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Monday, December 31, 2007

Price of Politics: Caucus Night in New Hampshire?

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

We already know Rudy Giuliani likely won't be in Iowa caucus night. In
fact, according to his schedule he's already done with the Hawkeye
State. Anything to do with his ever-declining poll numbers here? But
what about Hillary Clinton? Her Midwest Co-Chair, Jerry Crawford, told
me she would not be here caucus night. He said she needs to get to New
Hampshire. But a campaign spokesman, Mark Daley, told me he thought
she would be here that night. What's the story? Sunday morning, I had
the rare chance to sit down with her to ask for myself.

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The Real Sporer: Iowa gets closer, Mitt stays on message and Fred gets some love (or, the State of the State on Sunday morning)

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Here at the TRS we've been chasing a theory about polls-polls are a
lagging indicator. Sentiment begins to change before it's reflected in
the polls. Last summer we saw a ton of evidence that Mitt was climbing
into a lead in Iowa nearly a month before that was reflected in the
polls. Same with Huckabee this fall. (A guy's gotta crow a little when
he's right does he not?). Iowans are a well informed group of voters.
Those faces in attendance at the candidate forums are usually the
opinion leaders in their own social unit (e.g. family, friends and,
for our Democrat friends, troop).

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Radio Iowa: Obama on the bus

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama called into the Radio
Iowa newsroom this afternoon as he was riding in his campaign bus from
Knoxville to Newton. "This is going to be a very close election, but
if we go into caucus with the same enthusiasm and energy we see out
here, we think we're going to do very well," Obama said to open the
call. Henderson: "It seems as if both you and your wife are trying to
impress upon people that this is your time and you will not run for
president again. Are you doing that to address the 'he's too young'
argument and to make clear you are no Al Gore circa 1988?"

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John Deeth Blog: Iowa bloggers get WashPo shoutout

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

We bad, we nationwide: Several Iowa Bloggers get a mention in this
Washington Post piece from this AM. Congrats to my Iowa Indy
colleagues, Bleeding Heartland, Century of the Common Iowan, and Iowa
True Blue on the left, and The Real Sporer and Cyclones Conservatives
on the right. Quite a few others deserve a mention, but I'm not going
to compound things by naming more names and thus omitting even more.
Instead, let's all turn up the ZZ Top in celebration. Here's the kind
of push an uncommitted caucus goer gets five days before the caucuses.
My contacts yesterday: Saw in person: Edwards, Richardson.

Iowa Progress: Is Jim Leach leaving the Republican Party?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

The Washington Post is linking former Iowa congressman Jim Leach to
Unity 08, a bi-partisan group that's exploring running a centrist
third party bid for the Presidency in 2008. Speculation is that the
group will select New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as its nominee,
both for his bipartisan appeal (as an Independent who has previously
been both a Democrat and a Republican) and for his multi-billion
dollar fortune. If Leach backs a Bloomberg candidacy, this would have
big repercussions in 2008 in Iowa. Leach, despite his defeat in 2006,
was well-liked even by most Democrats who voted against him.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Rural counties: Less caucus goers per delegate

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Since the Iowa Democratic caucuses are a representative democracy, not a straight one person one vote, not every caucus goer carries equal weight. Presidential candidates are spending a lot of time in small courthouse towns, because the way the results are counted, the small counties weigh in disproportionately. An analysis of 2004 caucus attendance shows that, on average statewide, it took just under 41 caucus goers to elect a state delegate equivalent. The easiest county to elect a delegate was Fremont County, where 22.3 caucus goers translated into a state delegate.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Hillary breaks out the green shovels

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

As January 3rd approaches, the campaign becomes quite simply about turn-out. Experienced campaign advisers try to cover all the bases...that's why Hillary's campaign is breaking out the shovels. Mrs. Clinton's office here is filled with hundreds of new green snow shovels that were being strategically distributed on Saturday to precinct captains to clear the walks of older women who might be particularly wary of going out to the caucuses in bad weather. The campaign has printed doorknob hangers with caucus locations printed in extra-large type, also to accommodate these older first-time caucusers.

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Cyclone Conservatives: New Iowa Zogby & Mason-Dixon, but no big Sunday surprises though

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Before I am headed off to Le Mars this morning to hang out with Chris Dodd, I popped open my laptop, fully expecting to see the Des Moines Register unleash a new Iowa Poll this morning. In 2004, the Register released new numbers about the race on the Sunday before the voting transpired. Apparently not so this year. These next two new polls confirm that Romney has successfully brought Mike Huckabee down a few notches, but yet, Huckabee still remains in a strong enough position to pull out a win yet.

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Century of the Common Iowan: Obama saves Christmas

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

A Marshalltown family had their home vandalized on Christmas Eve. Their Christmas gifts were stolen and hateful remarks towards Obama and racial slurs were spray painted on the walls. The mother, who is a precinct captain for Obama, called the Obama captain office in town to tell them what happened. Two staff members went to the house to help clean up. Without the family knowing, another staff member and some volunteers went shopping to purchase gifts for the family's two girls, so they would have present to open on Christmas.

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Back Roads to the White House: Why Iowa?

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Special report: Last in three parts. And so, it comes down to this: Why Iowa? What makes these average Iowans so important? Who gave them all the power? And what is the power? It's the power to make future presidents beg. The final installment of our three-part series examines the everyday people who get extraordinary attention during the run-up to Iowa precinct caucuses.

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Essential Estrogen: Seven Days Before Caucus Night and ...

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

... volunteers from across the nation are telling Iowans to scoot over and make room. The campaign for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson sent an email to supporters, announcing the influx of "Richardson Roadrunners" in the state. According to the email, hundreds of volunteers left New Mexico Wednesday morning in order to volunteer for the campaign in the final sprint to caucus night. New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign announced "Hill's Angels," individuals who will travel to communities the day prior to the candidate's arrival to meet with supporters and volunteers.

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Radio Iowa: Huckabee speaks to large "congregation" in WDM

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

It's about 7:10 p.m. on a Thursday and I'm seated in the back of a ballroom at a West Des Moines hotel (in the same room where Mitt Romney held a party for over 1000 supporters last week). Republican presidential candidate/former Arkansas Governor/Baptist minister Mike Huckabee soon will be speaking here to a large group, already seated on chairs, in a "We the People" seminar that's being explained right now by someone who has the microphone in the front of the room.

