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Friday, November 30, 2007

John Deeth Blog: John Edwards: Iowa City Foreign Relations, Liveblog

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

John Edwards addressed the Iowa City Foreign Relations Council
Thursday night, focusing on trade issues but touching on several other
global hot spots. 6:03 and Team Edwards is in Serious Speech mode. No
hoopla, few signs, no music. We know this event is finite because some
of the local Edwardians report seeing an MSNBC crew setting up near
this event. Edwards is scheduled for a Keith Olbermann interview
between 7 and 8 Iowa time. Efficient Mark McCullogh hand out the
prepared remarks and an unfortunate blast of feedback starts the
formalities.

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Political Forecast: Another Republican legislator won't run again in 2008

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

First-term Rep. Dan Clute of Clive has decided he won't be running for
re-election in 2008. He says that a new job is what led him to choose
the option. I'm sure being a new member of the minority party in the
House didn't help either. That makes the list of Republicans in the
Iowa Legislature who aren't running for re-election even longer. On
the list right now are folks like Pat Ward, Jeff Angelo, Mary Lundby,
Walt Tomenga, and now Dan Clute.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Romney, Thompson Go Negative

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

Neither Romney nor Thompson are willing to concede the conservative
vote to Huckabee. A Romney mailer goes after four rivals--but for the
first time, goes after Huckabee by name. The mailer targets Huckabee's
support for the so-called "dream act", a proposal (which has been made
in Iowa as well) to give state-supported college scholarships to
children of illegal aliens. This idea is not popular.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Pro-choice GOP Group Aims Fire at Romney

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

A group calling themselves "Republican Majority for Choice" unleashed
a very well done ad today that highlights the varying abortion
positions of Mitt Romney over time. This is the second time Mitt
Romney has been attacked by a socially liberal GOP group. Earlier in
the fall, the Log Cabin Republicans unleashed their ad about Romney.
In a way, this ad is both a blessing and a curse for Romney. Mitt can
go around saying that a pro-choice group is trying to attack him
because he is pro-life and that is a threat to them.

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Bleeding Heartland: Democrats face several debates, forums in Iowa over the next week

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

This weekend the Democratic candidates for president will be
cris-crossing the state, particularly around the Des Moines area to
attend several debates and forums hosted by a variety of groups.
First, early Saturday afternoon, five Democrats (Hillary Clinton,
Chris Dodd, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, and Barack Obama) will face
questions from real folks from around Iowa at the Heartland
Presidential Forum which is hosted by Iowa Citizens for Community
Improvement, the Center for Community Change, and a variety of other
organizations.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: ISU Sociology Study Suggests Students Will Caucus In Higher Numbers

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

A well-publicized study published yesterday by the sociology
department shows that college students (at least here at Iowa State)
are likely to caucus in higher numbers on January 3. The results of
this survey are interesting. I remember sending in my responses so
this study is of personal interest to me. This survey, administered
through e-mail, was returned by 2,185 students and it showed that 73
percent of the students were registered to vote and it showed that of
those 73 percent, 53 percent of those are planning to caucus.

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John Deeth Blog: Jon Kyl's Rise and Iowa's Wane

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

In a few days, U.S. Senate Republicans will officially anoint Senator
Jon Kyl of Arizona to replace Trent Lott of Mississippi as minority
whip, the number two post in the Senate GOP leadership. A few Iowans
will recall that Senator Kyl's father, John Kyl (same name, different
spelling) was an Iowa congressman. But in a way, you could argue that
Jon Kyl cost his father his seat in Congress. No, there wasn't some
adolescent scandal in Bloomfield, Iowa. But the story of the Kyl
family is, in microcosm, the story of Iowa's declining political
influence as the American people, including a young Jon Kyl, have
moved south and west.

The Real Sporer: The Clinton News Network strikes again

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

After pretty obviously rigging the last Democrat debate format for
Hillary Clinton, packing the audience, planting pro-Hillary questions,
employing Hillary campaign advisors as its post debate panel, etc. ...
CNN reminded the world how it earned the name "Clinton" News Network.
Last night CNN demonstrated a willingness to abandon even a vestigial
recognition of journalistic integrity. Fred Barnes got the big picture
right. The debate was an embarrassment. CNN could not have gone to
further extremes to present a mere caricature of the Republican Party.
Other than immigration there were virtually no substantive questions
about the leading policy issues of the day.

HawkeyeGOP: A Shift in the Polls

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

I read over at the excellent Cyclone Conservatives site that the
newest Rasmussen Poll shows Huckabee in the lead in Iowa. The poll of
likely Republican caucus-goers puts Huckabee in the lead with 28% and
Romney second with 25%. While the difference is within the poll's
margin of error, the result is significant since it is the first poll
to show Huckabee in the lead. Here are the rest of the results... The
most interesting part about this shift is that Huckabee has made gains
in the polls without having a significant organization on the ground
in Iowa.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: DM Register needs a better political editor

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

When the presidential candidates release plans to deal with important issues, such as education, global warming, or veterans' affairs, the Des Moines Register more often than not buries the story in the middle pages of the Metro Iowa section. That is especially true for the second-tier candidates. Tuesday morning I picked up the Register and saw a photo of Chris Dodd and Joe Biden on the front page of the main section. Wow, that's unusual. But what do you think the story was about? 'Both Dodd, a senator from Connecticut, and Biden, a senator from Delaware, each are hoping to emerge and knock out a front-runner. But both facing an increasing amount of questions about whether they are different enough for voters to tell them apart.'

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HawkeyeGOP: Fred Thompson

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

There has been a movement among social conservatives in Iowa to sell Fred Thompson as the anti-Rudy in the GOP field. I have heard all the talk about electability and the arguments go something like this: '... The only possible conservative alternative to Rudy is Fred Thompson. Fred has national name recognition and can raise the money.' National Right to Life has endorsed Thompson's candidacy, though Iowa Right to Life has declined to support any candidate. Still, I don't buy it. Fred Thompson is conservative enough but he has never been a conservative leader.

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Political Fallout: Clinton Endorses Clinton During Muscatine Dog-and-Pony Show

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout

Iowans were surprised today when former President Bill Clinton hit the campaign trail in Muscatine, Iowa and endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton for the coveted political nod: "The person I'd most likely want to go into a blizzard of adversaries until the last dog died." Dog-fighting adversaries, still reeling from the high-profile Michael Vick conviction, took note of Bill Clinton's liberal use of dog-fighting metaphors and vowed to ramp up the anybody-but-Hillary voting contingency.

