The Iowa caucases demonstrate once again the political acumen of political reporters: The unstoppable Howard Dean was stopped by the left-for-dead duo of Kerry and Edwards. It’s a military truism that no plan survives first contact with the enemy, and it’s just as true of the press that no media prognistication survives first contact with reality.

The presidential ambitions of Dick Gephardt ended last night. The press is claiming that Gephardt’s political career is over. While he isn’t running for re-election to congress, I’m not so sure that he won’t run for office here in Missouri. If not, I’m sure he can catch on as a lobbyist for a lot more money. I suppose it’s nice that Gephardt has enough hold on reality to drop out of a campaign he can’t win — when will Kucinich and Sharpton wake up and smell the coffee?

Can Howard Dean come back? Of course he can. And according to the news reader on the radio station this morning, winning Iowa isn’t a good predictor for winning the nomination in either party. But since those are the only results we have, that’s all we’ll hear about until New Hampshire, whereupon Iowa will become one footnote among many in a long campaign.