Saturday, December 15, 2007


The des moines register has endorsed mccain and clinton.. That's a clean early state paper sweep for the arizona senator.

More tomorrow.

COOLER EXCLUSIVE- Huckabee's Pet Project

The Cooler has obtained the above photos of the Mexican consulate in Little Rock, Arkansas. For those that don't know, Governor Huckabee lobbied aggressively for the addition of a Mexican consulate in Little Rock, at the taxpayers expense of course. This consulate served as a resource for illegal immigrants living in Arkansas, and some Huckabee opponents claim it drew additional illegal immigrants to the state.
The Mexican consulate helps Mexicans, legal or illegals, with papers,and hands out a consular identification - which critics argue gives illegals a valid ID which helps them meld into society. All of the costs associated with this come out of taxpayers pockets.
Our take is twofold.

1. WTF is a Mexican consulate doing in Little Rock? You'd expect one in major cities, New York, DC, Boston, Chicago, LA, even border cities like San Diego. But Little Rock? Not to mention that Little Rock doesn't have a French or British consulate. Wouldn't that be a higher priority? And if over a century of Governors before Huckabee didn't see the need to have a Mexican consulate, why did he?

2. It makes Huckabee's transformation on immigration all the more baffling. He was clearly a pro-amnesty candidate for this whole campaign, even eloquently stating the reasons for his support for illegal immigrant rights as recently as the you-tube debate. (Comments that drew wide praise from the media). Now his plan is to send them all home? A rather brazen Huckflop wouldn't you say?

NB- It seems like the Mexican consulate could use a little yard work. Paging Governor Romney...

Weekend Linkage

Jonathan Martin, the hardest working man in blogging, has two more must reads for you this morning.


  • Matthew Drudge continues to eviscerate Governor Mike Huckabee. Today's banner headline "Huckabee slams 'arrogant' Bush White House." But worse is the article itself, look at this biting lede... "Mike Huckabee, who has joked about his lack of foreign policy experience, is criticizing the Bush administration's efforts, denouncing a go-it-alone "arrogant bunker mentality" and questioning decisions on Iraq."
  • Bork backs Romney.
  • The Register will endorse in tomorrow's paper. We at the Cooler thinks it will be Edwards. What about you all? (Worth noting that the 3 top players at the Register, Hunter/Hollingsworth/Washburn are all women. Making this particularly interesting for Hillary.)

Friday, December 14, 2007

The New National Frontrunner

We like to stick to Iowa topics here at the Cooler but this is such a dramatic poll result that it must be discussed

We have a new frontrunner for the Republican nomination for President in Mike Huckabee. Not just an Iowa frontrunner any longer.

What an unbelievable campaign!!!

Two new Iowa polls show Huckabee ahead

By 9 and 13 respectively over Romney...

Its hard to judge trends as this is the first iteration of Lee and Hotline numbers to come out since Huckmentum took hold.

What about Rudy?

We haven't had a whole lot of Rudy content on the blog since our return, so we thought it would be a good time to take a look at his Iowa efforts.

Rudy's Iowa strategy is working to an extent, largely thanks to the fact that the Iowa and national media are letting him get away with it. What's his strategy you ask?

Quietly build a strong organization in the state, spend money on mail and radio, cruise to a strong finish and on caucus night say, "look at how well I did without even trying." As part of this strategy he is making astonishingly few public appearances in the state. (For whatever reason it seems like McCain gets a lot more grief from the Gang of 500 on this than Rudy does).

In the past few weeks, Rudy's only appearances here were on debate day. Following the debate he held an event in Valley Junction and then jumped off to Crapids (his favorite stomping ground in the state). The reason his schedule is so light is because it reinforces Rudy's campaign message that they aren't really trying in Iowa.

But is that message true?

We've gotten more mail from Rudy at Cooler HQ than any other candidate. We counted 13 pieces so far. His staff in the state is full of Bush veterans and they have nearly as many boots on the ground as Romney at this point. And Rudy's been on radio since September, as anybody who listens to Jan knows.. So the reality on the ground isn't quite as barebones as Duhaime and crew would have you think..

Kudos to team Rudy for playing the game right. It is quite surprising though that the national media is letting the nominations front runner get away with it...

Old Rudy on Immigration

The only thing surprising about this video (which is being sent around by Camp Romney) is that something similar hadn't come out earlier. Rudy's soft spot for illegal aliens in New York is well documented.

Frankly, we at the Cooler always thought it was strange that Rudy didn't take a larger brunt of the "amnesty" criticism back in the spring when the immigration bill was being debated in Congress.

Morning Linkage

Good morning Hawkeyes. Will be back with more Cooler content later today. But until then here are some links to satiate your palate.

