Friday, January 05, 2007

Line Change!

Haven't changed the line since Christmas Eve so here we go... There's a lot of action (and non-action) going on with candidates outside of the 2 leaders creating some movement.

As has been discussed at great length this week, Rudy is moving on his Iowa staff. While we don't have any confirmed members in state (Maria will be regional) he is clearly looking to play here. Given the most recent poll numbers that show him in a dead-heat with McCain and his initial strides towards an organization, we're moving him up a hair from 6-1 to 11-2.

Brownback keeps adding supporters and is solidifying himself as the CCA to beat. (we're using the acronym for credible conservative alternative from now on) Brownback from 15-1 to 14-1.

The big move this week comes from George Pataki. Everyone we've talked to that is a part of the Gang of 50 in this past week has indicated they no longer think Pataki is going to run. Ever since the mast exodus from Team Pataki that began in November the signs have been bad. Beginning with his trip to Iowa that was cancelled because of "weather," then having his best Iowa connection (Comella) go to his rival, and now not having any real Iowa presence at all. Pataki's stock is plummeting and so is his spot on the Cooler line. Pataki goes from 25-1 to 50-1. (This guy was 3rd on our line much of last year, ouch.)

Tommy Thompson made a trip to Iowa, got good press coverage, and is reported to be interviewing staff. Grubbs knows how to play the caucus game. And Tommy's committed to being here "at least one day a week." all year. We're still not sure what his constituency is but all other signs are looking up. Tommy goes from 40-1 to 35-1.

That's it for now.

The Big Dogs

It's been almost 2 weeks since the last line change and a lot has been happening on the Presidential front. Most of the movement this week doesn't happen at the top of the line, so here's a look at what's going on with them first.

  • McCain took a shot at John Edwards on Don Imus' show yesterday. He responded to Edwards' recent labeling of the troop surge in Iraq as the "McCain Doctrine."
    "I don't know if it is a doctrine or not, but it is a principle. . . I'm committing to accomplishing the mission. Maybe some others did not understand that when they voted to support the war," said McCain... Touche. H/T The Note
  • No longer thinking that it's "government by gimmickry" as his staff indicated in 2002, Gov. Romney signs Grover Norquists "no new taxes pledge." this time around.
  • And Dan Senor, advisor to Gov. Romney said that 10-15K troops may not be enough to stabalize in todays WSJ (password protected). And suggests more not less.

In light of the deteriorating situation in Iraq -- and the president's anemic poll ratings -- this may be his last opportunity to shift his Iraq policy for good. This means erring on the side of more troops, not fewer -- even if it is politically painful in the short run. If the president decides to add more troops, he will not score points at home for deciding on a smaller increase. Any size surge will be controversial. So he should go for a number that maximizes chances for success.

Gov. Romney has stayed out of the fray on the troops debate. If this is the tack he ends up taking that will bring a very interesting dynamic to this race.

Back with the line change shortly.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

We were right

See all you've got to do to figure this stuff out is connect-the-dots...

Mark Ambinder reporting that Maria Comella has in fact joined on with Rudy Giuliani's campaign. Comella most recently served as Jim Nussle's communications director/spokesperson and worked for President Bush in New Hampshire. She has also worked for Governor Pataki in the past.

Comella according to the report will work as a regional communications director.

Additionally we've heard from 2 separate sources in the past day that Andrew Dorr has not officially joined Team Giuliani (so we were 1 for 2). But the door (get it? get it?) isn't closed to that possibility. Comella's presence can only make it more likely that Dorr will end up with America's Mayor.

We ended up posting more than we thought today so we're saving the line change for either this evening or tomorrow morning, so check back.

Another Pick-up for Brownback

The Cooler's favorite credible conservative alternative (for the moment at least) signed on another credible conservative. The Executive Director of Iowa Right to Life Kim Lehman has joined Brownback's Presidential campaign. Brownback had already secured Polk County activists Chuck Hurley and Kevin McLaughlin. Kim is a very important pick-up as she has a lot of friends in the Right to Life community.

Lehman said that, "for those who care about protecting the unborn and supporting the right to life, Senator Brownback is the clear choice."

The Kansan (we like that word for some reason) Senator is on the move.

H/T Register Caucus Blog


Here are some relevant links from the day in 2008 elections. Back later with a line change that you probably won't lke if your last name rhymes with hacky.

Back with more later this afternoon...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


We do have some Iowa news and one innuendo after all... Krusty has the skoop on Brian Kennedy joining Mitt Romney's Iowa team as a consultant. Kennedy was formerly the lead consultant for Bill Frist's VOLPAC. Kennedy also was the Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa and ran a failed primary campaign for the open seat in the 1st Congressional District this past year.

Kennedy's decision to go with Romney is not surprising, given his close relationship with Chief Iowa Romney Advising Aficionado Extraordinaire David Kochel as well as with Romney Chair Doug Gross. Nonetheless, it is a great pick-up. Kennedy is well-respected in the Republican community and will bring useful contacts to Romney's team...