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Back Roads to the White House: Flashes of Bill-iance

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

In Democratic politics, former President Bill Clinton can be like a blinding light. Whether you consider him brilliant or not, when he's on stage he has a tendency to obscure those standing around him. That includes his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. That could be one reason why he's mostly campaigning solo these days. On Tuesday, he sang his wife's praises at small town stops in eastern Iowa, the more Democrat-friendly half of the state where Sen. Clinton has pinned her hopes of winning a tight, three-way battle with Sen. Barack Obama and former Sen. John Edwards.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Obama campaign: volunteer if you want to see Oprah

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Oprah will travel to Iowa to campaign for Barack Obama, and his
campaign has come up with a counter-intuitive way of doling out
tickets that is either brilliant or foolish: 'In a news release
announcing the events, Obama's campaign said tickets to the Iowa
events will be given first to precinct captains, then campaign
volunteers, then to supporters and undecided caucus-goers...' I would
never have thought to do this. When a big event for John Edwards is
planned, I try to get as many undecided voters from my precinct to
attend as possible. I figure, it's more helpful to put undecided
voters at an exciting event than it is to pack the room with
supporters.

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Radio Iowa: Vilsack underestimates Oprah's ratings in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, as ABC's The Note put it this
morning, is one of Hillary Clinton's "overly enthusiastic" supporters. (Observers note Vilsack was among those holding a sign and screaming
"Turn Up the Heat" during HRC's speech at the Iowa Democratic Party's
Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner earlier this month.) As you may know,
Oprah Winfrey is going to be campaigning with Obama in Iowa on
Saturday, December 8, 2007. In answer to a reporter who asked Vilsack
what Oprah's ratings were in the Hawkeye State, Vilsack told The
Washington Times in essence that Oprah's show probably isn't as highly
rated in Iowa as it is elsewhere since a high percentage of Iowa women
work a full-time, out-of-the-home job.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Red States Growing, Blue States Shrinking

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

One of my favorite blogs, Politics Nation, had an extremely
fascinating blurb about a week ago dealing with the whole issue of
population shifts and growth in the United States. This matters for a
whole host of reasons but there is one really important reason: the
electoral college. Every ten years, the country goes through a
congressional redistricting. This usually leads to some states gaining
seats in the House of Representatives and some states losing seats.
Unfortunately, Iowa is likely to lose a seat in 2012 when the new
districts take shape. While the news is bad for Iowans, it isn't all
bad for Republicans as a whole. Why?

John Deeth Blog: Leach Pessimistic on Iran

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach says he is "extremely pessimistic"
about U.S. relations with Iran. "We've administered a policy analogous
to the same policy we've had towards Cuba, both attitudinally and in
effect, of not talking and of basically refusing to deal on a
respectful basis," the head of Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of
Government told Iowa Independent. "Isolating a potential foe is in
many circumstances counterproductive. Just as we should be having
more civil relations as much as we disagree with Castro, I think if we
had more civil relations with Iran we'd be in much better
circumstances to achieve a diplomatic outcome."

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Monday, November 26, 2007

John Deeth blog: Caucusing Is (Sort of) Easy For Democrats

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog

... Clinton needs a Caucus 101 program more than some of her rivals because, more and more, it appears she is counting on first-time caucus-goers. Polls are showing that Clinton, not Gen-X phenom Barack Obama, is doing best among 18-29 year old potential caucusers (particularly young women). ... The funniest part of the Clinton video is about 1:35 in when they show an orderly school gym with about 50 people (carefully selected for diversity) and actual room to move around, even for the two people in wheelchairs. (One would be tokenism, two is a demographic.) Take that crowd, in a room that size, and multiply it by about eight or ten, and you'll get a more realistic picture. ... The deepest, darkest secret in the political universe is the vote total from the Iowa Democratic caucuses. It's never reported, it doesn't even exist. The only thing reported on caucus night is delegate numbers.

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Open Country: Iowa caucuses still wide open?

Excerpted from this post at Open Country

... After calling Hillary's local office a couple of times to ask for clarification of instructions, I started by questioning myself and my husband, Jim. Then I moved on to my neighbors, both near and further away. I was absolutely amazed by how many Democrats are still undecided on a candidate to support. More than a few could not even tell me which way they were leaning. When I asked voters to list the number one issue determining who they were going to caucus for and/or vote for, more than a few struggled to narrow the issues to just one.

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The Real Sporer: Crunching the numbers: Or an early projection of the Republican delegate numbers proves its still anyone's race.

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

We are closing in on thirty days to the Iowa Caucus and its vital straw poll. However, the actual delegates for Iowa won’t be selected until next June, at the Republican State Convention. The first actual delegates will be selected by the New Hampshire primary. Now seems like a good time to project delegate numbers based on the actual rules for determining the real delegates that will cast the only real votes for the nominee. ... That leaves 971 delegates that will be determined by electoral process through February 5. Based on the current polls, and assuming normal voting patterns, Rudy should be sitting around 502, or holding about 40% of the delegates determined to that point and 52% of the non caucus/convention delegates. The remaining delegates should shake out as follows: Mitt-112; FDT-184; Huck-32; and McCain-141. While Rudy is likely to have accumulated more delegates than any one opponent, his lead over all combined is only 502-469. Those caucus/convention delegates become extremely important given such close margins.

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Iowans for Romney: A Vote for Mike Huckabee is a Vote for Rudy Giuliani

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney

... Why is a vote for Huckabee a vote for Rudy? On the surface the proposition appears preposterous. Huckabee and Rudy represent the absolute polar opposites of the GOP field; Huck being a solid social conservative but fiscal liberal/moderate and conversely Rudy being a social liberal/moderate and a solid fiscal conservative. I've had conversations with supporters of both Rudy and Huck; they are farily consistent in saying that the one candidate in the race that they wouldn't/couldn't vote for is the other. ... Huckabee's appeal is disproportionately weighted to firm evangelical Christians. The latest Iowa poll shows that Huckabee is blowing every other candidate away in this demographic. He's got nearly half of all evangelical Iowans polled in his camp already. He knows and speaks the language of this well-organized and motivated demographic. But is it enough? Maybe for Iowa, but not for the subsequent states.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Iowa Independent: For Now, Pro-life Group To Stay Neutral In Republican Caucus

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

The Iowa Right to Life Committee voted Monday to follow a long-standing policy and refrain from endorsing a candidate in this year's Iowa Caucus. The move by the board comes despite a decision by the National Right to Life to endorse Fred Thompson two weeks ago, said Kim Lehmen, President of the IRLC. "It was the decision of the Iowa Right to Life Board to stay neutral at this time in order to maintain a long tradition that supports all pro-life candidates in a primary, including Fred Thompson," a statement released Tuesday by the IRLC said. In an interview, Kim Lehmen, president of the group, said that although support for Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is very strong among anti-abortion advocates, there is a concern that he lacks the resources to mount a successful campaign outside of the state.

