Saturday, December 08, 2007

How did the story about Jesus and the man with leprosy go again??

Christian Mike Huckabee went to bed with a 22 point lead in Iowa. He woke up with a flash from his past. As a candidate for Senate in 1992, Huckabee said that he thought AIDS patients should be quarantined. He added that federal health agencies shouldn't fund AIDS research.

We're sure Andrew Sullivan will be thrilled.

Nobody has ever accused us of being biblical scholars here at the Cooler. But we recall Jesus healing the sick, not quarantining them. Maybe somebody from camp Huck can clear that up in the comments...

NB- The burning question is, how much does this hurt him? Well if it's the first of many oppo dumps in the coming weeks, then he should be worried. This in particular will probably hurt him in other places more than Iowa. If you want to be refreshed as to why, click here.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Line Change! (Holy F****** S*** Edition)

A Newsweek poll just broke on MSNBC at the top of the hour showing Awshucksabee with a TWENTY TWO POINT lead in Iowa. 39% to 17% for Mitt Romney.

We'll let you know what the gang of 50 has to say over the weekend.

But this what we have to say.

The depth of Huckabee's support has been demonstrated in poll after poll recently. We listed earlier all of the arguments in his favor, including an Evangelical base that requires much less nagging to turnout than the average voter. Even further, most of them don't need any pushing at all, they've been doing this for two whole decades now. And the "he can't get the nomination" argument can be completely dismissed at this point.

As we stand on Friday, December 7th at 6PM, it is very hard to see how Mike Huckabee does not with the Iowa Caucuses. The Iowa CW has completely been turned on its head.

New Line has Mike Huckabee as the overwhelming favorite at 2-1.

Now it gets fun...

News and Notes

Ambers has news of some dirty tricks targeting Romney. If you've received one of these calls, drop us a line.

A warm fuzzy moment for McCain in New Hampshire. Speaking to a questioner who wished to die... "I believe every life is precious, and I believe all of us are God's children. And I will not lose hope that we will develop cures that will relieve the burden that you have ... I hope you will never give up your hope and your faith."

Krauthammer on Huckabee playing the religion card in Iowa.


Confused by Awshucksabee's ride to the top in Iowa? This quote from Steve Carlson, (NW IA GOP Activist) in this mornings Wall Street Journal has it in a nutshell.

The speech didn't win the vote of Republican Steve Carlson, a Pentecostal Christian and a consultant for the nonprofit voter-education organization Iowa Christian Alliance. "If my choice is between Mike Huckabee, who I know is saved, and Gov. Romney, who as a Mormon...I'm going to pick Mike Huckabee," Mr. Carlson said.

Whether you like it or not (we don't) the guy playing the most important role in GOP primary right now died about 2000 years ago... You can't underestimate the strength of the evangelical block in IA, and they've found their man... And its going to be a tough thing for even the most boffo political organization to stop.

New Years Plans Now

The Register reports that following Adam Nagourney's lovenote to Des Moines in the New York Times, the few good eating options in Des Moines are filling up with media types and other east-coasters.

Lucca is already booked (****!)

So if you want to dine (as we at the Cooler do) at Centro, 801 Grand, or Zen on New Years Eve- do yourself a favor and call them on your lunchbreak.

Fred's Awake

And he's comparing Awshucksabee to Slick Willy in your mailboxes. If you haven't seen it, here you go...

Morning Reads

Camp Romney can't be too happy about the Register's coverage of "The Speech." Take particular note of the 3 graph broadside from Rev. Frank Cook of Des Moines.

Press Citizen and Globe Gazette weigh in as well. What's Mickelson going to say this morning??

Ambers (Mr. "CW") has a much more favorable take.

Time has a feature on Iowa staffers..

WSJ on the chances of a McCain comeback.

The Fix's
new line is up. (No sign of Senator Zzzz)

The First Mistress of Manhattan had chauffeur shopping service according to the New York Daily News (is it just us or have the NY tabloids really kicked the Rudy attacks into high gear the last few weeks)

Line Change!

Without further ado..

1. (tie) Governor Mitt Romney- 5-2

The Kochel/Collins organizational juggernaut is still in place. No expense will be too lavish over the next 27 days. You better believe they will have caucus captains at more precincts than any other campaign, by a long shot. That said, this campaign is far from a coronation. Haunted by Mitt-flops and an unexpected coalescing of evangelicals behind Awshucksabee, Romney faces the very real potential of a loss in Iowa.

1. (tie) Governor Mike Huckabee- 5-2

WTF? The Cooler has been known to brag when we were the first to catch onto a trend... In this case, we were far from that. We doubted Awshucksabee this entire campaign but now there is no questioning his popularity. If you took a poll of Iowa's"Gang of 50" (and we did a small sampling yesterday just to make sure), you find as many people that think Huckmentum will carry the day, as you do people who think Romney's organization is too big to overcome. The things in Huckabee's favor?
  1. Any pollster will tell you: The most encouraging thing for Huck in these last few polls has been his depth of support. 60% said they were definitely with Huckabee in one poll. Romney hovered in the low 30's.

  2. The types of people Huckabee is drawing, are those that always go to the caucus, making his turnout operation a little less important. A large percentage of the caucus population are the habitual voters. Many are older people who have been caucusing for as long as they can remember... Huckabee is not trying to do what Obama is doing. Huckabee's bringing in OLD voters. This is important.