  1. The hardest working man in blogging, Jonathan Martin, has the biggest news this morning. A Martin source says that well-placed Iowa Republicans are discussing adding a debate the week between Christmas and New Years. They don't want liberal Carolyn Washburn and the terrible Register/IPTV debate format to be the last forum.
  2. Rich Lowry crushes Huckabee in NRO. Compares him to Dean.
  3. Ron Paul is paying Arkansans to come rip Huckabee in Iowa. Kind of weird.
  4. Peggy Noonan echoes the Cooler's frustration with the fact that religious faith is the prime issue in the Republican race in Iowa.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

More on Washburn

Preeminent Iowa Dem blogger Chris Woods has this on Carolyn Washburn..

I just spoke with a few friends who have worked at or still currently work for the Register and they confirm that the paper’s policy is that those on staff should be registered as “no party” and should not be participating in primary/caucus voting which identifies a particular partisanship.

Clearly Ms. Washburn broke that policy when she voted in the 2006 Democratic primary. Only one question remains, was it for Chester, Mike, or Ed???

Jake Tapper on Adamson scandal

As first reported here at the Cooler, Marion city councilman Craig Adamson sent out a mass email to Linn/Marion County Republicans that was highly critical of the Mormon faith.

Today, Jake Tapper of ABC News, (we've always been a big fan of Jake's at the Cooler...) spoke with Adamson. And there are a couple interesting tidbids his story produced.

  • Adamson is currently "leaning towards Huckabee" (shock) but is also considering Tancredo.
  • He acknowledged that the email was inappropriate but then added, ""If you've delved into the Mormon faith at all there's a lot to swallow." Then adds. "Mormonism is a cult, I'm not going to back down on this."
  • Jake also gets Romney spokesman Kevin Madden to submit this comment, Says Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden, “Governor Romney continues to believe that this campaign should not be about questioning a candidate’s faith. While it is fair to criticize a candidate’s record or policy positions, we would strongly disagree with anyone who would choose to make disparaging remarks about a candidate’s personal faith."

Mr. Magoo

Sometimes in life you just get on a roll. Whether it is a hot craps table, a string of good luck at the office, or the one summer in college when you seemed to attract whatever guy/girl you pleased.

Mike Huckabee is on that kind of roll right now.

And in perfect Magoo form, Awshucksabee has done it again. If George W. Bush had done something as profoundly politically stupid as question specific tenets of his opponents religion- only to see the resulting media work in his favor- everyone would assume it was another Rovian genius maneuver. (Same goes for Reagan/Atwater, Clinton/Carville etc...)

But we at the Cooler refuse to give that kind of credit to Mike Huckabee.

Huckabee stupidly and thoughtlessly took aim at Mormons (in fact he almost definitely was just saying what he really thinks in his heart). It was an unpresidential and completely inappropriate comment from someone who wants to lead ALL Americans.

But just like Magoo bumbling his way to a victory over jewel smugglers, Awshucksabee is benefiting from the ensuing media coverage.

Following a boring debate, Huckabee made the only news by apologizing to Gov. Romney for his comments. Thus ensuring another FULL DAY of coverage regarding Mitt Romney's Mormonism.

So to recap, the two news cycles during and following the debate have served only to reinforce the following.

A) Mike Huckabee is a Christian
B) Mitt Romney is a Mormon

If the Guinness guys were advising Huckabee they'd say "Brilliant!!!"

It's sad that it has to come down to this.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

SHOCK- Debate Moderator a Registered Dem

Des Moines Register Editor Carolyn Washburn was this afternoons moderator. She didn't look a lot like she does in the above picture. What with the horrible black hair dye and the facelift. But trust us, it was her.

Well it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, that Carolyn is a registered Democrat. On 2/8/2006 she became newly registered in Waukee. The Register's opinion section really does a good job hiding it too. (heavy sarcasm)

You'd think after the CNN/Youtube mess they would've been more careful..

Live Bloggish

Here are some highlights from our live blog. Read the whole thing HERE. (It's funny, we promise).

1:08- HDTV! Sweeeet.

1:13- Alan Keyes. LMFAO. (Side note. Doesn't calling your TV show "Alan Keyes is making sense" in some way tacitly acknowledge that people think you're crazy.)

1:14 Carolyn Washburn colors her hair much more drastically than Mitt.

1:39- Final tie rankings, 1. Huckabee 2. McCain 3. Tancredo 4. Hunter 5. Keyes 6. Romney. 7. Thompson 8. Giuliani

1:40- Huckabee claims that its hard to believe in global warming when its cold out. Then says we need to be stewards of the earth. Trying to cut that pretty thin.

1:50- Nearly an hour in. Not a single person has even tried to draw a contrast with Huckabee, the Iowa favorite, or Giuliani, the national favorite. You're running out of time fellas.

