Barack Obama's decisive victory in Iowa last night defied conventional wisdom, writes the Washington Post, with a new kind of candidate conducting a new kind of campaign. Obama faced substantial pressure to alter his style to aggressively attack Hillary Clinton when her nearly 30-point lead gave her an aura of "inevitability." But he stuck with his "post-partisan" message to win an overwhelmingly white state by more than eight points over second- and third-place finishers John Edwards and Clinton.
As the Obama campaign sputtered last summer, colleagues pushed the Illinois senator to take a more adversarial line, the Post reports. But Obama ignored the polls and avoided attacks. "Barack clearly understood you cannot take the low road to high office," said Jesse Jackson Jr. "You have done what the cynics said we couldn't do," Obama told the crowd at his caucus-night party. "You came together as Democrats, Republicans and independents to stand up and say that we are one nation, we are one people and our time for change has come."