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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Help Romney Remain Top Fundraiser and Become our Next President

Q2 fundraising will come to a close in just a few short days (June 30th).

In light of this, I wanted to revive my previous post about how the MSM spun Romney's Q1 fundraising success as being "Deep But Narrow." I also pointed out in a follow-up piece that such characterization of Romney was incorrect and that most other candidates relied on big donors more than Romney did.

Both Giuliani and McCain have more June fundraisers than Romney (50, 30, and 25 respectively). Rudy might be tough to beat in Q2 fundraising. Romney needs more money to run his campaign than nationally recognized Rudy, McCain, and Actor Fred Thompson. It's looking like Q2 will be a fundraising horserace. The Boston Globe reports:

Mitt Romney, whose surprising $21 million first-quarter fund-raising haul topped Republican rivals in the 2008 White House race, said on Monday he expected a drop in fund-raising cash in the current quarter.
. . .
He said he expected former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to have raised the most campaign funds in the second quarter among Republican presidential candidates. He expected money raised by Arizona Sen. John McCain "to be up significantly," he said


This story also notes that Romney is going to personally help fund his campaign in Q2). The stakes are high folks! This is where we come in.

Please take it upon yourselves to donate to Romney's campaign!! If you haven't donated yet and money is tight just give $5 or $10. Help increase the total number of donors by making sure your spouse donates as well and any family members who will be 18 by election day 2008. Get your friends, classmates, & co-workers to donate too. Feel free to use my fundraiser ID (225003) when you donate. If you donated in Q1, make sure you donate more in Q2! My wife and I have more than doubled our Q1 donations.

MOST IMPORTANTLY, get the courage to send an email or place a call to all of your family and friends about why you have donated to Romney's campaign and invite them to do the same on or before June 30th.

America needs Mitt in 2008 . . . but right now Mitt needs us!!!

Good News for the Romney Campaign!

How can a negative article be good news for a campaign?

A recent piece from Time Magazine is titled "Romney's Cruel Canine Vacation" tries to expose Mitt Romney as a heartless animal abuser.

Here's the good news . . . while Giuliani is getting hammered for dropping in the polls and his handling of 9/11, McCain is taking a beating over immigration and his flailing campaign, and Fred Thompson is going through his first round of vetting, the best they can come up with now against Romney is perceived animal cruelty nearly 25 years ago. There may be 3 or 4 Americans who will not vote for Romney because of this incident, but, something tells me they wouldn't be voting for any Republican anyway.

This, my friends, is the sign of a solid candidate running an excellent campaign.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Romney increases lead in Iowa poll

Romney continues to be the leader in Iowa. While he garnered 20% of the votes just over 1 month ago in the Strategic vision poll , he is now getting 23% from the same firm. His overall lead has grown as well from 2% to 6%. I have yet to see an Iowa poll in the last 2 months that doesn't have Romney in the lead. We just like Romney here in Iowa! Details below (with May results in parentheses):

* Mitt Romney 23% (20)
* Fred Thompson 17% (10)
* Rudy Giuliani 14% (18)
* John McCain 10% (16)
* Tommy Thompson 6% (7)
* Mike Huckabee 5% (3)
* Newt Gingrich 4% (5)
* Sam Brownback 3% (2)
* Ron Paul 2% (2)
* Tom Tancredo 2% (2)
* Duncan Hunter 1% (1)
* Jim Gilmore 1% (1)
* Chuck Hagel 1% (1)
* Undecided 11% (12)

Can't wait for more debates or other opportunities to get Romney and Fred Thompson out in the public view. My prediction is that with more "in person" face time, or live TV, Romney's climb upward will continue and Fred will lose his current "Savior of the GOP/Second Coming of Reagan" aura/reputation. His poll numbers will drop accordingly.

Defending Gitmo: From the NY Times even!!!

This Op Ed piece in the NY Times does a pretty good job at defending the job that's being done at Guantanamo.

This is relevant to a Romney blog because some have criticized Romney for saying that he would double the size of Gitmo if necessary rather than close it.