1:52- Everybody knows that Alan Keyes daughter is a lesbian and he disowned her right?

2:13- Romney makes a funny. When asked if he wants to respond to Keyes he deadpans "I'm not sure." Mitt also has a little verbal tick, he always says "Thank you" at the end of every question. Who is he thanking?

2:24- The McCain argument in a nutshell, "I can never think of a time where I have compromised my principals and I hope I never will"

2:30- Cooler Analysis:

Winner- Huckabee. He stayed on his religious, compassionate messaging. He didn't have to rebut any tough challenges from his opponents or from the moderator. He's the favorite.

Loser- The Des Moines Register. What a terrible debate format. Kudos to them for asking about issues besides God and gays, but besides that they get a thumbs down from the Cooler.

Other Notes- McCain was strong as he has been for a couple debates. Rudy didn't make any mistakes and handled the toughest question (disclosure) well. Romney gave some great answers, but didn't distinguish himself from Huckabee, so that's a loss for him. Keyes is a lunatic.

And special thanks to Andrew Sullivan and others who have linked to us. The Cooler will surpass 5000 unique visitors today alone.


2 Hours 15 minutes from the Des Moines register debate. Keep it locked on the Cooler for the blow by blow.

In the meantime, if you haven't read Beaumont's seismic debate preview.. for shame.

Also for those killing time at the office, here are some other debate-related items.

More on Huck

We promise we'll blog on others following the debate this afternoon.

Wanted to make sure you didn't miss this NBC news report on Huckabee's ethical issues.

From Adamson to Huckabee

Mike Huckabee asks in a soon to be published interview..

"Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"

This goes directly counter to Huckabee's claim earlier this month that he is "just not going to go off into evaluating other people's doctrines and faiths. I think that is absolutely not a role for a president."

Sidoti's got the story.

Cooler aside- What does it say about our party that 3 weeks from the caucuses, (the 1st step in the PRESIDENTIAL nominating process), we are talking about Jesus, the devil, Mormons, and quarantining AIDS victims? Maybe we should just hold these things between the offertory and communion hymns. Hopefully the Register debate will focus on real issues like Iraq, Iran, energy, education, and immigration. Not god, gays, and guns.

Cooler analysis- The more the media talks about Mormons, Jesus, gays, and the devil, the better it is for Awshucksabee.

Against the Grain

A minor item that came across the Cooler's transom.

Tonight influential Dallas County social conservatives's Barb and Fred Taylor are hosting a house party for John McCain following the debate.

On June 29th they did the same for Mike Huckabee. It appears they weren't satisfied with what they heard.

Like salmon swimming up stream....

For those that are interested, Senator McCain will also be speaking to the Bull-Moose club after the debate and will have a pre-debate rally at Bennigans..

Note- Unfortunately our day job precludes us from live blogging from the Register debate, but we'll have plenty to say on it later...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

COOLER EXCLUSIVE- Why "The Speech" Mattered

The Cooler has received a copy an email from Marion City Councilman Craig Adamson that calls Mormonism "a cult" and calls the faith "secretive." This email was a response to an invitation to a Mitt Romney event tomorrow night at Linn Mar High School.

Councilman Adamson "replied all" and included dozens of Iowa conservatives on this disturbing email. For an elected official to send out this kind of message. Well, it doesn't reflect well on the Iowa caucuses or Iowans in general. You can read more about Councilman Adamson here.

From a political standpoint this demonstrates the challenges Gov. Romney still faces, and to a certain extent the Huckabee boomlet. The relevant parts are below. Click here to read the email in its entirety.

Would any of you support an avowed atheist for president? Do you think religion, especially Christianity, is being marginalized by ACLU and other organizations? If so than you would be piling on to vote in a Mormon. Mormonism is a cult. In case I didn’t type it clearly enough… Mormonism is a cult. I won’t vote for Mitt Romney for numerous other reasons, but based on my knowledge of Mormonism, I would not trust him as my president as he might be fooled into believing most anything. How could he possibly be trusted to negotiate with Islamic radicals? He might believe Muslim and Mormons are the same, just like he tries to pass off Mormons as Christians. The Mormon Church is extremely wealthy and extremely secretive. But that is information for another time. Additionally, the LDS religion is sexist, racist, and the Church president is considered both a prophet (on the same level as Jesus) and ultimately the authority for God on earth. Mitt would be going against Mormon doctrine and risks ex-communication if he didn’t take orders from his Church.

As Drudge would say: Developing....

Winter Wonderland Potpourri

Many thanks to our good friend, Andrew Sullivan and others for the links today. The Cooler is back with a splash, over 1000 page views and 700 unique visitors as of 4PM Central time.

