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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee Win Big in Iowa

Aired January 3, 2008 - 22:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: A huge and dramatic win tonight for Barack Obama on the Democratic side, for Mike Huckabee on the Republican side.
Welcome back to CNN Election Center. I'm Wolf Blitzer. We're reporting all the dramatic developments from the Iowa caucuses.

Take a look at this. Ninety-two percent of the Democratic precincts have now officially reported, Barack Obama atop with 37 percent. We project he will win. Edwards and Clinton, they are fighting fiercely right now for second place, so far, 30 percent. Ninety-two percent of the precincts have reported.

On the Republican side, 72 percent of the precincts have reported. We have projected that Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, he will win, 34 percent so far, 25 percent for Mitt Romney, who spent a whole lot more money in Iowa than Mike Huckabee did. Fred Thompson and John McCain are fighting for third place, 14 percent, 13 percent respectively. Seventy-two percent of the precincts, the Republican precincts, have already reported.

Barack Obama, the winner on the Democratic side, Mike Huckabee the winner on the Republican side.

Let's get a little closer look at how this all unfolded.

Jeff Toobin is picking up this part of the story -- Jeff.

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, Wolf, this is an extraordinary across-the-board victory for Barack Obama. Look at all the counties he's won so far. He's won all five of the biggest counties in -- in Iowa.

He's won in Des Moines. He's won in Cedar Rapids. He's won out here in western Iowa, which is really one of the most extraordinary things of all, because this is the part of the -- Iowa that's represented by Steve King, perhaps the most conservative congressman in the entire United States. Hardly any black people live there. It's on the South Dakota border. Barack Obama has won there as well.

Now, what about the race for second? Here, the way the votes are counted in -- in Iowa on the Democratic side is, they never release the vote totals of people's votes. What they do is, they take the votes cast in each precinct, in each caucus, and turn them into delegate equivalents for a state convention.

And this is where things stand now. Barack Obama has 845 delegate equivalents. John Edwards has 681. Hillary Clinton has 672. So, John Edwards is slightly ahead. And there's another potentially good sign for John Edwards, because the one place we know votes are outstanding is here in Johnson County. And that's Iowa City. That's the site of the University of Iowa, which is disproportionately young.

Obviously, a lot of people who go to a university are young. And, as we know from our exit poll data, that is an area where Hillary Clinton has been doing badly. So, if, in fact, the only votes outstanding, or most of them, come from Iowa City, come from Johnson County, that would suggest that John Edwards will hang on to this very slim lead for second place, and -- and Clinton will finish third.

But we're not projecting that. We have not guaranteed it. But Edwards is ahead. And Hillary Clinton's running out of votes. There are less than 10 percent out there -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Jeff Toobin, thank you very much.

A fierce battle under way for second place among the Iowa Democrats.

Let's walk over and get some analysis.

Anderson Cooper's got the best political team on television.

ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Not only the best political team, this magic pie chart. I just want to show it to -- here to our viewers, see if that works.

There you go. So, here you have Obama, 37 percent.

Let's make sure this works.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: There we go. Here we go.

(LAUGHTER)

COOPER: Obama 37 percent, Clinton 30 percent, Edwards 30 percent.

This race for second place very important right now, Gloria.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, it's very important.

I mean, Hillary Clinton does not want to come in third place, because, if she comes in third place, that's so much more of a hurdle for her in terms of going to New Hampshire. I mean, she really didn't want to lose to Obama. She certainly doesn't want to come in third place to him. And, so, it's going to be -- make her hurdles even larger.

Having said that, however, don't ever count the Clintons out. The comeback kid can have the comeback wife. COOPER: David Gergen?

DAVID GERGEN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it will be a quiet plane ride out there to New Hampshire, as someone said, for the Clinton.

But, you know, it's an interesting question now. What does she do about Bill Clinton campaigning in New Hampshire? How does she now -- the next four or five days, I think the spotlight's going to be on her. How does she make her comeback?

And I would think, rather than having her do it -- him do it, that she's going to have to do something pretty emotional. She's going to have to -- because he, Obama, is touching the emotions of the voters. That's clearly how he won. He's inspired people.

She's really a good comeback person, but she's going to have to do something which I think connects with people emotionally in order to get back in this, because the independents went heavily for Obama, as we all know now, in Iowa.

What I have also found very interesting in the exit -- or the entrance polls, Anderson, is, even among women -- according to these entrance polls, Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton among women. That's remarkable.

COOPER: Remarkable because -- among women of all ages?

GERGEN: Well, it doesn't distinguish. It's hard to know that -- those internals.

But you look at -- he won about 35 percent to 30 percent for her among women. And that was her core. And it speaks to this ambivalence we have all experienced talking to women around the country. There are a lot of women who are fiercely for her. And there are other women who either are hostile, or very skeptical, or wary, or they just don't like her, for one reason or another.

It's really, really interesting, though, that Obama won the women.

JOHN KING, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: And he is more poised as a candidate, Anderson, and he has a personal connection, which, from everything we have seen tonight, matters so far.

We will see if it matters in New Hampshire. Bill Clinton was the comeback kid in 1992. Worth noting, he finished second in New Hampshire. He didn't win. But he was the comeback kid because he campaigned 20 hours a day, tirelessly.

