Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why it’s the Big 3

Something we didn’t give enough attention to in yesterday’s post on Mitt’s events… We saw clear evidence for why it is the “Big 3” not the “Big 2” and why Romney has separated himself from Huckabee and Brownback and any other of the 2nd tier candidates.

Drawing somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 people to two events on a weekday in January 2007 in Waterloo and Dubuque is very strong. We can’t conceive of a situation where any of the other non-celebrity (McCain/Rudy/Obama/Clinton) candidates could have achieved that goal. Romney’s team in Iowa continues to reinforce their organization strength and we will continue to monitor whether or not he can keep up this torrid pace.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Stand by Your Man

Thanks to the tipster that sent us this little nugget:

“Tomorrow (1/27/2007) is Hillary Clinton's first foray into Iowa as a presidential candidate. But it is also the 15th ANNIVERSARY of her national media debut, on 60 minutes. 1/27/1992. Hillary said: "I'm not sitting here like some little woman standing by my man like Tammy Wynette."


Bi-Lingual Mitt-Flop

Mitt Romney held an event in Waterloo this afternoon that held a large crowd of over 250 people according to the AP report, and another this evening in Dubuque that was attended by nearly 200 people. One of the main issues he discussed was the abolition of bi-lingual education. Kay Henderson details his position here

"If kids in this country want to be successful in this country, they need to speak the language of this country," Romney said, to applause from the crowd.

The problem with that? In 2002 Mitt Romney opposed this provision, before he supported it. In what is fast becoming a trend, Mitt has gotten in the habit of saying whatever he needs to say to get elected. According to a Boston Herald article in April 2002, Mitt Romney refused to endorse a ballot initiative replacing bilingual education with English immersion. His spokesman said it went “too far.” Investors Business Daily also noted his opposition a month later.

In June 2002, Mitt reversed course according to the Associated Press.

These things are going to continue to follow Gov. Romney it appears.

60% of the time, it works all the time

Hey we were right about Kennedy and Comella and Failor…But as Krusty points out we got this one wrong… We’ve told you before we are stupid. Our sincerest apologies to Mr. Dorr, he’s earned himself a lifetime of free Dixie cups for retribution. We probably should get some editors or something…

I guess this begs the question.. Who is Rudy going to hire in this state anyway?


Ok Coolerites, we’ve got a couple of polls out for your perusal. First, Krusty posted on the strategic vision Iowa poll that shows Rudy in the lead followed byMcCain, Newt and Romney. Time came out with something much more interesting. They surveyed Republicans nationwide and found John McCain ahead of Rudy within the margin of error. That’s not what’s newsworthy though. They did a separate survey that only included the Big 3. The numbers there?

McCain 43
Rudy 40
Romney 8
Undecided 8

What this means is that with only 3 options, the GOP “protest vote” is only16-17 points. Far less than many wingers would have you believe. This is afascinating result that should embolden team Rudy more than anything. Special Hat Tip to Race42008 for bringing this to our attention.

We’ll be back later in the day for a review of Romney’s events in Eastern Iowatoday (as long as somebody gets out a story before we head to the bar). And we’ll have a line change over the weekend.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Andrew next Dorr

A couple weeks back we told you that the rumor around the Cooler was that Jim Nussle's political director Andrew Dorr would be heading Rudy’s Iowa ship. Now we feel quite confident that is indeed the truth. Dorr will in fact head-up Rudy’s fledgling Iowa organization. It’s about time they got on the stick…

(Behave Commenters)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Three’s A Crowd

Based on his vast experience in the Health and Human Services Department and as Governor of the 20th largest state in the union, Tommy Thompson proposed in the Des Moines Register that we try something different in Iraq. Tommy said in an op-ed that we shouldgive 3 states a try.

“Instead of trying to force one Iraq upon people who dislike and distrust eachother, we should focus our strategies on dividing Iraq into separate states,with each state providing a distinct home to the diverse cultures and religioussects of Iraq. At the same time, we should give the Iraqi people a stake in thesuccess of their country by providing each person with royalties from thecountry's wealth of oil.

The creation of distinct states - one for the Kurds, the Sunnis and the Shiites- would form a confederation that allows each group to operate their localaffairs in a manner that best suits its people, religious beliefs and culture,and goals for the future.”

Now we aren’t foreign policy experts at the Cooler but while the Kurds seem tohave their own distinct geographical area, we think dividing Baghdad between theSunni’s and Shi’a’s might create a little bit of a conflict.. But maybe we’recrazy. (to be fair Tommy acknowledges that challenge further down in theop-ed). Regardless, kudos to TT for trying to build his foreign policy credsand getting some ink in the Register.