Just a quick FYI.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"THE MAKING OF MITT ROMNEY" Boston Globe Offers LOADS of Info/stories on Romney

It will take me a few days in may spare time to process all this information, but make sure to check out the Boston Globe's "The Making of Mitt Romney" 7-part special edition. There seems to be over a dozen of detailed and lengthy articles highlighting different phases throughout his life.

I've been reading just about everthing Romney-related for over a year now, and I've learned lots of new things more about him after just spending the last hour going through less than a quarter of it.

One thing that I've noticed so far from the peices I've read is that it's pretty hard to find one of Mitt's personal contacts from his past that have anything bad to say about him.

Thoughts? Impressions? Favorite Parts/Quotes?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

DNC = Zero Credibility

Does the DNC hope to retain any semblance of credibility? If so, I think they just lost it. Look at this recent press release from the DNC

Most of the time, when a presidential candidate gives a major policy address, his campaign invites the public to attend or at the very least allows members of the media to cover it. But not smooth talking Mitt Romney. Last night in Denver, when Romney gave a speech to the American Enterprise Institute that campaign aides spent the week billing as a "major address" on national security issues, no reporters or members of the public were permitted to attend.
[The Atlantic Online, 6/18/07; AP, 6/22/07] Instead, his campaign issued canned quotes from his prepared remarks.

Romney's decision to keep the press out of last night's speech follows an embarrassing string of goofs, gaffes, and flip-flops during his previous forays into foreign policy.


However, they fail to mention that AEI rules require that this event be closed to the press. This is confirmed by The Politico here:

Check out the 31 Power Point slides former Gov. Romney used last night at the American Enterprise Institute’s World Forum in Beaver Creek, Col., which was closed to the press under AEI rules.


I know these guys are desperate to ding Mitt whenever and however they can, but to outright lie to the public and state that it was "Romney's decision" to keep the press out is copletely unacceptable.

Tuck this away in your memory when next you see a press release from these jokers at the DNC.

PS if you haven't perused Romney's PowerPoint given to the AEI yet . . . it's worth a look.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Romney still looking strong in Iowa!

See link with comments here.

If you attend the Iowa Straw Poll, which of the following candidates would you support?

* Romney - 28.4%
* F Thompson - 18.3%
* Giuliani - 6.9%
* McCain - 6.2%
* Tancredo - 4.8%
* Huckabee - 4.1%
* Brownback - 3.1%
* T Thompson - 2.5%
* Paul - 2.0%
* Hunter - 0.8%
* Cox - 0.8%
* Undecided - 21%

Survey was completed June 19 of 1,400 1,418 previous Iowa caucus-goers, and has an MoE of 3.4%.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Anti-Mitt/Anti-Mormon "Whisper Campaigns" Alive and well in Iowa (and beyond)

Scott Helman of the Boston Globe (a pretty cool guy in my limited interaction with him) has written a pretty enlightening piece about how the rival campaigns of McCain, Giuliani, and Brownback have all had official campaign staff attacking Mitt's Mormon faith. It's been happening here in Iowa.

Gathering for their April meeting at the county courthouse, Republican activists from Warren County, Iowa, planned for this summer's county fair and vented about illegal immigration.

And then the county chairman for Senator John McCain's presidential campaign, Chad Workman, made an unexpected digression: He took direct aim at Mitt Romney's religion, according to four people at the meeting.

Workman questioned whether Mormons were Christians, discussed an article alleging that the Mormon Church helps fund Hamas, and likened the Mormons' treatment of women to the Taliban's, said participants, who requested anonymity to discuss the meeting freely.

One participant summed up Workman's argument this way: "The fundamental flaw of Mitt Romney . . . was that he was Mormon, not because he thinks this way or that way on one issue."

Workman did not return calls seeking comment.


Next Iowa example:

Emma Nemecek, an Iowa field operative for Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, had recently forwarded an e-mail to Iowa Republicans containing a number of criticisms of Mormonism, including a charge that it is not a Christian faith. The e-mail closed with a quote from a Founding Father, John Jay: "Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers, and it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest of our Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers."


I know Emma and like her. I even put her campaign sign in my yard when she was running for the legislative seat last election cycle. I was disappointed by her action, but I also know that she's a very energetic and involved individual. I'm willing to cut her some slack and write this off as an over-exuberance in supporting her boss. I'm sure she's been frustrated in not "converting" many folks over to Brownback because they are firm Romney supporters. What she did was unacceptable, but I maintain that she is a good person and a good Republican.