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iPol: The Indispensable Voice

Excerpted from this post at iPol

There aren't words - and believe me, every one of us with a keyboard and an internet connection, or a typewriter, or a pen and paper, have spent hours today trying to come up with some - to describe the utter chaos, hopelessness and despair arising from today's assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Such incidents have occurred in our own country, decades past, and we are still dealing with the after effects. There are some leaders who speak to their people in a voice heard but once in a generation. For Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto was one of these.

Cyclone Conservatives: Bhutto & Pakistan: A Tragic Reminder Why Issues Matter

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The incredibly sad news today about Prime Minister Bhutto's death serves up yet another reminder why, at the end of the day, this presidential election is going to be driven by issues. So much can be said about our society being driven by celebrity, sex appeal or wealth and sure, you could argue that it's never a bad thing for a presidential candidate to have a little of that. But while so many in society are obsessed by the rich and the famous, what will ultimately decide the fate of this election is the issues.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Daily Kos: My husband just got push-polled against Obama and Edwards

Excerpted from this post at Daily Kos

Earlier today someone called asking for my husband (mispronouncing his
name). I offered to take a message, and she said she'd call back
later. She called back during dinner. We took the call, and once he
realized what kind of poll it was, my husband put it on speakerphone
so that I could listen. After the jump I've put the questions as
closely as we can remember them... Are you a registered Democrat? Yes.
How certain are you that you will participate in the Iowa caucuses on
January 3 (range of answers provided).

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Ben and Bawb's Blog: To Be or Not To Huckabee

Excerpted from this post at Ben and Bawb's Blog

If Ron Paul doesn't get the Republican nomination I'll probably vote
for whoever the Libertarian Party runs. (By the way, that might just
be Dr. Paul since the L.P. has offered him the slot if the GOP doesn't
want him.) But I'm always curious if the Republicans can field someone
who could lure me back. Besides "m'buoy" Ron Paul, the only other GOP
contenders that have piqued my interest are Fred Thompson and Mike
Huckabee. Huckabee is polling in first place here in Iowa.

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Politically Speaking: Republicans? Please?

Excerpted from this post at Politically Speaking

We're hitting, in prime Republican Party turf, another period in which
the number of Democratic candidates is dwarfing that of GOP guys. At
the beginning of last week, four of the six Democrats running Iowa
campaigns came through the area (and then later in the week three
Republicans made appearances). As we reach eight days to the Iowa
caucuses, it's not clear if any GOP candidates will stump through one
last time. The latest schedules of John McCain and Fred Thompson show
they won't be here through Dec. 30, so the question remains on whether
they will make one final surge through Northwest Iowa.

John Deeth Blog: Caucuses Are Representative Democracy, Not Undemocratic

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

In a recent New York Times piece, several veteran Iowa journalists
label the Iowa Democratic Party's nomination process "The Undemocratic
Caucuses" and argue that the press should press the Democratic Party
vigorously for the release of the first round vote totals. In our
quadrennial Iowa civics lesson, we're reminded that the Democrats
report delegate totals, not vote counts. That's not good enough for
Gilbert Cranberg, former editor of the editorial page of The Des
Moines Register...

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Iowans for Romney: On the Media and the GOP Primary

Excerpted from this post at Iowans for Romney

This has been a very interesting race to watch. Within the last few
weeks two GOP candidates (Mike Huckabee and John McCain) have come
from relative obscurity and into contention for the nomination. They
had both spent months on end out of the media limelight (cross-hairs)
that usually accompanies the GOP front-runner(s). It's like they've
been drafting at the back of the pack of cyclists, without ever taking
their turn up front where the pedaling is more difficult. Having
evaded the negative headlines for months has proven beneficial for
both.

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

John Deeth Blog: The Uncommitted Option

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Most uncommitted supporters this late in the game are either the
genuinely undecided or party leaders who want to maintain neutrality.
But Ed Flaherty of Iowa City hopes the Uncommitted group reaches
viability and helps take the nomination process to the national
convention. "Having the Democratic convention truly decide the nominee
takes away five months of sliming and smearing that the Republicans
intend to focus on our nominee," said Flaherty, "and will make the
process of selecting a Democratic nominee a truly national effort
between March and August."

The Real Sporer: Ten days to go: Status report from Iowa

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

On the eleventh day following this post Iowans will caucus and, for
the first time, cast actual votes for our Presidential nominee. As we
enter the stretch run the Iowa race looks close and fluid. Based on
our view from the ground handicaps the final lap as follows: 1st
Place. Mike Huckabee/Mitt Romney (tie). Huck has surged hard in the
polls. Every poll but one that has canvassed Iowa in the last twenty
days has shown Huck in the lead. However, all show that lead narrowing
as well. Now Huck and Mitt are in what the talking heads describe as a
"statistical dead heat".

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Popular Progressive: Eight Days

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

With the Iowa Caucuses now a mere eight days away, it is certain that
we will receive many more phone calls like the one we received on
Christmas Eve that begins with - Them: Hi, I'm Suzy Sunshine and I'm a
volunteer for Senator Parasite. Do you know who you'll be caucusing
for? Me: John Edwards Them: John Edwards? Did you know that Senator
Parasite is for free chocolate and eternal youth? John Edwards voted
against free chocolate. Me: Well, that is something to consider, but
I'm still committed to John Edwards. Them: Can you tell me why?

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Iowa Progress: What would Boswell vs. Fallon mean?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Progress

The increasing buzz that Leonard Boswell might face a primary
challenge from former State Representative Ed Fallon leads to some
interesting questions. The first question is, what effect does this
have on the caucuses? There are less than two weeks left and a
prominent supporter of John Edwards is going after a prominent
supporter of Hillary Clinton. What effect does this have on media
perceptions of Edwards and Clinton and does it change the storyline at
all? At this point, the political press is so focused on Iowa that the
slightest bit of political news in the state can make national
headlines.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Popular Progressive: Tancredo Provides Romney Much Needed "Kiss of Death"?

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo announced today he's ending his long-shot bid
for the White House. The Colorado Republican made his exit from the
race official at a press conference this afternoon in downtown Des
Moines. He'll throw his support behind GOP candidate Mitt Romney, he
said. Tancredo's name was most associated with his fight against
illegal immigration, one of the presidential election's most
controversial issues. But his hard-line approach to curbing the
unlawful migration of millions across the United States' southern
border wasn't enough to vault him from the back of the GOP field.