Horseface is Out

Link. we could've had a lot of fun with him too...

Was Bush Boring?

Some folks over in the lefty sphere are trying to have a little fun with John McCain this morning. A screen cap on Fox made it look like he was asleep during the State of the Union, when more than likely he was reading from the prepared text. Nonetheless, two can play at that game.

Reading or Sleeping BARACK? Kennedy? Harkin? Sanders? Salazar?

Caucus Calendar

We haven't done this in a while and are going to try to get back in the habit. Krusty's got a mention of a couple of these trips as well.

Huckabee: The man is back. Tuesday January 30th he will be in Waukee with Dallas Co. GOPers and Urbandale for a town hall. Wednesday January 31st he will be in Tipton and Davenport.

Romney: Will be having lunch at Beck's Brewery in Waterloo/Cedar Falls and a late afternoon event at the Hoffman House on Friday January 26th.

Hillary!: Rally at Des Moines' East High School on Saturday the 27th. Something in D'port on Sunday.

And if you are one of the 2nd tier candidates that email us complaining that we talk about the "Big 3" too much. Let us know when you'll be here in advance of the visit and we'll make sure to post.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Hastert to Romney

It's actually Jonathan Martin at our new favorite website, Politico, with the scoop. More on this later.

The Gang's All Here

The MSM has officially caught on to something that's been bandied around the blogosphere for sometime. Both Ed Failor, Jr. and Karen Slifka will be joining team McCain here in Iowa. Those familiar with the Iowa political landscape should not be suprised by these additions. McCain's national campaign manager Terry Nelson, of Marshalltown, was the Bush/Cheney 04 Political Director. With these announcements he has now brought on the entire upper-level establishment of Iowa's BC04 team, sans Scott Kopple who is now working in Washington (and to our knowledge doesn't have a horse in this race). BC04 Chairman Dave Roederer has been on board with McCain since the Summer.

Having the Bush institutional support will give McCain a leg-up over the competition when it comes to winning the endorsement race. His challenge will be reaching outside of that circle of influence to activists and non-Bushies.

Failor's involvement is particularly significant because of the influence he has through Iowans for Tax Relief, a group that according to the AP report is the largest PAC in the State. Those contacts allowed Failor to build a very strong organization last year for George Pataki's 21st Century Freedom PAC. When Failor left the Pataki campaign in November, much of the campaign organization went with him. That departure almost singlehandedly brought about Pataki's apparent demise here in Iowa. Pataki was left with an empty cupboard and tumbling odds on The Cooler Line. If nothing else that shows the organizational strength Failor can bring to a campaign.

Monday, January 22, 2007


One of the most fascinating aspects of the Republican nominating process is the critical role that the issue of "life" plays in determining a candidate. "Life" has taken on a life of its own. This fundamental question that encompasses religion, politics, values, beliefs, the parent/child relationship, these BIG questions get whittled down very quickly into a very narrow window. Republicans pick and choose, trash and trumpet, elevate and eviscerate based one one simple question. Are you pro-life?

While there are many other issues that a President has much greater control over, it is this issue that often defines and always colors our Grand Old Party's nominating process. That fact is never more clear than today. "Values voters" (we hate that term) can sniff success. They are but 1 vote away on the Supreme Court from having their hard fought victory. So now as nearly a dozen Republican hopefuls travel throughout all the nooks and crannies of this state, hoping to be the next leader of the free world, potentially the most important question they'll have to answer is the most challenging and the most basic all at the same time: Are you pro-life?

And these candidates seem prepared to take the issue head-on. From Rudy's attempt to reassure "values voters" that are very wary of his pro-choice stance by saying his favorite judge on the Supreme Court is Scalia, to McCain's repeated and repeated and repeated "24 year pro-life voting record" talking point, to Romney's lighting quick rebuttals of his previous pro-choice statements via you-tube, to Brownback marking today as a jumping off point for his campaign.
12 months away from the election, none of the leading candidates are shirking from this enormous question. Are you pro-life?

This is highlighted today as pro-lifers all across the country commemorate the 34th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. President Bush will participate in a phone call of support. Sam Brownback made very clear that this was a big part of his announcement . From all the way in Israel Mitt Romney released a statement.

This cardinal, elemental, primary issue... This enormously complex, yet basic issue... one that will not be ignored as we choose our next President. As it has not been ignored in every nomination process since that 1973 ruling. And it certainly won't be ignored today.

  • 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.