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Friday, August 31, 2007

Iowa Independent: New ARG Poll Shows Huckabee Surging in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

New poll numbers from the American Research Group reveal significant
improvement in former Gov. Mike Huckabee's standing in Iowa, bouncing
to 14% support after the Iowa Republican Straw Poll earlier this
month. ARG's polling indicated that Huckabee had the support of only
1% of Iowa Republican caucus-goers last month. While the ARG's likely
caucus-goer screen is notoriously loose, this is undoubtedly good news
for the Huckabee campaign. The poll puts Huckabee in third place in
Iowa, behind Romney at 27% and Giuliani at 17%. Huckabee beats Fred
Thompson (13%), Newt Gingrich (7%), and John McCain (5%). Notably for
Huckabee, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo
receive no discernible support in the ARG poll. Ron Paul, on the
other hand, receives 1% support in Iowa.

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John Deeth Blog: Gay Marriage Ban Struck Down In Polk County

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Today's ruling in favor of gay marriage, in the largest county in the
first (?) caucus state, could have a national ripple effect on the
presidential campaign. Will the hot-button issue move to the national
front burner again? On the Democratic side, only long shot candidate
Dennis Kucinich supports gay marriage. The other contenders support
civil unions. But the ruling may increase pressure on the front
runners to support true equality, and complicate the balancing act of
attracting progressives to win a nomination without alienating general
election swing voters. It would be interesting to see how a stance of
persuasive leadership, ahead of public opinion, would play coming from
a top tier candidate. Larry Craig's sad, self-hateful story is the
polar opposite of the committed, lifelong relationships of the six
Iowa couples who were plaintiffs in this case.

The Demo Memo: Iowa County Judge Turns Over Anti-Gay Marriage Law

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

What a nice surprise in my own home town today! Polk County Judge
Robert Hanson overturned an Iowa law that bans same-sex marriage. This
after a week of listening to conservatives pontificate about morals,
this ruling couldn't have been issued at a more perfect time. Barring
an injunction, which has already been requested by the County Attorney
John Sarcone, the ruling will allow to apply for and be granted
marriage licenses in my home county. I have a deeply held personal
belief that all people have the right to marry the person they love.
It's not up to us who we feel attracted to and fall in love with.
There is plenty of evidence that heterosexual married people don't do
a great job of keeping marriage sacred, so that argument is not even
valid.

HawkeyeGOP: Gay Marriage in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

The war begins today. This afternoon, Polk County District Judge
Robert Hanson threw out Iowa's law banning same-sex marriages. The
ruling came in response to a lawsuit brought about by the radical gay
group, Lambda Legal. At the same time that a variety of moderates in
the party are urging us to back away from divisive social issues - the
other side is hard at work. Lambda's strategy was brilliant, find some
Norman Rockwell type gay couples, bring suit in their name and choose
a venue where you are likely to get a favorable ruling. Even if this
ruling is overturned on appeal, it is a huge victory for Lambda. What
could not be achieved through the legislative process was realized by
the actions of a single judge. The judicial usurpation of legislative
authority should be one of the biggest issues in the upcoming
election.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Giuliani Opens Iowa City HQ

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Rudy Giuliani is the first Republican candidate with an office in
Johnson County. The Democratic stronghold, indelibly dubbed "the
People's Republic of Johnson County" by David Yepsen, may seem like an
odd spot for Giuliani to open only his second office in the state. But
the move actually reflects a subtle understanding of the caucus
process. Unlike the Democratic caucuses, where delegates are
apportioned to counties and precincts by a complex formula based on
general election returns, the Republican caucuses simply count raw
votes. Though Johnson County is the most Democratic county in the
state by percentage, it's still number eight in the number of
registered Republicans, one notch ahead of GOP rotten borough Sioux
County.

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Cyclone Conservatives: "Gotcha Politics" Good For American Style Democracy?

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

We're just now taking our first bites as a society into the new
phenomenon known as "Gotcha Politics". But is "Gotcha Politics" good
for American Democracy? What is this idea of "Gotcha Politics"? Well,
I think the person best suited to answer that question might be former
Virginia Senator George Allen, who was one of the first real victims
to the process. As technology develops and new Internet mediums are
launched, "Gotcha Politics", as I and others refer to it as, will
continue to grow. In an era where information moves almost as quickly
as sound and light, candidates and campaigns have to be ever cautious
about what they are producing, how they are appearing, and what they
are saying. If they screw up, they can expect nearly a million hits on
YouTube within a few hours, it seems.

Essential Estrogen: Cancer Forum Brings HPV Vaccination Discussion

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Many good things came about as a result of the Lance Armstrong
Foundation's LiveStrong Presidential Cancer Forum in Iowa. Discussions
on cancer research funding and how government can play a role in
America's quality of life came to the forefront. Perhaps one of the
most important aspects of the forum for those who advocate for
reproductive health, however, was the injection of the human
papillomavirus vaccination into the national conversation. Genital HPV
infection is a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by human
papillomavirus, a group of viruses that includes more than 100
different strains. The disease is spread by genital contact. All types
of HPV can cause mild Pap test abnormalities which do not have serious
consequences. Roughly 10 out of the 30 identified genital HPV types
can lead to development of cervical cancer.

Price of Politics: No Ames after All

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

So much for the big scoop on Hillary Clinton laboring in Ames next
Monday. I posted yesterday how her campaign had asked the Ames City
Council to block off a portion of downtown so Clinton could hold an
event for approximately 1,000 people. The campaign today sent out an
early advisory that Clinton and her hubby will be going to Des Moines
(and Sioux City). No official word yet on why Des Moines and not Ames.
But an employee in the Ames City Clerk's office filled us in. She said
Hillary Clinton's campaign submitted its the original request last
Thursday. She said it was "a late request" for such an event involving
a road closure of Main Street. However, the city manager's
recommendation was to approve the request on the basis that it will
"create positive energy and promote downtown businesses".

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

HawkeyeGOP: Senator Larry Craig

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

By now anyone reading a political blog knows about the issues
troubling Idaho Republican Senator Larry Craig. Craig plead guilty to
disorderly conduct charges after being arrested June 11th in a men 's
room at the Minneapolis Airport. According to the Washington Post, an
undercover police officer investigating sexual activity arrested Craig
in the men's room. Apparently Craig signaled his interest in sexual
activity by touching the officer's foot and motioning with his hand
under the stall wall. Today, Craig claims that he did not seek counsel
before pleading guilty to the charges and that he is really innocent
and 'not gay'. I cannot imagine how a US Senator could possibly
believe that he could simply plead guilty and that no one would find
out about it. With 22 Republican and only 12 Democrat seats up for
re-election, this could not have happened at a worse time. More
stunning than the stupidity, is the hypocrisy. Craig has been known as
a family values guy.