I remember going in with -- into pizza places that were still open. He would keep them open even later, into veterans halls, into...

BORGER: Because he wanted to eat.

KING: Well, he wanted...

(LAUGHTER)

KING: And he wanted to talk somebody into voting for him, and, yes, eat.

(LAUGHTER)

KING: He would go -- I remember going into a tiny little bar where he played Patsy Cline on the jukebox, and then he worked every single person in that bar.

I was in the back of the room when he gave this remarkable speech.

(CROSSTALK)

KING: He could barely speak. "If you stay with me, I will stay with you until the last dog dies."

(CROSSTALK)

KING: She doesn't campaign like that. She doesn't have that personal connection.

COOPER: So, what does she do, to David Gergen's point?

KING: She has to hope. There are a lot of people up in New Hampshire -- I just spent a lot of time there -- who are for her because of their relationship with him.

It is not a personal bond. And it began to crack. And some of them say they got threatening phone calls. If you go to work for Obama, you can't do that.

Will those people who signed on with her because of the affinity for him, will they stay now, and will they work the extra hard they have to do? It's only five days.

(CROSSTALK)

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: And, Anderson, even the Obama folks, I mean, know what they are dealing with here.

I just got off the phone with Steve Hildebrand. He's the deputy campaign manager for Obama. He said, they're hugging. They're elated. They're shocked. But he also said: There's a protracted fight ahead. We have won one state. We have got 49 to go. And he says, look, we have got, in the next 33 days, at least 23 contests. This is going to be a long battle. We're excited. We're thrilled about this, but we know this is going to be a very, very hard fight.

BORGER: You know, and I think the question, to David's question -- the point to David's question, what does she do, can she change her message yet again? Can she change herself yet again? She ran as an incumbent, talking about change. Well, that didn't work. She ran on competency, but she was beaten by inspiration. And what does she do now? Because she's running against inspiration. And that's kind of a hard thing to compete against right now. So, they have got a lot of thinking to do in that campaign.

GERGEN: Right. I think that's right.

And you're going to see some polls now between now and New Hampshire which could influence this, Obama vs. XYZ on the Republican side. He will do pretty well in those polls. She may not -- would do as well.

So, I think, definitely, it's a big fight ahead. I think she's very resilient, very big history of that. But I think how you do it is going to be a conundrum for them.

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: I want to bring -- bring some of our political contributors into this discussion.

Donna Brazile, if you were advising Hillary Clinton, I mean, what do you do, particularly with South Carolina coming up? A lot of African-Americans in South Carolina. How do you deal with that?

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, first of all, I think she must change her message.

She has to become more in synch with what voters vote. They want change. I also think that she needs to tell voters that you can trust me. I will work to earn your trust. I have the experience. You can trust that I can make the change.

I don't count Senator Clinton out of this race, because she has strong institutional support in New Hampshire. She still has a great deal of resources that she can bring to bear in some of those early states. This is still a very tough fight for Obama as we look down the road.

COOPER: And, as we look at this chart, with this really neck- and-neck race right now, 30 percent for -- let's try to hold up the chart again -- 30 percent for John Edwards, 30 percent for Senator Clinton, is it -- does it matter who comes -- I mean, is it very important that she come in second? Or...

BRAZILE: Well, I -- I don't think so.

And, look, at this point, John Edwards knows that it's an uphill fight. He needs resources. He needs money. He doesn't have a strong organization on the ground in New Hampshire and in some of the other key states. For now, Hillary Clinton can live another day. She can go on, reboot her campaign.

But, right now, Obama will have the momentum. He has the message. And let me just say, my friend Suzanne mentioned Steve Hildebrand. Paul Tubes (ph) was the wonder person on the ground who put together this incredible organization that produced this huge turnout among Iowa Democrats.

COOPER: Jack?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Two hundred and twelve thousand people showed up at these caucuses tonight.

COOPER: That is amazing.

(CROSSTALK)

CAFFERTY: One hundred and twenty-five thousand last time around. And they said, you know, if the turnout started to get into these numbers like this, that Barack Obama was likely to be the beneficiary. And he was.

BILL BENNETT, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I have got to go to bed and do a radio show in the morning.

But let me say this. One headline out of this, it seems to me, is Democrat field narrows. It's down to two people, I think. It's down to Obama and Clinton, maybe Edwards. But he's got the problems that Donna was talking about.

Republican field broadens. There are five people in this race. You -- Mike Huckabee, obviously. Mitt Romney, if he wins in New Hampshire, is still in it. John McCain is surging. Fred Thompson, it looks like he's coming in third. Everybody was saying, if he came in fourth, he was out. He's coming in third. He's got a tough decision.

COOPER: Yes, what -- if we can get the Republican chart up on this...

BENNETT: Yes.

COOPER: ... let's take a look at that.

But what does Fred Thompson do now?

BENNETT: I think he stays. I think he probably campaigns in South Carolina a lot, probably some in -- in Michigan.

I don't think you have got a brokered convention, but you still have five people vying for this -- for this nomination. And we will see what happens in New Hampshire. I'm not sure it's going to eliminate anybody, unless Romney loses New Hampshire. He loses New Hampshire, then I think he's gone.

