As predicted (read here), Team Clinton has started talking down the importance of Iowa. On ABC with George Stephanopoulous, Clinton said that she never really expected to surpass Barack Obama and John Edwards, who had double-digit leads over her in the local polls for the Democratic caucuses, to be held there on January 3. On Iowa, Clinton now says “I’m not expecting anything.”
Memo to pundits, political junkies and reporters: with less than three weeks to go to the Iowa caucuses, expect the Clinton campaign to start downtalking the importance of Iowa while beefing up New Hampshire. The reasoning: the Clintons were never that strong in Iowa, but New Hampshire has always been the ‘litmus state’ for any Clinton campaign since 1992. And contrary to Iowa, losing that state in the primary is not an option.
He’ll never admit it until the proper time comes — which could be any time of his choosing — but John Edwards in the back of his mind must know by now that he’s not going to win the nomination to be the Democratic Party’s candidate for the US presidency in 2008. In Iowa, New Hampshire and even South Carolina, Edwards has fallen back to third place in the polls. If he comes in third in Iowa, his entire strategy will have failed and he will have no other option than to drop out. And so the $1 million question then is: who will John Edwards endorse? Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?