Friday, October 13, 2006

Beltway Mitt

The Boston Globe has an interesting look at Mitt's courtship of Beltway Republicans. (Basically this is the Cooler giving you a way to procrastinate a little longer while at work on Friday afternoon).

If a Brownback falls in some row crops

And nobody hears it, did it really happen?

Apparently Sam Brownback was in Des Moines earlier this week making campaign stops for some local candidates. We only know this because the Cooler intern was having a conversation with someone who casually brought up that they attened one of the events.

There was no media coverage to speak of, and it certainly didn't generate any buzz. Tom Beaumont didn't even write a blurb for him and he covers everybody.

Brownback doesn't have any staff to speak of, we'd imagine his visits are organized by former Brownback college roomate/state legislator/activist Chuck Hurley. This is a prime example of why having staff in 06 matters.

When you come to town, people know about it.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mark Warner Will Not Run For President


Warner is Out- It's Official.

You can read more about this at

The Cooler's Quick reactions
  • Bayh and Edwards are extremely happy about this, especially Bayh.
  • This narrows the Hillary alternative field by 1.
  • That Allen v. Warner dream matchup went up in smoke pretty quick huh.
  • He gave an eloquent statement that shows how good a candidate he would have been, make sure to read that while you are on the Posts website

Back to Work.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

54 People Like Cox

We received an email in the tipjar from the Cox campaign touting their strong Iowa organization and asking to be moved up the line. Here are some pertinent excerpts.

We have 3 District Coordinators covering West, Central, and Eastern Iowa. We have over 54 volunteer coordinators covering all 99 Iowa counties. I have been working my tail off to achieve a solid ground game in these key states. John has traveled to all 99 counties in Iowa already and makes extensive trips. The next one is in November after the election. Our message is what is getting through and causing our early success.

They didn't brag about the front page spread in the LA Times, which was the most bewildering news of the week to us in the Cooler. In that article, his law partner calls him a long shot! Nice commitment bud.

They have the inimitable Steve Huff on board, as first reported here at the Caucus Cooler. Huff you might remember lost a GOP Primary for State Senate to Ron Longmuir (who? exactly)... They've got Keith Hunter for Western Iowa (how much are they paying you Keith?) and Patrick Anderson for Central Iowa. As best as we can tell, Patrick is in college.

Cox's national coordinator, the fellow who emailed us, Nathan Martin, lost a Primary in OH-04. (Are we starting to see a trend here).

You can go to their website and see their 54 coordinators. All good people, we're sure. Their hearts are in the right place, but they just don't get it. The point of this process is choosing a leader of the free world and there's a vetting process. The American people are not going to elect a lawyer they've never heard of. The Gang of 50 unanimously agree on this. John Cox will not be President.

He will likely cause some of these other guys trouble over the next 18 months, and for that reason we'll report his actions. In the meantime, in order to make Mr. Cox feel better, we are moving him up the line.

Now he's 998-1.

Palmetto Primary

The State ran an article about the early Primary race in South Carolina. Their conclusions? With Allen faultering, many of the folks in the "anybody but McCain" crowd are heading to Romney, while a few are moving towards Huckabee.

Their first pick, U.S. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, lost standing when he made highly publicized racial slurs during a heated re-election campaign.
That left conservatives — mostly evangelical Christians — with one real challenger to McCain.
“Social conservatives are absolutely going to line up behind Romney,” said Dee Benedict of Greenville, a prominent activist. “What I’ve found in talking with pastors and activists is that a number of them are already committed to Romney — to my surprise.”

But the McCain folks are satisfied with where they are at.

Richard Quinn, McCain’s S.C. consultant, rejects the notion that large numbers of conservatives are shopping for an alternative.
“McCain now has more conservatives on board than any other potential candidate,” he said.
McCain’s people say they aren’t worried. The “anybody-but-McCain” crowd, they say, is a loose federation of malcontents who never are going to support the senator.

The major news is that Romney is noticeably starting to line up the anti-McCainiacs. Everything we at the Cooler here from people in South Carolina is that it is going to be a bloodbath in the Palmetto State.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

McCain v. Hillary

The MSM loves the potential of a McCain v. Hillary matchup for 2008. The two Senators fed the beast today by going toe-to-toe on North Korea. From the Hotline...

In his first direct challenge to the Democrat he expects to face in the 2008 presidential race, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) today alleged that Sen. Hillary Clinton and Democrats fail to recognize the gathering threat posed by North Korea in voting to block a national missile defense program and by supporting an approach to Asian diplomacy that McCain believes is a proven failure. McCain scheduled a press conference late this morning in Michigan, where he is campaigning for Senate candidate Mike Bouchard, to draw a bright line between himself and Clinton on national security, according to an adviser.

Philippe Reines, Sen. Hillary Clinton's spokesman, responds to McCain:
A missile shield alone cannot protect us from the Bush-Cheney Administration’s incompetence in their approach to Iraq, Iran and North Korea, and it is unfortunate that Republicans such as John McCain continue to blindly defend their failed policies for partisan gain rather than exercise true leadership.

McCain took the opportunity to reinforce his national security street cred, and separate himself from Hillary as well as some of the GOP 08ers without the security experience.

Rudy and the Gang of 50

The New Moscow Times did a very thorough editorial on Rudy's Presidential aspirations yesterday. Here are some pertinent excerpts.

Mr. Giuliani has little to say about 2008, and a great deal to say about Sept. 11, 2001. He rarely brings up the World Trade Center attack directly; he does not have to. No matter where he goes — South Carolina, Florida, Michigan and Illinois, just in the past several weeks — other people do it for him. That will surely be the case on Thursday, when he makes his much-anticipated first public appearance in two years in New Hampshire, which holds the first presidential primary in the nation, where he will speak at a fund-raiser for Republican state legislative candidates.

He says he does not yet know if he will be a presidential candidate. He has no campaign apparatus and his positions on divisive social issues — from abortion to gay rights to gun control — put him at odds with most in his party.

Never mind that Mr. Giuliani has come in for some sharp criticism back in New York — about workers sickened by toxic dust at ground zero, about his disgraced former police commissioner, Bernard B. Kerik, and even about his handling of the trade center attack.

There is little indication that his noble image from 9/11 has been tarnished in the heartland. For many...
his national security message seems to work, blotting out the central question facing his candidacy: whether a supporter of legal abortion, gay civil unions, immigrants’ rights and gun control; a thrice-married, Catholic New Yorker whose split with his second wife took place publicly and none too neatly, can win Republican presidential primaries and caucuses.

We at the Cooler are here to try and wade through that complicated question. Today we are going to use for the first time a Cooler term. The Gang of 50. The Gang of 50 are the campaign consultants, strategists, pollsters, pundits, and journalists who make up the conventional caucus wisdom here in Iowa. (Don't sue us Mark, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery). When you want to know what the Gang thinks about the Caucus, come to the Cooler and we'll let you know.

So what's the conventional wisdom in the gang? We hear that Rudy is running, likely will enter late after the straw poll, and he likely will wait until a few of the major contenders stumble a little bit (Pataki in particular)... If Rudy does get in, how will Iowans react? How will he put an organization together in time?

The Gang doesn't have an answer to those questions yet. But it goes without saying that the rest of the field is more comfortable with the Mayor on the paid speaking circuit, not the caucus circuit.

  • 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.