Hearkening back to the first example:

The April meeting in Warren County is one of several instances in which a representative of McCain's campaign has tried to highlight Romney's membership in the Mormon Church.

Last year, when Romney and McCain were battling to sign up supporters in key states, Romney's campaign got word that Chuck Larson, a former Iowa GOP chairman and now one of McCain's top Iowa advisers, had been calling Mormonism a "cult" while trying to woo state legislators and their staff. One Republican Larson approached, who would talk only on condition of anonymity, said that Larson told him, "He's a Mormon for crying out loud -- that's essentially a cult."

When David Kochel, a senior Romney adviser in Iowa, learned of Larson's comments, he complained to Larson's business partners. Larson then called back to apologize, according to Kochel, who recounted Larson's apology this way: "David, I just want you to know that I made a joke about Governor Romney's religion. It is not the kind of thing I'm proud of, and it's not the kind of thing I will ever do again."

Larson declined to comment.

There have been other scattered instances of McCain representatives raising Romney's religion. Earlier this year, for example, The State newspaper in Columbia, S.C., reported that McCain operatives had distributed to reporters comments by evangelical leader James Dobson questioning whether a Mormon could win the presidency.


The attacks are coming from non-campaign places as well.

Romney has faced repeated slights against his religion from other quarters as well. A Florida televangelist, Bill Keller, told followers recently that a vote for Romney is a vote for Satan. And a small group of worshipers from the Faith Christian Outreach Church in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, has been going door-to-door distributing a DVD that takes a critical look at the Mormon Church.

"Our concern was simply that Mormonism has continued to try and pass itself off as a Christian religion, which it is not," said Monte Knudsen, senior pastor at the church, who insisted the effort was not aimed at hurting Romney's candidacy.


There's not a whole lot of stuff to attack Romney on . . . so we will continue to see these kinds of desperate and misguided "whisper campaigns".

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

TONS of great content from Iowa Weekend at My Man Mitt

Jason Bonham of My Man Mitt has gotten up a lot of videos and commentary from this last weekend in Iowa. Great job Jason! It was a great weekend.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ask Mitt Anything? I asked him something!

A Father's day treat for me. I had a chance to "Ask Mitt Anything"



Romney is a class act. Despite being attacked from all angles he remains poised and respectful. In our age of extreme partisanship and bickering, Washington needs a leader like Romney to smooth the waters.

Thanks to Jason Bonham of My Man Mitt for taking the video of my question and Mitt's answer.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Iowans for Romney breaks 50,000 visitors!!

Someone from Elk Grove, CA at 10:37 pm was our 50,000th visitor to Iowans for Romney! Congrats to them and us! Also, in the past year plus we have had nearly 90,000 page views for the site. It's been a fun and consuming "hobby" (though I feel pretty passionately about it than any hobby I've ever had). We look forward to continuing our work to help Mitt become our next President.

C.R. Gazette Article on Romney visit

link to article:

http://www.gazetteonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070616/IOWACAUCUS/70616009/1011/IOWACAUCUS

This article had great things to say about Mitt. I can list it all here: "Mitt Romney was in the zone Saturday afternoon, winning applause time and again from a Cedar Rapids audience as he painted his bright vision for a strengthened America.".

That's it.
After the opening line, it goes a bit wayward. The rest of the article is confusing since there was an immediate jump to quote someone that doesn't support Mitt, and then it is followed up by a series of soft support comments, almost like pity points for those that support Romney. I think this journalist took lessons from those at the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

You be the judge...............

Rudy & McCain Saw Impeding Loss at Ames Straw Poll

Tom Tancredo confirms reality that Giuliani and McCain drop out of Ames Straw Poll because they "were going to lose!"



Now that's some "Straight Talk" from Tank!!

He also confirmed that he's absolutely committed to participating in the Ames Straw Poll on Aug 11th (I, however, encourage you to support another candidate that day!)

Nice Des Moines Register Write-up: "Romney streses faith, family"

Coverage of the event in Cedar Rapids today is here.