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HawkeyeGOP: Thank you Tom

Excerpted from this post at HawkeyeGOP

As I have said many times on this site, I have a great deal of respect
for Tom Tancredo. He has made immigration a key issue in both the
Republican and Democratic presidential race. Because of his dogged
pursuit of the issue, every candidate has had to take a position. But
from the start, I knew and I am certain that the congressman knew that
he would never be president. I had a conversation with the congressman
earlier in the year. As I recall he said: "... I know that I am a long
shot, but my hope is that come November of 2008, you will have a
candidate that you can vote for ..."

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Iowa Insider: Dodd to Clinton, Obama and Biden: Where were you to protect constitutional rights?

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Christopher Dodd rapped three other Democratic U.S. Senate members
running for president for not being in Washington to help him quash a
proposal he says violates the Constitution. Dodd, a U.S. senator from
Connecticut and White House hopeful, has been an outspoken critic of
warrantless wiretapping. He's working to defeat a proposal that would
give immunity to telecommunications companies that voluntarily handed
over years' worth of private phone, fax and e-mail records of American
citizens to the federal government without a court order.

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Cyclone Conservatives: John Edwards in Le Mars, Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This late afternoon and early evening, I attended a campaign townhall
meeting in Le Mars, IA for former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.
This is about the fourth or fifth time that I've seen Edwards while
he's been here in Iowa this time around, but I can tell you that he
has not started growing on me in any way. I certainly find him not to
espouse very many positions that I believe in, that's for sure. The
event was held in the Plymouth County Historical Museum. Interestingly
enough, this is the third major event held in that building in the
last week. Since the building is the old high school, there is an old
gymnasium there.

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John Deeth Blog: Daily Iowan Endorses Obama, McCain

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The impact may be muted, as finals end today and students are already
leaving town. But today, the University of Iowa's Daily Iowan endorsed
Barack Obama and John McCain. "From the start, Obama was viewed as
charismatic but lacking in substance. Now, fewer than two weeks from
our state caucuses, this is no longer the case," the paper wrote in
its final edition before caucus night Jan. 3. "Obama's commanding
oratorical abilities should not distract voters from his policy
proposals, objectives that outline a return of 'united' to the United
States. We believe his judgment and ideas are the best fit, not just
for a party but for a people."

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: "Slim" chance Tancredo remains in race

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

The situation has "changed hourly," Tancredo's wife says... Rep. Tom
Tancredo plans to meet with some presidential rivals in Iowa on
Thursday, and then there's only a "slim" chance he'll remain in the
Republican contest, his wife said Wednesday night. "What he's trying
to do is get a commitment that someone will continue his (illegal
immigration) issue and do it in a way (that) he can support them,"
Jackie Tancredo said in a telephone interview. If he's satisfied, then
Tancredo plans to end his long-shot bid for the presidency on
Thursday, which is his 62nd birthday.

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Essential Estrogen: Fred Thompson: 'Everybody's Got to Start Somewhere'

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

If you think eastern Iowa seems an unlikely place to see Republican
presidential hopefuls two weeks away from the caucuses, you're
probably right. Linn and Johnson counties, in particular, have not
been bastions of Republican strength, and, most Republicans reside in
the western half of the state. Still, the numbers didn't seem to be on
former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson's mind as he campaigned today in
Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. "We're headed that way," he said with a
laugh when asked if he began his "Clear Conservative Choice: Hands
Down" bus tour in eastern Iowa because he felt the recent endorsement
of Iowa's Fifth District Congressman Steve King had already locked up
the Republican voters in that portion of the state.

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Political Forecast: Sen. McCoy's stupidity

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

I'm sorry, but State Sen. Matt McCoy -- whom I used to respect --
keeps making real dunderhead-like moves and is seriously making me
reconsider my opinion of him. The fact that the IECDB is now
investigating campaign contributions that he may have funneled to Mike
Blouin (during the gubernatorial primary in 05-06) for John Ruan only
complicates matters. Now, maybe he's just the target of rabid local
Republicans with nothing better to do (I mean, they get off on
targeting gay Democrats, don' they?) but he's just taking away from
the progress and ideas coming from Democrats in the state legislature
and hurting their image.

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Bleeding Heartland: Edwards' Money Situation

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

As I said back when it came out, if Edwards is really limited to the
rules of the public finance system, he is finished. Having only $50
million through mid-August to go up against a Republican candidate
sure to have well over $200 million is a debilitating disadvantage for
the Democrats, and one that can be entirely avoided by supporting one
of the other candidates. However, there have been developments with
the story - not all specifically linked to Edwards. The first is that
it turns out there won't be money to pay for the public financing in
January. Instead, candidates will begin to get payments as tax
receipts come in, and will probably receive their first disbursements
in March, when the nomination will almost certainly have been settled.

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Radio Iowa: From the Department of Typos...

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

An interesting typo came into the Radio Iowa newsroom via email, from
the staff of Iowa's governor. This news release made its way here just
after five o'clock this evening, with the wrong verb in the headline:
Governor & Lt. Governor sends letters to campaign workers: Consider
Iowa! Des Moines -- Governor Chet Culver and Lt. Governor Patty Judge
sent the following letter to Iowa presidential campaign officials in
both parties for distribution to caucus campaign workers... As you start
to figure out what comes next, we hope you will consider joining those
you have met over the last year and become an Iowan yourself.

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bleeding Heartland: Thoughts On Obama's Foreign Policy Forum

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

Judgment was the key word at the forum. The three advisors that were
there discussed Obama's judgment and his ability to unite the country
on foreign policy (unity used to be the status quo in Congress and has
lately been divided b/t red and blue). They also talked about his
ability to rebuild America's image so that other countries' leaders
will not have to sacrifice political points at home when they choose
to work with the United States. Sarkozy was an example of this. He
came in to power in France wanting to work with the United States but
because the United States had ruined its image (its soft power) in the
world, it became a political risk for him to work with the US.

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Iowa Independent: Q&A: 5 Questions For Romney

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, long the leader in the Iowa
polls and now in something of a dogfight with former Arkansas Gov.
Mike Huckabee, sat down for an interview with Iowa Independent and the
Carroll Daily Times Herald after his recent campaign appearance at the
Carroll Country Club. Romney stressed his business credentials, tough
stances on illegal immigration and took issue with Huckabee for
attacking Romney's faith. The former Massachusetts governor also had
some interesting observations on Democratic presidential candidate and
U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's admissions of past illegal drug use.

