Saturday, January 20, 2007


U.S. Senator Sam Brownback officially announced his candidacy for President of the United States today from his hometown of Topeka Kansas. Pertinent excerpts from his announcement speech.

"But destinies are built on daily achievements. Inch by inch, step by step, we press on to our higher calling. Today I wish to state what I believe those next steps are, for our nation and for our people. "

"Our people need hope. Our world needs help. "We need reconciliation. Lincoln properly observed that, 'a house divided against itself cannot stand.' "We need to rebuild our families. We need stronger families! We need people belonging and committed! By doing so, we will reduce poverty, strengthen our nation and increase hope. We need to support the foundational institution of marriage as the union of a man and a woman for life. We should support marriage, not tax it. "

"We need a different income tax system altogether. This one, the Internal Revenue Code, should be taken behind the barn and killed with a dull axe. I propose the creation of an alternative flat tax, which lets the people choose which system works for them. "

"And for goodness sakes, the last thing we need in America is to take God out of our public lives and institutions! We need to embrace our nation's motto 'In God We Trust,' not be ashamed of it. Search the record of history. To walk away from the almighty is to embrace decline for a nation. To embrace him leads to renewal, for individuals and for nations."

"At the end of the day, it comes back to the basics: faith, family, and freedom. America is great because she is good. That goodness is not based in Washington, or New York, or even Topeka. It is based in the hearts of the American people. This is a goodness whose author is the divine."

Monday he will return to Washington to participate in an anti-abortion rally that marks the 34th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision.

Don't know about the rest of you, but the guy sure sounds like the CCA to us.


This announcement brings focus to what we are doing around the Caucus Cooler for the next year. Iowa will be the first step in finding a candidate that can defeat the above pictured Junior Senator from New York.

As a political junkies side note, what a brilliant move by HRC to announce on a Saturday following BARACK. All the Sunday talk shows that we're going to be focused on her rival will now shift the focus to her and she puts herself in position to be the relevant D responder to the State of the Union on Tuesday night...

Friday, January 19, 2007


The Hotline writes that Rudy Giuliani will be revamping his political structure over the next two weeks and that early states like Iowa and New Hampshire should expect some staff movement. Giuliani's team in New Hampshire announced four hires this week in fact. It will be fascinating to watch how much the dynamic changes in Iowa over the next 6 weeks as the Giuliani "staffers" arrive. At this early stage all the grumblings seem to be a back and forth between the two behemoths in the race, Romney and McCain.

But with the 2nd tier candidates gearing up earlier than ever before, and the ultimate wildcard that is America's mayor, the conversation will become less and less a back and forth between two entities and more of a discussion from the group. How will that discussion develop and who will it benefit? We don't know the answer to that yet, but it certainly will be fun to watch.

Back with more later.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

We got nothing

We have to be honest Coolerites, we've got nothing for ya today. Scroll back through all of yesterdays news and feel free to use this as an open thread for your comments/suggestions.

For those that haven't heard there was a completely meaningless Iowa Zogby Poll that showed Rudy 19, McCain 17, Newt 13, Condi 9, Mitt 5..

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tommy Boy

It must be the hiring time of year. Thompson gets in on the action today as well. Per Thompson consultant Steve Grubbs the campaign has hired:

Chad Olsen, Forbes 2000 political director and Sukup for Governor campaign manager in 2002- he will manage the exploratory. Former Speaker of the Iowa House Ron Corbett will serve as senior advisor to the exploratory committee. IFCR Chair Bobby Kaufmann will be events coordinator. Former President of IFRW Gwen Ecklund will also be a senior advisor.

We'll have more on the McCain, Brownback, and Thompson additions tomorrow.


Heine Heine Heine Ho

Busy day in the Cooler...

Sam Brownback's Iowa campaign added a new political director today. Brownback hired Jay Heine, longtime advisor to Bob Vander Plaats gubernatorial campaigns. Heine also spent a short time in South Dakota helping John Thune's campaign.

As we reported yesterday Brownback was in town this week meeting with operatives and activists, they've brought on at least 1 field staffer as well to our knowledge.

Mr. Fix it

Over at the Fix, Chris Cillizza might have some breaking news coming on Rudy and Iowa, and he echoes what we've been saying here since the Cooler's inception.

I actually think Giuliani is going to make a push in the Iowa caucuses -- more news on that to come soon in The Fix.It's not an obvious place for Giuliani to make his mark as the caucuses have historically been dominated by social conservatives who are not likely to be favorably inclined toward him.But, keep an eye on Giuliani's organization in Iowa. I think that if he ultimately decides to run -- and that remains less than a certainty at the moment -- he will seek to make thew Hawkeye State a major focus of the campaign.

Move On

Here's's ad we mentioned last week. Tom Beaumont reports that it is running in Iowa and other early caucus states. Nice shades John!

McCain adds SoCo supporter

Fox News has the story this morning (scroll down), John McCain announced the support of Maxine Sieleman, who founded the Iowa Chapter of Concerned Women for America. Maxine also has a morning talk show on Christian radio in Des Moines. It seems like Sieleman is making a slight contrast between McCain, Romney and Giuliani when she says in the news short "McCain is the one candidate who has a consistent record of supporting pro-life, pro-family legislation." She joins longtime SoCo activist Marlys Popma aboard team McCain in Iowa. These endorsements are significant for McCain especially given the recent comments made by Focus on the Families' James Dobson.

