Iowa’s Democrats have shaken up the race for their party’s presidential nomination.
Massachusetts Senator John Kerry’s campaign was in the doldrums for much of 2003, but Caucus Night 2004 ended with Kerry topping the charts, and he thanked Iowans for helping hm become the “come back Kerry.” Kerry said the New England Patriots won on Sunday, and on Monday, “this New Englander won and you’ve sent me on the way to the Super Bowl.” Kerry said “not so long ago” his campaign was written off, but Iowans listened, “stood the ground” and on Caucus Night stood with him so he could “take on George Bush.” Kerry asked an unknown woman he met in a barn — an Iowan who handed him a four-leaf clover — to call his campaign office so he could thank her, as Kerry said “this worked.”AUDIO
North Carolina Senator John Edwards finished in a strong second. Edwards said he started his Iowa campaign a year ago with the belief that “the politics of hope could overcome the politics of cynacism.” He said the people of Iowa, by voting for him, “confirmed that they believe in a positive, uplifting vision to change America.”AUDIO
Former front-runner Howard Dean, the former Governor of Vermont, left Iowa with a distant third place finish, but his speech last night was anything but a concession, with Dean at one point screaming “yeah” and sounding a bit like he was driving cattle to New Hampshire rather than a newly-challenged campaign. Dean said two years ago, no one would have predicted he’d finish third. “I would have liked to come in first tonight, and so would you,” Dean told supporters. “But you know what, I want to thank the people of Iowa…this is a wonderful, wonderful state with wonderful, wonderful people,” Dean said. AUDIO
Missouri Congressman Dick Gephardt’s fourth place finish in the Caucuses finished his campaign. Gephardt said “this didn’t come out the way we wanted” but he said he’d been through tougher fights in his life. Gephardt told supporters when he watched his two-year-old son fight terminal cancer, it put everything “into perspective.” Gephardt told supporters that “life will go on” because his campaign was about the future and “the America ahead of us.” Ahead for Gephardt is a formal announcement at one o’clock today in St. Louis that he’s ending his campaign. AUDIO
Here’s how the delegate tally stacked up: Kerry finished last night with 38 percent; Edwards followed with 32 percent. Dean was back in third with 18 percent and Gephardt in fourth with 11 percent.