Saturday, December 23, 2006

Line Change!

This will be the Cooler's last post before the Christmas holiday- barring some shocking breaking news. Thank you so much for making us part of your day over the past 5 months. We look forward to an exciting caucus campaign here at the Cooler. On to the line changes.

Yesterday KCCI and Research 2000 came out with a poll of likely Iowa caucusgoers. This is the first such poll of the Republican contenders in quite some time. It showed McCain at 27%, Rudy at 26%, Romney at 9% and Newt at 7%.

Given Senator McCain's lead in the poll and the strides their camp has made organizationally, at this stage it makes sense to move him into a tie with Romney. Also, we head into the New Year with only McCain and Romney with real Iowa organizations. They are clearly the class of the field at this point. Due to the separation they've created, we are moving Senator McCain from 4-1 to 3-1 and Governor Romney from 7-2 to 3-1. Merry Christmas guys.

Rudy also did well in the KCCI poll, but that doesn't affect his standing because he is artificially high on the Cooler Line based on his poll numbers. If they come through on their promise and show us an Iowa organization after the New Year, that will be much more telling. Rudy stays at 6-1.

Unrelated to the poll, we have some movement from Huckabee, Brownback, and Gilmore.

Mike Huckabee somehow managed to get out of 2006 WITHOUT DOING A SINGLE THING to advance his candidacy in Iowa. His complete disappearing act has been astonishing.

In the meantime two other candidates with the same constituency have been active. Governor Gilmore has been seen campaigning in Iowa 3 times in the past 2 months. He has a cadre of old-line Iowa conservatives that seem to be coalescing around his candidacy and he has the beginnings of a staff.

Senator Brownback has lined up two influential Des Moines activists in Chuck Hurley and Kevin McLaughlin, he has taken clear strides towards a run, and he's courting the right people. (pun intended).

So with that, the Cooler is moving Mike Huckabee from 14-1 to 23-1, Sam Brownback from 24-1 to 15-1, and Jim Gilmore from 99-1 to 39-1 (you can stop emailing us now Gilmore staffers, we're believers).

That's all for now. We hope you and your families have a merry, blessed, and safe Christmas Coolerites. We'll see you next week.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Governor Graft Documents

Huckabee's Funders

12 Stops – National Association of Music Manufacturers Consulting- $40,000
12 Stops – Book Tour/Salary- $40,000
12 Stops – Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church Book Sales- $700
12 Stops – Cooper Institute Honoraria - $2,500
12 Stops – Cooper Institute Book Sales - $599
12 Stops – Hope for America PAC (Huckabee’s PAC) Book Sales - $7,700
12 Stops – Crystal Cathedral Book Sales - $4,070
12 Stops – McBride Agency Book Royalties - $148,750
12 Stops – Ankeny Free Church Honoraria - $1,500
12 Stops – Thomas Road Baptist Church Honoraria - $2,500
12 Stops – Liberty University Honoraria - $500
12 Stops – International Speakers Bureau/CA Assoc of Health Plans Honoraria - $17,000
12 Stops – Washington Policy Center Honoraria - $10,000
12 Stops – International Speakers Bureau/Public Health Institute Honoraria - $13,000
12 Stops – Castle Partners Honoraria - $13,000
12 Stops – International Speakers Bureau/Grant Makers in Health Honoraria - $4,000
12 Stops – International Speakers Bureau/Novo Nordisk Honoraria - $17,500
12 Stops – Keppter Speakers/Utah League of Cities & Towns Honoraria - $10,000
12 Stops – Prestonwood Baptist Church Honoraria - $1,500
12 Stops – International Speakers Bureau/Novo Nordisk Honoraria - $17,500
12 Stops – International Speakers Bureau/Institute for Health & Productivity Honoraria -$13,000
12 Stops – International Speakers Bureau/Washington University - $13,000

Brownback gets supporter

Polk County social security privatization/tax reform advocate Kevin McLaughlin jumps on board team Brownback. Tom Beaumont with the scoop.

This must mean Brownback is not shying away from social security privatization because McLaughlin wouldn't have it any other way.

Wait a second

There's more Romney coverage after all.

In an attempt to stop the bleeding with the social conservatives Romney made two key hires in that community. From the Hotline...