The Cooler's leading CCA Sam Brownback has already secured two big Iowa SoCo endorsements as well, Kim Lehman the E.D. of Iowa Right to Life and Chuck Hurley of the FPC.

The remaining big name free agent in that community is Iowa Christian Alliance head Steve Scheffler who has said he's going to stay neutral in the race (we'll see if he follows through on that or not).

Back with more later.

Update: This article from the USA Today ties in with our post quite nicely. McCain courts Christian conservatives.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Rudy stings Romney/Staffing on up

We've got two tidbits for you this evening. A pro-Giuliani tipster pointed us to some astounding numbers. The Republican Governor's Association gave over $1.2 million dollars to Jim Nussle's campaign. We all know that Governor Romney was the chair of that committee. Romney's PAC gave over 100K to Nussle, making him the single largest PAC contributer to the Nussle campaign. Given those facts, doesn't this Giuliani coup sting a little bit for Romney? You'd think all of that $$$ might have gotten him a little farther.

How much did Rudy give to Nussle you ask? ZIPPO. That's a pretty good return on your investment for America's Mayor.

In other news, word around the Cooler is that both Tommy Thompson and Sam Brownback are interviewing for and hiring field staff, making the Mitt-McCain powerhouses not the only horses with activity in the state. Both have already added at least one field guy to the Cooler's knowledge and are on the lookout for more. Brownback was meeting with folks in Des Moines yesterday, while Thompson was in the Quad Cities (home of Victory Enterprises) meeting with folks over the weekend.

All for now...

Slow to the Stick

Mike Glover has the exclusive that former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has hired former congressman and failed gubernatorial candidate Jim Nussle to be a key strategist and advisor in his Presidential efforts in Iowa. Nussle just started a consulting group with his longtime friend/associate Steve Greiner. One can assume that Greiner (who was a top consultant on Nussle's gubernatoiral campaign) will also play a role for Rudy.

Nussle was the Delaware County prosecuter before running for Congress. While many assumed that he would have a strong base of support in Eastern Iowa, he only outpaced Chet Culver in 2 of the 12 Eastern Iowa counties he had represented. Nussle still has loyal supporters within the party, which could help Rudy establish a grassroots organization.

This accentuates exactly what we at the Cooler have been telling you from the start. Rudy's going to run and he's going to run in Iowa.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Line Change!

We decided to just go ahead an get this out of the way tonight.
This week's line change is good news for Mitt Romney and Sam Brownback and introduces Tom Tancredo.
Romney moves back into the top slot following a Roll Call article showing that he had high popularity amongst GOP County Chairs. We at the Cooler have been saying all along that Romney appeared to be a narrow frontrunner in Iowa with his strong organization and grassroots efforts. The Des Moines Register Iowa poll convinced us that McCain had enough of a base within the party to be a co-favorite. And James Dobson didn't help McCain this weekend by saying he woud not support his candidacy. While we still feel he has a base in the party, Romney seems to have the advantage by a nose. Krusty agrees. McCain moves back to 7-2 on the news.

Sam Brownback moves up another spot as he continues to solidify his role as the CCA. He also got some good press as the only candidate currently in the race to take a stance against the troop surge. With the chance that a new candidate gets in being less and less likely and with Tancredo being part of the old "field", Brownback moves to 12-1 and the field bet drops to 20-1.

Lastly Tom Tancredo makes his first appearance on the "Cooler Line." If Tancredo does fully make the jump, he'll have a clear constiuency with the "King Wing" of the party on illegal immigration. With the crosstabs in a recent North Carolina poll showing that 19% of GOPers consider illegal immigration to be the most important issue, that's enough folks to get Tancredo a 3rd Iowa if he takes it seriously enough. Tancredo jumps in at 55-1.

Wait is that Jeb Bush?

In their bizarre quest to ensure that their hometown Governor is not elected President, the Boston Globe-Worker does yet another feature story on a Mitt-flop. This time the issue is gun control.

In his 1994 US Senate run, Romney backed two gun-control measures strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups: the Brady Bill, which imposed a five-day waiting period on gun sales, and a ban on certain assault weapons.
"That's not going to make me the hero of the NRA," Romney told the Boston Herald in 1994.
At another campaign stop that year, he told reporters: "I don't line up with the NRA."

Romney maintains his position on the assault weapons ban today, but had kinder words for the NRA as he campaigned with their top members at a Florida gun show.

Chuck Todd of the Hotline interviewed top NRA officials who were unconcerned by Mitt's background. Todd wrote that these positions could matter more to those in the media than those in the trenches.

Romney is not alone amongst the Big 3 as a candidate with issues that hurt them with the gun community. On the issue of campaign finance reform and the gun show loophole, McCain found himself at odds with the NRA. McCain did oppose the Brady Bill. Giuliani said in 2000 that all gun owners should have to pass a written test, one of many statements that distances him from the good folks at the National Rifle Association.

We'll have a line-change in the morning.

  • 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.