The Demo Memo: The Problem With Conservatives

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

What do all of these unfortunate republicans have in common? They were
each caught satisfying a private and unspeakable urge, for which they
were publicly vilified. All of them are so-called conservatives. But
the problem with people who tell you they are conservative is...they
have a total disconnect between their own lives and the lives that
other people lead. Conservatives truly believe they can legislate
morality, while living with complete impunity in their own personal
lives. Truth be told, the statistics reveal the truth. Just as many
conservatives as liberals get abortions. Same with spousal abuse. Same
with pedophilia. Same with divorce. Same with being gay. It doesn't
matter how many flags are flying in the background either. The problem
with conservatives is...when they fall, they fall hard. They've built
themselves a giant glass house, but they've landscaped with big ol'
throwin'-type rocks. They denounce entire groups of people, in public
and in private, yet, they deal with the same issues.

Essential Estrogen: It's Official: Firefighters Endorse Sen. Chris Dodd for President

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

There's been speculation, but today all rumor has been put to rest.
International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold
Schaitberger will announce tomorrow that the Fire Fighters Union has
endorsed Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd in his bid for the White House.
There is no over-playing the boon this is for the Dodd campaign, which
seems to be gaining traction in Iowa and New Hampshire. The
firefighters were instrumental in Sen. John Kerry's success in 2004
and there's no reason to suspect the well-respected men and women who
make up that union will not add a huge boost to the Dodd campaign in
terms of both community activism and respect. This news, when combined
with higher polling numbers for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and
added Iowa endorsements for Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, should give the
top three pause.

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Bleeding Heartland: When Will We Caucus?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

The smart money is on January 3rd. David Yepsen covered most of the
bases in his column yesterday, but here are a couple more reasons… If
New Hampshire is on the 8th, then legally we can go no earlier than
the 31st of December. Fat chance. Since December is basically out of
the picture barring further excitement, the only possible dates are
the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th, and the earlier the better. The
2nd will be ruled out as too close to New Year's Day, although really
anyone who hasn't slept off their hangover from drinking 43 hours
before is probably not a likely caucus attendee anyway. The 3rd seems
like the sweet spot between giving people at least a little time to
think about politics again and giving the winners a measurable bump in
New Hampshire.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Iowa Insider: Bill Richardson wins the race to denounce Gonzales

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

The inevitable statements from the presidential campaigns on U.S.
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' resignation took a short time to
hit my inbox. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was the first out of the
gate. "The resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is long
overdue," Richardson said in a statement. "The President must nominate
an Attorney General who is a lawyer for the American people not a
political arm of the White House." Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del, was next:
"As I've said before, Attorney General Gonzales has lost the
confidence of the vast majority of the American people and the
Congress. His resignation is long overdue. When I voted against
Attorney General Gonzales' confirmation, I voiced concern about his
ability to go from being the President's lawyer to the people's
lawyer."

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Politically Speaking: Gonzales gone

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

With word this morning that embattled (no other adjective fits better)
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has resigned, the reaction from
tri-state legislators is trickling in. The latest was the most concise
- Nebraska 1st District Congressman Jeff Fortenberry says, "I think
it's the right decision. (Gonzales') ability to govern has been
significantly diminished." So with Republican Fortenberry saying that,
it's not a case of all Republicans backing the Bush administration's
guy, there has been considerable erosion of support for Gonzales.
Another Republican, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, said the
Democrats claimed a scalp after criticism of Gonzales, but Grassley
contended the attorney general had a good record in protecting
children by aggressively pursuing child predators. But Grassley
conceded, "Obviously, the last couple of years have been very tough
for him."

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The Demo Memo: Idaho Senator Craig Resigns From Romney Campaign

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

America, apple pie, fighting for the family. All in a day's work for
ex-Republican Senator Larry Craig (R-Idaho). Oh yeah, don't forget
that you can get anonymous sex in bathroom stalls all over the country
but tapping your foot in a bathroom stall. Unfortunately for Craig, he
was arrested for soliciting an undercover officer for sex and plead
guilty to a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge. Senator Craig, who
was also a representative to the Senate for Mitt Romney's campaign,
resigned from that role. Romney's campaign "accepted his decision."
His voting record in the Senate, which includes support for a
constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages, and support for
the Defense of Marriage Act, earned him a high rating from groups such
as American Family Association, Concerned Women for America and the
Family Research Council.

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Essential Estrogen: Iowa Thoughtful Shines Through Presidential Forum

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Why would a national organization with national name recognition
choose to hold its first presidential forum in Iowa? "This forum is
clearly another example of why the Iowa caucuses are so important,"
Iowa Democratic Party Chairman Scott Brennan said following Monday's
event. "Not only do organizers understand that presidential candidates
are in our state, but it is a reflection on the fact that if the Iowa
people are supporting an event, the candidates know it is something
they should also be supporting." "Is there really any other place in
America where you could get 2,700 people, a former governor, the
current governor, at least one Iowa congressman and four Democratic
presidential candidates to come together on a Monday morning to talk
about cancer?" asked participant Ellen Jeffers. Gov. Chet Culver and
United States Rep. Dave Loebsack set out the importance of the event
and Iowa's role in raising the national conversation.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

The Demo Memo: Good News for Iowa -- The DNC Smacks Florida For Moving Primary Date

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo
In a rare and unusual move, the Democratic National Committee has sanctioned the Florida Democratic Party. Florida tried to move its primary date up to January 29, thwarting previously approved plans of Nevada, South Carolina, Iowa and New Hampshire. ... This is a perfect example of how the DNC and RNC, strange bedfellows indeed, should band together to stop rogue states from trampling the carefully approved primary and caucus dates. Anything else would throw the entire system into complete chaos.

chase martyn on display: Clinton Volunteer in Iowa Has Such a BadExperience That He Switches to Obama

Excerpted from this post at chase martyn on display
Plenty of volunteers have crappy experiences in campaign offices, because that's just how it goes. Once you agree to volunteer, campaigns don't put as much effort into making friends with you because they assume you have already drunk the Kool-Aid. Unfortunately, when there are few clear distinctions between candidates and a long, contentious primary, staff can't take volunteers' support for granted. Case in point, this Des Moines Register letter to the editor: "I came to Iowa as a die-hard Hillary Clinton supporter/volunteer, who was ready to help elect the first woman president of the United States... Within the first couple of days of arriving, I had seen three field workers cry because of the abuse they took..." I have trouble with the idea that the way campaign staff on the ground in Iowa treat volunteers has any bearing on how good a president a candidate will be; but, if Clinton staff is being driven to tears on a regular basis, there are going to be bigger problems for them to deal with.