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Cyclone Conservatives: New InsiderAdvantage Iowa Poll Shows Tightening Race

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

InsiderAdvantage unleashed a new poll today that shows the two-way
battle between former Governors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee
tightening. It will be interesting to see whether this is an anomaly
or whether future polls will also be showing a similar trend too.
Here's the information about the poll. It looks to embody a nice sized
sample but I'm a little leery in that some of the polling was done on
Sunday. Polling on the weekends always provides a slightly more skewed
set of data. Nonetheless, the Romney campaign has to be slightly
heartened by this because for the first time in a couple weeks, the
race is within the margin of error for their candidate.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: A King(maker) overlooks an old friend

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

While barnstorming in Iowa, Rep. Tom Tancredo's most often repeated
joke is about how he and his good buddy, Rep. Steve King, are
sometimes mistaken for one another. They bear a slight resemblance
physically, and their hard-line views toward illegal immigration could
hardly be more in line. When Tancredo set up a campaign outpost in
Council Bluffs, Iowa, earlier this year, he did it right across the
street from King's office. A lot of folks presumed that Tancredo was
King's presidential pick -- even if he had not officially endorsed
anybody. Well, that changed today.

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John Deeth blog: Hillary Clinton splits Coralville crowd

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog

Hillary Clinton offered the long and short version of her closing
argument to two separate crowds in Coralville Monday night, and told
one questioner that years of attacks by Republican Hillary Haters are
the very reason she's the strongest Democratic candidate. Clinton is
taking a mellower tone in her late campaign. Though AFSCME's "Turn Up
The Heat" signs from the November Jefferson Jackson Dinner were on
hand, the phrase did not appear in the speech. The speech is lower
key, with a slower, steadier pace, no by-name attacks on the other
Democrats, and relatively little partisan raw meat.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Huckabee v. Romney: The next round of ad battles

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

I received an e-mail today from a reader that included a link to Mr.
Huckabee's new Christmas advertisement. The link said to pay close
attention to the background as it appears the bookshelf makes a white
cross. It appears that Drudge was the origination of it. Sure enough,
it definitely is there. That kind of advertising work is brilliant.
It's like those old time movie producers that used to infuse a frame
of popcorn once in every 50 frames in order to get people thinking
about popcorn (and then hopefully going to the concession stand to buy
it). For not having a whole lot of money, I've been impressed with
Huckabee's ads.

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Essential Estrogen: Dodd wins battle, FISA bill tabled

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen

This evening while under threat of a filibuster mounted by Connecticut
Sen. Chris Dodd, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada,
tabled the Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act bill that contained
retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies that provided
access without warrants to the current White House administration's
program of domestic wiretapping. The bill, which will expire in
February unless re-authorized, is expected to come back before the
Senate in January...

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Iowa Independent: "King-Maker?" Popular Congressman will announce endorsement Monday

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Independent

Rep. Steve King, the Fifth District congressman from western Iowa, has scheduled a press conference for 9 a.m. Monday to announce his endorsement in the Republican presidential caucus. King, who enjoys strong popularity among the most conservative members of the Republican Party, said in a news release that he hasn't told anyone his final choice. "This decision is my personal conviction. No candidate, committee, or even my wife knows the conclusion I will announce," said King. King said plans to offer his support and volunteer to join the Iowa campaign of the candidate he endorses.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: What Lieberman's endorsement means

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

As a general rule, I don't think endorsements count for much -- but I think Joe Lieberman's endorsement of John McCain does mean something. It will influence the thoughts of independents in states in which they participate in primaries. This is an electorate in search of change and away from the "same ol' same ol'" in Washington. Certainly McCain and Lieberman represent independent thought and folks will give them BOTH a look -- watch for the continued speculation that Lieberman and McCain will be a team on the ticket.

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The Caucus Cooler: Huckabee's pet project

Excerpted from this post at The Caucus Cooler

The Cooler has obtained the above photos of the Mexican consulate in Little Rock, Arkansas. For those that don't know, Governor Huckabee lobbied aggressively for the addition of a Mexican consulate in Little Rock, at the taxpayers expense of course. This consulate served as a resource for illegal immigrants living in Arkansas, and some Huckabee opponents claim it drew additional illegal immigrants to the state. The Mexican consulate helps Mexicans, legal or illegals, with papers, and hands out a consular identification - which critics argue gives illegals a valid ID which helps them meld into society. All of the costs associated with this come out of taxpayers' pockets.

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John Deeth Blog: Hillary avoiding students?

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

With University of Iowa finals starting this week, it doesn't seem like students in Iowa City will get a face to face chance to ask Hillary Clinton about her campaign's contention that maybe they shouldn't be caucusing if their parents live in Schaumburg. But the lack of a campus event seems to fit a Clinton campaign pattern for the People's Republic of Johnson County. Saturday, the Clinton campaign announced their first Johnson County visit in two months: a 7:30 p.m. Monday stop in Coralville. That's the Monday night of finals week. Last weekend, she held events in two neighboring small counties, Iowa and Washington... without an Iowa City event.

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Friday, December 14, 2007

iPol: Thoughts on the Des Moines Register Democratic Debate

Excerpted from this post at iPol

The Des Moines Register debate among the Democratic candidates for
president has just wrapped up. Here are some thoughts on each
candidate, in alphabetical order. Joe Biden - hampered by a cold,
Biden nonetheless delivered a strong performance in this debate. All
the candidates recognize the importance of Iowa in the 2008 campaign
process, but more than any of the others, Joe Biden was able to speak
to Iowan's specific issues and concerns directly and effectively, but
without overt pandering. Two examples: speaking about the contrast
between his first trip to Iowa in 1974 and the present, Biden observed
that there is now "so much open land and so few farmers," due to the
rise of agribusiness at the expense of family farms...

God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: GOP Considers Another Iowa Debate

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

Here at gprr, we've held off commenting on the debates in Iowa this
week because, like our friend Todd Dorman, we found them dull and
newsless. Apparently the GOP candidates did too and are now talking
about setting another debate in Iowa before January 3. It can be done
-- everything in the political world moves at lightening speed when
candidates set their mind to something -- and a new venue and a common
date could be set quickly. A challenge is what date and what time? You
want people interested and watching, rather than thinking about buying
mismatched socks for Christmas.

