Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


August 17, 2006  


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Allenís glich

Sen. George Allenís Republican presidential aspirations are on hold while he tries to win reelection in Virginia. The Washington Post reports on the fact that his reelection has hit a glich:

If Senator George Allen of Virginia is thinking of running for president in 2008, as is widely believed, what he said in a little town in southwestern Virginia several nights ago may haunt him.

"This fellow here, over here with the yellow shirt, Macaca, or whatever his name is, heís with my opponent," Mr. Allen said on Friday night at a rally in Breaks, next to the Kentucky border. "Heís following us around everywhere. And itís just great."

Mr. Allen, a Republican running for re-election, was singling out S. R. Sidarth, a 20-year-old volunteer for Mr. Allenís Democratic challenger, James Webb. Mr. Sidarthís mission was to trail Mr. Allen and videotape his speeches, in the hope they would yield grist for Mr. Webbís campaign.

But it was Mr. Allen who supplied grist for his rival with his use of the term "macaca," a genus that includes numerous species of monkeys found in Asia.

Mr. Allen said Monday that he had meant no insult, that he was sorry if he hurt anyoneís feelings and that he did not know what "macaca" meant, according to The Washington Post, which reported the incident on Tuesday.

Mr. Sidarth, who is of Indian descent, was not convinced.

"I think he was doing it because he could, and I was the only person of color there, and it was useful for him in inciting his audience," Mr. Sidarth told The Post.

McCain in Iowa

Sen. John McCain has learned the lesson -- it is hard to skip Iowa. When McCain tried to challenge George W. Bush for the presidency, he tried to skip Iowa. The lesson seems to have been learned that it is difficult to win without running the whole course of the marathon. McCain was sighted at the Iowa State Fair yesterday.

The Des Moines Register offers these comments from McCain about the roles of Iowa and New Hampshire and what it would be like without their lead off roles:

Ö.[It] "would all be about money and buying media and advertising. Both Iowa and New Hampshire are a chance for the voters to scrutinize and make judgments about the candidates, and I think they're vital to the process," he said.

Biden in Iowa

Sen. Joe Biden (D-MD) made his first trip to Iowa in 19 years to check out whether he can be his partyís nominee. The Des Moines Register story is a must read on whether Biden has a chance:

"I've been spending all my time - literally, not figuratively - focusing on how I'd govern. I haven't focused nearly as much as the other guys on how I'd win," Biden said in a Des Moines Register interview Wednesday. "The irony is I was probably a better tactical candidate 20 years ago than I am now."

If anyone has a question as to why Biden thinks he can enter this race in the last minutes of being able to get into the race, you just have to read Bidenís ending quote:

"They will make a judgment that no Democrat can get elected without having absolutely unimpeachable credentials on national security and foreign policy," he said, "even if they are right on every other issue."

Wal Mart politics

The Union campaign against Wal Mart is traveling Iowa. The NY Times covers this effort as does many Iowa newspapers. No other American company demonstrates the cost cutting offshore job outsourcing globalization of the economy better than Wal Mart.

Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA plans to participate in several of the stops to burnish up his union credentials. Sen. Joe Bidden (D-MD) just happened to be available to participate in one of the union rallies against Wal Mart also.

 Romney brings gifts

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) brought a $500,000 check from the Governorís Association for Rep. Jim Nussleís (R-IA) campaign to become Iowaís next governor. The check was presented at an event in Dubuque last night.

Romney continues to grow and strengthen his organization in Iowa. Romney is also the head of the Republican Governorís Association.

Pataki picks up Sukup

Sen. Stewart Iverson, who chairs Gov. George Patakiís efforts in Iowa, announced that former gubernatorial candidate Steve Sukup has joined the Pataki campaign. Sukup came within just a few votes of taking the Governorís nomination away from Doug Gross who heads Romneyís efforts in Iowa.

Kerryís 60ís

Sen. John Kerry is seeking his 60ís anti-war roots. His latest move to position himself to the left was a fund-raising effort for the candidate Ned Lamont who defeated fellow Senator Jo Lieberman.

Kerry said about the effort, "Despite the `warnings' coming from consultants, political pundits and naysayers in Washington, each of these candidates is making the mess in Iraq a central issue in their campaigns," Kerry said. "If we want to reward their courage, we've got to commit ourselves to pulling them through to victory."





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