BRAZILE: And, for right now, this is not a good sign for the Clinton campaign. They put a lot of effort into Iowa. They had support from the unions, support from the women's organization. Clearly, they did not get out their votes.

COOPER: I want to bring the conversation back over here, John King, Gloria Borger. Fred Thompson?

KING: You asked the Fred Thompson question. I have been e- mailing with two of his senior advisers as you're back there. And they don't have a schedule tomorrow. They won't tell us where he's going to be, which is leading to this speculation, well, is he going to get out? He doesn't have much money.

But I was just assured by two people who say they have spoken to him tonight that his intention at the moment is to stay in. And the plan was to be in the New Hampshire debates this weekend, but, as Bill noted, campaign in South Carolina and try to become still the conservative alternative. That has been his campaign.

When you have Mike Huckabee emerging, it's a tough message for Fred Thompson. So, as we speak at this moment, they say their intention is to stay in the race, go to the debates in New Hampshire, focus on South Carolina. But it's worth keeping an eye on, not only over the next 24 hours, but over the next two or three hours.

One more point, I think, on the Republican race that gets fascinating -- you now will have a three-man race in New Hampshire. Huckabee will get a bounce. It's not a great state for him ideologically, but he will get a bounce. And he has this personal bond.

So, in a three-way race in New Hampshire, what happens? And is Mike Huckabee willing to attack John McCain and vice versa? They have been the friends, if you will, saying, Mitt Romney is running this nasty, negative campaign. Well, what happens now? Will Mike Huckabee and John McCain engage?

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: Well, John McCain, just on our air -- or we heard his speech, where he said to -- to the crowds...

(CROSSTALK)

COOPER: ... in New Hampshire, negative campaigning is not working.

BORGER: That was really, really smart, because he knows -- he was inoculating himself, essentially -- he knows that Romney is going to take a punch at him. And, so, he said, whoa, wait a minute, American public. Understand that I'm going to be attacked, and that's not a good thing. So, when you see it, just know what it is.

KING: The question is, does Romney recalibrate, or does he keep running the negative ads? Because the guys who are winning are the guys who say, I can work with Democrats. Yes, I'm a Republican, in McCain and Huckabee's sense, or, yes, I'm a Democrat, in Obama's sense.

But the guys who are doing well are the guys who are saying, look, I can work, I'm willing to work and make compromises and reach across the aisle.

Romney had to do that as governor of a Democratic state. Will he recalibrate his message and say, I can get things done, too?

COOPER: We have got some live campaign events. Let's go to Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, guys, thanks very much.

And we just want to show our viewers what's going on. This is Barack Obama headquarters. They're getting excited. They're pumped. They're doing the wave out there. Take a look at this. "Change we can believe in," that's their motto. We expect Barack Obama to be speaking to those supporters momentarily. We're going to go there live.

Look at this picture, a lot more subdued. This is Clinton headquarters in Des Moines right now -- their motto, "Ready for change, ready to lead." We expect Hillary Clinton to be walking in there and speaking to her campaign supporters pretty soon.

There, you see John Edwards' campaign headquarters in Des Moines as well. You see him walking in with his family right now. We're going to be listening to John Edwards as he makes his statement. It's very close for second and third place among the Democrats right now.

We know -- we know that Barack Obama has emerged as the winner of the Democratic caucuses in Iowa, but there's a battle for second place under way between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. It's very, very close. It's an important battle symbolically who's going to come in second in Iowa.

As soon as these candidates start -- start addressing their supporters -- and it looks like John Edwards is getting ready to be first -- we will listen in. We will hear what he has to say, what Mrs. Edwards -- she's about to speak. Presumably, she's going to introduce her husband. We will see what she has to say. And then we will see where we go from here.

A big night for these three Democratic presidential candidates, all of them, all of them getting ready to address their supporters. And as we await the start of this, maybe for a moment, we will show you the numbers.

Actually, let's listen in.

ELIZABETH EDWARDS, WIFE OF FORMER SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS: Don't worry, You only have about 15 seconds of me.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We love you, Elizabeth!

E. EDWARDS: Thank you all.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) E. EDWARDS: Thank you.

In this election, we had a candidate who had a message and was a messenger of such determination and such spirit that, despite the fact that he was outspent six to one, that message got through.

I'm -- I'm glad to introduce the next president of the United States and the second place winner in Iowa, John Edwards.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

JOHN EDWARDS (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: Thank you.

Thank you, Elizabeth, very much.

The one thing that's clear from the results in Iowa tonight is the status quo lost and change won.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: And now we move on. We move on from Iowa to New Hampshire and to the other states to determine who's best suited to bring about the change that this country so desperately needed, because what we have seen here in Iowa is, we have seen two candidates who thought their money would make them inevitable.

But what the Iowa caucus-goers have shown, is, if you're willing to have a little backbone, to have a little courage, to speak for the middle class, to speak for those who have no voice...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: ... if you're willing -- if you're willing to stand up to corporate greed, that message and the American people are unstoppable, no matter how much money is spent, no matter how much...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: And we are -- we are so proud of this cause.

But I want all of us to remember tonight, while we're having all these political celebrations, that, just a few weeks ago in America, Nataline Sarkisyan, a 17-year-old girl who had a -- needed a liver transplant, and whose insurance company decided they wouldn't pay for her liver transplant operation, finally, her nurses spoke up on her behalf. Her doctors spoke up on her behalf.