Back Roads to the White House: Kucinich: Above the fray, but not by choice

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Rep. Dennis Kucinich got his name in the paper today, but not for the
reason he might like. After long-shot Republican Alan Keyes was
included in Wednesday's Des Moines Register debate, the newspaper
figured it needed to explain why Kucinich is being excluded from
today's Democratic contest… With just a few weeks to go before the
Jan. 3, 2008, Iowa caucuses, and with the race still too close to
call, we might predict that the gloves will really, really, really
come off in today's dust-up. But then again, that's what we thought
going into Wednesday's Republican debate, which evoked yawns and
groans in the press rooms packed with bloodthirsty campaign reporters.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Iowa Democrats' Records Don't Match Rhetoric on Illegal Immigration

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

A few days ago, Iowa Democratic leaders held a press conference in Des
Moines at the Capitol talking about the need to get tough on illegal
immigration. Don't believe a word they are saying. Democrats in Iowa
had a chance to vote on tough anti-illegal immigration legislation
during the 2006 session and many of them voted against it. Without
Republican leadership the bill wouldn't have passed. What was the
bill? House File 2671. It was considered by the House on 3/16/2006.
What happened to it in the Senate? All I can seem to find is that it
was referred to a committee. Fascinating.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: GOP Des Moines Register Debate = Disastrous Debacle

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Today was the Des Moines Register's Republican Debate and tomorrow the
Democrats will take the stage. The debate was live at 1 PM but since I
was driving bus all afternoon, I had to watch it on my DVR this
evening. First and foremost, this was an embarrassment of a debate.
Terrible. Awful. The Des Moines Register, for as much hoopla they
receive, sure didn't live up to the billing today with that event.
Now, I'll be the first to tell you that I enjoy a good Alan Keyes
speech once in awhile.

Political Forecast: Why Keyes and not Kucinich or Gravel?

Excerpted from this post at Political Forecast

Just out of curiosity to the folks at the Des Moines Register: Alan
Keyes was a participant in today's Republican debate -- why?! Here's a
link to the Register's standards for the privilege to participate in
their debates, explaining why Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel won't be
participating. But why did Alan Keyes, Tom Tancredo, and Duncan Hunter
get to participate on the Republican side? Did all three have
offices/staff in Iowa by October 1st? Alan Keyes didn't even register
in the October Iowa Poll.

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John Deeth blog: John Edwards with Tim Robbins: Iowa City Liveblog

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog

11:39 and hello from downtown Iowa City. Regular civilian caucusgoers
are just entering the room -- they were lined up to fill the lobby,
but the larger than usual press corps was let in early. Tim Robbins is
Iowa City's second Oscar winning campaigner this year; Barack Obama
sent Forrest Whitaker to the county party barbecue in October. He's
no Oprah, but still Hollywood A list or at least A minus list. Room is
rapidly filling up toward a 200 or so capacity. (My own precinct
caucus Jan. 3 will be in this very room, so I have one small brain
lobe thinking Jan. 3 logistics.)

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The Demo Memo: Iowa: Who Are You For?

Excerpted from this post at The Demo Memo

Oh, yeah. This is familiar territory. The Obama-mania in Des Moines is
palpable. Everyone is asking everyone, "Who are you for?" Every time I
tell someone "I'm for Hillary," they screw up their brow and smile and
tilt their head and say, "really? I figured you'd be for Obama."
Technically, I am "for" any democrat who can restore our country's
good standing in the world and solve a myriad of problems that have
been created by George W. Bush's limited understanding of playing in
the world's sandbox. But yes, I am "for" Hillary even though she is
not the flavor of the month. I've seen this kind of hype before.

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Iowa Insider: Culver: There's a reason why Iowa is first

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver expressed optimism that Iowa's caucuses will
retain their position as the first contest in the presidential primary
calendar in 2012. He said Iowa leaders will be able to point to the
wide-open race in Iowa this year as evidence the state should keep its
spot. "I think Iowa has made its best case ever for why we should go
first," Culver told reporters Wednesday. "We have the most competitive
caucus, perhaps ever. We have shown here in Iowa that everyone has a
level playing field..."

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: Liberal Views Would Hurt Obama Move To Center

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

Much attention has been paid to a questionnaire filled out by Mike
Huckabee in a previous race, specifically due to his answers on AIDS.
A similar questionnaire filled out by Barack Obama gives us a clue as
to how the GOP would campaign against him in the fall. Ironically,
it's that questionnaire that has the Clinton campaign now attempting
to go on the offense and challenge Obama's electability after months
of Hillary being dogged by that issue.

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Radio Iowa: Skywalking with Romney

Excerpted from this post at Radio Iowa

The weather in Des Moines hasn't reached frightful, but it is not what
you would call delightful at present if you have to be outside.
There's been some ice, some snow. It's cold. It's a day to wear
snowboots, thick jeans, your parka and a baseball cap. That was my
uniform as I stood along the Des Moines skywalk over the noon hour
today, a few feet from a hub which features several establishments
offering food for the folks who work in downtown Des Moines insurance
companies, banks and such. Republican presidential candidate Mitt
Romney arrived, to be quickly surrounded by a throng of media toting
cameras, microphones, notepads and recorders (like me).

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Cyclone Conservatives: Rasmussen's New Iowa Poll Shows Huckabee Continuing to Climb

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

Rasmussen Polling released a poll of Iowans this afternoon and the
results once again show that former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is
continuing to snowball support among Iowa Republicans. The poll, which
has a sample of 789 likely GOP caucus participants, was taken SOLELY
on December 10 (yesterday). The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5
points. The last Rasmussen poll, published on November 28, showed a
much closer race.

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Bleeding Heartland: Yepsen owes Obama an apology

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

In his column for the Des Moines Register on Tuesday, David Yepsen repeated assertions he made on his blog not long ago, implying that the Obama campaign is somehow not playing fair because they are encouraging students at Iowa colleges to return to campus for the January 3 caucuses. As I've written before, the right of students at Iowa colleges to caucus is well-established. Mike Connery goes into more detail about why Yepsen is wrong here. He notes that several rival campaigns have jumped at the chance to imply Obama is cheating in Iowa.

