The Boston Globe recently ran this article about Gov. Mitt Romney's upcoming planned visit to Iowa, and the political ramifications it may have for him:
The potential ramifications:
Romney and his political action committee, the Commonwealth PAC, are scheduled to host a picnic lunch for Republicans in Ames on Saturday afternoon. That night, the governor is due in Cedar Rapids for a high-profile dinner with GOP donors and leaders of county party organizations.
The Iowa trip is the first major political event on Romney's calendar since the Legislature gave him inspection oversight of the Big Dig after the July 10 fatal accident in the Interstate 90 connector tunnel. He has tentative plans for more out-of-state political trips next month, as he tests the waters for a 2008 presidential run.Yesterday, Romney aides would not say whether he will go to Iowa this weekend, saying he remained focused on his responsibility for the Big Dig. But Republican officials in Iowa are expecting him and say they haven't been told anything different.
On one hand, if Romney leaves the state on a political journey, he opens himself up to criticism at home that he's paying too little attention to the ongoing crisis in his state. But if he stays, he misses out on high-profile opportunities to impress Republican activists and voters across the country. This weekend amounts to the first test.And later . . .
The dinner Saturday night in Cedar Rapids is one of the Iowa Republican Party's biggest fund-raisers and brings together influential party chairmen from all over the state. Romney is supposed to keynote the event, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and is expected to draw 150 to 200 people.We're all excited about Romney coming here in just a couple of days!
``It's a big deal, and we're honored to have him be there," said Cullen Sheehan, executive director of the Iowa Republican Party, adding that he had no indication Romney wasn't coming. ``It's a great opportunity for him."