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Cyclone Conservatives: IFCR to Host Tailgate For Iowa State v. Iowa Football Game

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
With less than three weeks to go prior to the infamous and exciting Iowa State v. Iowa Cy-Hawk rivalry game to be played in Ames (Home of the Cyclones), the Iowa Federation of College Republicans is planning an impressive tailgate for all Republicans to attend, regardless of age. This will be the ONLY Republican oriented tailgate anywhere on the grounds of Iowa State University that day and so this will be the magnet for all Republicans. The Iowa House and Senate Democrats are having a tent and we don't want them to show us up, do we? I certainly hope not.

Monday, August 20, 2007

BlogWatch hiatus

Note to readers: BlogWatch will be on hiatus the week of Aug. 20. New postings will resume Aug. 27.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Iowa blog reaction to Sunday's Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines


Friday, August 17, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: Be the Butter Cow

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Still wonder if former Sen. Fred Thompson is really going to get into
the Republican presidential race? Well then how do you explain his
visit to the Iowa State Fair on Friday? Maybe you think he really
craves a deep fried Snickers bar. Or, could it be that he wants some
of that Butter Cow/Harry Potter magic to rub off on him? It's true.
All serious presidential candidates must go to the Iowa State Fair,
although not all people who go to the Iowa State Fair are running for
president -- just most of them. We'll see what happens on Friday
afternoon, when Thompson takes his turn on the Des Moines Register's
state fair "soap box" stage -- actually a ring of hay bales.

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The Demo Memo: Yawn... Fred Thompson Makes His First Trip to Iowa

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

All I've been hearing from my counterpart over at Elephant Biz and
other conservative pundits is how Fred Thompson is the Great White
Hope of the republican nomination. Conservatives are settling for
"conservative lite" in fatally flawed Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney
(aka Mr. Flip-Flop). I listen to Sean Hannity for opposition research
every day, and I think he is in love with Fred Thompson. Literally.
Besides having a forehead as big as the back nine at Augusta, what
does Fred have to offer the American electorate? So far all I've heard
is a a lot of pretty rhetoric, but nothing substantial. He has no
compelling reason to run, other than the fact that he's the only
republican that has a chance to win over true conservatives. Even
though Fred has questionable credentials on the abortion issue as well.

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The Real Sporer: Straw Poll-Continuing Impact

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Two stories about the Straw Poll's continuing impact are beginning to
float through the Ethernet tonight. The first is pretty obvious; Mike
Huckabee's second place finish has produced a lot of media this week.
The combination of good news and increased exposure has supposedly
significantly boosted the Razorback's fundraising. Since Huckabee got
more votes than the quantity of tickets he purchased you'd have to say
the event gave him a pretty big bang for the buck. The second is
somewhat murkier. Rumor has it that a second GOP participant at the
Ames Straw Poll is set to drop out in the next few days. We'll be
chasing this rumor down hard, if it's groundless we'll say so, if not
the fallout zone will broaden beyond Wisconsin.

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Bleeding Heartland: Will any Republicans run hard against Bush?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Over at Century of the Common Iowan, Noneed4thneed put up a video clip
of David Brooks talking about how Republicans privately can't stand
Bush, think he's incompetent, blame him for destroying the party and
so on. I don't doubt that this is true. They were happy to puff up
Bush and smear his detractors when his approval ratings were high, but
now that he's been below 40 percent for almost two years, he is a
little embarrassing. Even the White House has given up on salvaging
Bush's presidency (at least that's how I interpret Karl Rove's
departure to work on other GOP projects). So far Republican
presidential candidates have mainly criticized the Bush administration
on immigration policy.

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Essential Estrogen: Richardson Rolls Out Plan for Economic Prosperity

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Speaking before roughly 500 union members and supporters in Cedar
Rapids today, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said it is past time for
there to be "an American president who will finally be on the side of
the middle class." "The [Bush] administration has failed to protect
the engine of our economy -- the middle class," he said during the
30-minute speech. "Productivity is up, yet real wages are down.
American workers are holding up their end of the deal, but their
government is not." In discussing the current state of the United
State's fiscal health, Richardson chided Bush for "acting like a
spoiled teenager who crashes the family car and then hopes no one will
notice."

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Real Sporer: Rudy does the Fair

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

And brother did he generate enthusiasm. A large crowd gathered around
Rudy from the moment he arrived at the main Grand Avenue gate. People
shouted out things like "There's Rudy Giuliani" from all angles as
Giuliani walked around the Fairgrounds for several hours. Rudy took
impromptu questions from the crowd at all of his stops. The Giuliani
leadership mystique was on full display in his typically well-reasoned
answers. One thing that differentiates Giuliani from almost every
other politician in America is his willingness to explain to people
why they should agree with him instead of why he agrees with them.
Giuliani has mastered the too rare practice of persuasive argument.
Rudy fielded the usual questions on Iraq and immigration with his
usual very hard lines.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Rudy Giuliani Hops on the "Soap Box" at the Iowa State Fair

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Mayor Rudy Giuliani took his turn today on the Des Moines Register's
"Soap Box" this afternoon and I was in attendance to witness this
spectacle. Rudy drew a sprawling crowd of people as he spoke for maybe
20 or 25 minutes. He started the speech by talking about his "12
Commitments" to the American people and decided to heavily concentrate
on one of his main points: keeping America in an offensive posture
against terrorism while at the same time arguing that being in a
defensive stature, as has been the case in the past, would be a recipe
for defeat. Then he opened it up to questions from the crowd. He said
that he wants people to evaluate him on his positions and record and
made it clear that if you didn't like what he had to say, then he'd
like for you for someone else.

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Essential Estrogen: Women Comprise a Third of Edwards Steering Committee

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowa women make up one-third of a newly announced committee within the John Edwards for President campaign. "I am pleased to announce today
our campaign's Statewide Steering Committee," Edwards said in a
prepared statement. "They are a widely respected group of leaders from
law enforcement to labor to education. They include elected officials,
party activists, community leaders and others who share my commitment
to real change and are ready to go to work to make it happen." The
list, touted by the campaign as reflecting the "diversity and depth"
of their organizational support in Iowa, contains the names of 74
Democratic party officials and activists -- 24 of them women. Looking
down the list, however, newly aligned supporters are a rarity. That
being said, the Edwards campaign is hardly the first to recycle
supporter names from previous announcements, endorsements and
committee formations.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Edwards Picks Up Endorsement from State Legislators

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

The John Edwards campaign announced today their statewide leadership
committee that includes some current State Legislators. Many of these
are news to me. Keith Kreiman, State Senator, Bloomfield, Davis
County. Geri Huser, State Representative, Des Moines, Polk County. Wes
Whitead, State Representative, Sioux City, Woodbury County. Kurt
Swaim, State Representative, Bloomfield, Davis County. Ro Foege, State
Representative, Mount Vernon, Linn County. Art Staed, State
Representative, Cedar Rapids, Linn County. Andrew Wenthe, State
Representative, Hawkeye, Fayette County.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

