Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


August 14, 2006  


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


The Iowa Scene

Iowa’s cornfields are filled with presidential candidates. Two of Massachusetts's leading politicians have been in Iowa – Sen. John Kerry (D) and Governor Mitt Romney (R).

Sen. John Kerry offered a bleak picture for America, "Our generation's opportunity to lead this nation is passing. We're at risk of leaving it in worse shape to our kids than we were given by our parents, and I find that unacceptable."

By contrast Governor Mitt Romney was more positive and upbeat. He has won the support of former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Richard Schwarm of Lake Mills.

Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) was supposed to be in Iowa twice last week. But he missed one event -- the Tribute to Iowa Sen. Stewart Iverson, Jr. who heads Pataki’s PAC in Iowa. Bad weather grounded Pataki's flight. However, he did make the Iowa State Fair and several other stops, including an ethanol plant. Pataki was in Webster City last Friday evening for State Representative Jim Kurtenbach, who is seeking retiring Sen. Iverson’s seat. While Pataki was stumping for Kurtenbach, former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) was in Ames, Iowa, stumping for Kurtenbach’s opponent, Rich Olive.

One of the things to watch for: whether Sen. Iverson’s attempts to recruit businessman and former gubernatorial candidate Steve Sukup to the Pataki camp work out. Pataki’s position on abortion is that a woman has the right to choose. That is not the pro-life stance of Sukup.

Sen. Edwards has forgone the traffic jam of presidential candidates at the state fair by going around the state helping to boost the fund-raising crowds of Democrat legislative candidates. Edwards has done another mea culpa on the fact that he was wrong to vote to go to fight terrorism in Iraq. Of course, Democrats are arguing that we are not fighting terrorists in Iraq and the Iraq War is only creating more terrorists.

Democrats still haven’t explained how we get rid of all those Islamic extremists that want all of us dead just because we're Americans. By the way, those Islamic extremists are in Iraq.

However, one Democrat who is selling that message is Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE), who told the Des Moines Register:

"This malarkey about if we don't fight them in Baghdad, we'll fight them in Boston - this shows that claim to be somewhat silly..." said Biden.

Of course he offered the other precept:

"It also shows how badly we have neglected our homeland security," Biden said

Iowa’s Governor Tom Vilsack (D) is also at the state fair. He is lagging in Iowa’s polls and could easily end his candidacy in his home state. Others believe he is nothing more than a placeholder for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Vilsack held a forum on bio-fuels. He also showed a baby beef in the celebrity show. His comments reported in the Register were insightful:

"The key is how you hold him," he said, noting past events where the animal had more control than Vilsack.

"You know how you make sure he's calm? You scratch his neck," he said.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (GA) was in Des Moines raising funds for the Iowa Senate Majority Fund event with key Republican activists and touring the state fair and signing books. Most Iowans would like to support him, but many believe that he will not act soon enough.

This week, Sen. John McCain is in Iowa for ultra conservative Iowa Rep. Danny Carroll. It will be interesting if Carroll is recruited into endorsing Sen. McCain.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is also in the state this week. Bayh is helped Iowa Senate candidate Bill Heckroth raise funds in Waverly Monday evening. On Aug. 15th from 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Bayh is in Cedar Rapids at Brewed Awakenings Coffee House, 1271 1st Ave SE. Also look for him at the state fair.





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