Friday, September 22, 2006

Big Fish

McCain picked up BC04 Iowa Chair Dave Roederer to chair his Iowa efforts in 2008. Roederer is an influencial lobbyist in Des Moines. He was Chief of Staff and Legislative Liaison to Governor Terry Branstad.

Roederer has been involved in lots of campaigns. Right now he ihs Chair of the Lamberti for Congress and the Vaudt for State Auditor. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Iowa Chamber Alliance working with Chambers of Commerce throughout Iowa.

Big Pick up for Straight Talk. Roederer is very well liked and respected throughout Republican circles It's tough to be liked by everyone in politics and Dave's done it.

The McCain/Romney/Pataki talent wars continue...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Et Ett and Etty

Apparently, George Allen is Jewish. He didn't know even know it until his mom told him last month. This story is almost unreal. Who approved "Etty" has a press spokesperson for this campaign anyway?

Henrietta "Etty" Allen said Wednesday that she concealed her upbringing as a Jew in North Africa from her children until a conversation across the dining room table in late August.

She said Allen asked her directly about his Jewish heritage when he was in Los Angeles for a fundraiser. "We sat across the table and he said, 'Mom, there's a rumor that Pop-pop and Mom-mom were Jewish and so were you,' " she recalled, a day after Allen issued a statement acknowledging and embracing his Jewish roots as he campaigns for a second term in the U.S. Senate. Etty's father, Felix Lumbroso, was imprisoned by the Nazis during the German occupation of Tunis.

Keep in mind this is the front page of this morning's Washington Post. If you think it's bad to this point, you haven't seen anything yet. Etty makes a borderline anti-Semetic remark and then the Post revisits Macaca for like the 100th time..

"I said, well, I just didn't want anyone to know," she explained. "I had said, 'Please don't tell your brothers and sister and your wife.' The fact this is such an issue justifies my actions, and my behavior."

Macaca is a genus of monkey and is a French slur for a dark-skinned person. French and Arabic are spoken in Tunis. Etty Allen said Wednesday that she had never used the word "macaca" before and had to go to a dictionary to look it up when she heard of the controversy. She said the word did not exist in her dictionary.

"I swear to you, I have never used that word," she said. "I must have used a lot of bad words, but not that word."

And then it really closes with a Bang

"He's fine. He loves challenges," she said, then offered an unsolicited observation that suggests her son might be ready for a break from tough questions: "His favorite time of the week is when he comes home, sits on his riding mower, by himself and mows his lawn and no one is asking him questions."

Whew... Did Wadhams approve Etty as an Allen surrogate or did the Post just dig up her number? That was not a good interview.

We don't mean to gang up on Allen. We're worried that we are breaking our fair and balanced coverage rule, but Allen's campaign has been an unmitigated disaster, so it's hard not to post about it as such.

Friends Forever

President Bush and John McCain reached consensus today on the military tribunals:

“The agreement that we’ve entered into gives the president the tools he needs to continue to fight the war on terror and bring these evil people to justice,” said Sen. John McCain of Arizona, one of three rebellious GOP lawmakers who told Bush he couldn’t have the legislation the way he initially asked for it.

Below is the from the President's statement.

"I want to thank the members of the United States Senate for working with my administration to meet our top legislative priority, and that is a law that will help us crack the terror network and to save American lives.

I had a single test for the pending legislation, and that's this: Would the CIA operators tell me whether they could go forward with the program, that is a program to question detainees to be able to get information to protect the American people. I'm pleased to say that this agreement preserves the most single -- most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks"

More on Mark

To follow up on our post earlier this week on Warner.

  • Ex-VA Gov. Mark Warner (D) wants you to know: he thinks the Bush tax cuts for the richest Americans, enacted during an expensive war and with rising federal budget deficits, were "morally wrong and economically wrong" and that he would indeed support their repeal. Warner, in an interview with The Hotline yesterday clarified his comments Monday in Iowa, which were reported by the Des Moines Register.

That's why the Forward Together folks were on the blog prowl Tuesday.

  • Intesting comments from Karl Rove in this article about Mark Warner...."White House political strategist Karl Rove says Democrats such as Warner and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson are not serious about winning the Democratic nomination because they know it will almost certainly go to Clinton.
    “Anybody who thinks that she’s not going to be the candidate is kidding themselves,” Rove says. “I mean, all this stuff about, you know, Warner or Richardson — all these guys are preening for the vice presidential slot.”"