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Century of the Common Iowan: One Year After the Immigration Raids

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

One year ago, the Swift plant in Marshalltown was raided by
immigration agents. The events that day and those that followed have
sent shock waves throughout Marshalltown, the state, and the country.
The most heart wrenching story that I have heard is of the young baby,
who was still nursing, that was left in the care of a local church
after the mother was detained. Unfortunately, the debate on
immigration has become an even hotter and more divisive issue, and the
chances for a common sense solution that gets to the heart of the
issue becomes less likely.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cyclone Conservatives: President William Jefferson Clinton at Iowa State University

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This late morning and early afternoon, I had the opportunity to attend
an event on campus featuring former President William Jefferson
Clinton. I got two of my roommates to also attend with me. The event
was held in Fisher Auditorium, which is the smallest building of the
four that encompass the Iowa State Center. Iowa State Center is where
the very influential Ames Straw Poll was held on August 11. The event
was slated to start at 11 AM and I arrived at 10, expecting to see a
big crowd and limited seating available since Fisher is not a huge
venue. What I found was a crowd that was relatively thin in nature.

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Century of the Common Iowan: Edwards' Bus Tour Stops in Marshalltown

Excerpted from this post at Century of the Common Iowan

John Edwards stopped in Marshalltown on Monday evening on the first
day of his 8 day bus tour across Iowa. Edwards spoke in front of 154
people at Marshalltown High School. A long time Marshalltown Democrat
and former county chair told me this was the first time a presidential
candidate has come to the High School. This was my 8th time seeing
Sen. Edwards and I noticed some differences tonight compared to past
speeches. First, the message was toned down. A couple months ago the
headlines were about John Edwards being too angry. Tonight, Edwards
took the high road and even joked about the silly campaign antics of
Clinton and Obama arguing about a Kindergarten essay.

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God, Politics and Rock 'n' Roll: A recipe for Republican buyer's remorse in the general election

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

The Democratic Strategist explores and expands upon the idea that the
Republican candidates all have "near-disqualifying weaknesses" (a
phrase coined by Ross Douthat in the Atlantic over the weekend) We can
list them (and both of the above links do, in more detail than I will
include here): Huckabee: DuMond, weird ideas about AIDS, no love from
the establishment conservatives. Giuliani: Judy, sex in the Hamptons,
too "New York liberal" for some. Thompson: lazy, boring, old and
wrinkly. Romney: expectations too high in IA and NH, the whole Mormon
thing, flip-flopping.

Popular Progressive: The Paper (Ballot) Chase

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive

A citizen group has urged Governor Culver to provide funding for paper
ballot equipment in time for the November 2008 elections. The Governor
has said that the state should consider a vote by mail system before
funding new voting equipment, and there is discussion of a small vote
by mail pilot project in 2008. This would leave many counties using
touch screen voting machines in 2008. "A vote by mail pilot should not
distract the state from the urgent need to replace touch screen
machines in time for the Presidential election," said Sean Flaherty,
co-chair of Iowans for Voting Integrity.

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The Real Sporer: Others are now talking about a brokered convention... but you know you heard it here first

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Not to gloat, but TRS has been talking about a brokered convention for
months now. It seems like the story is catching on. This Freddoso
article is a more detailed mathematical analysis of the possibility
our GOP nominee being chosen at the RNC than we did here at TRS. The
conclusion is very much the same-there is a very real possibility that
the GOP nominee will be chosen by delegates at the national convention
next year. Rudy's numbers have slipped since we first publicly
broached the brokered convention, and the remaining candidates have
moved around so that Huck looks to be picking up more delegates than
he did on November 24, but the basic dynamic hasn't changed.

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Monday, December 10, 2007

chase martyn (on display): Clinton Campaign Still Unsure on Student Voting

Excerpted from this post at chase martyn (on display)
... One student at Grinnell College, where over 80% of the student body is not from Iowa, received a phone call from Clinton's campaign Sunday. The caller invited the student, a registered Iowa voter who is from Minnesota, to attend Monday's 5:15PM event on campus with the former president. The student, who it should be noted is not a Clinton supporter, sent along this email: " The Clinton campaign called me today and invited me to the Bill [Clinton] event. They also asked who I was planning to caucus for and if I'd ever caucused before. So I decided to call them back and asked if they even wanted me to caucus. I said, "I'm a Grinnell College student but I'm from Minnesota. Does Hillary Clinton want my vote?" And the woman said, "That's a complicated issue, hold on a minute." So she put me on hold for about two minutes, then said, "I'm going to have our youth coordinator get back to you." And she took my name and number. I'm still waiting for them to tell me whether I'm worthy of caucusing for Hillary Clinton."

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Daily Kos: Caucus Training Videos: Comparing Obama, Hillary and Edwards

Excerpted from this post at Daily Kos
Barack Obama, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton have all released caucus training videos for the Iowa Caucuses. Obama has also released a Nevada Caucus training video. Each video has its strengths and weaknesses, and here I'm going to use my subjective rating system and rate each of the three videos in four categories, Creativity, New Media Savvy, Effectiveness and how informative is it. One video, in my opinion, stood out as being the best by far - read below to see which one it was.

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Essential Estrogen: Obama's Star Push Wins Hearts, But Not Necessarily Minds

Excerpted from this post at Essential Estrogen
... Driving in inclement weather, waiting nearly an hour in a packed arena and then waiting, in some cases, well over an hour to exit a jammed parking garage, shouldn't be confused with steadfast support. "I came to see both Obama and Oprah," said Doris Nuss of Manchester, who indicated that she will be caucusing for the first time in several years and is trying to decide between New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Obama. "As this goes along, I'm getting closer to caucusing for him than I am for her. I don't think Oprah made a big difference as far as changing anyone's mind, but she was really good and it was worth it to come out on a cold night."

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Bleeding Heartland: Republican message testing in Johnson County

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland
At 4:00PM on Saturday, I got a call from a "polling firm". It began innocously emough by asking which Dem I planned to caucus for, and I said Dodd, but then the real purpose became clear. They asked me if any of the following information would change my opinion about these three "Democrat" candidates: Clinton - she's a flip-flopper, who used to opposed ethanol, but now she supports it. Obama - voted present seven times on reproductive rights bills in the Illinois State Senate. Edwards - he's a liberal trial lawyer who wants to bring troops home from Iraq. I replied that no, their opinions didn't bother me at all. So, has anyone else gotten these calls? I live in Johnson county, and I wonder if they're going statewide.