Ultimately, the American people spoke up on her behalf by marching and picketing in front of her health insurance carrier. And, finally, the insurance carrier caved in and agreed to pay for her operation. And, when they notified the family just a few hours later, she died. She lost her life.

Why? Why?

James Lowe was born 51 years ago in the United States of America with a severe cleft palate, which kept him from being able to speak. And he lived for 50 years in the greatest, most prosperous nation on the planet, not able to speak because he didn't have health-care coverage and couldn't pay for a simple operation.

Why?

Doug Bishop, who's actually behind me tonight, Doug and his family worked at the Maytag plant in Newton -- Newton, Iowa. For generations, for generations, they worked. They sacrificed. They did everything you're supposed to do in America.

And, then recently, this plant closed, and the jobs went overseas. Why? The reason is because corporate greed has got a stranglehold on America. And, unless and until we have a president in the proud tradition of Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, who has a little backbone, who has some strength, who has some fight, who's willing to stand up to these people, nothing will change.

We will never have the America that all of us dream of. The promise of America, which has been available to so many of us, will not be available to our children and our grandchildren. And I take this very personally.

I watched my grandmother, who I loved dearly, work year after year after year in the mills. And we lived in the same neighborhood. She would cook for us, leave the house, walk her way to the mill, work her shift, and come back home and take care of us again.

My grandfather, who was partially paralyzed, would go to work the graveyard shift in that mill and come back in the morning, when we would have breakfast together.

My father, who's here with me tonight, worked 36 years in the mills -- hard, tedious work, hard, tedious work. Why did he do it? Why did he struggle and sacrifice? Why did your parents and grandparents struggle and sacrifice? They did it so that you could have a better life. My parents did it so that I could have a better life.

And we, all of us, to whom the torch has been passed, we carry an enormous responsibility. And that responsibility transcends politics and transcends elections. It's our responsibility to ensure that we leave America better than we found it, that we give our children a better life than we have had.

And this is what I see in America today. I see an America where, last year, the CEO of one of the largest health insurance companies in America made hundreds of millions of dollars in one year. I see an America where ExxonMobil's profits were $40 billion just a couple of years ago, record amounts, record profits, all of that happening at the same time that this picture of America emerges. Tonight, 47 million Americans will go to bed knowing that, if their child gets sick, they will have to go to the emergency room and beg for health care. Tomorrow morning, women will go to their doctor and be diagnosed with breast cancer, just like Elizabeth was. But, unlike Elizabeth, they will have no health care coverage.

And, as a result, they know that they can't go to the emergency room and get chemotherapy. What are they supposed to do? What are they supposed to do? You can literally see the fear and terror in their eyes.

Tomorrow morning, 37 million of our own people will wake up literally worried about feeding and clothing their own children.

I went to a shelter here in Des Moines just a few weeks ago, where they took single moms with their children who had no place to live. And I said, so, do you ever have to turn people away?

Yes, a few months ago, they had to turn 70 to 75 families away in one month. And I said, these are moms with kids -- yes -- some of them with three or four children. And I said, well, where did they go when you sent them away? They went back to the street, back to their homes.

Thirty-five million people in America went hungry last year in the richest nation on the planet. And, tonight, 200,000 men and women who wore our uniform proudly and served this country courageously as veterans will go to sleep under bridges and on grates.

We're better than this. The United States of America is better than this.

And what happened tonight is, the Iowa caucus-goers said, we want something different. We are going to stand up.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: We are going to rise up. We're going to create an America that all of us believe in, because the truth is, when we speak up, when we speak up for James Lowe and the millions like him who live in the darkness, when we speak up against corporate greed and for the 37 million Americans who live in poverty, when we speak up for single moms who have no place to live with their children, when we speak up for hundreds of thousands of veterans who served this country proudly and are homeless, with no place to live at night, when we do that together, as a nation -- and Iowa caucus-goers did it tonight -- when we do it, America is a better place.

It says something about who we are. It says something about our character, because, when we do, America rises up. America becomes what it's capable of being.

And what began -- and it is not over -- what began tonight in the heartland of America is , the Iowa caucus-goers said, enough is enough. We are better than this. We are going to bring the change that this country needs. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: And you have created and started a wave of change, a tidal wave of change, that will travel from here to New Hampshire, to Nevada, to South Carolina, all across this country...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: ... because we know the torch has been passed to us. We stand proudly on the shoulders of our parents and grandparents and all those generations who came before us. And we take our responsibility seriously.

And this tidal wave of change that began tonight in Iowa and that will sweep across America, when that wave is finished, when it is done, every one of us are going to be able to look our children in the eye and say, we did what our parents did for us and what our grandparents did for us, which is, we left America better than we found it, and we gave our children a better life than we had.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

J. EDWARDS: That's what this is about. That's what this change is about.

Continue on. This march of change continues on.

God bless you. Thank you for everything you have done. Stay with us in this fight. We are in this fight together. Thank you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

BLITZER: All right, so there you have it, John Edwards making it clear he is by no means dropping out. Now we move on, he says. He is moving on to New Hampshire, South Carolina, and beyond.