Candid comments from the architect.

For those that don't already know, Bill Frist will be doing a skeet shoot fundraiser for RPI coming up on Saturday. And Tom Ridge will be headlining the Reagan Dinner (looks like we were wrong on that one)....

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


We've been "noticably silent" according to some emailers on the big topic of the week for Presidential hopefuls. McCain and the Geneva convention. Well that's intentional, because this is a complicated issue and we like to keep the posts short. So those of you that like your blogging brief, feel free to scroll right past this one.

There is one thing that's for certain, politically this hasn't helped McCain with the far right, the King segment of the party. They see this as another opportunity to take him to task. The bad part for the McCain camp is that these are the people he needs to be mending fences with. Amongst I's, we'd imagine McCain is continuing to build on his already high popularity- but he's going to have to get over his biggest hurdle- the Republican Primary schedule- before he can visit with them. You can see the animosity building in the blogosphere from the "freepers" and Red State folks who have been merciless in attacking McCain. Here's clips from a conservative column by Frank Gaffney Jr.

Worse yet, these Senators – John McCain, John Warner and Lindsey Graham – are not only encouraging their fellow Republicans to join them in breaking with President Bush. They are also giving political cover to Democrats gleeful at the chance to conceal their readiness to do the wrong thing on national security by lining up behind McCain and Company, whose number includes former Secretary of State Colin Powell.

We need to remove the sanctimony from this debate. Reasonable people can come to different conclusions about the extent of the rights that should be enjoyed by people believed to be among the most dangerous Islamofascist terrorists on the planet. Those who recognize the importance of neither compromising classified information – and the sources and methods by which it is obtained – nor making inevitable the unwarranted release of such individuals are not indifferent to human rights. Those who appreciate the need to use methods of interrogation more aggressive than those employed at Gitmo are not in favor of torture.

The giving cover to the Democrats argument seems to be where Gaffney gets the most steam. But the interesting thing is not that McCain's side of this argument has its merits- but that he is committed to telling it. He was on CBS News with Katie Couric, said that he'd be willing to sacrifice the Presidency (if nothing else, on this issue you can't doubt the man's sincerity), and most interestingly penned an op-ed in the Manchester (New Hampshire) Union-Journal. If you read his language and listen to his point of view, you can't help but draw comparisons to the rhetoric Bush used following 9-11. And we would think that those who do not already have a side in this argument, might think differently if they heard directly from McCain. Clearly that's Straight Talk's strategy. Take a look for yourself at McCain's argument-.

Our war against Islamic terrorists is a new kind of war. Our enemies are stateless; they reside in many countries, even, we assume, within the borders of our own country. They kill combatants and non-combatants alike with savage cruelty and take a truly evil delight in crossing all civilized boundaries governing the conduct of war. All wars are a miserable business, and this one is particularly so. That is why I believe we must prosecute it as rapidly as we can and as violently as we must.

History will vindicate us, even though many of us will no longer be around to read it. And when history records our victory may it also celebrate the fact that we fought an enemy who believed our values made us weak and discovered in the end that our faithfulness to our values was as important to their defeat as was the strength and courage of our armed forces.

Fighting for our security alone makes this fight just. Fighting for the security of other nations as well makes it generous. Fighting for the ascendancy in the world of our values makes it noble. That is the burden and the honor history has offered us. So let us take care, just as we take care to minimize civilian casualties while our enemies deliberately kill the innocent, not to provide our critics with an excuse to doubt how seriously we take our obligations to abide by our values even in times of war, no matter how cruel, difficult or unusual that war.

Rather than redefine the Geneva Conventions, we would spell out in U.S. law and in clear terms what constitutes a “grave breach” of Article Three so that no judge could decide, for instance, that a female interrogating a Muslim male is a war crime. Only truly grave offenses would rise to that level, and as long as the program stayed within the bounds of the legislation passed last year, no American could be sued or prosecuted for doing his or her duty.

I am confident that we can reach an agreement with the President that satisfies our mutual determination to win this war because of our values, not despite them. No one intends to grant terrorists all the rights accorded Americans or lawful combatants. No one will read them their Miranda rights. We intend only to recognize their most basic human rights. They don’t deserve it, and they surely would never grant them to us. But it will help us win this war, and it will reflect great credit on the United States, the most honorable nation on earth.

The man has a unique perspective on the argument- that's for sure. The question is, how's it going to affect his bid at the Presidency.