I liked this portion quite a bit:

Romney stressed his core beliefs in a strong military, a strong economy and strong families to rally Iowans for what he hopes will be an important victory in the Ames Straw Poll in August.

“I am in it whole hog, as they say in Iowa,” he said, adding that leading Republican presidential candidates John McCain and Rudy Giuliani were wrong to pull out of the event. “I wonder why they are making that big mistake? I think I know now — just look at the size of this room.”

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Romney (and Giuliani) Accept Debate Invite for Aug 5th in Des Moines, IOWA

Romney and Giuliani have accepted an invitation to Debate on Aug 5th in Des Moines, IOWA. This virtually guarantees that all other candidates will be there too (though ABC is waiting on responses from McCain and Thompson). Let's hope they narrow the field some. And everyone will be expectatly waiting for Fred Thompson's first Debate appearance.

Also, in the AP article anouncing this they slide in their anti-Romney talking points with the following:
Giuliani and John McCain have bowed out of the straw poll, rendering it all but meaningless and virtually ensuring a win for Romney.

MSM Spin Translation: Rudy and John take the graceful and gallant move of "bowing out" and elevate expectations of a Romney landslide at Ames.

Reality: Rudy and John turned their back on the Republican Party of Iowa for their own political calculation and to save political face since they knew they couldn't compete with Mitt here in Iowa.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Reader's Digest: "Gosh Darn, He's Likeable"

Great article from Reader's Digest:

The fact is, I've become fascinated with Romney. This wouldn't be the first time I'd met him, or the second. Okay, it would be merely the third. But I figured after three sit-downs I'm justified in forming some opinions of the man. And so I have.

Let me say right off the bat that I am not being paid under the table by the Romney campaign. I have no horse in this race. I'm a registered Independent. Blah, blah, blah. Nonetheless, my message to his Republican rivals (and to any future Democratic ones, too) is: Watch out for this guy.

After listing some of his potential pitfalls and discarding all but the "flip-flopping" (which, once again, are badly misrepresented . . . how many times are we going to have to remind folks that he has had NO POSITION SHIFTS ON GAY MARRIAGE AND GUN RIGHTS??? . . . sigh) the journalist thinks Romney'g got the right stuff:
Here's why I think Romney can survive the scrutiny. He's smart. He's articulate (a reading of my interview transcipt confirms that he talks in complete sentences. Present occupants of the White House, take note). But the most important thing he has going for him is that he's so likeable. Bear with me, because I know how superficial that sounds. It's actually a hugely important trait.

Then comes the "Reaganesque" factor:
I don't buy that Fred Thompson is the Reaganesque candidate in the wings. I think the closest the Republicans will find this year is Mitt Romney -- a man with Reagan-style appeal, combined with gray matter.

Don't just take my word, though. Take Chris Matthews' word, if you dare. "I can't help it, I just like the guy," he recently said on his show about Romney. Remember, Matthews is nothing if not proudly cynical about politicians. More revealing, a friend of mine from Massachusetts said her parents, who are ardent liberal Democrats, are disappointed in Romney's campaign stands. Why? "They really liked him as governor." Now, I've met her parents. I've discussed politics with them. If they liked Romney, a Republican, then he is likeable.

Prior to our interview last week, he joked with me as I fumbled around with audio equipment. "Ok, time's up! Gotta go!" he laughed, when I finally got all the equipment working. For someone on the grueling campaign trail, he sure was chipper and having fun. And why not? It must be nice to be liked.


I've personally had many occasions to talk with Romney and see him interact with folks "in the flesh" (plus, I'm going to get to see him at a few events this weekend!!!). I must agree that he has the "likability" factor going for him. This bodes well for the continued gowth of his campaign team, grassroots supporters, and polls.

Romney leads in New Hampshire Polls

See article below. Romney is leading in this New Hampshire poll.

Romney: 28%
Giuliani: 20%
McCain: 20%

Momentum is still gaining, too!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Romney-palooza in Iowa This Weekend!!

In case anyone was wondering, Mitt Romney is 100% committed to Iowa, unlike some other candidates who are claiming 100% commitment, but are skipping the Ames Straw Poll. You do the math, it doesn't add up for our NY and AZ friends.

