It's 30 years since the 1984 Iowa presidential caucuses, in which then dark horse Democratic presidential candidate Gary Hart broke though to the front ranks of presidential contenders with a "shock" second place finish.
Where will Obama be if his administration's conventional methods are not up to the task of cutting through controversies that are engendered, at least in part, by reliance on conventional methods? That's when things could get very interesting.
Eliot Spitzer and Kellyanne Conway are asked: a) why did Obama got a 5 point "bounce" after both Conventions -- personality? policy? Michelle-Bill?; b) was Romney's attack on Obama during a foreign crisis a blip or blunder? Then: Are we "better off?" Are Chicago teachers and kids?
The Pollyanna award goes to Ross Douthat of the New York Times, who thinks caucus-goers did themselves proud last night. "Presented with the weakest presidential field of any major party in a generation," he writes, "they made the best of a bad situation."