Several items today as I pack:
Pederson did some great disability work before, and she's tried to build a base in the party. A role for her was a good thing but heir apparant was a poor fit. Of course, I'm a capital P Party hack, and my perspective is much more party-as-an-organization based that normal people.
My gut instinct is that this, combined with Vilsack bowing out of the DNC chair race, means that sometime late in 2005 the governor will feel a draft and opt for a third term. Barring that, Chet Culver looks like the frontrunner at the moment - but he's got a bit of a gravitas gap that needs closing. Ed Fallon has been up and running for at least a year but that's hard to envision.
With the election of appointee Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, Iowa and Mississippi (Mississippi? EEK!) are I believe the only two states that have never elected a woman either to Congress or as governor. And Iowa is the ONLY state that has elected only white males to these jobs. I still don't think Sally Pederson was the right woman, but this is a big problem and potentially a big opportunity for someone.