O'Romney Factor

Lots of posts today. I hope this will get everyone off our back for our lack of content over the past week or so.

Willard Mitt Romney will be on the O'Reilly Factor tonight. Also, Romney will next be in Iowa on Sept 27th and 28th. He will be at a event for Danny Carroll in Grinnell. He will also speak at the Principal Financial Group Luncheon. The event that I have the most firm details on is a breakfast fundraiser on Sept 28th in Cedar Rapids for Renee Schulte who is up for Chuck Larson's open Iowa Senate seat.


That's a real Meshuggenah

George Allen is getting more press. This time it's about his Jewish ancestry, or lack their of. Jeez, If Marv Albert were announcing he'd screech "Allen can't BUY a bucket."

Allen was confronted about his ancestry at a recent debate with the Fairfax (Northern Virginia) Chamber of Commerce. The crowd, upset at the question, actually started booing! Allen was visibly flustered but he came back to an area that he's comfortable with, invoking Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers.

"You know what the first freedom in our country was?" he demanded. "Freedom of religion, that people's rights are not enhanced or diminished on account of their religion..."

This is probably not the coverage Mrrs. Wadhams and LaCivita were hoping for, but Allen managed to avoid completely fumbling this one. (Multiple sports metaphors in one post, my former English professors would not be happy).

Here's an article from a Virginia Paper.
And you can watch a clip of the altercation here.

Warner leans so far to the right he falls on his face

Mark Warner doesn't understand the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. He thinks that only 2% of Americans qualify for them. What's even funnier than that though is looking at the tax cuts through that outrageously inaccurate prism- he still supports them. From the Register.

"Even though the Bush tax cuts only applied to the top 2 percent of Americans, what I think the Kerry campaign missed was that the other 98 percent of Americans still aspired to get to the point in their life where they could qualify for the tax cuts."

WHAT? First, the Bush tax cuts took millions of Americans completely off the tax rolls (those are low income folks). It reduced the marriage penalty and increased the per child tax credit. Those tax cuts helped the working class just as much as they did those in the TTB.

Warner is now the only politician in memory to support tax cuts exclusively for the rich. (Warner's a pretty rich guy himself). I wonder which America John Edwards will say that Mark Warner belongs to? Nice start to the campaign Governor.

Office Politics

The Hotline reports that Mitt Romney is opening up joint headquarters with Jim Nussle's Gubernatorial campaign. They are opening the offices in Dubuque, Johnson, Linn, Pottawattamie and Woodbury Counties. This is a nice way to get involved in the 06 cycle.

We've heard around the campfire last week that Pataki has opened a 2000 Sq. foot office in Des Moines and they offered the use of that office to RPI and the LMF. If anybody wants to confirm or deny in the comments, go right ahead.

Back with more later.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weekend Roundup

The venerable Charles Ernest Grassley said on Iowa Press this weekend that for 08 "Only one stands out right now." In his estimation that person is fellow Senator John McCain. He did add the Rudy Giuliani would stand out as well "if he were in campaign mode."

Grassley continued on McCain. "He's coming into Iowa strong. I believe the thing that would appeal the most to Iowa Republicans is his fight for openness in the appropriation and budgeting process."

"McCain's got to prove that he can get a broad base of Republican support, particularly among conservatives. If he can show that, he may be anointed"

Other stuff:

It's a Hawkeye state! (but we already knew that)

Kerry thinks his 04 message is pertinent today. HA

Bloomberg as an independent in 08. (We think that's a tough sell if McCain or Rudy are the nominee)

Nussle/Culver... Dead Heat.

The schedule for Huckabee's next trip to Iowa can be found at the huckablog. Granzow, Eichorn, Clute and Hartsuch will be joined on the campaign trail by the Governor.

Have a good Sunday

  • Caucus Coolerisms
  • The Cooler Line

    Mike Huckabee 10-9
    Mitt Romney 3-1
    Fred Thompson 9-1
    John McCain 9-1
    Rudy Giuliani 12-1
    Ron Paul 12-1
    Duncan Hunter 98-1
    The Cooler line is an exclusive creation of Caucus Cooler and will be updated as the political environment changes.
    It is an unscientific assessment of the Iowa Caucus (not the Presidential race as a whole) from an insiders view at the given time. The line IS NOW mathematically accurate but is NOT intended for gambling purposes. Information may only be reproduced with credit to the Caucus Cooler.