Corn subsidy caucus voters had their say in Iowa and now it’s round two of “I’m running a positive campaign, but you suck,” aka the presidential primary process. An active base of evangelicals in Iowa stunned the party by um, blessing Mike Huckabee with 34% of the vote while rejecting corporate rep Mitt Romney and completely ignoring the FauxNews and military-industrial complex favorite, Rudolph “don’t call me Hess” Giuliani. Those voting in Iowa’s Democratic caucuses were fairly evenly split between two guys and a girl, but the night’s big winner, Barack Obama, earned more votes (nearly 90,000) than the top 3 Republican candidates combined.

Personally, I love each party’s fringe candidates, Democrat Dennis Kucinich and Republican Ron Paul. They were featured on Bill Moyers Journal that I caught Saturday night between 2 and 3am. Both are thinkers and have fundamental beliefs that defined each of their party’s long before corporate interests hoarded most of the Donkeys and Elephants. You can catch the transcript here.

Now the action is occurring just a few miles north of here in a more progressive state anxious to cement its image after losing face in 2003. It will be interesting to see which candidate receives the large segment of “Independent” NH voters. Those Independents favored Republican John McCain in 2000 and Barack Obama last week in Iowa. With “change” (from 7 years of Bush-Cheney) the emerging theme of 2008, I predict Mr. Obama will garner most Independent votes, win the Granite, and position himself to make history.

The Republican “establishment” candidates are an embarrassment to our country. For Thompson, Romney, McCain and Giuliani to smirk and laugh at another candidate (Ron Paul) shows a complete lack of respect to the American people who should be allowed to hear the man’s views, even if the vast majority don’t know what the hell he’s talking about because he actually provides details and not just sleepy slogans and “Islamo-facist” rhetoric. Aside from Dr. Paul, Mike Huckabee seems upright, but with the corporate sponsored Republican machine against him, he’ll struggle. I expect Mitt Romney is pretty, rich and energetic enough to win the Republican nomination, even if John McCain wins in NH.

The general election is the Democrat’s to lose. The country is fatigued by Bush-Cheney and generally is hearing more of the same out of the Republicans. Mr. Obama is building a wave of youthful hope that recalls the optimism of JFK’s presidency in the early sixties. My hope is that Hillary Clinton acknowledges this early and doesn’t help Republicans by tearing down Mr. Obama in a summer long dirty war of attrition just because she’s technically still in the race. Regardless of what new political makeup she may apply, it will never paint her the face of change that is Barack Obama.