We will see how he does there -- a powerful, powerful speech by John Edwards.

We're also waiting momentarily to hear from Hillary Clinton. She will be addressing her supporters at her headquarters out in Des Moines.

Barack Obama, the winner -- the winner -- of tonight's Democratic caucuses, we're waiting to hear from him as well.

As soon as Hillary Clinton starts speaking, we will bring it to you live. We will bring Barack Obama's address to you live as well. He's the winner. You can see how much more enthusiastic his supporters are right now, as opposed to Hillary Clinton's supporters, but John Edwards just making it clear he's continuing on.

His wife said they had come in second place. We're going to look at those numbers in a moment.

Let's take a look at the Republican numbers that we have right now. 78 percent of the Republican precincts have reported. Seventy- eight percent have reported. Mike Huckabee has 34 percent. We have projected he's the winner tonight among the Republicans -- Mitt Romney 25 percent, John McCain 14 percent, Fred Thompson 13 percent.

There's a battle under way, an intense battle, for third place among the Republicans in Iowa. It's very close. In fact, let's take a look at the raw numbers as they came in tonight. Remember, 78 percent of the precincts have reported.

Huckabee has 31,500 or so, Romney 23,000. Look at how close it is between McCain and Thompson for third place, 12,520 for McCain, 12,484 for Fred Thompson, a real battle under way right now.

Hillary Clinton has now come out. She's at the -- getting ready to address her supporters.

You see Madeleine Albright behind her. You see Bill Clinton right, Chelsea Clinton. This is the night that is not necessarily what she wanted. She wanted to win in Iowa.

Let's listen in.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

SEN. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D-NY), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you so much. Wow.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: I will tell you, this...

CROWD: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

CLINTON: Thank -- thank you. Thank you.

CROWD: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

CLINTON: Thank you so, so much.

CROWD: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

CLINTON: Thank you. Thanks, everybody. Thank you.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: Well, we're going to take this enthusiasm and go right to New Hampshire tonight.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: This is -- this is a great night for Democrats.

We have seen an unprecedented turnout here in Iowa. And that is good news, because, today, we're sending a clear message that we are going to have change, and that change will be a Democratic president in the White House in 2009. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: I am so proud to have run with such exceptional candidates.

I congratulate Senator Obama and Senator Edwards. I thank Senator Dodd and Senator Biden and Governor Richardson and Congressman Kucinich. Together, we have presented the case for change and have made it absolutely clear that America needs a new beginning.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: And I am as ready as I can be, after having had this incredible experience here in Iowa, starting out a long time ago, and making this journey with so many people who have become my friends and who I am so grateful for their hard work and support, those from Iowa, those who have come from around the country.

And the people who were there, exceeding anybody's expectations about what it would mean to have the caucuses this year, I thank you. I thank each and every one of you for coming out and standing up for a Democrat.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: What is most important now is that, as we go on with this contest, that we keep focused on the two big issues, that we answer correctly the questions that each of us has posed. How will we win in November 2008 by nominating a candidate who will be able to go the distance, and who will be the best president on day one?

I am ready for that contest.

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CROWD: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

CLINTON: Now, you know, we have always planned to run a national campaign all the way through the early contests, because I want the people of America, and particularly Democrats, and like-minded independents...

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: ... and Republicans who have seen the light...

(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: ... to understand, number one, that the stakes are huge, that the job is enormous, but that I believe we're going to make the right decision.

There will be a lot of people who will get involved, as they have here in Iowa, of all ages. That is what we want. Because we're not just trying to elect a president; we're trying to change our country. That is what I am committed to doing.

I have set big goals for our country. I want to rebuild a strong and prosperous middle class, and to me, that is the most important job the next president will have here at home. Because if we don't given to pay attention to the people who do the work and raise the families and make this country great, we will not recognize America in a few years.

And I want to make it absolutely clear I intend to restore America's leadership and our moral authority in the world. And we're going to tackle all of the problems that are going to be inherited because of the current administration, including ending the war in Iraq and bringing our troops home and then giving them the support that they need.

And we're going to reform our government. We're going to make sure that it is not the government of the few by the few and for the few, but it actually works for every American again. And we're going to reclaim the future for our children.

I have done this work for 35 years. It is the work of my lifetime. I have done -- I have been involved in making it possible for young people to have a better education and for people of all ages to have health care and that transforming work is what we desperately need in our country again. I am so ready for the rest of this campaign, and I am so ready to lead.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

CLINTON: So if you're concerned about whether or not we can have quality, affordable health care for every American, then I'm your candidate. And if you're concerned about whether we can have an energy policy that will break the shackles of our dependence on foreign oil and set forth a new set of goals for us to meet together, then I'm your candidate.

And if you are worried about, once and for all, taking on global warming, making it clear that we will end the unfunded mandate known as No Child Left Behind, that we will make college affordable again, that we will be once again the country of values and ideals that we cherish so much. Then please join me in this campaign.

We have a long way to go, but I am confident and optimistic, both about the campaign, but maybe more importantly about our country. This country deserves everything we can give to it.