Cyclone Conservatives: Fred Thompson in the Ice Cream Capital of the World

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This afternoon I drove from rural Archer to Le Mars to see former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson during his campaign stop in Le Mars at the very lovely 4 Brothers restaurant... The event started at about 12:30 and I would estimate that there were about 50 locals and it seemed about that many people who were there with the media. While I'm obviously exaggerating that by quite a bit, there were a lot of TV cameras there and a lot of other journalists there. While I can say that I've been to bigger campaign events in Le Mars in the past year, I don't know that I've been to one that had as much media exposure.

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Iowans for Romney: Romney's Poll Numbers Unphased by Huckabee's surge in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney

New Iowa poll from ABC/WaPo: Numbers in parentheses are from the same firms' last Iowa poll from nearly 4 months ago: Mitt Romney 28% (26%) +2; Mike Huckabee 24% (8%) +16; Fred Thompson 15% (13%) +2; Rudy Giuliani 13% (14%) -1; John McCain 6% (8%) -2; Ron Paul 6% (2%) +4. Big move up for Huckabee, small move up for Paul. Everyone else fairly flat since 4 months ago. Huckabee must be picking up many of the undecideds and Brownbackers (who had 5% last time). There is no denying Huckabee's surge... but until someone shows me that Romney's numbers are falling due to Huckabee's rise then I'm not going to be too concerned.

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John Deeth Blog: Michigan Inaction Means NH Waits

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

"Keep your eyes on the Michigan legislature and the Supreme Court," New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner told CQ Politics when asked about his state's primary date. Gardner, who alone holds the power to set the date for the primary that has been first in the nation since 1920, isn't going to get impatient after 30 years of defending his state's status. In Michigan, on the other hand, the clock is ticking. The state's Jan. 15 primary law has been declared unconstitutional, due to a provision that would give lists of the participants to the political parties but no one else. The Republican-led state Senate has passed an amendment removing the voter-list provision, but the Democratic controlled House failed to met yesterday and is not scheduled to return to session until next Tuesday.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Real Sporer: A speed break for Hillary

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Monday, November 19, 2007 might be remembered as the day that sunk
Evita's Presidential hopes. While a long and winding road remains yet
to be traveled the last few weeks have taken a heavy toll on the
concept of Evita's inevitability. Hillary's first problem is the
intra-mural contest. The latest ABC shows Hillary trailing Obama in
Iowa for the first time. Then news releases showed Hillary trailing
Rudy, Mitt and Fred in Florida, a key bell weather for the Democrats
long term hope of retaining the White House. The two breaking polls
yesterday then lead the media pundits to return to a discussion of
other key states, like Ohio, where Evita either trails or is tied with
the leading Republican candidates.

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Essential Estrogen: Clinton Picks Up Two More Iowa Legislators

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

The campaign for New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is announcing
endorsements from two eastern Iowa lawmakers today. Rep. Todd Taylor,
House District 34, and Sen. Rob Hogg, Senate District 19, were both
rumored to be leaning Clinton after each was given the opportunity to
announce the presidential candidate during recent campaign stops in
Cedar Rapids. "I am convinced Hillary Clinton is ready to lead our
country and restore America's standing in the world," Hogg said. "Her
energy and climate plan would create thousands of new green jobs in
Iowa, protector our environment and break our dependence on foreign
oil."

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Thompson Supporters Losing Faith

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll

As Fred Thompson weighed leaping into the presidential race, several
political insiders spoke openly of Thompson's reputation as a lazy
campaigner and policy maker. I held off commenting early because I
don't like to buy into a "theme" being perpetuated about a candidate
until really studying the candidate's actions and words. But now
CQPolitics.com is reporting that several US House backers of Fred
Thompson are now frustrated with what they see as an apathetic
campaign. They are speaking anonymously, of course. But they accuse
Thompson of turning whispers into a full-scale roar.

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Bleeding Heartland: Rudy not reaching out to Iowa GOP moderates

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I've been saying for a long time that Rudy Giuliani will not be the
GOP nominee. Others say he's got a plausible path: finish in the top
three in Iowa, the top two in New Hampshire, then hang on until the
big states vote on February 5. Now, this would be realistic if Rudy
were actually going after Republican moderates in Iowa. Religious
conservatives clearly call the shots in the party, but if the goal is
just to finish in the top three, you could do that with a united front
of moderates. But read this article from the Sunday Des Moines
Register on the lack of outreach from Giuliani's campaign to
Republican moderates. It is beyond belief.

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Monday, November 19, 2007

Political Fallout: Democratic Candidates Endorse Biden, Sort of... (And Other Observations from the Campaign Trail in Iowa)

Excerpted from this post at Political Fallout
... I've noticed a number of other patterns and/or trends that have emerged along the dusted-up trail over time. Let's begin with the Democrats: ... 2. The Son of a Mill Worker was locked up in solitary confinement once the "War on Lobbyists" was officially declared. 3. Obama's Wayne's-World induced flashbacks to the definitive moment five years ago when he spoke out against an impending war on Iraq have been fewer and far between. ... Now on to the Republicans: 1. Rudy Giuliani has managed to reign in his "9/11 Tourettes" to some degree, but as caucus night nears, the anxiety is bound to unleash a barrage of 9/11 episodes on the trail. ... 2. While Tancredo had cornered the market on xenophobia, the GOP frontrunner in Iowa, Mitt Romney, illustrated why he's the "Turnaround Artist" when he usurped the "Beware of the Illegal Immigrant Under the Bed" crown, which was spearheaded by his fear-mongering Americana TV ads in Iowa.

Century of the Common Iowan: It's a Three-Way Race in Iowa, Even if the Media Doesn't Want it to Be

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan
I watched Iowa Press on IPTV this morning and was surprised about how easy the talking heads, David Yepsen, Mike Glover, O Kay Henderson, and Jeneane Beck, fell for the line the mainstream media is trying to peddle, that it is a race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. ... The talking heads then blew off John Edwards' chances to win the Iowa Caucuses. They all said Edwards sounds too angry, is too wishy-washy on the issues, and Yepsen even said that Richardson has a shot pass Edwards for 3rd place. None of the talking heads even gave Edwards a chance to be in the top 2. ... The point Yepsen, Glover, Henderson, and Beck missed is that Clinton and Obama's support is not as strong as the polls in Iowa show and that Edwards' poll number are more firm.

