Whoever ends up getting over the line in the all important New Hampshire primary, things are looking good for the Democratic party — their base is on fire. Democratic turnout in Iowa more than doubled the Republicans. As The New York Times puts it, “Democrats might be forgiven for wearing shades, so bright are their days just now.”

And it’s not just the glare off the New Hampshire snow. Handily, the Democrat candidates have thus far “declined to feast on each others’ entrails,” although if last night’s New Hampshire debate is anything to go by, with Obama and Edwards ganging up on Clinton (Edwards gave her the dirty label “status quo”), that could start to change.

There are plenty of jibes thrown through polite smiles, but there’s also a remarkable amount of consenus on the issues among the Democrats’ main candidates, says The NY Times. “They favor universal health care, withdrawing troops from Iraq, combating global warming, hiking taxes for the very rich, and slashing taxes for the working and middle classes.”

So far, and it’s very early days, this is shaping up as the fuzzy wuzzy campaign, with Iowans going for Obama and Huckabee’s messages of hope and unity over Clinton and McCain’s experience.

“Iowa Democrats clearly decided not to repeat the mistake of 2004. In 2004, caucus-goers, who opposed the war in Iraq, put their weight behind John Kerry, who had voted for the Iraq war resolution, because they believed that Kerry was the Democrat who could win in November. Instead, the Dems lost in the most painful way possible, having sold out utterly and compromised their principles — with nothing to show for it,” writes Debra Saunders on RealClear politics. “Caucus-goers rejected Hillary Clinton’s siren song of inevitability and John Edwards’ slick populist themes, and instead lined up behind Barack Obama, the one top-tier candidate who opposed the war in Iraq when it was popular.”

But NH won’t break Clinton, argues The New York Post. “Hillary cannot be knocked out even if she loses all the early primaries. Her berth in the finals is assured by her national standing, her strength among ‘super delegates’ (Congressmen, Senators, Governors and State Party Chairmen who automatically get votes at the convention) and her financial clout. But she can and will be bloodied.”

It is likely to get very gory for John Edwards: “Edwards is out unless he finishes close to the top in New Hampshire. But he probably won’t. The anti-Hillary voters get that Obama is the one who has a chance to beat her and aren’t about to waste their votes on Edwards after his disappointing finish in Iowa. He staked his entire campaign on Iowa where he has campaigned for six years and only managed the same lame second place finish he achieved in 2004.”

But if there’s blood on anyone’s hands, it won’t be Obama’s. Fast turning into a cross between Matthew Santos, Jed Bartlett and the Messiah, Obama told Newsweek that he attributes his “quick political rise” to that ‘respectful tone,’ which he believes voters crave after so many ugly, dispiriting campaign seasons. (Which includes most races since 1800.)”

“Obama’s high-minded themes of hope and change—and not getting your hands dirty—can come off as earnest, even naive, in the world of hardball presidential politics,” says Richard Wolffe in Newsweek. But don’t forget, “Obama is also a streetwise Chicago pol who put together a campaign machine formidable enough to take on the Clintons and win.”

Karen Tumulty writes in Time that “the scope of Barack Obama’s victory in Iowa has shaken the Clinton machine down to its bolts. Donors are panicking.”

“Internally, a round of recriminations is being aimed at her chief strategist, Mark Penn, as the representative of everything about her pseudo-incumbent campaign that has been too cautious, too arrogant, too conventional and too clueless as to how much the political landscape has shifted since the last Clinton reign.”

Ulimately, as Time puts it, the most difficult problem for Clinton many not be Obama; it could be Clinton herself. “How can she retool her message — and her identity as a virtual incumbent — to resonate with an electorate that seems to yearn more for change than any other quality?”

Everyone needs to take a deep breath, says Susan Estrich on RealClearPolitics. Obama might be riding the Big Mo, but “go back 40 years and name a Democrat who has actually won in Iowa and gone on to be elected president. There’s only one, and no, it’s not Jimmy Carter. Actually, he finished second in Iowa, behind uncommitted.”

“The right answer is Bill Clinton, and it was in 1996, when he ran unopposed, not in 1992, when he lost the state, ceding it to its favorite son, Tom Harkin, and then lost New Hampshire as well before going on to win the presidency.” So there.  

Tomorrow: the Republican race.