To give an example of the the committment level, just check out the schedule of event for this weekend!! If you are interested in attending any of these events,
call 1-888-722-4704 ex.200 to RSVP!!
See below!

Friday, June 15

3:15 PM
Caucus Coffee with Fayette County Activists
Location: Dancing Lion


5:00 PM
Bremer County GOP Fundraiser
Location: Cedar Bend Park, Cedar Bend Drive, Waverly

6:15 PM
Black Hawk County “Ask Mitt Anything”
Location: Five Sullivan Brothers Center
200 W 4th Street, Waterloo


Saturday, June 16:
Best Western Midway
Location: 3100 Dodge St., Hwy. 20 W

9:15 AM
Dubuque County “Ask Mitt Anything”
Location: Dubuque Room
Best Western Midway
3100 Dodge St., Hwy. 20 W

12:45 PM
Linn County Activist Luncheon
Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel
Cedar Rapids



Sunday, June 17
12:30 PM
Father’s Day Brunch with Des Moines County Activists
Location: Burlington Golf Club, Burlington

2:15 PM
Louisa County Ice Cream with Activists
Location: Farm Bureau, Wapello

4:45 PM
Muscatine County “Ask Mitt Anything”
Location: The Rendezvous, Muscatine

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Straw Poll Surrender!

The shockwaves of Mayor Guiliani's and Sen. McCain's "withdrawal", err.. "surrender" by not competing in the Iowa Straw Poll is sending shockwaves throughout the political stratosphere.
After ridiculing the Straw Poll in '99 and bypassing Iowa altogether, McCain has spent the last several months campaigning across Iowa reinforcing how 2008 would be different as he would be competing in both the Iowa Caucus and the Ames Straw Poll. So much for "straight talk."
As for Rudy...I hinted in a previous post that he would not compete in Ames. It clear the former NYC Mayor is putting both limited time and resources into the Iowa effort. One cannot win the Iowa Caucus merely on one's reputation(see Ronald Reagan 1980). It takes visiting Iowa repeatedly and looking the voters in the eye, greeting the activists one handshake at a time.

This is a huge victory for the Romney juggernaut. The fine work of the Romney organization in Iowa is responsible for the retreat of the two candidates yesterday. Mitt & company is laying the groundwork for a victory come January 14th. The secret is out as the other candidates will begin to focus their resources on states that they consider more competitive. I encourage other Romney supporters not to let up, but to continue to recruit supporters for the Iowa Straw Poll to display a show of force that supporters in other states will take notice. This is not the time to become complacent, as the other campaigns will turn up the heat with their shameful anti-Romney attacks. Be diligent, talk with your friends, co-workers, church members, etc. about Gov. Romney and continue to recruit for both the Iowa Straw Poll & the Iowa Caucus.
Godspeed!
Jim Kirkpatrick

Debate Results: Winner = Romney, Loser = McCain

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Team Romney ROCKS!!!

Yes, Mitt Romney is "The One!"


Giuliani/McCain Campaigns on Life Support . . . They Flip-Flop on Ames Straw Poll

Much of this is being addressed here and elsewhere, but I wanted to chime in from the Iowa perspective.

"Life Support" is a modern medical marvel that can sometimes tide people through horrible acute illnesses/traumas until their own organ systems kick back into gear. Unfortunately, the VAST majority of people on "Life Support" are simply artificially and temporarily avoiding imminent death. This is the decided direction of the Rudy Giuliani and John McCain campaigns as evidenced today by their decisions to not participate in the Ames Straw Poll on August 11th. They are attempting to delay their Iowa embarrassment and continued downward slide from August until the actual caucus in Janurary.

First, a primer on the Ames Straw Poll (ASP). Further information about the poll can be found here.



"Regarding Giuliani's decision, Laudner said, 'He was in, he was out, he was in, now he's out. Who knows. Maybe he'll change his mind again. Regardless, his name will be on the Straw Poll ballot in August.'"

Rudy was planning/hoping to participate in the ASP.


We are going to take all the resources that were budgeted towards the Straw Poll and we are going to use them to win the Caucus in January.


They had a budget for it . . . they were planning on it . . .

