Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


August 19, 2006  

"What we're hearing now is some politicians . . . making a play for political advantage in the middle of a war," Vice President Cheney said. "The saddest part is that our people in uniform have been subjected to these cynical and pernicious falsehoods . . . and back home a few opportunists are suggesting they were sent into battle for a lie."


J U S T   P O L I T I C S

Gilmore from behind

A new candidate with some elected characteristics and high Republican Party credentials has a group announcing a Draft Jim Gilmore for President website. The reason for a Gilmore Presidency: Jim Gilmore is the Next Generation of Conservatism and is poised to realign the Conservative Movement.

It may need to be shortened.

Jim Gilmore served as Governor of Virginia and was Chairman of the RNC.

It is unclear what money has been raised or what kind of organization is behind this effort. It is clear that the effort will need a prairie fire to have any chance. Everyone else, including south Chicago businessman John Cox, is farther out front at this stage.

The group is looking for individuals especially in Iowa, New Hampshire and S. Carolina.

Richardson got the check

Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM) came to Iowa and did Mitt Romney (R-MA) one better: He saw Romney’s match of the Democrat National Committee’s $500,000 and put up another $500,000.

For those trying to keep track, Gov. Richardson is the chair of the Democrat Governors Association and possible candidate for president. Richardson has now put up $1 million. Gov. Romney, who is chair of the Republican Governors Association & also a possible candidate for president, has put up $500,000 from his association so far.

Richardson said if he decides to run for president he will definitely show up in Iowa.

"The path to the presidency is through Iowa and New Hampshire," he said. "I don't see Nevada's entrance in between, a caucus in a small western state, as going to affect either one," Richardson said.

Frist in Iowa

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist came to Iowa to campaign for Iowa Senate candidate and not be left out of the cavalcade of potential presidential candidates visiting the state during the Summer Congressional Recess.

Frist stated that if the American Civil Liberties Union prevailed in their lawsuit America would be less secure from terrorists threats. He also sounded a negative note regarding the state of Americans’ outlook.

"People have a lot of despair today," Frist said. "Our economy is doing well. We are secure as a nation in terms of our strength in military. But as I travel around the country, I see people with not a lot of hope with where we're going as a nation."

America less safe?

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in a Detroit courtroom ordered a halt to the wiretap program of known individuals linked to terrorists who make calls to U.S. citizens. Both sides in the lawsuit agreed to delay that action until a Sept. 7 hearing.

The Washington Post reports some believe the 43-page decision by Judge Taylor was poorly reasoned:

"Regardless of what your position is on the merits of the issue, there's no question that it's a poorly reasoned decision," said Bobby Chesney, a national security law specialist at Wake Forest University who takes a moderate stance on the legal debate over the NSA program. "The opinion kind of reads like an outline of possible grounds to strike down the program, without analysis to fill it in."

Taylor, 73, was appointed to the bench in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter.

Calls intercepted by the NSA were helpful in the timing of when to roll up the English al Qaeda cell planning to blow up airlines in mid air from England to America.

The American Civil Liberties Union represented the plaintiffs in the case.

War no more

Americans appear to have grown tired of the War on Terrorism according to several recent polls. The Washington Post offered this look at how Americans are war fatigued:

Married women with children, the "security moms" whose concerns about terrorism made them an essential part of Republican victories in 2002 and 2004, are taking flight from GOP politicians this year in ways that appear likely to provide a major boost for Democrats in the midterm elections, according to polls and interviews.

This critical group of swing voters -- who are an especially significant factor in many of the most competitive suburban districts on which control of Congress will hinge -- is more inclined to vote Democratic than at any point since Sept. 11, 2001, according to data compiled for The Washington Post by the Pew Research Center.

Married mothers said in interviews here that they remain concerned about national security and the ability of Democrats to keep them safe from terrorist strikes. But surveys indicate Republicans are not benefiting from this phenomenon as they have before.

Disaffection with President Bush, the Iraq war, and other concerns such as rising gasoline prices and economic anxiety are proving more powerful in shaping voter attitudes.

Cheney attacks

The Chicago Tribune reports on Vice President Dick Cheney’s carrying the word that Democrats are weak on defense and terrorism:

With Republicans facing increasingly tough prospects in November, Vice President Dick Cheney has returned to the campaign trail in a familiar role: Accusing Democratic war critics of defeatism and leveling harsh charges that President Bush is less comfortable making.

"If we follow [Democratic] advice and withdraw from Iraq," Cheney said this week in Arizona, "we will simply validate the Al Qaeda strategy and invite more terrorist attacks." Advocates of withdrawal play into the hands of terrorists, he charged the next day in Montana: "They fundamentally believe that we don't have the stomach for the fight."

Changes coming

The Democrat National Committee is expected to change its nomination calendar. The new calendar would keep Iowa's caucuses in their leadoff position Jan. 14. Nevada would follow with its own caucus Jan. 19. New Hampshire would retain its status as the first-in-the-nation primary, with voting Jan. 22. South Carolina would hold its primary Jan. 29.

New Hampshire has threatened to move their date up into December to thwart the new plan.







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