Beset by questions about his committment to social conservatism, Gov. Mitt Romney today adds two validators to his team. Gary Marx, the current exec. dir of the Judicial Confirmation Network and formerly the Bush-Cheney campaign's chief staff liaison to social conservatives, will join Gov. Mitt Romney's PAC as an adviser. Also, Jay Sekulow, a constitutional lawyer who's argued numerous cases of import to social conservatives before the Supreme Court, has endorsed Romney and will serve as an adviser.

Meanwhile over at the Fix.

McCain hires another Bush insider. (yawn.)

Everywhere I turn its Mitt Mitt Mitt

OK so much Romney coverage so little time... Romney campaigned for Dallas County Sheriff candidate Chad Leonard yesterday afternoon and then had a Christmas Party for supporters in the evening.

While the AP focuses on his support for how Dubya has carried out the war...

"Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said he supports the way President George W. Bush has carried out the war in Iraq. But Romney is declining to discuss whether more troops should be sent."

Tom Beaumont takes a stab at the Romney topic du jour- gay marriage. Romney said...

"I feel very strongly that we should preserve traditional marriage and at the same time preserve our heritage of respect for people who make different choices in their life," said Romney, governor of the only state to have legalized gay marriage. "I know there are some people who would say, 'Your position is inconsistent,' but I don't believe it is."

Meanwhile on the left coast, the Washington Post has a feature story on Romney's journey to the right and is makes note of Romney's opposition to Reagan administration policies.

"Twelve years ago, Romney boasted that he would be more effective in fighting discrimination against gay men and lesbians than Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), distanced himself from some conservative policies of the Reagan administration, and proudly recalled his family's record in support of abortion rights."

With regards to the Post, the plus side for Romney is that he's dealing with this in December 2006 not December 2007. The minus though is that the problem isn't seeming to go away. It was two weeks ago now that the letter to the log cabin Republicans broke and the Washington Post is still doing stories on it. The reason? New quotes keep coming up. Romney needs to take full stock of the opposition research he has on himself and dump it out now. If new quotes continue to trickle out every day for the next few months. Well, then it's going to be a long few months for the Govnah.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


We made some updates to the links section on the right. If we're missing anything you'd like to see, drop the link in the comments section and we'll get it up.

Believe it or Not

Not to pat our own back or anything but we've been the one source that's been on the Jim Gilmore story from the start. Beginning with our startingling revelation that there were people who actually wanted to Draft Gilmore (his former staff), moving on to his initial Iowa overtures, and finally with a report on his Iowa team earlier this week.

Well all of that sleuthing has paid off today because the real Jim Gilmore is starting an exploratory committee. We're going to admit it- we've been skeptical and sarcastic in the past with regards to Governor Gilmore- but with the astonishing void being created to the right of Romney and McCain there might be a chance (albeit a slight one) that he's the guy to fill it.

For crying out loud somebody's got to get the Gary Bauer vote.

So with this opening salvo at Governor Romney- “I didn’t run some place and pretend I was a liberal and run someplace else as a conservative. I just didn’t do that.” Governor Jim Gilmore is in the race.

Everyone say it in unison now... "NO CAR TAX!"

Line Change to come...

Little Nicky

The as of yet unaligned (and much maligned) Nick Ryan gives an interesting interview to the Hotline this morning. Check it out.

Back with more shortly.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Rudy! Rudy!

The Hotline and Krusty both have some Rudy scoop.

The hotline reports that Rudy will announce an Iowa staff after the new year. We have heard some whispers about a couple people, but nothing solid. It will be interesting to see who Rudy secures in the Hawkeye state. We'll let you know if we hear anything beforehand.

Also Krusty received an email from team Rudy announcing the start of a new website.


Here are some rumblings from around the morning watercooler..
  • Jim Gilmore was the speaker at the RPI Christmas gathering last night. The word from RPI HQ is that he was joined by Polk County activist and former state central committee member Dale Blair, journeyman political operative Troy Bishop, and telecomm lobbyist Stephanie Millie. Gilmore is really beefing up his Iowa efforts in his attempt to find a constituency to the right of Romney and McCain. The Cooler has been on the Gilmore story from the start...
  • Sam Brownback will be in Dubuque and Davenport today. If any of the minions are in attendance, send us a report to the tipjar and we'll post it tomorrow. (Notice the Brownback mention is just a sidebar to another Vilsack article).
  • According to Steve Scheffler, Rudy Guiliani has not even attempted to court the Iowa Christian Alliance (go to page 2 of this story). Word around the Cooler is that he has at least talked to Romney, Brownback, and McCain about joining forces.