From the Krusty Konservative Blog

Rudy is calling likely caucus goers and asking them the following questions:

1. Who are you supporting for President?
2. Are you Pro-Life or Pro Choice?
3. Are you planning to attend the Iowa Straw Poll?

I think that a really weird set of questions, and I’m sure they are not going to like the results of question 2.


McCain's flip-flop is even worse:

I was personally at a McCain event a few weeks ago and one of his staffers asked me if I was planning/wanting to support McCain at the Ames Straw Poll. The Ames Straw Poll was stressed publicly to the audience by his local organizers before he arrived at the event. Everyone who signed into the event was given the opportunity to check a box saying that we would support McCain at the straw poll.



McCain has been going full-bore here in Iowa (great staff, lots of events, lots of money, etc . . . ). He definitely has the team to deliver . . . if they just had a better candidate.

Krusty ranked the Iowa Campaign Staffs of all the GOP candidates just 5 weeks ago, and guess who came out on top:

To the rankings!

1. John McCain

Sen. McCain has assembled the best staff in the state. The staff konsists of three konsultants and 15 staff members. What puts McCain over the top is the experience of their konsultants. Ed Failor, Jr. and Karen Slifka have a wealth of caucus experience, which is invaluable when it comes to teaching young field staffers how to organize for a caucus. The field staff is young and hard working, which is important because I’m sure that Failor and Slifka will be demanding some krazy hours out of them.


What is McCain's excuse for not competing at Ames? ABC reports.
In 1999, McCain called the straw poll a "sham" that contributes to "the pessimism and the cynicism" Americans feel about the role of money in politics.

Until Wednesday, the Arizona Senator was planning on competing in the straw poll this time around.

But hours after Giuliani's decision, McCain campaign manager Terry Nelson announced, "In light of today's news, it is clear that the Ames Straw Poll will not be a meaningful test of the leading candidates' organizational abilities, so we have decided to forgo our participation in the event."


"Straight-Talk" Translation: "Rudy opting out gives me an excuse to get out and avoid a similarly embarrassing loss to Romney." Did you notice how they announced this JUST HOURS after Rudy annouced? Is that enough time to evaluate the situation, consult the Iowa staff, consider the loss of already devoted resources, and make a wise decision? Or had the decision been made already and they jumped on the anti-Iowa bandwagon.

Also, it cannot go unnoted this completes the circuitous positions that McCain was Against the ASP, before he was For the ASP, before he was Against the ASP. Add that to the ever-growing list of McCain's Flip-Flops.

According to ABC News:

Hoffman was a "little surprised" about Giuliani's noontime decision and "very surprised" about the McCain decision which came less than five hours later.

Chuck Laudner, the Iowa Republican Party's executive director, said of Romney, "I think McCain was the one guy who was going to keep pace with him."

Laudner, who says the Iowa GOP did not receive a heads up from either Giuliani or McCain, says don't believe the Giuliani and McCain camps when they claim that they are serious about winning the state's caucuses in January.

"You can't compete in the caucuses without competing in the Straw Poll," said Laudner of the contest which raises money for the state party. "It's a big part of what makes the Republican Party of Iowa tick."



    The Real Story: Romney Revving up and Flexing Muscles in Iowa . . . "Front-runners" Running Scared:




The above is a WELL RESPECTED POLL. In it, Romney blows away the field for "likely Ames Straw Poll" attendees.

Romney's 34% is 3% more than Giuliani and McCain COMBINED.

Romney's 34% is equal to T. Thompson, Brownback, Huckabee, Gilmore, Paul, Tancredo, Hunter AND ALL THE "UNDECIDEDS" COMBINED.

Other polling shows things going Mitt's way here in Iowa:

The Des Moines Reg poll (above) showed him at 30% among likely caucus goers while Rudy had 17% and McCain had 18%.

The most recent Iowa poll shows Romney BLOWING AWAY the "front-runners". Romney has 31% while Rudy and John ARE BOTH IN SINGLE DIGITS (McCain 9%, Rudy 8%)

Other recent polling in Iowa show Romney leading or tied here, here, and here. (AND ALL OF THEM SHOW HIM ROCKETING UP OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS . . . even the outlier ARG poll--the firm which amazingly has McCain leading in Iowa, NH, and SC).

