwald captured better than I have why so many potential Obama supporters in the progressive blogosphere and beyond get strangely defensive of Clinton when they see her savaged by the Democrat-savaging mainstream media. But I think my friend Rekha Basu at the Des Moines Register captured how people who aren't still seething over the Clinton wars respond to Obama. Still, Clinton is a fighter, and this fight isn't over.

I'm off to New Hampshire in the morning and I'll catch up with the news, and all of you, as soon as I can.


Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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2008 Elections

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