All for now...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Cooler Exclusive- Laudner Leaves

The Cooler has learned from reliable sources that Congressman Steve King's former chief of staff and top advisor Chuck Laudner left Congressman King's staff this morning. Details regarding the reason for the departure are not yet clear.

What is known is that Mr. Laudner is actively seeking support in an attempt to become either the state Chairman or the executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa.

Laudner is widely considered to be one of the top remaining "free agents" in the state when in comes to 2008 campaigns. He has not made his intentions clear with regard to that race.

A source close to Rep. King said that the Congressman is not supporting or opposing Chuck's bid for State Chair/ED..

More as this develops.

Roosevelt High TP Awards

So the Cooler Staff was on our way to a morning coffee stop at Amici- when we drove past Roosevelt High and saw quite an amusing sight. The entire campus had been TP'd last night by some young hooligans. This got us to thinking (maybe it's just the coffee)- why not do a post on who deserves to get TP'd as it relates to the 2008 Presidential race.

So off we go...

1. The Des Moines Register- Seriously, if we have to read one more Vilsack for President press release..err article... before Christmas we're going to go crazy. Of the 12 articles in their "Caucus 08" section- 9 have Vilsack in the headline, 11 have Vilsack prominently involved. The headline following Bayh dropping out could have almost been in a Register parody paper. "Bayh Opts Against Run; Vilsack's Benefit Small." Pretty soon they are going to be tieing Vilsack's Presidential ambitions into stories about prostitution or stoplight cameras. TP, TP, TP.

2. John Edwards' "Two Americas"- We are issuing a collective dry heave at Cooler HQ just thinking about hearing this speech for the next 12+ months. And just in case he wasn't shameless enough, he's kicking off his announcement tour from New Orleans Lower 9th Ward. We're sure when he's listing off the names of those responsible for Katrina- Bush, Brownie, Global Warming, Bush- he won't mention Louisiana's Democrat Governor and Legislature.

3. Mitt Romney's South Carolina Spokesman- Not a great starting point to your new job. Embellishment works on blogs, conservative talk radio, and cable TV, but try to keep it in the ballpark when you're on the record with a print journalist.

4. Mike Huckabee's Organization- Or lack thereof. Rudy and McCain have clear issues with certain sects of the GOP base. Romney has been engaged in a 2 week flap over flip-flops on social issues. Brownback is liberal on immigration and can't raise the money. There is a clear void in the GOP nomination race that Huckabee could fill- that he wants to fill- yet he and his staff have been completely unable to take advantage. By the team they get off the pot, it will probably be too late to do anything except finish 3rd or 4th in Iowa and fizzle in New Hampshire.

Make your TP nominations below. Have a good Monday.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Line Change!

With all that's been going on in the Presidential race we figured it was time to update the Cooler line. As always your thoughts, criticisms, and smart-aleck comments are encouraged.
Onto the line changes:
  • The biggest move comes from Tommy Thomson. Tommy has regional advantages when it comes to the Iowa caucus and he's shown that he's serious about a run. He also hired seasoned caucus advisor Steve Grubbs. With that Tommy goes from the also rans, to tier two and hops from 75-1 to 40-1.
  • The next two moves come at the top. Rudy Giuliani has shown he's serious about putting together an organization. He did so by hiring one of the best organization guys in the GOP, Mike Duhaime. Meanwhile, John McCain keeps building his Iowa team. From Nelson and Larson to Popma and Roederer and many more- McCain has continuously built a plethora of heavy hitters. He's also hired a field and organizational staff with Iowa experience. Romney had the advantage on the organizational side during the fall months, but the staffing race has evened up- with possibly a slight edge to McCain. So with that Rudy goes from 7-1 to 6-1 and McCain from 9-2 to 4-1.
All for now...

  • 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.