Sunday, September 10, 2006

Who's a friend to the family?

While the Cooler staff was sweating out a Hawkeyes road victory at a local watering hole, the Cooler intern was dispatched to Clive for the Iowa Christian Alliance's "Friends of the Family" dinner to assess the 08ers presence at an event that was sure to be populated by a the likeliest of likely caucus goers. The interns report is below:

I arrived at seven flags early and didn't see any visible 08 presence. The first Presidential "candidate" I spotted was Dr. Mark Klein. He was there with a couple of staffers who were harassing the unsuspecting guests. It looked like he had a full table or two in the back of the hall. Just as I was escaping a conversation with his campaign manager I was approached by another aggressive campaigner, John Cox. He had a couple staff as well and some kids wearing John Cox shirts. They had a table as well.

As far as the real contenders go, Mike Huckabee was the only one that came in person. He didn't speak and he mostly stood around talking to those who approached him. I talked with him briefly about what he was doing in town this week and he mentioned a couple of State House and Senate candidates he was campaigning for and said that he was really concerned about helping them right now and not worrying about 2008. (yeah right). I didn't see any of his staff with him. Kayne Robinson was the emcee and he introduced Klein and Cox but not Huckabee.

As far as Presidential staff goes, Romeny had a table and I saw Jeff Fuller and Chad Airhart sitting with some other Romney people. Frist also bought a table. Marcus Branstad was there, but I didn't see Brian Kennedy. McCain's Iowa staff members, Chuck Larson and Matt Gronewald were at a table with Jim Kurtenbach. No sign of Pataki's staff or any ITR people, which I thought was strange.

The speakers were a little on the long side, but Nussle gave a very convincing speech that was well received. The crowd seemed to be pleased with him afterwards, I'm sure that the Nussle people were concerned about that with the abortion flap this week. Steve King gave the best speech of the night, I thought. He received a raucus standing O before he even got started. The whole night lasted about 4 hours. There were at least 500 people there I'd guess, it was a big crowd.

Most of the guests I talked to wanted to talk about Nussle or the Iowa game (which I missed- Thanks a lot guys) and they hadn't really started thinking about 2008 yet.

Thanks to the intern for taking one for the team. Any Cooler minions that were in attendance should comment away.


Blogger Pondering American said...

Jeez who plans a political event during a major football game. Now having a Political tailgating event at the game that makes sense.

7:15 PM  
Blogger Jeff Fuller said...

Wow! I made the "Cooler intern" report.

I didn't know Huckabee was there . . . I didn't hear any buzz about his presence but I guess at such a large event and with his apparently inconspicuous attitude this is not surprising. Dang, I would have liked to met him.

Enjoyed the report.

For my take on the evening see

8:47 PM  

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