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Popular Progressive: Caucus Tea Leaves

Excerpted from this post at Popular Progressive
... it is right that people haven't made up their minds about where they will hang their hats on caucus night. Think about it, in 2004 Howard Dean had amassed a formidable lead with less than a month to the caucus, now the "surge" seems to be edging farther away from Hillary's camp and more toward Obama's, at least according to the latest polls. What is largely missed in the Clinton/Obama saga is the continued stable support for John Edwards. What people see in Edwards I suspect is a leader who will fight for them and experience in running against the Republicans -- remembering that he was the other half of the ticket that rang up 49% of the popular vote in 2004. I suspect that some, myself included, thought we had the ticket upside down then, and now believe that Edwards will give us our best chance to delineate ourselves from the Republicans who have won the south heavily in past elections.

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John Deeth blog: Loebsack Celebrates With Biden, Edwards; Without Endorsement

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth blog
... "I invited all the presidential candidates to come to this," said Dave Loebsack, but he was happy enough to get two contenders for his "birthday" fundraiser Saturday in Cedar Rapids. Joe Biden and John Edwards addressed an ebbing and flowing crowd that averaged 200 to 250. "I haven't decided whether I'm going to endorse anyone or not," Loebsack told Iowa Independent. "I don't know if I'm going to or not, but if I do I'll certainly think about it long and hard. I've been getting a lot of calls from a lot of people, as I'm sure you might imagine." Loebsack, long active in caucus politics before his 2006 election to Congress, supported Bill Bradley in 2000 and Howard Dean in 2004.

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Friday, December 07, 2007

God, Politics, and Rock 'n' Roll: Romney: Mormons and Evangelicals, unite!

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

The Democratic Strategist summarizes some of the post-speech
commentary, with a particular nod to Ezra Klein at the American
Prospect, who opined: For those keeping track: Believers in "religious
freedom" are now "people who have knelt in prayer to the Almighty." In
other words, "religious freedom" is the "freedom to be religious."
Those who are not religious, who do not want to see religion in the
public square, do not have a friend in Mitt Romney. "They are intent
on establishing a new religion in America - the religion of
secularism," he says. "They are wrong."

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John Deeth Blog: Ron Paul Robocalling Registered Dems

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

The Ron Paul campaign has started automated phone calls to registered
Democrats, urging them to register as Republicans for a day to caucus
for Paul. A 31 year old female registered Democrat reported receiving
the call on Thursday at her home number in Marion, and provided a
recording of the call to Iowa Independent. The male voice on the call
never gives a name, but offers the following pitch: "Hello. I'm a
registered Democrat voter here in Iowa supporting Ron Paul for
president because he's serious about actually changing things in
Washington."

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Iowa Insider: Clinton: Bush plan on mortgage crisis "designed to help as few people as possible"

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

Democrat Hillary Clinton is bashing President Bush's plan to address
the mortgage crisis, calling it "so meager as to barely register." "It
is designed to help as few people as possible," Clinton told Iowa
reporters in a conference call Thursday. She said Bush's plan for a
five-year freeze on rising mortgage rates allows lenders to decide if
a homeowner gets a rate freeze or will pay a substantially higher
rate. "The president should know that this case-by-case approach does
not work. It's resulted in only 1 percent of sub-prime loans being
modified this year," Clinton said.

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Cyclone Conservatives: Hill Magazine: Endorsements That COULD Be Newsworthy

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

The Hill Magazine/Newspaper, a must read if you are interested in
politics, had a little blurb about what endorsements (some political,
some entertainment, some celebrity) that would make big newsworthy
waves but not necessarily, obviously, guarantee a lot of support.
However, we did see what Chuck Norris did for Huckabee in terms of
drawing a whole lot of additional attention to Huckabee's candidacy
and website. I would highly encourage you to read through this. Pretty
interesting. They have everything from "Blogs" and the AFL-CIO to
Lance Armstrong, Tom Brady and Tiger Woods.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Huckabee Bought and Paid For -- on Iowa Electronic Markets

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Mike Huckabee is passing another benchmark of legitimacy: as of noon Wednesday he'll be traded on the Iowa Electronic Markets (IEM). The IEM is one place where politicians literally are bought and paid for. In the University of Iowa business school project, traders buy and sell contracts on political candidates (not the kind of contract John Gotti tried to put on Rudy Giuliani). Traders use their own, real money (not Ron Paul Liberty Dollars) and for more than 15 years, the IEM has been known for its accuracy in predicting general election outcomes. ... "We've been watching our Rest Of Field price in the Republican national convention market," said [IEM's] Berg, "and it's been above 15 cents for a couple weeks and above 20 cents for the last couple of days. When that happens, we look around to see who might be in that Rest Of Field contract that we should separate out, and this time it looked like it might be Huckabee."

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Price of Politics: Dodd Delivers

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

I was out covering Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama's appearances in the metro, when I got a phone call. Our 10pm producer told me I had a delivery waiting for me downstairs at the front desk at our station. They were from Chris Dodd, he told me. "What?", I said, the obvious response. Apparently, Dodd's campaign sent me over two cheese pizzas as a friendly gesture for the final month of the caucus season. I could almost smell them. Too bad I never got to taste them. By the time I got back to the station, they were gone. Every last piece of cheese. Thanks for the thought.

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From Right 2 Left: Huckabee might get me to the Republican caucuses

Excerpted from this post at From Right 2 Left

Mike Huckabee might convince me to go to the Republican caucuses. His big government "conservatism" is appalling. In many ways, I sympathize with the Republican Party, but people like Huckabee could put me solidly in the Democratic Party. ... The difficulty would be to decide who I would vote for if I went to the Republican caucuses. Giuliani probably has the views closest to mine, but his resume does not make him a fan of civil liberties. I am tempted to support Mitt Romney. He has the best chance of beating Huckabee in Iowa - which may be sufficient reason to vote for him.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

iPol: Thoughts on the NPR Debate

Excerpted from this post at iPol

The NPR debate just wrapped up in Des Moines. Here are some thoughts
about the candidates' performance, in alphabetical order. Joe Biden -
Another strong debate performance from Biden today. On all of the
three spotlight topics of the debate, Biden spoke forthrightly on not
just the details of the issues of Iran, China and immigration, but the
specific policy measures he would put in place to address those
issues. I thought Biden's point about immigrants learning English -
that there hasn't been an immigration wave in our history that has not
embraced English as a primary language in its second generation - was
a particular highlight.