Cyclone Conservatives: McCain Planning to Abandon Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives
... McCain skipped our state in 2000 and while he was able to win New Hampshire with the help of a rash of independent leaning Republicans, he met his waterloo in South Carolina shortly thereafter. Now, he is thinking that he can strike gold in 2008 by trying the same strategy again. ... if McCain's supporters in Iowa jump onto Team Romney or Team Rudy, that would be counter-productive to McCain's strategy because a blowout in Iowa by Romney could nearly seal the nomination for the Massachusetts Governor. But if McCain's solid core group of supporters back Huckabee and cause a major embarrassment to Romney, McCain could be in a strong position (simply because he'll be spending all of his time there in New Hampshire and most of his resources) to plant a victorious flag and thus hope that the strong core of veterans and strong surge of positive media from a big finish in New Hampshire is enough to propel him onward from South Carolina.

John Deeth Blog: The Revolution At The Tailgates: Ron Paul

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
... Ron Paul wasn't imbibing himself, though a couple supporters appeared to have had their enthusiasm enhanced with a beer or three. "All we have to do is obey the law of the land and make the Founders heroes again, and make the people in Washington realize that it's your life to lead as you choose and not for the government to tell you what to do with it," the Texas congressman told a crowd of 200. The presidential candidate's message seemed to fit well in the boozy, young, free for all atmosphere of a Hawkeye tailgater. ... Some things are different at a Ron Paul rally. Other candidates don't have custom-recorded songs, in rock, rap and country genres, with lyrics encompassing their name and platform. (Typical lyric: "We need Doctor Paul to make a presidential house call.") Most were tolerable, if over-enthusiastic, although the rewrite of "New York, New York" made me briefly think of Rudy Giuliani before it reached the chorus of "Ron Paul, Ron Paul," and the re-written lyrics to the Beatles' "Revolution" made this old-school Lennonist cringe. ... State field director Steve Meyer is predicting a second or even first place finish in Iowa and a New Hampshire win.

State 29: David Yepsen Hates Those Crazy Christians

Excerpted from this post at State 29

Today's Yepsen column, now that it's taken 5 minutes to bring the damn thing up, deals with the issue of a small group (isn't it always?) of moderate Republicans who are trying to bring back the good old days of Bob Michel and Nelson Rockefeller. Or Robert D. "Filthy" Ray. ... The most important part of a "moderate" Republican is that they're in favor of abortion. That's the litmus test. Any other Democrat-ish appeal is just icing on the cake. You can be pro-war and pro-abortion, but still be a moderate in the media's eyes. You could be pro-tax cuts and pro-abortion and still be a moderate. But if you become anti-war and anti-abortion, you're no longer a moderate. You're, uh, something else. A pariah! An annoyance. A nutjob.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Iowa Insider: The biggest snub to Iowa so far

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

An Iowa debate among the Republican presidential candidates was
canceled Thursday, the second major debate in Iowa to be scrapped
because of a lack of participation. Of the GOP field, only Mike
Huckabee confirmed he would attend the Dec. 4 forum sponsored by Fox
News and the Republican Party of Iowa at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines.
Mary Tiffany, spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Iowa, said she
was disappointed only one candidate agreed to participate. "I was
really surprised about this," Tiffany said. Mitt Romney, the GOP
frontrunner in Iowa polls, said Wednesday he wouldn't attend.

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Politically Speaking: RPI, we know your pain

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Word comes this afternoon that the Dec. 4 Republican Party of Iowa
debate, slated for Des Moines and for broadcast by Fox News, has been
cancelled. Only one candidate, Mike Huckabee, had confirmed for the
event. There were state Republican Party debates earlier this year
aired by Fox in New Hampshire, Florida and South Carolina, but there
won't be one originating from Iowa. We in Sioux City, of course, know
the sting of bypass by GOP candidates. A debate announced way back in
summer got little support by the candidates, and by the time it came
off on Oct. 25, the Orpheum Theatre event was downgraded to a forum.
Huckabee and John McCain were the two participants.

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Cyclone Conservatives: New ARG Iowa Poll Reinforces Changing Dynamics of Race

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The American Research Group let loose their new numbers today and the
poll once again reinforces what we've been seeing in other polls: Iowa
is giving the former Arkansas Governor a lot of "Huckmentum" and yet
also showing that many Iowa Republicans are staying "CoMITTed" to
Governor Romney. Right now, it looks like a strong race between
Huckabee and Romney for first in Iowa and it looks like a race between
Thompson, McCain, and Giuliani for 3rd place. This begs the question,
is Huckabee's rise going to continue or is he going to be peaking too
early? Also, have Romney's numbers hit a plateau or is there a chance
that he can push them back upward?

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God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll: Romney Gets Push-Polled

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll

Ah, push polling. Bane of the politician's existence. I have been the
target of it in every campaign I've conducted. Now, Iowa front-runner
Mitt Romney is the target in both Iowa and New Hampshire. These calls
raise the Mormon issue and Vietnam-era deferments received by Mitt
when he was a missionary. The calls all follow the same format. The
pollster asks the caller to identify who they are supporting in an
upcoming race. A few more questions may be asked to make the push poll
seem like a "real" poll. Then things get ugly. The "pollster" acts the
recipient a series of questions framed as such…

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Century of the Common Iowan: Should We Spend $240 Million for Prison Upgrades?

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

From the Des Moines Register... "A committee of the Iowa Legislature
has proposed nearly $240 million in prison construction, including a
new maximum-security facility at Fort Madison and expansions of the
Mitchellville and Newton prisons." ...I understand that the prison in
Ft. Madison is ancient and facilities need to be upgraded. However,
that is not the main reason that is being given. ...Instead of building
more prisons to house more inmates, I wonder how the $240 million
could be used on programs that help prevent people from becoming
inmates in the first place. As a teacher, I see children everyday who
have the deck stacked against them. They face so many hurdles in life
at such a young age that it will be difficult for them to become
successful adults. What can we do help these children overcome some of
these hurdles?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

HawkeyeGOP: The Linn County Central Committee

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

Those crazy Linn County Republicans are at it again. They are
apparently trying to outdo Woodbury County as the most dysfunctional
GOP County Central Committee in Iowa. I was reading The Real Sporer
today and I saw in the comments, a link to KWWL. The headline at KWWL
reads: 'Former Linn County GOP Chair Under Ethics Investigation.' The
news report states that the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board
is investigating former Linn GOP Chairman, Eric Rosenthal. The report
says that there is a complaint alleging that Rosenthal received a
check to reimburse a vendor, cashed the check and pocketed the money.

