Friday, October 27, 2006

Allen rides again

George Allen's senate bid may not end up as close as once thought... his opponent Jim Webb was hit hard last night by master strategist Dick Wadhams on his past fiction writings. We at the Cooler think this will put Allen over the top in his Senate race but will his '08 hopes be rekindled at the same time?

We all should agree that a "Macaca" coming out of a mouth is far less damaging than a little boy's "caca" going into a mouth.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The O'Bama Factor

Fox News released a poll today that shows the junior Senator from Illinois Barack Obama "holding his own" in a hypothetical matchup against McCain. (McCain was the only stand alone Republican candidate polled).

McCain 41%
Obama 38%

McCain 45%
Clinton 39%

We at the Cooler find this poll interesting for a number of reasons.
1. The poll finds that Obama has similar crossover appeal as McCain
2. If polls right now are mainly about name ID then how is someone like Obama doing so well?
3. When Obama gets in the race, how much room is left? Just like if Rudy gets in how much room will be left?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cato Killin'

Team Pataki in Iowa has been quick to point out his strong record when it comes to keeping taxes low. It's been essentially their most consistent talking point during the fledgling stages of his Caucus campaign. Well the folks at the Cato Institute object and they did so vehemently in the New York Post this morning.

IT'S hard to recall there was ever a time when fiscal conservatives nationwide saw New York's Gov. Pataki as a rising political star. Elected on a promise to cut taxes, Pataki delivered early in his first term, slicing the top state income-tax rate by 25 percent and reducing the capital gains and inheritance taxes, too. He even succeeded in cutting government spending.

But soon Pataki was raising taxes and hiking spending at rates that would make Nelson Rockefeller and Mario Cuomo smile. The same conservatives who had earlier cheered him were left scratching their heads, wondering: What happened to George?

Starting with his second term, however, Pataki's fiscal schizophrenia began to set in. (Is there something in the water in Albany?) Pataki proposed all sorts of awful policies, such as a multibillion-dollar bond initiative for roads and pork-barrel environmental projects. He hiked cigarette taxes and proposed over $3 billion in overall tax increases by 2005. The state budget exploded, too, growing by 76 percent since his first day in office - almost twice the growth of population plus inflation.

This year, Pataki has tried to convince people that the tax-cutter they knew and loved was back by proposing income-tax-rate cuts for the first time in almost a decade.

And those pathetic tax cuts are the good news. On the spending side, Pataki remained a lover of big government. His fiscal 2007 budget proposal expanded state government spending by 7 percent, the biggest proposed increase since 1995.

Perhaps Pataki's recent tax-cut proposals were simply an attempt to end his mostly disappointing governorship on a high note. Or, with his presidential aspirations altogether apparent, maybe it was simply a bid to convince the small-government advocates who vote in GOP primaries that he's still one of them.

Sorry to be so text heavy there, but there's too much good rhetoric to find things to cut.

Here's what we like about Pataki. Big state Governor, can raise the money, has a great team on the ground in Iowa. But they've got a lot to overcome. Pataki is unpopular at home and pro-choice. The Pataki folks have been forced to hold up the shiny object that is tax cuts in conservatives eyes. But according to CATO that shiny object might really be a house of cards.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

You're not THAT skinny

Gov. Huckabee got himself in a sticky situation late last week when he made a joke Jewish groups considered to be insensitive.

Jewish groups aren't laughing after Arkansas' governor quipped that he lost 100 pounds after staying "at a concentration camp."Governor Mike Huckabee was on the "Imus in the Morning" show, where the host told him he looked "emaciated."

That led Republican Huckabee to joke that he'd been held by Democrats for six weeks at a concentration camp. The National Jewish Democratic Council calls it "insensitive" and thinks the governor ought to apologize. But Huckabee claims he wasn't referring to the Holocaust. He also says it's "far-reaching" to think he was, and calls it the "type of allegation that makes people cynical."

The relevant reason for posting on this today? KWWL (Waterloo, Cedar Rapids, Dubuque) ran this story on their nightly news yesterday. You can see for yourself here.

Shouldn't those folks be focused on whether or not Bruce Braley is a communist this close to Election Day?

Monday, October 23, 2006


We'd be remiss if we did not post on the big 08 news of the weekend. The Junior Senator from Illinois left the door WIIIIIIDE open for a Presidential bid on Meet the Press yesterday morning. BARACK would not commit to serving his full term in the Senate as he promised and he had this to say about a possible run.

"Given the responses that I've been getting over the last several months, I have thought about the possibility, but I have not thought about it with the seriousness and depth that I think is required,"

BARACK would be a big fish in the Democrat Primary and even Dick Gephardt said that with Clinton and Obama in the race there wouldn't be much room for anybody else. BARACK would be an imposing figure on the Democrat side and he would certainly be the celebrity superstar of the race if he got in. We will be monitoring his movings very closely.

Go to the Fix or the Hotline (links on the right) for more on BARACK.

Gilmo' mo' more

Word around the campfire in Iowa is that Jim Gilmore made an encore appearance in the Hawkeye State this weekend. He campaigned with Steve King and Jim Kurtenbach while he was in town. Gilmore was being hosted by former State Central Committee member Dale Blair (Polk County) on his trip and courted a number of Western Iowa conservatives.

Our position on Gilmore is well documented. And if you don't know what we think about it, you can consult Steven Tyler.

Honestly, a personal rivalry with fellow Virginian George Allen is not enough of a reason to start a Presidential bid. And we're not sure "no car tax" will resonate nationwide.

Let us know if you heard any other Gilmore buzz/nonbuzz

Update: We took an informal poll of the Gang of 50 this morning and the results are not pretty for Gov. Gilmore. He should probably keep his eyes on John Warner's Senate seat of Gov. 09.

  • 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.