HawkeyeGOP: Ames Straw Poll, Rudy & Fred

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Now that the Ames Straw Poll has come and gone Rudy Giuliana and Fred
Thompson are ratcheting up their presence in Iowa. Rudy has an ad buy
in Iowa. I have started hearing radio spots for Rudy Giuliani. He is
pushing his 12 Commitments. Andrew Dorr, Fred Thompson's political
director, sent me an e-mail about Fred Thompson's upcoming visit to
the Hawkeye State. Now that the Straw poll is over, they feel that it
is safe to come to Iowa again.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Thank You & Best Wishes, Governor Tommy Thompson

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Governor Tommy Thompson made it very clear from the very beginning of
his bid to become the 44th President of the United States: It's Iowa
or bust. But even though Tommy's 6th place showing at the Ames Straw
Poll on Saturday ended his aspirations, I don't think there is anyone,
who seriously followed this campaign, that could call Tommy's effort
anything short of incredible. I had the honor and privilege of meeting
Governor and Secretary Tommy Thompson more than any other candidate in
the race. He even called me on my phone one day to chat and at another
time, I rode with him in his suburban from Ames to Des Moines just so
he'd have another opportunity to chat with me.

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John Deeth Blog: Timing is Everything: Tommy Thompson's Missed Opportunity

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Now that Strawpollpalooza is over, the three no-shows -- Rudy
Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John McCain -- are coming to Iowa this
week. Trying to pick up those legions of Tommy Thompson supporters, no
doubt. Speaking of the late candidate, Political Insider makes the
Preposterous Claim Of The Day: If George W. Bush had declined to run
(in 2000), or had not defeated Ann Richards in 1994, Tommy Thompson
might be president today. Quotes T.T. as saying "I should have run in
'96, and I should have run in 2000." Still, there's a point. No guts,
no glory, and the brass ring only revolves around every four years.
Joe Biden and Chris Dodd must be having similar regrets about 1992.
Back in that early 1991 decision window, coming off Gulf War I, Bush
the Elder was looking invincible.

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Price of Politics: Pork is Good

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

Two presidential candidates stopped by our Cast Your Kernel booth at
the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Their visits had far different
feels. As far as I know, John McCain flew into town just for the fair.
And it was a quick visit. He walked around a bit, checked out the
State Republican Party booth, came to our booth and then stopped by
the Des Moines Register's booth. I think that was it. McCain really
watches how much time he spends in the sun. Perhaps, that's why his
words were so few when he took the stage at our booth. He talked for
one minute and 31 seconds. He made a joke about cutting pork after he
saw "Big Red", the big boar at the fair. Then he mentioned how he's
standing firm on supporting the efforts in Iraq. That was about it.
McCain usually is pretty generous with him time to the media. He sure
wasn't this time.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back roads to the White House: The boy on the bus

Excerpted from this post at Back roads to the White House

Former Sen. John Edwards threw down the gauntlet to reporters riding his campaign bus in central Iowa on Monday. He and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, were talking about how they've learned to keep campaign speeches short here in the Hawkeye State, because in Iowa, the "real meat" of the meet-and-greet sessions comes in the question-and-answer periods. ... So the challenge was issued. Could the reporters come up with something original? We tried -- starting with a co-questioner who wanted to know if the senator had a habit of being late. (They had started the day more than an hour late that morning, but the senator and the inquiring mind disagreed about whether it was a regular thing.) Keep reading to see other attempts at asking something new.

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Bleeding Heartland: Clinton Goes On the Air in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

... In part, the ad is seeking not to introduce her to Iowans but to re-introduce her as the candidate who will focus on the ordinary Iowans and Americans as president. It is supposed to be the "more caring" side of Hillary, not the supposedly "politically calculating and manipulative" version that we've heard about in the press since about 1991. And in that endeavor, it succeeds. To me, the one place that it does fail is with the background music. I'm sorry, but it just seems cheesy and distracting. The content of the ad, what Clinton says, is the real substance and I think it is quite good for a re-introduction.

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State 29: Professor Bainbridge: "I Was Just Being Sarcastic" When I Called Iowans A Bunch Of Yahoo-Infested Pissants

Excerpted from this post at State 29

... Prof Bainbridge, what do you mean by "representative of the country as a whole"? Which state is representative of the country as a whole? I mean that as a serious question... I don't think that question can be answered without lots of people poking holes into whatever state you bring forth as an example (race, median age, educational makeup, commerce, population, number of metropolitan areas, topography, political affiliation, past history, et al) ... Now I'm not defending Iowa's first-in-the-nation status, I never have, but where do you think candidates would visit if California had the first primary? That's right, only the major metro areas. Do you think for a second that they would appear in some small town to meet with 30 or 40 locals and talk the issues? No, they wouldn't.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Iowa Voice: Underestimating Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice

I'm seeing a lot of blogs that are trivializing the Straw Poll and the entire state of Iowa as a whole, and I just want to say one thing: stop it. I live here, you know. I love this state and everything it represents... It's a great state to raise a family in. It's because Iowa is like this that I have chosen to stay here and it's because Iowa is such a great state that I will likely grow old and die here. To be honest, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else... So you guys on the coasts who think Iowa doesn't matter, think again. If a candidate can't win here, if they can't get the support of traditionally conservative voters (not Republican, mind you, but conservatives), then they aren't going to win anywhere else in the midwest. And I needn't remind you that Republicans, in order to win the White House, NEED the midwest.

Bleeding Heartland: Is Huckabee's rise good or bad for us?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I've long agreed with Kos that Mike Huckabee is the guy in the Republican field I'd least like to see us face in the general. ... Particularly against Hillary, I think Huckabee spells trouble for us. That said, I am not sure whether Huckabee's surprisingly strong showing in the Iowa GOP straw poll is good or bad for Democrats. ... What interests me most about Huckabee's showing is that he did it despite attack ads that the Club for Growth has been running against him on Iowa television stations. ... Huckabee says it's unacceptable for CEOs to make 500 times the salary of their workers and get huge bonuses while they drive their companies into bankruptcy. He talks about coming from a working class family and how he remembers his dad struggling. I mean, does he sound like he's channeling John Edwards, or what? No wonder the Club for Growth hates this guy. ... when I think about Huckabee making the top tier, getting more mainstream media coverage while portraying the GOP as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wall Street and big business, I smile. Having a Republican reinforce this stereotype will reach many voters who would tune out a Democrat making similar allegations.