You know, there were a lot of people that couldn't caucus tonight despite the very large turnout. There are a lot of Iowans who are in the military. They were in Iraq or Afghanistan or somewhere else serving our country, and they need a command in chief who respects them and who understands that force should be only used as a last resort, not a first resort. And there are a lot of people who work at night, people who are on their feet, people who are taking care of patients in a hospital or waiting on a table in a restaurant or maybe in patrol car, keeping our streets safe. And they need a president who's going to care about them and their families.

You know, I wrote a book some years ago called "It Takes a Village to Raise a Child," and in it, I have a chapter that I've titled "Every Child Needs a Champion." Well, I think that the American people need a president who is their champion, and that is what I intend to be.

So I want to thank all the people who have been part of this campaign so far. I especially want to thank all of my friends here in Iowa who have worked so hard. I want to thank those who are come from across America. I want to thank all of the unions, the more than six million union members who support my candidacy.

And I know that we're going to get up tomorrow and keep pushing as hard as we can to get the message out about what is at stake in this election. Because we know that it is literally the future of our country.

So thank you all so very much for caring enough to be involved in politics, for giving of your time and your resources, for understanding that this great democracy of ours deserves to have all of our best efforts. And I promise you, this campaign that I am running will certainly have mine, and I ask for yours, as well.

Thank you all very, very much. God bless you.

BLITZER: All right, so there it is, Hillary Clinton, speaking to her supporters at her headquarters out in Des Moines, Iowa. Disappointing night for her.

We heard from John Edwards just a little while ago. We're still waiting to hear from the winner of the Democratic caucuses, Barack Obama. He should be speaking fairly soon. Once he does, we'll bring you his remarks live.

We're also standing by to hear from Mike Huckabee, the Republican winner tonight in the Iowa caucuses, and we're going to be going to hear him, as well.

We've got some news right now that we want to share with you. CNN as now confirmed that Senator Chris Dodd will drop out of this presidential contest. The senator from Connecticut deciding he simply doesn't have the support.

He moved his family to Iowa in recent months to campaign, to campaign out there, did not do well tonight. A huge disappointment for Chris Dodd. He will drop out of this race and will move on. Chris Dodd coming in a distant, distant -- distant, distant place.

John King is watching all of this.

So John, let me turn to you. Chris Dodd, not good news for him.

KING: No, it's not, Wolf, and I was just e-mailing with a source close to Senator Dodd who says he, in fact, will end his presidential campaign. This source did not know if Senator Dodd would endorse anyone else in the race. And he hasn't had much support so some would say, well, would that be meaningful even if he did. I think it would be interesting in the psychology of the race at the moment.

He is an established veteran, incumbent senator. One would assume, then, that he would go to the establishment candidate, who would be Senator Clinton, if Senator Dodd and some of the older guard, if you will, of the liberals in the Democratic Party go for somebody other than Hillary Clinton. That could be significant. But Senator Dodd will get out of the race, we are told.

BLITZER: All right. He comes in seventh place so far in Iowa.

This is Mike Huckabee's headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, right now. You're looking at these live pictures. He's out there with his wife. He's about to address his supporters.

You see Chuck Norris, the actor, the martial arts actor out there. He's been a big supporter, featured in many of his campaign commercials. Not that he's had that many. He hasn't had that much money. That could change.

Let's listen in to Mike Huckabee right now. He's the winner for the Republicans in Iowa.

We're going to fix the audio, and as soon as we hear from him, we're actually going to be playing (AUDIO GAP) In the meantime they're applauding, they're excited. Mike Huckabee, a big, big night for the former governor of Arkansas. Certainly, one that he anticipated perhaps in recent weeks, because he emerged in the polls doing very, very well. But still, he overcame a lot, a lot of the problems in going forward.

We'll move on to Mike Huckabee in a moment. But Mitt Romney is speaking at his headquarters, where it's a huge disappointment for him. Let's listen in quickly to Mitt Romney.

MIKE HUCKABEE (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Over the past several months, my family and I have had the marvelous joy and privilege of getting to know many of you. It's been an incredible honor.

I was thinking last night that some of the friendships that we have forged here in the last several months are friendships that will last a lifetime. And we didn't know how this was going to turn out tonight.

But I knew one thing. I would be forever grateful to the people that I met the ones who voted for me, even the ones who didn't, who still treated me with respect and who gave me their attention, who have allowed me to come often, not just in to their communities, but into their homes, not once but time and time again. And a few of them I even convinced to vote for me tonight, and that's really remarkable. I want to say how much I appreciate my wife, Janet. She was a wonderful first lady of Arkansas. I think she'll be a wonderful first lady for the United States of America.

We also want to say thanks to our three children who are with us tonight. I would like them to come and just be a part of this tonight. They have all been so much involved. Our older son John Mark, our son David, his wife Lauren, our daughter Sarah, who's literally lived in Iowa for the past 2 1/2 months. And I told her if she stayed too much longer she'll have to get an Iowa driver's license and probably start paying even more taxes up here. But -- and I say thanks to all of them for joining with us in this effort, because the family goes through it, not just the candidate.

But tonight it's a celebration for everybody on our team, so many of you who have traveled all across America to be here. I'm amazed and encouraged. Because tonight what we have seen is a new day in American politics. A new day is needed in American politics just like a new day is needed in American government. And tonight it starts here in Iowa. But it doesn't end here. It goes all the way through the other states and ends at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue one year from now.

