Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


July 7, 2006  


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Iowa growing presidential hopes

As the July weather is growing corn higher than knee high by the 4th of July, so also are the growing number of presidential hopefuls touring the state during County Fair time.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) is in central Iowa today  and heading this weekend to Eastern Iowa where he will be campaigning for Democrat legislative candidates.

So too, Governor Tom Vilsack (D-IA), who only ranked fourth in a Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll as to whom Iowa Democrats favored as their presidential nominee, is stepping up his Iowa image building appearances.

Other Democrat hopefuls included in July visits are former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC), Joe Bidden (D-MA) and former Gov. Mark Warner (D-Va) are planing visits to Iowa soon.

Republicans visiting include Governors Mitt Romney (R-MA), Mike Huckabee (R-AR) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

Democrats' hit-men

The LA Times does a lengthy profile piece on the two Democrats, Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Sen. Charles Schumer (R-NY) who are in charge of knocking off Republicans in the House and Senate respectively:

They have hand-picked candidates, crafted campaign themes, set fundraising goals and micromanaged staff hiring decisions for candidates around the country. In the process, these two big-city pols — Emanuel from Chicago, Schumer from Brooklyn — are injecting a dose of discipline and drive among traditionally unruly Democrats, who often suffer from the image that they are too soft. "Both in terms of raising money and recruiting candidates, no one is more focused and disciplined," said Steve Elmendorf, former top aide to ex-House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.). "They do this 24/7 at 100% velocity every day. This is the focus we need."

Emanuel and Schumer bring the kind of whip hand to campaigning that leading Republicans have wielded for years. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) tutored conservative candidates via audiotapes as he led the GOP to its landmark 1994 election victory, which gave the party control of Congress for the first time in 40 years. More recently, President Bush and his political guru, Karl Rove, have been heavily involved in recruiting candidates — efforts credited with helping the GOP maintain its congressional majorities in the 2002 and 2004 elections.

Biden practicing Indian accent

Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) was caught on tape saying that, you can’t go into a 7-11 or a Dunkin Donuts in Delaware without a slight Indian accent. He said that Indian Americans, refering to the nation of India, is the fastest growing segment of the population in Delaware.

To see the clip, go to the link.

Bush in Windy City

President Bush is in Chicago. His itinerary includes an overnight stay, a dinner with local opinion leaders and Mayor Richard M. Daley, a breakfast on Friday with business leaders and an afternoon tour of a microelectronics plant in Aurora, in the home district of Representative J. Dennis Hastert, the speaker of the House.

Huckabee’s literary endeavor

Governor Mike Huckabee (R-AR) is writing a new book that is expected in bookstores next year. Huckabee hopes the book will help him gauge support for a possible 2008 Republican presidential bid.

Huckabee said his new book, yet untitled, will focus on policy issues he's faced in his 10 years as Arkansas governor. Because of term limits, He will leave office in January.




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