This over-whelming body of evidence show that Giuliani and McCain decided to drop out of the ASP as soon as their Iowa poll numbers began to drop. Instead of fighting through their dips and going toe-to-toe they've opted for the coward's option. They can't win, so they won't even play. I expected more from men who are rightly considered by most as modern American heroes.

I think they'll both lose some of their Iowa endorsements by pulling this stunt. Romney stands to pick up some of these endorsements. Both campaigns are, in effect, writing off winning the Iowa Caucus in Janurary. If they can't obtain and/or organize supporters for the ASP what is going to change to suddenly make them competitive a few months later?

That's why I was surprised to see Rudy's team say:

"I think what's important to note is that we are 100 percent committed to winning the Iowa Caucuses in January . . . I think some people may misinterpret it sort of as us not playing 100 percent in Iowa. We are 100 percent playing in Iowa. You will see the mayor there early and often and you will see us spending a great resources to make sure we win the Caucus in Iowa.


Well, they better get with it then . . . especially when Tommy Thompson got more people at his event in the same city on the same day/time that national figure and "front-runner" Giuliani:

When any two kampaigns visit the same kommunity on the same day, people are going to kompare the events, especially when the events are in Iowa’s second largest city. Tommy Thompson had 150 at his event, while the presumed frontrunner, Rudy Giuliani only had around 100. Rudy’s poor showing is a good example of the problems he is having in Iowa.


The quotes that Rudy is 100% dedicated to winning the Iowa caucus will be nice to pull out when he comes in a distant 3rd or 4th place . . . now THAT will be hard to spin.

But is Rudy's team "double-speaking" about the ASP? Jim Nussle of Rudy's Iowa team said of the ASP TODAY:

In fact, I'm going to encourage people to go to it, Giuliani supporters to go to it. Go to it and listen to the candidates. Have fun. Make a day of it. Enjoy it, you know, network with other people,


So they tell everyone to go, and when they get like 10% with no money invested they'll call it a "huge victory". Wait and see.

Chuck Laudner got it right:

Chuck Laudner, executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa, had these things to say about Rudy Giuliani and John McCain deciding to skip the party's Straw Poll in Ames on August 11th:

"Laudner: “They must not have felt...that their chances were not very good to win, place or show,” Laudner said. “...This event helps us pay for Caucus Night and all those activities, plus it helps us fund our state house and senate races…It’s a kick in the shins, or a little higher, right to the Iowa Republican Party.”

. . .

Henderson: What's your message to those two fellas?

Laudner: "It's a missed opportunity. I mean over a third of the Caucus-goers are going to be at that event and you're not just speaking to those folks, you're speaking to the entire country. It's a national event and it's the largest event, Republican, ever anywhere and to skip it means that they must not have felt...that their chances were good of win, place or show."

Henderson: "But their names are still going to be on the ballot.

Laudner: "Absolutely. It's not up to the candidates to decide. We decide as Iowa Republicans who we want the next president of the United States to be."

Henderson: Congressman Nussle has been calling this a circus and saying all sort of things. Has he sort of negated any chance he might have of seeking public office in Iowa again?

Laudner: "Well, I don't think he's made any friends today. This event helps us pay for Caucus Night and all those activities, plus it helps us fund our state house and senate races. That's how this event was created years and years ago and this year, much more than that, it was going to be the showcase of the 'big tent' and it was going to be that event brings all of these people in. Every one of these candidates has a coalition that they could bring in that maybe otherwise wouldn't come


Caucus-goers are largely GOP activists/social conservatives who will not think kindly of Rudy and John's antics here. They are shooting themselves in the foot.

From ABC News:

"Maybe the handwriting was on the wall," Iowa Republican Party Chairman Ray Hoffman tells ABC News when asked about the impact Mitt Romney's organizational strength had on the Wednesday announcements from the Giuliani and McCain campaigns that they will not invest resources in the Iowa Republican Party's Aug. 11 Straw Poll in Ames.

"Mitt Romney, no doubt, is probably the biggest player in the state," said Hoffman.


