Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


July 19, 2006  

"There are two windows you've got to get through" to win the Republican presidential nomination, he says the next morning over pancakes and coffee at Des Moines' Drake Diner. "One is: Are you ideologically acceptable? Secondly: Are you electable?" Sen. Sam Brownback said.

"The clock is always a great motivator and the clock is ticking before the next election," said Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council about Congress’ votes on social issues.

"The world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." The attribution to Albert Einstein is a part of a report by the Republican Study Committee on the policy of "Cut N Run."

"In light of these real-world-based observations, plus the multitude of studies that indicate most climate changes of the past were clearly associated with changes in solar activity ... the case for anthropogenic CO2 emissions playing anything more than a minor role in contemporary global warming would appear to be fading fast," from an article in the July 19, 2006, issue of CO2 Science magazine.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Dean’s making a national party?

U.S. News & World Report offers a look at how Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is trying to create a national party again. However, there is concern that he will lose the bid to control Congress:

The strategy is also a reaction to the past two presidential cycles, when the shrinking number of battleground states the Democratic nominee was competing in left no room for error. Both elections were arguably determined by a single state: Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004. Says Dean: "We've gotten to the point where we're almost not a national party."

But Dean's plan has helped feed a fierce intraparty battle between the DNC and the committees tasked with electing Democrats to Congress: the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. DCCC Chair Rahm Emanuel has been especially vocal to Dean over concerns that the DNC is misallocating resources in a year when the Democrats are poised to take back the House. Grousing about insufficient funds from the DNC, Emanuel recently told Roll Call "there is no cavalry financially for us." Emanuel declined interview requests, but DCCC sources say more money should go to Democratic candidates in tight races, not to field organizers in long-shot red states.

A big bet. With the future of the Democratic Party at stake, Republicans are watching closely, too. "Dean could wind up looking like a genius eventually," says a top GOP strategist. "Or this could be the election that could have been."

Brownback’s support

Not many people have Sen. Sam Brownback’s name on the tip of their tongue as a possible Republican presidential nominee. However, Susan Page of USA Today offers a look at how he is playing with the Christian Right. It is a good read and offers insight into how even among Christians there are different viewpoints depending on how often you attend church:

"It doesn't get much better than this," he [Brownback] tells several dozen people perched on folding chairs and listening politely. "You've got a Friday evening, the sun's going down — sitting in a church basement, talking about big issues."

Big issues like ending abortion, banning same-sex marriage, battling indecency on TV and refusing to fund embryonic stem cell research fuel Brownback's long-shot hopes for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. Most Americans have never heard of him, but the conservative Christian leaders who play a critical role in the GOP take him seriously.

Bush will attend NAACP

The Washington Post reports on President Bush’s agreement to attend NAACP convention:

White House spokesman Tony Snow said the president will appear before the nation's oldest and largest civil rights group tomorrow after years of trading rhetorical jabs with its leadership.

"I think the president wants to make the argument that he has had a career that reflects a strong commitment to civil rights," Snow said at a news conference.

With the appearance, Bush will avoid becoming the first president since Warren G. Harding to snub the predominantly black organization throughout his term.

Conservatives' foreign policy anger

The Washington Post reports on growing dissatisfaction among conservative foreign policy experts over President Bush’s new foreign policy bent. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s appearance on NBC’s "Meet the Press" was one such criticism of the Bush administration’s policy:

"It is Topic A of every single conversation," said Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank that has had strong influence in staffing the administration and shaping its ideas. "I don't have a friend in the administration, on Capitol Hill or any part of the conservative foreign policy establishment who is not beside themselves with fury at the administration."

Conservatives complain that the United States is hunkered down in Iraq without enough troops or a strategy to crush the insurgency. They see autocrats in Egypt and Russia cracking down on dissenters with scant comment from Washington, North Korea firing missiles without consequence, and Iran playing for time to develop nuclear weapons while the Bush administration engages in fruitless diplomacy with European allies. They believe that a perception that the administration is weak and without options is emboldening Syria and Iran and the Hezbollah radicals they help sponsor in Lebanon.

Check, please

The Associated Press reports on the Democrat National Committee’s attack on Governor George Pataki (R-NY) about hosting New Hampshire Republicans for dinner at the Governor’s mansion.