  3. To buttress point #2, many of these voters are part of the evangelical organization. These folks know how to caucus, they've been doing it since 1988 with Pat Robertson. And while this coalition was fragmented just 6 weeks ago, that no longer seems to be the case. They've found their man in Awshucksabee. And now they believe he can win.
3. Mayor Rudolph Giuliani- 6-1

The Cooler gives a standing ovation to Mike DuHaime, Tony Carbonetti, KC Jones, our old friend Maria Comella, and the rest of team Rudy. We were confused, befuddled, bewildered by the Giuliani campaigns Iowa strategy when we last blogged. But it has all come into place. Unbelievably low expectations for a national frontrunner (We have no idea how they are getting away with this), A quiet, but strong, in-state organization led by very competent folks, a perfect storm of Awshucksabee surging to weaken Mitt and Thompson collapsing opening the door for Rudy to snatch the 3rd ticket out of Iowa. It seems to be working. Can Rudy win this caucuses? Almost definitely not. But given his ENORMOUS challenges in this state, he's looking about as good as could be expected.

4. Senator Fred Thompson- 15-1

We could write a long diatribe about why Fred imploded in Iowa---and we probably will. But this morning we won't waste your time when Fred's campaign could accurately and completely be described in one letter.


5. Senator John McCain- 17-1

Given how ugly things were for the Straight Talk Express this summer, the position he's in now is rather remarkable. A 4th place finish is a very real possibility. If somehow the Iowa organizational veterans running the show over there can squeeze out 3rd, and Huckabee takes 1st, he goes to New Hampshire as the favorite. Who woulda thunk it? A legitimate path to nomination success.

That said, old wounds over immigration, and a surprisingly healthy Giuliani organization will likely prevent that. But he's in the game.

6. Ron Paul- 70-1

Ron Paul fever is sweeping the nation!!! If you don't believe us, just read the comments sections on any blog in the country. Will it manifest itself in Iowa???


7. Tom Tancredo- 75-1

Those commercials are...uh......provocative? (ahem...racist...ahem)

8. Duncan Hunter- 99-1

Why is he still on debate stages?

The Cooler line will be updated every week between now and caucus day.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Senor Huckflop

Was bound to happen.

Huckabee with a shameful, brazen flip-flop today on immigration. His "Secure America Plan" includes the following.

"Propose to provide all illegal immigrants a 120-day window to register with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and leave the country. Those who register and return to their home country will face no penalty if they later apply to immigrate or visit; those who do not will be caught and barred from future reentry for 10 years."

Whatever happened to the "God's children" talk Huckabee was spewing at the you-tube debate?? Might he be pandering to the Iowa caucus-goer??

The Speech

The biggest speech that any candidate R or D was going to give this primary season happened today in College Station, Texas. Governor Romney was eloquent in sections, and sounded the right note with this line in particular:

No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths.

Most importantly the reviews are in and they are positive. Halperin- Consensus "He did it" "Unqualified, rave reviews" from the folks at MSNBC. His Drudge advantage pays off with banner headlines throughout the day.

What kind of effect will it have in Iowa? The Romney camp hopes it will allay any misgivings Iowans might have about his faith. Did he achieve that today? Unlikely, but that's hard to say.

What is not disputable is that he owned a news cycle, with nearly all positive coverage, 28 days from the caucus. Which makes this a winning day for his camp without a doubt.

NB- For a good laugh, check out Hugh Hewitt's take. I hope he wasn't too sore after writing that. We remember a past Cooler dispute over the term "fluffer." I think he now officially qualifies!

It's a Cooler Comeback- And this time we're SERIOUS

Alright minions, this is the deal.

It's been 7 months. Iowa is still without a good, entertaining, process based, campaign-centric, center-right, Republican blog (No offense Mr. Vice-Chair). And we have only 28 short days until the Iowa Caucus.

We at the Cooler think that Hawkeye GOP Hacks need something to keep them entertained. Something to distract them from all of the annoying autodials. An oasis from the cold winter.

You deserve a gd BLOG.

And we are going to give it to you.

It's a shame that the political community couldn't exercise enough restraint, judgment, and integrity to allow Krusty and the Cooler to flourish. But that's the past. The future is 4 weeks of bareknuckle political intrigue. And if you want to know what's REALLY happening in the lead-up to the Iowa Republican Caucuses, this will be the only place to get it.

While we will remain anonymous, we have our own opinions, favorites ,and non-favorites. Most importantly, we think that there is something contributed by a forum such as this.
One thing of note for our former readers, and this is a fact: The authors of this blog DO NOT work for any presidential campaign. But if the Romney campaign wants to dump some cash in our paypal account, that would be great--- you all seem to have $$$ to burn...

With that, send us your tips, opposition research, clips, and anything else you deem relevant and we'll consider. For those that forgot it's

What we won't consider is the personal slander that brought this blog down in the past, so keep it clean.

And that's a warning to all you Presidential campaigns as well, because you better believe we'll be blowing the whistle on shady tactics, emails, and other activity that dishonors the caucus process or misrepresents candidates, campaigns, or staffs.

The Cooler line WILL be updated later today or first thing in the morning.
The Cooler WILL have a take on "The Speech"
The Cooler WILL have fun exclusive Iowa news

So check back. Time's running short.

Should be a fun month, it is good to be back.

  • 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.