I think we have learned three very important things through this victory tonight. The first thing we've learned is that people really are more important than the purse. And what a great lesson for America to learn.

Most of the pundits believe that, when you're outspent at least 15-1, it's simply impossible to overcome that mountain of money and somehow garner the level of support that's necessary to win an election. Well, tonight we proved that American politics still is in the hands of ordinary folks like you and across this country who believe that it wasn't about who raised the most money, but who raised the greatest hopes, dreams and aspirations for our children and their future. And tonight, I hope we will forever change the way Americans look at their political system and how we elect presidents and elected officials.

Tonight, the people of Iowa made a choice, and their choice was clear. Their choice was for a change, but that choice for a change doesn't end just saying, "Let's change things." Change can be for the better; it can be for the worse.

Americans are looking for a change, but what they want is a change that starts with a challenge to those of us who are given this sacred trust of office, so that we recognize that what our challenge is is to bring this country back together, to make Americans once again more proud to be Americans than just to be Democrats or Republicans, to be more concerned about going up instead of just going to the left or to the right.

And while we have deep convictions that we'll stand by and not waiver on or compromise, those convictions are what brought us to this room tonight. But we carry those convictions, not so that we can somehow push back the others, but so we can bring along the others and bring this country to the greatest days ever. Because I'm still one who believes that the greatest generation doesn't have to be the ones behind us. The greatest generation can be those who have yet to even be born, and that's what we're going to see.

And ladies and gentlemen, we have learned something else tonight, and that is that this election is not about me; it's about we. And I don't say that lightly. I'm the person whose name gets on the signs, who occasionally gets the attention and some of the few ads that came out here and there. But the election is not about me. And the country is not just about me.

What is happening tonight in Iowa is going to start, really, a prairie fire of new hope and zeal, and it's already happening across this nation, because it is about we, we the people. We saw it tonight. We've seen it in other states. And we're going to continue to see it, because this country yearns and is hungry for leadership that recognizes that, when one is elected to public office, one is not elected to be part of the ruling class. He's elected to be part of the serving class, because we, the people, are the ruling class of America.

G.K. Chesterton once said that a true soldier fights, not because he hates those who are in front of him, but because he loves those who are behind him. Ladies and gentlemen, I recognize that running for office is not hating those who are in front of us. It's loving those who are behind us.

It's about recognizing -- it's recognizing that behind us are great patriots dating back to the beginning of this wonderful country when 56 brave men put their signatures on a document that started forth the greatest experiment in government in the history of mankind and gave birth to the idea that all of us are created equal, and we have been given by our creator inalienable rights: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

These who signed that document, who give birth to this dream, were the beginnings of those who throughout our history have continued, with great sacrifice and extraordinary valor, to pass on to us that liberty and the quest for something better than the generation before them had.

I stand here tonight, the result of parents who made incredible sacrifices as a part of great generation who went through a depression and a world war who said, "Our kids won't have to go through these things." And every sacrifice they made was to lift us up on their shoulder and give us a better America than they ever could have envisioned, and they were successful in doing that.

Now ladies and gentlemen, for the same reason that our Founding Fathers and those before us saw what was behind us and gave it their best, I ask you to join me across Iowa and the rest of America to look out there in front of us and not to hate those but to look behind us and to love them so much that we will do whatever it takes to make America a better country, to give our kids a better future, to give this world a better leader. And we join together tonight for that purpose. God thank -- help you and thank you for all you've done. I'm so grateful for the support, the incredible work that you've done. And now we've got a long journey ahead of us. I wish it were all over tonight and we could just celebrate the whole thing. But unfortunately, if this were a marathon, we've only run half of it. But we've run it well.

And now it's on from here to New Hampshire and then to the rest of the country. But I'll always be wanting to come back to this place and say, wherever it ends, and we know where that's going to be, it started here in Iowa.

Thank you, and God bless you, every one of you. Thank you tonight. Thank you.

BLITZER: The winner of the Republican caucus in Iowa. That would be Mike Huckabee. You just heard him, the former governor of Arkansas, declaring his win now off to New Hampshire and beyond. A very, very dramatic victory for Mike Huckabee.

A serious setback, a serious disappointment for Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.

We're standing by to hear from the winner of the Democratic caucuses, Barack Obama. He has not yet addressed his supporters at Barack Obama headquarters in Des Moines.

We'll take a quick break. When we come back, we expect to hear from the winner of the Democratic caucuses, Barack Obama. We're also going to update you on the hard numbers that are coming in, who came in second among the Democrats, John Edwards or Hillary Clinton? Who came in third? We'll also update you on all the Republican numbers.

A lot more on our coverage from CNN election center right after this.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: A huge night in Iowa for Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee. CNN projects that they will be the winners as the Iowa caucuses shake up the race for president in a big way.

Welcome back to our viewers. I'm Wolf Blitzer at CNN election center.

Check out these numbers. On the Democratic side, Senator Barack Obama finishes on top in a tight three-way race. And just look at how close it is between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton for second place.

The results are already producing casualties, sources telling CNN Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut is now dropping out of the race. And he may not be the only one.

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee cruises to a relatively -- relatively easy victory over Mitt Romney. That's huge when you consider how much time and effort and money Romney invested in Iowa. Former Senator Fred Thompson and Senator John McCain are in a tight battle right now for third place in Iowa.