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iPol: Gaskill Endorsement Makes a Baker's Dozen for Biden

Excerpted from this post at iPol

Iowa State Representative Mary A. Gaskill of Ottumwa today became the
thirteenth Iowa elected official to endorse Joe Biden for president.
For those keeping track at home, here's an endorsement scorecard:
Hillary Clinton: 16, Barack Obama: 15, Joe Biden: 13. It's never clear
how much weight these types of endorsements carry on caucus night. The
potential is certainly there for a candidate to tap into the
endorser's network of financial backers, staff and past volunteers to
enhance their showing in the caucus, but I suspect this potential is
rarely realized to its full extent. That said, Biden's endorsement
tally is impressive nonetheless, and will come as something of a shock
to those who believe poll numbers and fundraising totals tell the
whole story in the Iowa race.

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John Deeth Blog: Inslee Brings Can-Do Attitude To Global Warming

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

A Washington State congressman brought a can-do attitude on global
warming on his book tour, telling an audience at Prairie Lights in
Iowa City Monday that the climate crisis gives America "huge
challenges and huge opportunities both in the same moment." "I think
Americans respond to messages of optimism and confidence, and I think
that is both apt, fitting and powerful in this revolution," Rep. Jay
Inslee, D-Wash., told Iowa Independent after his reading from Apollo's
Fire: Igniting America's Clean Energy Economy. "Leading with a message
that we are going to grow our economy and we are going to create more
options for you is the right message."

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Iowa Insider: Union president: Obama stood "idly by" when workers lost jobs

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

The president of a major labor union is blasting Democrat Barack
Obama, arguing he failed to help save jobs at Maytag's Galesburg,
Ill., plant. R. Thomas Buffenbarger, president of the International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, took aim at Obama in
the union's newsletter, which is e-mailed to 18,000 members. "Illinois
State Senator Obama came to a single rally as union, state and
community leaders tried to keep the Maytag plant in Galesburg open,"
Buffenbarger said.

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The Real Sporer: Tuesdays with Ted, Part 2 - Jerry Crawford and the "Big Lie" Des Moines edition

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

The Clinton years provided a vast laboratory for the Democrats to
perfect their skills of self-defense when caught committing crimes.
Where Republicans just oust our criminals, Dems circle the wagons and
defend their criminals, in the case of the Clintons, to quite
literally the death. Don't believe me, ask Jim McDougall and Vince
Foster, although you will have to speak rather loudly when asking. Now
State Senator Matt McCoy is under indictment. The public record
discloses the existence of a tape recording in which Sen. McCoy is
using language that certainly sounds like extortion.

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God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll: Good News For Huckabee and Edwards

Excerpted from this post at God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll

This blog has predicted that the top three GOP finishers in the Iowa
caucuses will be Romney, Huckabee, and Giuliani and a new CBS poll
confirms this. Huckabee continues to be the consensus choice for
conservatives not rallying to Romney with Thompson now fading fast.
However, the poll does point out that immigration is the top issue
among GOP caucus attendees. We've already talked about Huckabee's
support for the "dream act"... Romney will probably start talking about
it as well.

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John Deeth Blog: The Question No One Wants To Plant

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Iowa caucus goers are pretty darn good at coming up with questions and
generally don't need help. And real people want to ask about the
issues -- it's the journalists who ask about the horse race stuff.
With the Democratic candidates moving into end-game, take-shots mode
in what's increasingly becoming the race to be Not Hillary, the party
loyalty question comes to mind: if you lose the nomination, will you
back your rival?

Bleeding Heartland: Who Should Run in Iowa's 4th District?

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Last month, Selden Spencer surprised many when he announced that he
would not run again in Iowa's 4th district. That left Democrats
searching for a candidate to unseat Rep. Tom Latham, who votes with
President Bush nearly 90% of the time. I know party leaders have been
asking different people about a possible run, but with no luck.
William Myers from Humboldt is an Iraq Vet who is considering a run,
but he is virtually an unknown among Democratic activists in the
district. Also, Kevin Miskell, who is Vice President of the Iowa
Farmer's Union, is considering a run, however rumors have it that
party leaders in Des Moines aren't jumping at him possibly running.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

watersblogged!: A disturbing conversation with Fred Thompson

Excerpted from this post at watersblogged!

Saturday afternoon as I was driving to church, my cell phone rang. It was the Fred Thompson campaign, letting me know that the senator would be doing a meet-and-greet at a cafe in Indianola, a Des Moines suburb not far from where I live, this morning about eleven. Could I make it? I made it a point to be there. After all, I've been a Thompson supporter since... well, long before the beginning. I wanted to show the colors, as it were, and help out at least by being a friendly face at a public event. Besides, its frustrating seeing all of those Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney bumper stickers without being able to respond in kind. Maybe, I thought, they'll bring a few.

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Bleeding Heartland: Four days after voting for trade pact, Hillary wants "time out" from them

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I've got to agree with David Sirota here: Hillary Clinton Thinks
Iowans Are Stupid. Four days after voting for a trade agreement with
Peru, Hillary tells a United Auto Workers conference that "she'll call
a 'time out' on trade agreements if she wins the White House to see if
the deals are draining jobs from the U.S." She also campaigned today
in Waterloo, a city that has lost a lot of good manufacturing jobs.
Will people fall for this?

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa's Caucus PM Time Lead To Restrictions In Turnout?

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

If there is one thing I've realized after starting a blog, it's that
you get a lot of e-mails from people, both positive and negative, and
you get a lot of interesting ideas that you don't often think about
right away. Recently, I received an e-mail from someone who was
wondering what I thought about the caucus time here in Iowa. Now, I'm
not actually talking about the date. I'm talking about the time on
that particular date. Sure, we've experienced a hearty debate over
such topics as college student turnout (it's over break), whether it
conflicts with the Orange Bowl, whether an alternative date would be a
bad choice for the practicing Jewish community, and the list goes on.
There's been much ado about the date, but what about the time?

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John Deeth Blog: After JJ Hoopla, Edwards gets Folksy

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Far from the national media, loud music, hoopla and sign wars of last
night's Jefferson-Jackson dinner, John Edwards stepped into a
quintessential Iowa caucus setting Sunday afternoon. A lone acoustic
guitar player was playing Eagles songs at the Eagles Lodge in Iowa
City in front of a bingo board at a fundraiser for two courthouse
officials who've endorsed Edwards - Supervisor Terrence Neuzil and
Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek. Joe Trippi, the Edwards adviser who seems to
be traveling with the candidate more and more lately, notes Barack
Obama's good reviews. "I think most people would agree that Obama and
Edwards did really well," Trippi tells me.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Ranking the Speeches at the Jefferson

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

I posted this on Daily Kos yesterday and meant to post it here, but
didn't get around to it. Here are my final rankings of the speeches at
the Jefferson Jackson Dinner... 1. Barack Obama - This was the 5th
time seeing Obama in person and he gave the passionate, strong speech
I have heard. Most in attendance would say he was one of the best and
the press, including David Yepsen, declared him the winner too. 2.
John Edwards - Led off the night with a riproaring speech that fired
up the crowd. However, he was probably hurt by going first on a long
night of speeches. He didn't get the media bump, but the 9,000 likely
caucus goers left impressed with Edwards.

