January 4, 2008

Today's Front Pages Analysis

Putting Iowa in perspective

By morning, if you didn’t know that Iowa Republicans had chosen Mike Huckabee for presidential nominee and Democrats picked Barack Obama, you must have been hibernating.

Today’s report singles out newspapers that took the story beyond what every TV channel and news Web site reported long before bedtime Thursday night.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen offered a punchy, visually pleasing package of stories under the headline, “And they’re off … turnout nearly double 2004.”

“Iowa has spoken,” said Los Angeles’ Daily News, adding “Results deal blow to Clinton, Romney.”

The Bakersfield Californian raised that emotional quotient with “SHOCKER/Iowa caucuses deliver upsets to leading candidates from both parties.”

“SHAZAM!” blared the Boston Herald, using a pop-culture reference to tout “‘Gomer’ Huckabee whips slick Mitt … as battle now moves to Granite State.”

Offering more insight, the Los Angeles Times revealed in a sidebar that “Obama’s call to ‘turn the page’ resonates more than Clinton’s claim of experience. Independents were key.”

Obama was the first African-American to win the Iowa caucus, as noted by the Santa Barbara News-Press with “Obama scores historic victory in Iowa,” but you had to go to the jump to find out what was historic about it.

The Chicago Sun-Times went further with “Obama’s commanding win in Iowa makes him the front-runner.”

Where there are winners, there are losers, and Ventura County Star in Ventura, Calif., added grim-faced photos of Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Biden, who left the race after poor showings in Iowa.

Washington, D.C.’s The Examiner had a headline sure to put a chill in Hillary Clinton’s morning coffee: “After drubbing, Clinton no longer ‘inevitable.’ ”

Take heart, Sen. Clinton: The Miami Herald offered the perspective that “History hasn’t favored early contest winners.”

Because every pairing needs a nickname, The Monitor in McAllen, Texas, offered “HUCKABAM!” The Monitor also had helpful sidebars on “Why it matters” and “What is a caucus?”

The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times told us “3 Things We Learned from Iowa.” No. 1 was “This race isn’t ending anytime soon.” We were afraid of that.

Patty Rhule is a project editor at the Newseum.

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