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Essential Estrogen: Tommy Thompson Staff, Supporters Back on the Market

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

While Thompson did not have as large of a campaign presence in Iowa as some of the better-known and better-financed candidates, he did have both staff and supporters who now find themselves without a political home. Looking at staffers, recent Iowa State University graduate Alyssa Staley was the person to first hold a paid campaign position for Thompson in Iowa. She first served as chairwoman for his campaign at ISU and then as a field organizer. Also serving as field organizers were former president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women Gwen Ecklund, current ISU College Republicans executive director Jordan Navara, Jeanita McNulty, Marlys Grant and Tom Erb. ... If there was one area where the Thompson campaign had organized well it was on college and university campuses. ... at the time of this writing, no staff or supporters had made announcement of their intent to move to another candidate, experienced staff and well-known supporters rarely remain unattached for long.

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The South of Iowa: Cost per vote at the straw poll

Excerpted from this post at The South of Iowa

It appears that Huckabee had the lowest cost per vote at the Straw Poll yesterday, at around $58/vote, according to this article. His nearest competitor, Sam Brownback, spent almost three times that amount to get his votes. And, Romney eclipsed all of them at over $440/vote, maybe more, as his team has not released the amount they spent at the event. ... The article claims that Romney probably had the greatest cost per vote. I would disagree and say that John Cox has that position. I don't know what Cox spent, but lets say it was around $50K, possibly more (I don't know what it cost a candidate for just the space). He got 41 votes. That's $1219 per vote. Ouch!

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watersblogged!: Huckabee - NOT Romney - is the real winner at Ames

Excerpted from this post at watersblogged!

Given the advantage he had in organization and finance, Mitt Romney's first place finish at Ames was anything but impressive. That his organization (and bankroll) would render the straw poll non-competitive has been obvious for many months ... Huckabee- not Romney- is the big winner at Ames. From here on out, he has to be taken seriously, just like Romney and Giuliani and McCain and Thompson are taken seriously. Those four- plus Mike Huckabee- constitute the viable field for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination. In fact, that Romney- with all his organization and all his money- was not able to dominate the poll more completely- that Huckabee's showing, rather than Romney's, should be the story- raises some serious questions. ... it'll be hard for the Romney crowd to argue that yesterday's result demonstrates anything resembling a decisive preference on the part of Iowa Republicans for their man.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ames Straw Poll coverage

Read coverage and commentary from Iowa blogs on the Ames Straw Poll:

Iowa Voters: Bizarre "audits" at GOP Straw Poll
http://iowavoters.org/2007/08/11/bizarre-audits-at-gop-straw-poll/

InMuscatine: Thoughts on the Straw Poll
http://inmuscatine.com/?p=1171

The South of Iowa: At the Straw Poll
http://thesouthofiowa.blogspot.com/2007/08/at-straw-poll.html

The Real Sporer: Mitt, but not by a knock out
http://therealsporer.blogspot.com/2007/08/mitt-reaffirms-iowa-status-huck-joins.html

iPol: GOP Straw Poll
http://ipol-2008.blogspot.com/2007/08/gop-straw-poll.html

Cyclone Conservatives: Results and Aftermath: A Story Through Images
http://cycloneconservatives.blogspot.com/2007/08/results-and-aftermath-story-through.html

Back Roads to the White House: After the straw
http://blogs.rockymountainnews.com/denver/sprengelmeyer/archives/2007/08/after_the_straw.html

FromDC2Iowa: Polls, Tolls, Infrastructure and Health Care Built of Straw
http://fromdc2iowa.blogspot.com/2007/08/polls-tolls-infrastructure-and-health.html

HawkeyeGOP: The Straw Poll Resuts - Fuel for the Kook Machine
http://www.hawkeyegop.com/2007/08/the-straw-poll-.html

Iowa Insider: Romney wins, but Huckabee is the story of the night
http://www.wcfcourier.com/blogs/eby/?p=114

Iowans for Romney: Ames Straw Poll -- Some More Pictures
http://iowansforromney.blogspot.com/2007/08/ames-straw-poll-some-more-pictures.html

iowa newz liter: Saturday in the Park (ing lot)
http://iowasnewzliter.blogspot.com/2007/08/saturday-in-park-ing-lot.html

On the Road with Linda: Romney Coasts to Iowa Straw Poll Win; Huckabee, Brownback Follow
http://iseablog.blogspot.com/2007/08/romney-coasts-to-iowa-straw-poll-win.html

What Happened to My Country: Where's GOP Straw Boss?
http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com/2007/08/wheres-gop-straw-boss.html

Friday, August 10, 2007

Iowa Independent: This Ron Paul Revolution Will Be Live-Blogged!!!

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Prologue: Tonight's Ron Paul Rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa will be live
blogged from the belly of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event is a
prelude to the Ames Straw Poll fundraiser on Saturday, where the Ron
Paul Revolution plans to storm the gates of Hilton Coliseum and
catapult their candidate into the top tier. Ron Paul supporters,
wielding signs, aligned both sides of the street as I pulled into the
city of Five Seasons. About 30-40 supporters hollered quotes such as,
"We're not just the Internet." Passersby honked for Paul as they
parted 7th Avenue. The place is slowly filling up, not to mention
there are two uniformed policemen stationed at the exits, which I have
yet to see at a Republican presidential event. Ah yes, throw
Revolution in the mix and the peace officers are bound to show up.
This should be interesting indeed.

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Political Forecast: South Carolina GOP officially moves primary to Jan. 19

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

Throwing one wrench into a bunch of gears usually complicates the
machinery that's trying to work. The South Carolina GOP officially
just threw in about one hundred wrenches into a bunch of gears that
make up the national primary and caucus calendar. I wrote a bit about
the planned announcement yesterday on Bleeding Heartland, even
re-posting a potential calendar that Chris Bowers saw as likely.
However, the Associated Press is reporting that contrary to Bowers'
speculation, Iowa will be forced to move the caucuses to mid-December
and not to Jan. 4th. "South Carolina had scheduled its Republican
primary for Feb. 2, but at a news conference with New Hampshire
Secretary of State Bill Gardner, Dawson said the change to Jan. 19 was
needed to protect South Carolina's first-primary-in-the-South
tradition. Given the change, Gardner will be forced by state law to
move the New Hampshire primary to at least Jan. 12. Iowa then probably
would move up its traditional leadoff caucuses, perhaps to as early as
mid-December."

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Cyclone Conservatives: Duncan Hunter's Iowa Tele-Conference Call

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Congressman Duncan Hunter's campaign dialed up my phone tonight for
yet another tele-conference call with Iowans. Being the political
junkie I am, I obviously took the opportunity to listen in to it for
awhile. Like the last one that his campaign hosted a week or so ago, I
didn't get a chance to listen to all of it. Though, what I did listen
to was fantastic. Duncan was on the phone the whole time with Phyllis
Schlafly, the prominent conservative icon associated with Eagle Forum.
I entered into the call with Duncan, not surprisingly, talking about
border security. Along with Tancredo, this is a very important issue
for Congressman Hunter and he uses it well. He noted that there are
Democratic Governors in neighboring states (he cited Richardson in New
Mexico and Napoliatano in Arizona) that claim that whatever size fence
you build, you'll just find a whole lot of one foot longer ladders.