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Back Roads to the White House: Tancredo's 'scary' stuff

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Rep. Tom Tancredo is taking the fear factor to an explosive new level
in the Republican presidential contest… On Monday he unveiled a new
television ad that shows a hooded man slip into a peaceful shopping
mall, set down a black backpack -- not far from where children are
playing -- and then, boom! Interspersed with images of a bloody body
and the destruction from recent terrorist attacks in London, Spain and
Russia, it argues that this could be "the price we pay for spineless
politicians who refuse to defend our border against those who come to
kill."

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Coverage of the Iowa Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson dinner

Back Roads to the White House: J.J.: Dy-no-mite!

Bleeding Heartland: 2007 Iowa Jefferson Jackson Dinner Liveblog

Century of the Common Iowan: Video of Obama's Speech at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner

Essential Estrogen: Ohio Governor Endorses Clinton, Attends JJ Dinner

Iowa Independent: Live from the 2007 Jefferson Jackson Dinner

John Deeth Blog: Notes from the Cheap Seats

Price of Politics: JJ

Radio Iowa: Iowa Democrats' Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinner

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: Rudy Giuliani's Townhall at Iowa State University

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This afternoon, I attended Rudy Giuliani's townhall meeting on the
campus of Iowa State University. The former Mayor of New York City
spoke to a crowd of about 400 people and it was basically standing
room only. Normally, the seating is set up in a "theatre" setting, but
this was set up so that Rudy was standing on a podium in the middle of
the room. Rudy was about 45 minutes late but I think that was partly
because he didn't get out UNI as quickly as originally scheduled.
After getting an introduction from Mike Beals, the Students for Rudy
Chairman at ISU, Rudy came out to a very warm reception.

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Back Roads to the White House: Obama on Paul: a diplomatic dodge

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

It took Sen. Barack Obama a split second to answer on Thursday, when
an audience member in Fairfield, Iowa, asked if he thought he could
beat the Republican presidential front-runner, former New York City
Mayor Rudy Giuliani. "Absolutely. Current polls show that I am beating
Giuliani..." The Democratic crowd roared its approval, and Obama's
elaboration was drowned out by cheers. But then, another question
brought on an awkward moment. "What about Ron Paul?"

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chase martyn (on display): Snubbed by Clinton, Iowans for Sensible Priorities to Endorse Nov. 9

Excerpted from this post at chase martyn (on display)

An oft-overlooked interest group in Iowa that could have an important
impact on the Democratic Iowa Caucuses is Caucus4Priorities, the
political endorsement arm of Iowans for Sensible Priorities. The
group, founded and bankrolled by Ben and Jerry (of Ben & Jerry's ice
cream fame), has had a visible presence here this campaign cycle for
longer than any other group. More than 10,000 Iowans have signed
pledges to only caucus for candidates who support "sensible
priorities," which means cutting pentagon spending to pay for domestic
programs like health care and education. Those 10,000 caucus goers
could comprise between 5% and 10% of the Democratic electorate.

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John Deeth Blog: Jefferson-Jackson 2007 Predicted To Top Past Years

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Iowa Democratic Party is predicting a biggest-ever crowd of 9,000
Saturday for its annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner, the last major
command-performance cattle call event for the top six Democratic
presidential candidates in Iowa. The "JJ" dinner is annual, but peaks
in pre-caucus years. The Des Moines fundraising event is long since
sold out, but you can probably score a ticket from a campaign for the
small price of a signed pledge card. Campaigns scoop up tickets, haul
in supporters, and engage in the usual sign wars and other such
one-upmanship, as JJ kicks off the end game of caucus season.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Demo Memo: Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows: Robertson and Rudy

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

Oh yes, it's my favorite time of the year... political endorsement
time. I've seen some strange ones in my time. A few years back my
liberal hometown newspaper endorsed draconian Congressman Steve King
from Iowa's fifth district, then spent the entire year kicking itself
in its proverbial butt over and over. The endorsement I read about
yesterday probably takes the cake for the most unlikely and strangest
of all time. Pat Robertson, the idiot-in-chief of the radical right
endorsed Rudy Giuliani. I rubbed my eyes, thinking, that I must have
read it wrong.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Brownback Boards McCain's Straight Talk Express

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Senator John McCain has landed himself a steller new endorsement this
morning when Senator Sam Brownback decided it was time to board the
Straight Talk Express. I'm not terribly surprised by this, but at the
same time, both men are not necessarily policy clones of each other
either. For instance, Brownback favors a splitting of Iraq into three
portions while McCain is probably the best civilian spokesperson the
President has for the current policy. Both men are fervently pro-life
but McCain is not a strong supporter of the Federal Marriage
Amendment; whereas Brownback most certainly is. They are; however,
very similar on the immigration issue.

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The Real Sporer: Their promises, your money

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Democrats in Iowa this week continue to promise your tax money to
others. In just the last 48 hours Chris Dodd has said that he will
spend at least another $48 billion for Veteran's Benefits. Hey, at
least the people getting this benefit actually contributed something
to the larger nation for which they should be rewarded. Moreover, Dodd
is also talking about a defined group rather than a social entitlement
for everyone. Barack Obama promises far greater federal generosity.
Obama has offered plans to convert the Family Medical Leave Act into a
welfare entitlement, with paid leave instead of unpaid leave.

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John Deeth Blog: Iowa City Takes Progressive Turn

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

It's been lost in the excitement of the 21 Bar vote, but last night
the Iowa City Council took a definite progressive turn. Matt Hayek is
clearly several steps to the left of the retired Bob Elliott, and
progressive Mike Wright is a sea change from the defeated Dee
Vanderhoef. Hayek won virtually by acclimation, carrying every single
precinct. The interesting story is massive undervoting -- that's
electionese for skipping a race -- especially in the student-heavy, 21
bar motivated absentee vote. Despite the No On 21/Hayek/Terry Smith
campus campaign, Wright came out of the absentees with less than a 200
vote deficit to Smith, and easily made that up at the polls to beat
Smith by about 500.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Clinton Scores Points With Energy Policy

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's white paper on energy and the looming
climate crisis was a long time coming, but at least one Iowa
environmental activist believes it was worth the wait. "I thought the
speech was great," said Mike Carberry, a regional field director for
Iowa Global Warming, after listening to Clinton's remarks on Monday.
"She pretty much covered the questions that we ask the presidential
candidates on all different levels of renewable energy and on global
warming reduction." Carberry, who has attended events for nearly all
the presidential candidates and focuses on their energy and climate
change policies, said it was important for Clinton to come out on this
issue.