It must be the snow keeping everybody in...

An afternoon blogging potpourri...

  1. Mitten receives the endorsement of the National Review. Here's the line that encapsulates the Romney argument.

    At a time when voters yearn for competence and have soured on Washington because too often the Bush administration has not demonstrated it, Romney offers proven executive skill. He has demonstrated it in everything he has done in his professional life, and his tightly organized, disciplined campaign is no exception.

  2. For those interested in Huckabee's IA schedule, it should be significant following the Christmas holiday. The Cooler has gotten updates that indicate he may very well be in the state from the 26th-3rd. Feel free to drop us a line if you want your candidates schedule on the blog.
  3. Minuteman founder endorses Huckabee. (What a violent turn Huck's made on this issue since his 'God's Children' comment at the youtube debate.)
  4. If you haven't read Yepsen on Obama yet, well.. WTF are you doing at the Cooler?
  5. McCain's path to victory according to campaign manager Rick Davis
  6. Erik echoes our earlier comment about Huckabee oppo (gays, aids, 'take back America for God) isn't really oppo at all.
  7. The Register on the Cooler's BOY, M.E. Sprengelmeyer

Graciously Submissive

Take on the Romney ad, as promised, is below...

But we couldn't let this gem get by without a mention.

In August of 1998, Huckabee was one of 131 signatories to a full page USA Today Ad which declared: "I affirm the statement on the family issued by the 1998 Southern Baptist Convention." What was in the family statement from the SBC? "A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ."

The ad wasn't just a blanket, "we support the SBC statement," but rather highlighted details. The ad Huckabee signed specifically said of the SBC family statement: "You are right because you called wives to graciously submit to their husband's sacrificial leadership."

But hey, Iowa is the only state besides Mississippi to never elect a woman to statewide office, so maybe this will play well here..

The Romney Ad

Here's our take.

It's weak. Very weak. We understand the concept of "Iowa nice" and their concern about an ad backfiring. But the production values are shoddy and the distinction made could be much crisper. This also shows that Mitt's internal numbers reflect the public polling data and also forces him to be on the attack for the remaining 3 weeks.

All of that said, when the most recent Mason Dixon poll showed Huckabee leading amongst those for whom immigration is the biggest issue, it became apparent that Mitt was going to have to attack..

It will be interesting to see how much further camp Mitt is willing to go to bring down Mr. Mo.

NB- Iowa caucus vet and McCain chair Dave Roederer's views on the ad...also not so positive.

“Governor Romney has flip-flopped on several major issues that voters care about. It’s particularly amazing that Governor Romney would attack anyone on immigration when he’s on his third position. John McCain has run an honorable campaign that all Iowans can be proud of. I call on Governor Romney to drop his plans for this negative attack and follow John McCain’s lead. Candidates need to raise the level of the debate, not lower it.”

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mitt goes on offense

Romney goes up with a very mild negative ad, targeting our new frontrunner. We will have more tonight. For now take a look at Martin's blog.

Various Huckabee Items

When you've got the mo', you're the one making news.

Two big points to be made this morning:

1. IFPC Executive Director and former Brownback supporter (as well as being the Kansans college roomate), Chuck Hurley joins team Huck. He will join some other values voter "heavies" on a 7 day tour of the state to stump for Huck..

2. Clearly Drudge is out for blood. He's had Huckabee oppo on his banner ever since the MSNBC poll came out showing Huckabee in the lead. The problem is that Drudge has more of an east-coast, secular sensibility than some other conservative media icons (Rush, O'Reilly etc..) For 3 straight days he's had seemingly critical headlines that point to Huckabee's belief that homosexuality is wrong, AIDS patients should be quarantined, and now his comment that we need to take America "back for God." Whether you like it or not, all of these things probably help Huckabee in Iowa. They certainly don't hurt him in any substantial way. So while he might be feeding distaste for Huckabee amongst the East Coast elites (and that serves a small purpose given how friendly the MSM has been to this point), he might be unwittingly helping Huck among likely primary voters. Maybe we're misreading Matt's intentions. More likely, Matt is letting his personal views get in the way of his political agenda.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Sunday School

Don't miss Beaumont's must-read article on Huckabee and home-schoolers in this mornings Register

Vicki Crawford, a home-school mother from Granger, said she liked Huckabee's policy profile and relaxed demeanor after meeting him last spring. But she was unsure if the little-known candidate could gather the support to compete with the Republican field's heavyweights.
Michael Farris' endorsement of Huckabee in May, meaningless to much of the voting public, sent a strong signal to Crawford and other Christian home-school families in Iowa. Farris is founder and chairman of the Virginia-based Home School Legal Defense Association and the national figure for Christian home-school families.

  • 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.