We're going to be hearing from all of the top finishers as well as some very important absentees.

We're also looking at why Huckabee and Obama emerged as the night's big winners. I want to bring in our numbers and point out to you exactly what we know.

First -- first on the Republican side, let's walk over and take a close look. Eighty-five percent of the Republican precincts have now officially reported. Huckabee with 34 percent. He's the winner. Romney coming in second with 25 percent.

Look at this battle for third place in Iowa: 13 percent for McCain, 14 percent for Thompson.

Now, if you want to take a closer look at how these percentages emerged, we're going to show you right now among the Republicans. The Republicans basically have a straw poll. All of the people go in and they vote. They vote for their respective candidates.

And if you take a look at Huckabee, he got more than 35,000, almost 26,000 for Romney. But look at Fred Thompson and John McCain. They're really battling for third place right now with 85 percent of the precincts reporting. Only a few hundred votes separate Thompson and McCain.

Ron Paul emerging, relatively good numbers, with almost 10,000 in Iowa. Giuliani disappointing, 3,500. Duncan Hunter, only 452. You take a look at that you, you see that there are 40 delegates at stake, 37 delegates at stake out of the total of Iowa Republicans going to their convention in St. Paul,-Minneapolis. And those are the numbers right now in Iowa.

Let's move over now and take a look at the Democrats, what happened on the Democratic side tonight. A dramatic win for Barack Obama, as we said. Ninety-seven percent of the precincts have now officially reported. Barack Obama -- and we're still waiting to hear from him tonight, he'll be speaking to his supporters shortly. We'll bring you his remarks live. Thirty-eight percent for Obama.

Look at this battle for second place that's still underway between John Edwards and Hillary Clinton. Edwards with 30 percent, Clinton with 29 percent. Richardson down at 29 percent. Everybody else lower.

But let's take a closer look at how these percentages are merged. And it's a very, very difficult set of numbers than the Republican side. On the Republican side, you had the raw tallies.

The Democrats don't do that. They don't tell us the raw numbers. They just give us the numbers, the percentages of the delegates that will go to the Iowa state convention. They have a complicated formula how they get to these numbers. And as of right now, with 97 percent of the precincts reporting, Obama has 914 of these delegates to Edwards' 727. It looks like he's in second place right now. Clinton with 716, Richardson, Biden, Chris Dodd, everybody else, way, way down.

Once again, these are the delegates to the state convention that are allocated based on a very complex formula that the Democrats have. You don't see the raw numbers there, but you do see the percentages. There are 57 national delegates who will go to the Democratic National Convention in Denver at the end of August. Forty-five are at stake by this process. And right now, CNN estimates that Barack Obama will get 18 of those delegates, Edwards 17, Clinton 16 if that holds up.

Senator Clinton will emerge as the third place winner, the third place, a disappointing third place for her in Iowa.

Once again, we're standing by to hear from Senator Barack Obama. He's going to be addressing his supporters momentarily at the Obama headquarters out in Des Moines. Once he does, we'll go there live.

You heard from Mike Huckabee. You heard him speak to his supporters. A very, very good night for him. An excellent night for Barack Obama. They now move on in five days to New Hampshire.

In New Hampshire, different scene, different set of Democrats, different set of Republicans. We don't know what's going to emerge in New Hampshire. We don't know what the impact of what has happened tonight in Iowa will be on voters in New Hampshire.

We do know it's a five-day period, though, that all of these candidates will have to get their act together and to move on to New Hampshire.

Let's get some closer analysis of all of these numbers. Soledad O'Brien is standing by with Bill Schneider.

We had our entrance polls. We have the real numbers, as well. Soledad, help us understand better what happened tonight.

SOLEDAD O'BRIEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, Wolf. Thanks.

You know, the real question is why they won and, of course, what that means moving forward. You've heard everybody we've heard so far talking about as we go to New Hampshire.

So let's talk a little bit about that, starting with Barack Obama. Obviously, as you predicted early on, age would be critical. That's why he won. Tell me about those numbers, and what happens moving forward?

BILL SCHNEIDER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Very dramatic numbers by age. As you got older, Barack Obama's numbers dropped. Look at this: 57 percent of those under 30. And it drops steadily until he wins only 18 percent -- just 18 percent -- of voters 65 and over. This is as big a generation gap as I've ever seen in covering politics. O'BRIEN: When you drill down specifically on women, Hillary Clinton really thought that she would be able to capture a lot of these female voters. Many of them went for Obama.

SCHNEIDER: Yes. They certainly did. And this was a big surprise and probably a shock to the Clinton campaign.

Obama carried women 35 -- Obama 30 percent for Clinton. And what we're finding is a big split by age among women. Older women went for Clinton. Among middle-aged women, Clinton came in second to Obama. Among younger women under 30, Clinton came in third behind both Obama and John Edwards.

O'BRIEN: I find that number so fascinating, because of course those numbers, you think those women, those young women were 3 years old to 15 years old when Bill Clinton first came into office. Maybe the Bill Clinton effect doesn't really matter to them. That could be one issue to explore as they go through, certainly, I think.

How about race?

SCHNEIDER: Race is important.

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