The article appeared in the Union Leader:

Gov. George Pataki should make public the guest list and reimburse the state for a June 20 taxpayer-financed dinner at the Executive Mansion in Albany for about a dozen Republican activists from New Hampshire, the Democratic National Committee said yesterday.

"New Yorkers have a right to know who they took to dinner last month. Governor Pataki has an obligation to release the guest list, reimburse the state for the full cost of the dinner, and pledge to never again use state resources for his Presidential campaign," said DNC spokesman Damien LaVera.

Schumer’s lament

The Washington Times "Inside Politics" column has a great report on Sen. Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) take on his party:

"It was a bit startling the other morning to hear Sen. Charles Schumer of New York — the garrulous poster boy of Democratic liberalism — intone that New Deal Democracy is over. But also, he added just as surprisingly, so is Reagan Republicanism," syndicated columnist Jules Witcover writes.

"Schumer, who as chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is charged with leading his party's effort to retake control of the Senate in November, was in a reflective mood. He said he was looking past that critical challenge to the longer-term prospects of the party, and he didn't sound optimistic," the columnist said.

"As important as it was to regain a majority in the Senate to put the brakes on President Bush in his final two White House years, Schumer said, the greater test for Democrats was to connect with average voters in a time of his party's disconnect with them.

"At a breakfast with political reporters, the free-wheeling New Yorker said the Democrats have relied too long on the Franklin D. Roosevelt formula of patching together 'a conglomeration of groups' with special concerns as the route to electoral dominance.

"'We stopped being Democrats talking to small people on the issues' as Reagan so effectively did, he argued. Then he launched into a monologue on his party's failure — and the Republicans' success — in communicating to average voters about the day-to-day matters that concern them most."

Howard Dean no Truman

The Democrat National Committee Chairman Howard Dean is trying to win over the home state of the muscular Democrat Harry Truman. He seems to think that Missourians want to have more taxes. Dean is reported as saying in St. Louis

Those cuts, he said, [exemplify] the difference in governing between the Republicans, who he called "the ‘me’ party," and Democrats. "We’re the ‘we’ party," Dean said.

He went on to say that, "You can’t trust Republicans to handle your money."

Dean was trying to make the case that the, "incredible damage that Governor Blunt has done to rural… white Missouri…" is so bad that Missourians will never vote for Republicans again.

Governor Roy Blunt (R-MO) office didn’t seem to agree with Dean, again according to St. Louis

State Republican Party spokesman Paul Sloca just emailed this response:

"Northeast liberals like Howard Dean obviously have no clue about the dramatic turnaround the state has made under Gov. Matt Blunt who helped restore the state to prosperity after years of Democrat neglect.

"Gov. Blunt’s promise to make fiscally responsible decisions has led to the lowest state unemployment rate in five years, helped put more Missourians to work than during any other time in state history and pushed state revenues well above expectations. This improvement in the quality of life for Missourians was accomplished without the kind of job-killing tax increases and reckless spending Democrats like Howard Dean, Claire McCaskill and other Democrat Party bosses continue to support.

" Howard Dean represents a radical liberal agenda that includes support for abortion and a cut-and-run strategy in Iraq. The more Howard Dean talks to Missourians the more he makes the point that Democrats are out of touch with Show Me State values."

Iowa Dems' early bird sale

The Iowa Democrat Party offered an early bird sale on their electronic voter file. The discounted sale price was $50,000. After the early bird sale, this same file list will cost would-be presidents $75,000.

Four possible candidates in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses took advantage of the discounted price: Sen. Christopher Dodd, CT; former Sen. John Edwards, NC; Governor Tom Vilsack, IA; and former Governor Mark Warner, VA.

Embryos to be sacrificed

The U.S. Senate approved killing embryos. The Senate approved the overturning of President Bush’s policy to only provide federal research funds to an existing number of stem cell lines. The Senate bill would enable more embryonic stem cells to be killed to create more lines for research. The following link is to the roll call vote.

Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) was a leading advocate for the legislation and appeared in a joint victory press conference with Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA). President Bush has promised to veto the bill.

House approves gay marriages

The U.S. House of Representatives failed to pass an amendment to the Constitution that would ban gay marriages. The following link to the roll call vote.

Vilsack to Denver

Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack is traveling to the DLC meeting in Denver this weekend.



click here  to read past Daily Reports



paid for by the Iowa Presidential Watch PAC

P.O. Box 171, Webster City, IA 50595

about us  /    /  homepage