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Iowa Insider: Hillary Clinton talks tough on farm bill veto threat

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Democrat Hillary Clinton had scathing words Tuesday for President
Bush, who has threatened to veto the 2007 farm bill. "President Bush
is waging a $300 million a day war in Iraq and has presided over the
largest fiscal deterioration in our nation's history, yet he's chosen
to draw the line for fiscal discipline at the feet of our hard working
farmers," Clinton said in a statement released by her campaign. "The
2007 Farm Bill contains vital investments in a safety net for farmers,
conservation, renewable energy, nutrition, and rural development that
will help sustain our rural communities and ensure that America's food
supply is abundant, safe and healthy."

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John Deeth Blog: Iowa City 21 Only Bar Issue Fails

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Massive student absentee voting overcame election day votes from older
voters as an Iowa City ballot initiative to keep people under 21 out
of bars after 10 p.m. failed yesterday. No 8,895 (57%), Yes 6,606
(43%). The student vote proved decisive, as 46 percent of the vote
came in on absentee ballots. In a reversal of normal city election
trends, two-thirds of the absentees were from 18 to 24 year old
voters. The overall absentee vote (there's no age breakdown available
within the vote tally) went 74 percent no. The student absentee drive
was capped by a week of satellite voting on campus that drew 2,900
voters.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa State University Bio-Economy Conference: McCain, Dodd, Biden & Kucinich

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Last night, I attened a Bio-Economy Conference Forum on the campus of
Iowa State University. The event, which was held in Hilton Coliseum,
featured four presidential candidates: Senator John McCain, Senator
Joe Biden, Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Dennis Kucinich.
Former Senator John Edwards was scheduled to also attend, but at the
last minute, had to bail out. The conference was a multi-day event and
this was, to the best of my knowledge, kind of the cap to it all. I
estimated about 250 attendees and then they allowed the general public
to sit in the seats to hear the speeches. I would estimate somewhere
between 300 and 400 people sat there. Thus, the candidates in
attendance got audiences that certainly surpassed 500 or 600 people.

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Democratic candidates like picking fights with Rudy

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

As I've written a couple of posts below, I don't expect Rudy Giuliani
to be the GOP nominee. However, I've noticed lately that several
Democrats in the race have been going out of their way to take on
Rudy. Joe Biden scored at last week's debate with his joke that every
sentence uttered by Rudy has a noun, a verb and 9/11, and his comment
that Rudy is the most unqualified person to run for president since
George W. Bush. His campaign has been milking these moments in
fund-raising e-mails featuring highlights from the debate and
outrageous comments made by Rudy. For instance: 'As I wrote earlier,
we expected another attack from Giuliani's campaign on Friday and they
didn't disappoint...'

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Radio Iowa: Richardson says send in Cheney

Excerpted from this post at http://learfield.typepad.com/radioiowa/2007/11/richardson-says.html

Early this afternoon at a VFW Post in Des Moines, New Mexico
Governor/Democratic presidential candidate Bill Richardson handed an
Iowa woman the Purple Heart her uncle earned in the Korean War…
Afterwards during Q&A with reporters, Richardson expanded on his view
that Vice President Dick Cheney should be dispatched to Pakistan to
urge Parkistani President Pervez Musharraf to hold elections, and that
U.S. aid to the country should be withheld if Musharraf doesn't end
Marshall Law and hold legitimate voting. Henderson: "Why did you say
Cheney should go to Pakistan? Do you have no confidence in the
Secretary of State?" Richardson: "I felt, no, I have confidence in
Secretary Rice."

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Cyclone Conservatives: Ron Paul Harvesting Huge Sums of Online Donations Today

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail about today being "Ron Paul's
Money Bomb". It was sent by someone who regularly reads this blog and
who is a fervent and religious supporter of Congressman Ron Paul's bid
to be the next President. It certainly was not a formal e-mail from
the campaign, but definitely a grassroots oriented message. Well,
today is here and the bomb is big. As of early this afternoon (Iowa
time), Congressman Paul has raised just over $5 MILLION dollars today
alone. That is absolutely incredible. That just shows how powerful the
Internet can truly be and shows how incredible grassroots politics can
be. It also reinforces the fact that as Republicans, we're going to
need to get a little bit more aggressive in our on-line fundraising as
a party.

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Essential Estrogen: Rep. Reichert Touts New Energy Economy

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

Speaking to about 100 people at a fundraiser for Cedar County
Democrats on Saturday Night in Tipton, Rep. Nate Reichert said a new
energy economy is "the greatest opportunity Iowans have had in at
least two or three generations." The Muscatine resident, who has
represented District 80 in the Iowa House since 2004, was tapped to be
the chairman of the Standing Committee on Energy Policy. He wrote the
first draft of the Iowa Power Fund, a four-year, $100 million effort
intended to spark development of renewable energy technologies. The
fund was one of Gov. Chet Culver's top legislative priorities,
although it wasn't passed through the Legislature until late in the
last session.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Loebsack Discusses Iraq Trip, Outlines Accomplishments

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

While speaking to Cedar County Democrats Saturday night, Congressman Dave Loebsack said that he's made progress on campaign promises and that he's proud of the accomplishments made by Congress thus far in Washington. "I personally ran on one theme," he said. "That was restoring hope and opportunity that George Bush and the Congress of the United States had taken away from millions of Americans and tens of thousands of people in the 2nd District. We haven't gotten as far as we want to yet, but we've done a heck of a lot of good things." Increasing the minimum wage, making education more affordable, restricting lobbying, creating additional ethics reform and implementing the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission are successes Loebsack highlighted during his speech in front of an audience of roughly 100 people in Tipton.

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John Deeth blog: Ears of Experience or Sour Milk? The Law of 14 in 2008

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog

As Bill Richardson is fond of saying, governors get elected president. At least that's borne out in my adult lifetime: four governors and an incumbent vice president (two incumbent VPs if you count Al Gore.) Richardson likes to tout this over the Senate-heavy Democratic field. In the last century, only two sitting Senators - John Kennedy and Warren Harding - have moved into the White House. But the true sign of doom seems to be looooooong Senate service. No candidate has ever - and I mean back to George Washington ever -- turned a long career in the Senate into the Presidency. ... But none of this bodes well for Joe Biden's ears of experience or Chris Dodd's white hair. "Four years ago, writing in Reason, Jonathan Rausch proposed the 'Law of 14'": With only one exception since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, no one has been elected president who took more than 14 years to climb from his first major elective office to election as either president or vice president.

chase martyn (on display): Clinton Campaign Recruits from Out of State for Iowa Jefferson Jackson Dinner

Excerpted from this post at chase martyn (on display)