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Cyclone Conservatives: John Edwards at Iowa State University

Excerpted from this post at Cyclone Conservatives

This afternoon and early evening, I attended former North Carolina
Senator John Edwards' "townhall" in Iowa State University's Memorial
Union. I've seen Edwards three or four times this year and I have to
say that his campaign puts on a good show. The crowd was so large that
they had to open up into another room by removing a collapsable wall.
Sitting next to my good friend Jordan Navara, we estimated that there
was approximately 500 people in attendance. Definitely a very solid
crowd for Edwards. His campaign aids are often dressed very similarly
to him in terms of being more casual with the dress shirts and blue
jeans and they often put up gigantic American flags with big vertical
light blue banners displaying "Edwards".

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John Deeth Blog: Obama Inaudible: UIowa Liveblog

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Obama pictured with an interpreter for those who couldn't hear --
which was pretty much all of us. You'd hear your favorite band better
with headphones, but wouldn't you'd still go see them live? 8:43 and
while Eric Clapton's "Change The World" may be on message for a
candidate, it's also easily the wimpiest thing Eric Clapton ever
recorded, out-wussing even acoustic "Layla." Our Own Chase Martyn
called and told me Obama was running late shaking hands in Grinnell,
so things should be later than the announced 9:00 start time... It's
about 98% student here, but Senator Bob Dvorsky is working the edges
of the crowd. "They're putting some of the old folks behind (Obama),"
he jokes.

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The Real Sporer: A whiny gallant rushing to the defense

Excerpted from this post at The Real Sporer

Today, President Clinton complained about Hillary's press coverage.
Apparently, Bill thinks we'd all find Hill a more attractive
Presidential option if we just discussed her experience and
accomplishments more than we talked about the horse race. This
criticique presents an interesting and paradoxical challenge to the
media. What are Hillary's accomplishments? The only public program
with which Hillary was ever known to be involved was the
preposterously conceived and politically bungled 1993-1994 socialized
healthcare plan.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Price of Politics: Looking Out for Number One

Excerpted from this post at Price of Politics

Mike Huckabee spent his first day in Iowa as the front runner, at
least according to most recent polls. We caught up with him at a hotel
in Des Moines, where he had just finished meeting with a group of
retired military leaders. I don't know what those military leaders
thought of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq. But I do know we've all
noticed Huckabee's surge. I've never seen so much local and national
press at one of his events. Huckabee noticed it, as well.
Unfortunately, he didn't seem to notice the podium staffers had set up
for him. He walked just outside the red rope that sectioned off the
media from the hallway where he was.

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MyDD: Will Steve King be the Fifth Sitting GOP Cong. to Lose to Harkin?

Excerpted from this post at MyDD

First it was Bill Scherle, the then incumbent Republican Congressman
who Tom Harkin dispatched back in 1974. Then it was Tom Tauke, who as
a sitting GOP Representative lost in his bid to challenge by then
Senator Harkin in 1990. In 1996 it was Jim Ross Lightfoot's turn to
play the role of the sitting GOP Congressman to lose to Harkin, and in
2002 it was time for Republican Rep. Greg Gansketo to lose to Harkin.
In fact, it's as if a run against Harkin is where sitting Republican
members of Congress from Iowa go to end their careers.

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Back Roads to the White House: No more Mrs. Nice Guy

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is baring her "fangs." That wasn't
somebody's insult. It was the approving reaction from one of her fans
as the Democratic presidential front-runner ripped into rival Sen.
Barack Obama's character for the second-straight day - this time
accusing him of dodging positions on politically-sensitive issues. "A
President can't pick and choose which challenges he or she will face,"
Clinton told her supporters at the legendary Surf Ballroom in Clear
Lake -- site of Buddy Holly's last concert before a fatal plane crash
in February 1959.

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John Deeth Blog: Student Caucus Flap Lowers Tone Of Dialogue

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog

Democrats spend a great deal of time messaging that they believe in
counting every vote. The pain of the hanging chads still burns in
their hearts, and the battle over photo ID's to vote looms. Which is
why it's so disconcerting to see operatives for Hillary Clinton and
Chris Dodd attacking Barack Obama for encouraging students to caucus.
Sure, there's an advantage for Obama in encouraging kids from Illinois
who go to school in Iowa. Why do you think he's pushing it? For the
same reason Hillary Clinton is pushing casserole recipes at busy moms
and Chris Dodd is campaigning with firefighters. There's votes in it.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Back Roads to the White House: One month and 'That'll be the day...'

Excerpted from this post at Back Roads to the White House

With exactly one month left until the Iowa precinct caucuses, there will be virtually no more quiet days on the campaign trail. In Clear Lake, Iowa, where the sidewalks are covered in sheets of thick ice, folks are awaiting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's rally inside the famed Surf Ballroom -- the place where Buddy Holly and friends played their final gig before a tragic plane crash on Feb. 2, 1959. In separate appearances in Iowa on Sunday, Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama stepped up their war of words, and that could flare again. But today, Clinton's main goal is to rally supporters, encourage them to drag their buddies to the caucuses on Jan. 3, 2008, and keep spreading their word that the ideosycratic caucus system is "easy" for first-time participants.

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Bleeding Heartland: Pro-Huckabee group doing robocalls in Iowa

Excerpted from this post at Bleeding Heartland

I just got a robocall paid for by "Common Sense Issues," whatever that is. It was a brief survey with questions intended to generate interest in Mike Huckabee. The voice said the phone number at the end of the call too fast for me to catch it. The voice referred me to this website, "Trust Huckabee": http://www.trusthuckabee.com. These were the questions, as closely as I can remember them. I may have missed some--I didn't have a pen and paper handy--but I sat down at the computer within a minute of the call ending, so my memory is fresh.

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State 29: Earthpork: The Day After The Deadline

Excerpted from this post at State 29

I find it interesting that the Des Moines Register has not run a fully-fledged story about how Rainforest con man David Oman submitted his $50 $48 million grant application to the Feds. Isn't that kind of a big deal? ... I think Iowa's newspaper reporters, editors, and opinion columnists have really dropped the ball on this one - and I believe the Des Moines Register has done so intentionally. Oh, there has been criticism sprinkled here and there, like at the Iowa City Press-Citizen (whose increasingly questioning editorials essentially drove the project out of next-door suburb Coralville.....), but nobody state-wide has really pounded the drum regularly and warned the general public about what lurks ahead if this project is green-lighted.

Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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