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Century of the Common Iowan: New Poll Shows Obama in Third... Among Iowa Republicans

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

There was a new poll released yesterday by the University of Iowa. The
poll is interesting to take a look at because it breaks down caucus
goers based on how likely they will attend the caucuses. However, the
most shocking finding in the poll comes from the question about
presidential preference that included candidates from both parties...
'Obama actually finished third as the preferred general election
candidate of registered Republicans, at 6.7 percent, behind Romney
(21.8 percent), and Giuliani (10 percent), but ahead of Thompson (5.2
percent) and McCain (1.8 percent).' Another interesting thing to note
is that the results among the least likely caucus goers in Iowa are
pretty similar to the national poll numbers. From Open Left... 'I am
struck by how similar the "least likely" caucus goers in Iowa seem to
break along roughly the same lines as national polls.'

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

The Demo Memo: South Carolina Creates Chaos in Primary Process

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

South Carolina is asserting its apparent "right" to be the first
presidential primary in the South. The state's decision will have a
domino affect on Iowa and New Hampshire. Iowa's state law stipulates
that Iowa must have the first caucus in the nation, requiring that
date to be set at least eight days before any other state's contest.
New Hampshire has a similar law, stating its contest must take place
at least one week before any other presidential primary. South
Carolina's decision pushes New Hampshire back, and therefore creates
the unlikely scenario of a New Year's Eve caucus in Iowa. Iowa state
party leaders would most likely push the date back to December 17th.
This is almost an untenable situation for the Iowa campaign staff.
Everyone knows how hard it is to get people to focus on anything
besides Christmas preparation in those last two weeks before December
25. Imagine throwing a caucus into the mix. Oy, I feel sorry for those
young staffers.

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More blog reaction to South Carolina primary shake-up

-- John Deeth Blog: Leapfrog All Over The Place
http://jdeeth.blogspot.com/2007/08/leapfrog-all-over-place.html

-- Bleeding Heartland: Coming December 2008: The Iowa Caucuses?http://www.bleedingheartland.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=457

-- Radio Iowa: Governor says Iowa will be first, no matter what
http://learfield.typepad.com/radioiowa/2007/08/governor-says-i.html

-- Price of Politics: 2008 Caucuses in 2007?
http://whoiapolitics.blogspot.com/2007/08/2008-caucuses-in-2007.html

-- Daily Kos: Primaries to (maybe) start in December
http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/8/8/151726/2024

-- The Corner: Not since 'The Music Man' has Iowa been tricked this > badly> http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NTk3ZTRhOGUxMGY5N2Q5YzFkMTEwMzIxNWM5NTk4N2U=

-- Open Left: The Complete Low-Down On The Primary Calendar Shake-up
http://www.openleft.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=649

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Popular Progressive: Summer of (Where's the) Love

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

With the moving up of major parties' primaries, politics have been
brutal this summer. As Joe Biden (who probably shouldn't make jokes
about Tulane being underwater) said on the Daily Show last night in
reference to Senator Obama's turn in fortune, "It's rough out there."
And it is coming within the Dem party and from the right wingers who
say things like "Edward's whored his wife's cancer for a fund raising
gimmick". Over on the right, similar gesticulations are happening
(right, John McCain?). The politics of dismantling are brutal, but
doesn't the average voter see through the strategy? To dismantle
Obama, the strategy is to minimize his foreign policy experience; to
dismantle Edwards; go after his money (via his haircut); to dismantle
Clinton, go after her war votes and on and on.

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Back Roads to the White House: Huckabee has his 'moments'

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has reason for some optimism going
into this weekend's symbolic Iowa straw poll. The latest Iowa
Republican poll shows him tied with Sen. John McCain for fourth place
in the Iowa polls -- behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney,
former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Tennessee Sen.
Fred Thompson. But he knows the history of the symbolic straw poll.
It's a make-or-break moment for all the candidates. Right? Here's what
he told us in Boone, Iowa, on Wednesday: "You know, for us it's all
part of the long haul. I mean, I think a lot of people are saying this
is sort of the seminal moment, period. It's not for us, although we
think it's a pivotal moment not a seminal moment if that makes any
sense." What?

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Caucus Date Leapfrog Update: SC GOP Announcing Date -- In NH

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Manchester Union-Leader is reporting that the South Carolina
Republican chair will announce his state's GOP primary date on
Thursday -- at the New Hampshire state capitol. Observers including
the New Hampshire Republican chair expect the date to be Jan. 22 - the
currently scheduled New Hampshire date. Talking Points Memo calls the
New Hampshire-based announcement "a sign of chivalry to New
Hampshire's first-primary tradition." In South Carolina, the parties
set their own primary dates. South Carolina Democrats are still
scheduled for Jan. 29, and according to a Democratic Party agreement
are supposed to have that date to themselves as the fourth contest.
But the GOP-controlled Florida legislature moved that state's primary
to Jan. 29.

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Ben and Bawb's Blog: Why I'm Voting For Ron Paul at the Iowa Straw Poll

Excerpted from this post at Ben and Bawb's Blog

A quick glance around the periphery of this web page reveals that both
Bawb and I are pulling for Dr. Ron Paul to get the Republican
nomination for president. Let me elaborate why I'll be voting for him
at the Republican straw poll in Ames Saturday. My reason is this: I
believe Ron Paul will lead the party back to a position supporting
smaller, Constitutionally limited government. This is vitally
important because America currently does not have a viable political
party that advocates such. The Tenth Amendment is dead. The Second
Amendment is on life-support. First Amendment free speech rights, the
Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and
Fifth Amendment property rights are increasingly under assault from
various government entities. Spending has skyrocketed, borrowing
against the economic freedom of our heirs.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Rep. Dwayne Alons' Fundraiser in Hull: Cox, Huckabee, Hunter & Tancredo

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Tonight, I attended Representative Dwayne Alons' fundraiser in
downtown Hull. Rep. Alons and his wife Clarice are two of the nicest
and most dedicated people you will ever meet. I was pleased to attend
this event. They had upwards of 100 people there and so it was a very
good event for him. I got to spend a good quantity of time talking to
two fellow bloggers: Mike Tate with Tancredo and Vincent Harris with
Huckabee. Both of these guys are in college (Tate goes to school in
Pennsylvania and Harris in Texas) and they are both playing HUGE roles
in the campaigns of these two fantastic campaigns. I'm definitely a
fan of their work. As I have mentioned many times, the 'new media' is
the wave of the future and these guys, both about 20 or 21, are way
ahead of 99.999 percent of everyone else with their knowledge of this
and how it applies to political campaigns.