When the Iowa Democratic Party started selling tickets to its 2008 Jefferson Jackson Dinner, the state party's largest fundraiser -- and candidate cattle call -- of the year, it kicked off something of an arms race between the three top Democratic candidates for president. ... Now, campaigns have to find ways to actually fill all of the seats they bought, and it may be trickier than it sounds. Getting over 1,500 signed supporters to Des Moines next Saturday will be a struggle for any candidate, and I don't envy the people in charge of crowd-building for it. ... In an email obtained last night, Clinton's Political Director for the Midwest, Sean Johnson, asks out-of-staters to come to Iowa for a "day of action," which will include a canvass during the day and -- perhaps more importantly -- a chance to waive signs and look good on camera at the Jefferson Jackson Dinner.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

The Real Sporer: Iowa Presidential Recap: Mitt hangs tough, Huckabee surge continues, everyone else fighting it out

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Earlier this week, prior to release of the most recent American
Research Group ("ARG") poll TRS did a brief coverage of the anecdotal
evidence of the Republican Presidential candidates' respective
standing in Iowa. This opinion was formed after some pretty candid
conversations with Iowa Republican leaders from the precinct to the
state wide level. It was the TRS perspective that Huck and FDT were
surging and Mitt was holding firm at the 25-30 percent range, which
probably means first place in the Caucuses. The Rasmussen Report is
among the most reliable of polling providers. A Rasmussen poll from
earlier in the month (10/10-10/14) showed Mitt outside the margin of
error at 25, FDT at 19, Huck in a statistical near tie at 18, with
Rudy at 13 percent of likely caucus goers.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa GOP Legislators: Re-Introduce Illegal Immigrant Driver's License Bill

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

After the uproar over the controversial and extremely bureaucratic
illegal immigrant driver's license program being pushed by unpopular
Democratic New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and after Senator Hillary
Clinton relayed to a national audience on Tuesday night that she is
supportive of it, I wrote in a post yesterday that I thought it would
be great if an enterprising legislator here in Iowa would craft some
legislation that would ban illegal immigrants from gaining such a
privilege here in Iowa. Luckily for us here in Iowa, we've got a whole
lot (though not enough) of good legislators already on the task.
Yesterday, while doing a little research on which Democratic senators
cast no votes against arming officers at the three public universities
here in Iowa, I came across an interesting piece of legislation that
was offered last spring but didn't move anywhere in the Democratically
controlled Iowa Senate.

Politically Speaking: One year later, what's been achieved?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

As the one-year anniversary of the 2006 general election – in which
the U.S. House and Senate moved from Republican Party to Democratic
hands — approaches, the National Republican Congressional Committee is
asking just what the Dems in power have accomplished. The NRCC is
targeting congresspersons perceived at risk for re-election, and that
includes South Dakota Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin and the
three Iowa Democrats who hail from central and eastern Iowa.
Basically, all the House members from the tri-state area who aren't
Republicans (all three Nebraska congressmen are R's) are being taken
to task for inaction since Congress convened in January. Herseth
Sandlin and Bruce Braley, Sioux City native Dave Loebsack and Leonard
Boswell are being criticized by the NRCC for a host of things.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Importance of Union Endorsements and Key Endorsements Left to Be Won

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

Marc Ambinder has a couple posts up about union endorsements. First,
he writes about the key endorsements that are left to be given out:
"1. Former vice president Al Gore. He's said he'll endorse. Last
cycle, he picked Howard Dean during the second week of December. 2.
Former presidential candidate John Kerry. Here's betting that John
Edwards will NOT get this one..." In Iowa, I think the UAW endorsement
is very big. Some think Culver's UAW endorsement is what won him the
Democratic primary for Governor last year and propelled him to beating
Nussle. Obama has an advantage for the UAW endorsement because
Illinois is included with Iowa when they make their regional
endorsements.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

FromDC2Iowa: Regents' Scary Halloween

Excerpted from this post at FromDC2Iowa

Regents' "Progress": The Regents have concluded their Halloween
meeting, October 31. Are we all better off than we were two days ago?
The newspapers' coverage of the event is relatively sketchy. If you
really want to know what all they considered, and had proposed to them
on the agenda, check out this Regents' site. Michael Gartner (and Rose
Vasquez) are entitled to credit for their willingness to take a couple
of unpopular stands that -- whatever may be your personal preference
on the merits -- were research-based and principled. Both voted
against the arming of campus police and against raising tuition by
3.2% (rather than the proposed 2%). Gartner pointed out that putting
more guns on campus was a non-solution in search of a non-existent
problem -- one that held far more potential for negative than positive
impact on an academic institution.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Finally! Armed Officers on Campus

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Today, the Iowa Board of Regents voted to arm officers on Iowa's three
regent university campuses. Finally!! This is certainly a victory for
the public safety of the students, faculty, staff and visitors who
come to these places to work, learn and visit. A number of weeks ago,
I wrote a post about this issue and laid out some of the bogus
arguments that were being used against this. However, this decision
was not unanimous as two anti-gun, anti-public safety liberals voted
against it. Unfortunately, Rose Vasquez and Michael Gartner put
partisan preferences and close-minded ideology over public safety and
the welfare of the people who live, learn, work and visit our regents schools.

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Politically Speaking: It's the Great Pumpkin Tax

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

Peanuts comic character Linus probably would be upset, and Iowa House
Minority Leader Christopher Rants definitely is. As newspaper stories
on a new tax on pumpkins in Iowa are published today on Halloween,
Sioux City Republican Rants is slamming the tax as another example of
runaway confiscation of incomes by Democrats. Or, more precisely in
his words, Democrats should "stop taxing fun." The Iowa Department of
Revenue is taxing pumpkins after a new policy determined pumpkins are
used primarily for Halloween decorations and not food, and thus should
be taxed at the 6 percent state rate. Previously, pumpkins were
considered an edible squash and exempt from taxation. The move has
pumpkin owners bemoaning a bite into their fall pumpkin sale profits
and Rants raging.

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Bleeding Heartland: Winners and Losers From the Democratic Debate in Philly

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Last night's Democratic Debate in Philadelphia provided the most
dialogue. Along with the YouTube Debate, this one was the best debate
so far this election. Here are my thoughts on the winners and losers
of the debate... Winners: Chris Dodd - He seemed the most presidential
and stressed his leadership and experience. He successfully drew
distinctions with Clinton and questioned her electability without
sounding like he was on the attack. He mentioned the need for public
financing of campaigns. John Edwards - He pressed Clinton all night on
her double talk on numerous issues and stayed on message. He made
strong points against the culture of Washington dominated by lobbyists
and special interests and tied that to Clinton's campaign. He had a
great line about Hillary's vote on Iran.

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