The other news isn't so much news as something we dreamed up while drinking our Amici and eating our Cheerios at Cooler HQ. This article in the Washington Post (scroll down) mentions that Mitt Romney hired former Bill Frist staffer (see the symmetry here) Carolyn Weyforth to be the Dep. Communications Director. This is a post that the Hotline had said former Nussle Communications Director Maria Comella was a likely candidate for. Given that she did not take that job, and that her former boss George Pataki's campaign is sinking fast, maybe just maybe she will be joining her former Nussle colleague Andrew Dorr in Camp Giuliani.

Again, we have no facts to base this on. This is truly in the realm of rumor/innuendo, but we thought it was a fun enough idea to put up on the blog. If the Giuliani team is really going to be announcing Iowa staff this month as they say they are, there's got to be someone on the list. So the Cooler's here to connect the dots for you!


We don't have any Iowacentric original content for you guys at this point, so here are some national links to keep you satiated.

all for now...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


First we'd like to say that we appreciate everyone putting their "best foot forward" today. A couple quick housekeeping items.

  • Upon the request of a couple emailers we've made some basic notations on the links to help you determine what the sites are if you have never been there. (D) means that it's a dem blog. And for blogs with authors who have a preference in Presidential candidates, we've put the candidate's initials behind the link. Let us know if there's anything you'd like to see changed/updated/added on the links.
  • Also, Krusty made reference to our recent criticism of Huckabee this morning. The thing is, we've had high hopes for Huckleberry in the Cooler. He was in the top 4 of Presidential contenders for a while on the "Cooler Line" and has never dropped out of the top 5. The thing is, while Huckabee has been deafeningly silent over the past few months other candidates, Sam Brownback and Jim Gilmore, are taking the juice out of his "kredible social konservative kandidate." Not to mention that Huckabee isn't exactly a flawless right-winger himself (taxes, immigration). So that's why we've been poo-pooing his campaign of late. He certainly has plenty of time to turn it around.

Forgetful Jones

As if you needed more evidence of Rudy's run, the New York Daily News has an exclusive this morning on Rudy Giuliani's "Secret" campaign plan. Apparently a forgetful Rudy insider left the plan at a political event last fall. Whoops.

The plan sets as a goal between $100-125 million raised in 2007 but some of the key components won't be on board. 3 of the top donors Rudy had targeted are supporting McCain, 1 is supporting Romney, another has taken the role of chief fundraiser for the WTC foundation.

The most interesting section though lists in bulleted form the personal/political challenges Rudy will face. At the end it says. "Are these problems insurmountable?" "Has anyone reviewed with Rudy?"

Monday, January 01, 2007

Opening the Dorr to a Rudy caucus campaign

Happy New Year's everybody, we hope that the snow didn't slow you down too much... Not sure what tomorrow will bring so we decided to put up tomorrow mornings post...tonight.

But before we get to that we'd like to give kudos to Coach Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawks had no business playing that well against a Texas team that is more athletic at basically every position. Everything about the game was enjoyable- except the final tally...

But onto the gossip you all have been itching for.

The word around the Cooler is that Mitt Romney's Commonwealth PAC has secured the services of a couple Iowa legacies. Jill Latham, daughter to Rep. Tom Latham, will oversee the field staff. Jill worked on BC04 in Wisconsin and went on to be the Wisky GOP Political Director. Sources close to Rep. Latham have told the Cooler that he has no intention of endorsing a candidate before the Caucus. (to the best of our knowledge he has not done so in the past- but please correct us on that if we are mistaken). Keep in mind that Rep. Latham's former campaign manager, Jenn Crall is playing a similar role with Team McCain.

Team Romney has also looked into adding Marcus Branstad, son of Gov. Terry Branstad and formerly with Dr. Frists VOLPAC, to work in the field.

But the more interesting (and less confirmed) news is as follows. Andrew Dorr, political director for Jim Nussle's failed Gubernatorial campaign, has apparently been tapped to lead Rudy Giuliani's Iowa efforts. Andrew's father, Tom Dorr is currently serving as President Bush's undersecretary for rural development and his sister Allison works for House GOP Leader Christopher Rants (who's with Romney). Andrew has played a variety of different roles in political campaigns- he worked in Coalitions on President Bush's campaign and also worked for Sen. John Thune. The Dorr hiring is as of yet unconfirmed.

The Cooler has been saying for months that Rudy would play in Iowa, those that think he's going to skip it- we believe are mistaken. Giuliani has said he would announce an Iowa staff after the New Year, if Dorr is going to be running the ship, that would make for a good start.

We are seriously considering closing down comments for this post. Please be on your best behaviour. There has been an over-abundance of trash talk about some of these folks in the blogosphere. None of them are public figures, and none of them deserved to be ridiculed anonymously. We will have a very tight leash on these comments.. You have been warned :)

EDIT: Rep. Latham did endorse Bush 43 in the 99 caucus campaign...

  • 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.