In another strong move, Romney's campaign released the following today:

Boston, MA – Today, Romney for President spokesman Kevin Madden issued the following statement on the Ames Straw Poll:

"Governor Romney has put in the time, built the organization and communicated his message to the voters of Iowa. It's a message focused on bringing conservative change to Washington, and it is resonating with Iowa voters because it matches his record of accomplishment as governor.

"Our plan all along has been to play in the Iowa straw poll, and that hasn't changed. Campaigns that have decided to abandon Ames are likely doing so out of a recognition that their organizations are outmatched and their message falls flat with Republican voters in Iowa.

"It looks as if we just beat those campaigns in Iowa two months earlier than we had planned on beating them."


OUCH!!!!!

To which the Republican Party of Iowa already responded in resounding support of Romney sticking to his guns and is committed to the ASP (but I thought HE was the "flip flopper!"):

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney got a thank you note tonight from the Republican Party of Iowa.

Iowa GOP spokeswoman Mary Tiffany issued the following statement: "The Republican Party of Iowa appreciates the Romney for President Campaign's statement regarding the Iowa Straw Poll. Governor Mitt Romney clearly understands the importance of the Straw Poll and the role the event and its voters play in the political process. In light of today's news, we are glad to hear Romney is keeping his word to participate in the Straw Poll and that he has made the wise decision to stay in the race." [CAN YOU FEEL THE LOVE?!?!?]

. . .

Doug Gross [major Iowa Romney campaign man]: "You know, Iowans are very proud of their role in the Caucuses and it goes back to the 1970s. We've had the Straw Poll since 1979 and if you take a look at it, any of the candidates who have skipped the Straw Poll have not done well in the Caucuses, so I think what you ought to look at it the potential implication of this on those candidates for the Caucuses and at the same time I think Iowans are concerned that if some candidates are skipping the process that we've had that they're to some extent not respecting the entire Iowa process and it does, indeed, potentially hurt the party and I think that's why Chuck was concerned."




    Rudy's Master Plan?


Some postulate that Rudy has the plan of Super-Tuesday/Large-State focus. That he can afford to lose the early small states. However, I worry about a move to this system. Small states allow the candidates to really get to know people and vice-versa. This so called "Retail politics" have served us well, and I worry about a cadidate with a master plan to mount a huge TV campaign in large states as a means to become president without the personal contact of retail politics.


    Two issues remain:


1) What will be Fred Thompson's play. I think this opens a huge door for him and he would have a decent excuse to not win it, but he could probably get 2nd with a concerted effort. Would this be important to him or does he really want "to run a different kind of campaign"

2) What does this mean for the second-tier candidates? If Fred bows out too will the #2 and #3 finishers be emboldened? Will they be the big story?


    The Bottom Line:


Some pundits say that Giuliani's and McCain's move now renders the Ames Straw Poll "irrelevant." However, the truth of the matter is that Giuliani and McCain are quickly rendering themselves and their campaigns "irrelevant" by showing that they know they can't compete with Romney in Iowa.

Rudy wants Iowa, McCain needs Iowa, Iowa wants and needs Romney!

Rudy Giuliani will skip Iowa, no show at the Straw Poll

Rudy Giuliani told the free world today that he will not be going to the Ames straw poll. Wow. He's not going to show. And then, his campaign manager, Mike DuHaime, stated, and I quote: "We are 100 percent playing in Iowa."

Read article at the following link:

Wait a minute. Did anyone else catch that oxy-moron?? How can you be 100% playing in Iowa if you don't attend the straw poll? Does he not realize that this is a major fund raising event for the Iowa Republican Party, and if he doesn't go, they miss out on his registration fees, as well as any of his supporters ticket sale revenues?? This is a bad move on the part of Giuliani. My take on the situation is that they know from the polls that they have a slim chance of showing well at the Iowa Straw Poll. . Also, they have probably realized how far behind they are in their Iowa organization, and that they can't find state supporters, so they are going to "save" their money from the poll. Yikes. Attantion all wayward Giuliani supporters.........Mitt Romney loves Iowa and has been financially supporting the states Republican interests for quite some time (IE: Republican Governors group, Commonwealth PAC, etc). We would love for you to come and vote for Mitt at the Straw Poll!!