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Essential Estrogen: Roe v. Wade Plaintiff to Campaign for Sam Brownback in Ames

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Norma McCorvey, known to most as "Jane Roe" in the landmark medical
privacy case Roe v. Wade, will show her support for Kansas Sen. Sam
Brownback during the Ames Straw Poll on Saturday. "Sam Brownback is
the right person, in the right place at the right time for our nation
as we seek to embrace a culture of life," she said in a prepared
statement. "I call on pro-life Iowans to voter for Senator Brownback
in Ames this Saturday. Our nation needs a president with strength,
courage and moral fortitude -- one who will lead our society on a path
that respects human life and dignity." In 1970, McCorvey was the
plaintiff in a case challenging a Texas law prohibiting abortion. At
that time, she had claimed her pregnancy was the result of gang rape,
a statement she has since declared a lie.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

iowas newz liter: Secrets out

Excerpted from this post at iowas newz liter
What did Chester know and when did he know it? We certainly know who Chester owed and when he owed it and the scientific community is united in that fact. --State settles TouchPlay lawsuit for $1.6 million-- Iowa will pay the settlement to the largest operator of the TouchPlay companies to sue the state. ... It seems like yesterday that Jim Nussle warned... "...There's a secret plan out there to either reinstate TouchPlay or for that matter, for a secret settlement." ... Krause's $25,000 investment in the Culver campaign earned him $1,671,370.50 and now he can sell off his machines.

Chase Martyn On Display: Ron Paul's Relaxing Iowa Vacation?

Excerpted from this post at Chase Martyn On Display
About a month ago, I heard Ron Paul's campaign staff pledge that they would get 10,000 of their supporters to the Ames Straw Poll during their alternative event next to the ICA/ITR Republican Candidates Forum, from which Paul was excluded. Then it was revealed — on Paul's own official Straw Poll site — that Paul was only able to buy 500 tickets ($17,500 worth) to give away. The other 9,500 supporters will theoretically have to buy their own tickets — or will they? I suppose they could take Mitt Romney's free ride and barbecue and then vote for Paul, but could 9,500 of them really squeeze by Mitt's crowd-wranglers? And, more aptly, where are those 9,500 Ron Paul-supporting Iowans going to come from?

The Demo Memo: Ron Paul Campaign Asks Supporters to "Adopt an Iowan" For Iowa Straw Poll

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo
The Ron Paul campaign is combating the usual strategy of winning the Iowa Straw Poll this coming weekend in Ames, Iowa. ... The Paul campaign is twisting that around a little... they are asking people who live outside of Iowa to "adopt an Iowan" and pay for their ticket so they may attend the event. The Iowa Straw Poll is essentially just a fundraiser for the Iowa GOP, financed by republican campaigns desperate to win the first big presidential pissing match of the year.

Political Fallout: Jesus Told Tom Tancredo to Bomb Mecca?

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout
Somebody who feels compelled to publicly announce they've found Jesus and made Him his personal savior makes me really nervous, especially if that somebody is a politician running for office. (e.g. George W. Bush) ... Tancredo may want to revisit (or visit assuming he hasn't read it) the "Old Testament" before joining a book club with Jesus. ... A spiritual source with Political Fallout did manage to intercept a memo sent from Jesus to Tancredo under the newly adopted FISA guidelines -- which permits the government to intercept messages from any entities outside the United States (i.e. Heaven) that are deemed a threat to American Imperialism and the spread of Democracy. ... "Dear Tom, While watching the GOP debate on the day set aside for praising my father and only my father, it came to my attention that you had found Me and made Me your personal savior. Although flattered, I don't recall making this pact and after combing through my files, I found no record of you finding Me."

More reaction to Sunday's GOP debate in Des Moines

-- Cyclone Conservatives: ABC Drake University GOP Debate: Perspective From An Audience Member
http://cycloneconservatives.blogspot.com/2007/08/abc-drake-university-gop-debate.html

-- Essential Estrogen: Republicans Enter Straw Poll Carrying Torches
http://www.essentialestrogen.com/2007/08/republicans_enter_straw_poll_c.html

Monday, August 06, 2007

Blog reaction to Sunday's GOP debate

Iowa Voice: Republicans Debate In Iowa
http://www.iowavoice.com/2007/08/05/republicans-debate-in-iowa
First off, I take issue with what Stephanapoulos says in the early minutes of the debate, that they polled a bunch of people and the overwhelming question was Iraq. That's so damn bogus, it's not even funny. ... And Iraq has dominated virtually every Republican debate so far. That, and "how are you not George W. Bush?" type questions. It's just silly beyond belief that these questions keep popping up.

The Real Sporer: Live Debate Coverage from Des Moines
http://therealsporer.blogspot.com/2007/08/live-debate-coverage-from-des-moines.html
Today, the Real Sporer features another edition of live debate coverage. We're fairly certain that our candidates will distinguish themselves from the wacky Dems, all of whom promised aggressive government spending, unconditional retreat from Iraq and socialized medicine in their recent appearance at the WorldKos convention.

The Demo Memo: Republican ABC Drake Debate in Des Moines Today
http://thedemomemo.com/2007/08/republican_abc_drake_debate_in.html
Giuliani was like a pull-toy with a broken part, saying "islamic terrorism" so many times I thought that springs were going to pop out of his head. I was amused to watch Mitt Romney squirm under examination by his fellow candidates on the issue of his total flip-flop on abortion.

Back roads to the White House: Thunder and rainbows at the Republican debate
http://blogs.rockymountainnews.com/denver/sprengelmeyer/archives/2007/08/thunder_and_rainbows_at_the_go.html
Des Moines residents awoke Sunday to a downpour, some vicious wind gusts and an alert that a political tempest was blowing into town with all its fury. Still, for at least a few minutes, a rainbow appeared to touch down on the Sheslow Auditorium at Drake University, where nine Republican candidates met for a morning television debate -- their last, full-fledged showdown before next Saturday's crucial Iowa GOP straw poll in Ames. It wasn't all smiles and rainbows.

Radio Iowa blog: Final thoughts on GOP debate in DSM
http://learfield.typepad.com/radioiowa/2007/08/final-thoughts-.html
Romney was "on" today. He had the best line of the day -- the dig at Obama using "Jane Fonda" and "Dr. Strangelove". ... All but Ron Paul (and perhaps John McCain, who often brings up his criticism of the way the war was waged for its first four years) fail to go on the offensive against their president. ... I was asked by several different people whether I thought the debate had provided any new daylight for any of the candidates leading up to the Straw Poll on Saturday. I can't say I saw anything there that led to a breakthrough, and there were no major gaffes, so I think we can call it a wash.

