“The record turnout for the Iowa Caucus is a win for Democrats and for change. I want to congratulate Senator Barack Obama, whom I previously endorsed, for his exceptional first place finish.
“Voters in Iowa, and all over this nation, are hungry for change and recognized last night – and will continue to recognize – that Senator Obama is the true agent of change in this race.
“This nation needs his leadership, vision and commitment at this defining moment in history, and I will continue to do all I can to ensure he is elected President.”
Meanwhile, staffers for Hillary Clinton ushered reporters in California and elsewhere onto a conference call within the past hour with campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; and the New Hampshire and Nevada campaign chairs to stress how strong Clinton’s ground operations are in those states. They’re predicting wins in New Hampshire next Tuesday and in Nevada on Jan. 19; the most recent polls show Clinton ahead in both those states, but those polls were, of course, pre-Iowa…
UPDATE @ 6:50 P.M. FRIDAY: Tribune reporter Kelly Rayburn spoke this afternoon with Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Oakland; here are his thoughts on the Iowa caucus:
Assemblymember Sandré Swanson, D-Oakland, didn’t get what he wanted Thursday night when U.S. Sen. Barack Obama trounced former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Iowa caucuses.
But Swanson, a Clinton supporter, didn’t consider Iowa a complete loss either.
“It’s an exciting time to be a Democrat,” he said. “I’m supporting Hillary Clinton, but I’m excited about the fact that new people are getting involved in the process.”
Problem is those “new people,” young voters particularly, were key in delivering Obama his victory.
Swanson said Clinton can rebound.
“She’s in it for the long-haul,” he said. “This is an exciting race.”
If she loses?
“Whoever the nominee is, we have to ensure they win in November,” Swanson said. “I don’t think we can afford another four or eight years of Republican leadership.”
And that’s why Swanson was happy to see young voters participating.
“Whatever brings them to the polls,” he said. “I just think the fact they’re interested now gives us a larger majority in the fall.”