Iowa GOP Chairman's Dinner in Cedar Rapids:
Jim Kirkpatrick who runs The Iowa Caucus Report blog has some great photos of the Cedar Rapids Event.
Kristine Anderson, of Cedar Rapids, was also at the home-town event with her husband, Darik, and details her impressions in a blog entry "Mitt and Me" at her blog "Confessions of a Moderate Conservative." Pretty interesting commentary over there.
The Krusty Konservative had a "Kommentator" give their impressions of the Cedar Rapids event as well.
Apparently there was a good article covering the event in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, but I can't get it online and haven't found a hard copy. (If anyone has a copy or access I'd love to know what it said.)
Romney's Commonwealth PAC Event in Ames:
Over at the Caucus Cooler a "Cooler Columnist" gave their impression of Romney and the event in general. Some interesting inside info there. At the same site a seperate blog entry was dedicated to the "tar baby" comment.
A "new" political blogger, Kevin Schmidt (who formerly ran "The 9 Dwarves" during the 2004 election), has hit the scene with a new blog called "RealWorldPolitico." He weighs in on the "tar baby" comment and also gave his impression of the Ames event in general. He seems warm on Romney now. We'll be sure to keep an eye on his blog.
The news coverage was also copious: The Des Moines Register covered the Ames indoor picnic event here and here (that 2nd is the David Yepsen article quoted in a previous blog entry--Comparing Romney to Reagan).
Over the weekend, with cancer survivor and research advocate Lance Armstrong in the state for RAGBRAI and Sen. Majority Leader, Bill Frist M.D. in town campaigning, there was a natural focus on cancer treatment and research. One Des Moines Register article reviewed how cancer had effected the lives of presidential hopefuls. For Romney it stated: "The wife of Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lost both of her parents to cancer, the Republican said in Iowa on Saturday." I didn't know that.
A related piece detailed the position stances of 2008 POTUS hopefuls toward cancer research. Some of the GOP candidate's positions are listed below. Of those listed, Romney is the one that seems most fiscally conservative (my personal solution would be to cut AIDS funding by 50-75% and shunt the majority of that money to cancer research . . . it's still astounding the amount of money spent on AIDS per person effected, abosolutely disproportionate compared to any other disease state):
Sen. Bill Frist--TennesseeYet another Des Moines Register article discusses Romney's travels out of his state for pre-candidacy and RGA purposes. It also mentions: "Romney was in Iowa to meet with GOP gubernatorial nominee Jim Nussle." At one of the events Romney mentioned that he flew in with Nussle from Chicago.
Frist favors increasing funding for the National Cancer Institute, including restoring the $40 million cut proposed by the Bush administration. Frist also touts Congress' doubling of spending for the institute every year between 1998 and 2003.
Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani--New York City
Giuliani supports expanding embryonic stem cell research and has been active in promoting prostate cancer awareness and prevention. As mayor, Giuliani also started a citywide study of cancer victims, aimed at determining environmental causes.
Gov. Mike Huckabee--Arkansas
Huckabee supports increasing federal spending to the National Cancer Institute, including restoring the $40 million cut proposed by the Bush administration. He also favors increased spending on prevention programs that target environmental and behavioral causes.
Gov. Mitt Romney--Massachusetts
Romney backs increasing screening for early detection which he says has been made more available through a measure passed in his state requiring all residents to carry health insurance and providing coverage for those who cannot afford it.
No response from some candidates
The Register also sought, but did not receive, responses from New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is a Democrat, and Virginia Sen. George Allen, Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, Arizona Sen. John McCain and New York Gov. George Pataki, who are Republicans.
Well, I think that's the complete "round-up" from a great weekend for Romney in the Hawkeye state!