Iowa Voice: Exclusive: Huckabee Interview

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Voice
I explained to him that I posted about the interview and asked for my readers to send in their questions or submit them in the comment section. I didn't get any in the comments, but I did get quite a few via email ... Brian: This next question baffled me a little. I had about fifty emails come in with questions to ask you, yet not a single one was about Iraq. Does that say something to you, that maybe this isn't the big issue the Democrats and the media are making it out to be…? Governor Huckabee: Iraq is a big issue, but it's not as divisive among Republicans and conservatives. We know that we've got to stay there and bring stability. Uh, we all want to get out. But no, it's not the issue [that] drives everybody's thoughts right now. It's not the dinner table issue when the family sits down. They are talking about health care, and education, their jobs, their paychecks, and we need to have more of that discussion. We didn't have ANY questions about education in three debates. One question about health care. Didn't ever bring up…uh, never brought up infrastructure. We talked about Iraq nearly the whole time. And, certainly we need to discuss them more.

Cyclone Conservatives: Brownback Campaign Calling Vander Plaats Supporters to Support Sam

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
Tonight, I listened to a message on my parents' answering machine that literally made my jaw drop. Senator Sam Brownback's campaign is calling supporters of Bob Vander Plaats' gubernatorial bids and asking them to support Senator Sam at the Straw Poll. If you know anything about this race in Iowa, you know that Bob Vander Plaats is the State Chairman for Huckabee's campaign, which is one of Brownback's chief rivals in this campaign. This is a very misleading phone call.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Iowa Insider: Iowa's Toughest Crowds are at the State Fair

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

The Iowa State Fair showcases a slice of Americana smack dab in the
Heartland. Presidential candidates might think the folks at the fair
would be in a friendly mood to meet them. They could be wrong. It
might be the toll of the August heat, but some of the most
cringe-inducing cases of heckling I've ever witnessed occurred right
on the fair's Grand Concourse. And yet the fair is an almost mandatory
campaign stop and proving ground for presidential wannabes, who can
grab a microphone and try out their stump speech in front a discerning
audience perched on hay bales. The 11-day event, running this year
from Aug. 9-19, also feeds the media with the unscripted campaign
moments they crave. The fair is where I saw reporters and camera guys
push to get a better position to chronicle Joe Lieberman sinking his
teeth into a kosher deep-fried Twinkie. That same year, I saw a cranky
Emma Claire Edwards pull her father away from his avail with
reporters.

Essential Estrogen: Iowa Missing from Mitt Romney's Financial Leadership

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Iowa and the other three states set to lead the 2008 presidential
nomination process are not represented on a list of national finance
chairs and co-chairs recently announced by former Gov. Mitt Romney's
campaign. The men and women on the list represent 21 states -- New
York, Tennessee, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida, Kansas, Utah,
Washington, Michigan, California, Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Virginia,
Arizona, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Connecticut, Georgia and Idaho.
According to a press release on Wednesday, the individuals will "offer
valuable support and counsel to Gov. Romney as he travels the country
communicating his vision of bringing conservative change to
Washington. The individuals have been leading efforts over the past
few months to build the resources for Romney's campaign. The chairs
serve as regional leaders of the committee while co-chairs are
primarily responsible for raising funds in their respective states.

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FromDC2Iowa: Revenue is Needed

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

'Once "revenue is needed" is the Polestar for a university's financial
decisions its moral compass begins to spin as if it was located on the
North Pole.'... The announcement yesterday that the Bancroft family
would, after all, sell the Wall Street Journal and the rest of Dow
Jones to media mogul Rupert Murdock is illustrative of the issues
confronting the University of Iowa -- and virtually all other
institutions of higher education in America. Murdoch offered $60 a
share for stock traded at closer to $37 -- a total of $5 billion. The
family resisted: "several members of the Bancroft family -- Dow
Jones's controlling owners -- opposed Murdoch's bid, fearing the
tabloid king would wreck the integrity of the Journal and use it to
further his business and political interests. In the end, nearly
two-thirds of the Bancroft family voted for the merger." Frank Ahrens,
"Dow-Jones Murdoch Merge in $5.8B Deal; Sides Agree to Create
Editorial Board as Buffer Between Murdoch, Wall St. Journal,"
Washington Post, August 1, 2007. What tipped the balance?

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: Clinton's show of hands

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

That's what a crowd of school teachers in Storm Lake, Iowa, could have
told Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on Tuesday night if they wanted to
play the role of class clowns. After all, that was what Clinton told a
debate moderator recently when he asked the crowd of candidates on
stage to reply to a question by raising their hands. But alas: it was
a missed opportunity for group sarcasm. Despite her complaints about
the dreaded show-of-hands questions during the debates, Clinton
apparently understands the value now. When the crowd is too big to get
detailed answers from everybody, well, why not save time by asking
them to raise their hands? She did it Tuesday by asking teachers to
raise their hands if they had ever had to spend their own money to buy
classroom supplies. Virtually every hand shot up. That's not a
surprise to anyone.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa ARG Poll Suggests Fireworks In Post Straw Poll Political World

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The very highly regarded American Research Group (ARG) released
polling data today from our great state and the numbers provide a very
fascinating picture. No matter what happens on August 11, we're headed
for a tremendous fall and winter here in Iowa. Surely, the Straw Poll
will end the campaigns of some of our Republican friends. However, the
post straw poll world could be just as fascinating. Here's the
Republican numbers. The sample was 600 and the margin of error was
(+/-4). The polling data provides some interesting news. First of all,
Giuliani and McCain have both scored solid bounce backs of 4 points
whereas Romney loses 4 points. Fred Thompson also lost a point and the
undecided figure also jumped up a point. This is all from their June
numbers. None of the lower tiered candidates were able to sufficiently
make any real progress and even some lost some traction.

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Bleeding Heartland: ARG Iowa poll: Clinton, Edwards, Obama, Richardson

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

ARG, which has shown Clinton leading in Iowa all year, released a new
poll today with similar findings. Details and a spirited discussion of
this poll can be found over at MyDD. Here are the key findings:
Clinton 30 (down from 32 in last ARG poll), Edwards 21 (down from 29
in last ARG poll), Obama 15 (up from 13 in last ARG poll), Richardson
13 (up from 5 in last ARG poll). These numbers just don't ring true to
me. I don't believe Clinton leads Edwards in Iowa, and certainly not
by that kind of a margin. All year ARG has had Clinton around 30
percent in Iowa, and I can't remember any other pollster finding her
with support that high. ARG's new numbers for Republicans in Iowa are
also at odds with recent polling by other firms. ARG finds: Giuliani
22, Romney 21, McCain 17, Undecided 15, Fred Thompson 13, Gingrich 4.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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