Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


March 19, 2006

"This was an operation to achieve military aims. This was not a PR exercise," Lieutenant Colonel Edward Loomis, spokesman for the 101st Airborne Division, said about the latest Iraqi/United States military operation in that country.

"More fighting and sacrifice will be required to achieve this victory, and for some, the temptation to retreat and abandon our commitments is strong," President Bush said in his weekly radio address on the eve of the third anniversary of invading Iraq.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


War protests a dud

The news coming in from across the nation on the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq is that the much ballyhooed war protest gatherings fizzled with a surprisingly low turnout Ė given the low approval rates for the war in the polls.

. With a lack of unity, the anti-war movement could only hope their message of impeach Bush, Bush lied, and sing Kum-bi-ah would catch on as hundreds came out in city after city across America.

Meanwhile, national news on their Sunday talk shows pointed time after time to the fact that support for the war was in the low 40ís. The setup Sunday on the shows:

1.      Have a high-ranking military official to point out that there is a lot more good news than is being reported,

2.      Bring on a leading congressional Democrat who would say it canít be so,

3.      Conclude with the talking heads saying it canít last with Bushís poll numbers as low as they are.

Harkin joins Feingold

U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, became the first Democrat to join colleague Russ Feingold, D-Wis., in urging that President Bush be censured over the domestic wiretapping controversy.

"He broke the law and I donít believe any president ought to be above the law," Harkin told Iowa reporters.

Sen. Harkinís Congressional carreer is noted for having supported giving American foreign aide to such communist countries as Pol Potís Cambodia, Communist Vietnam, Castroís Cuba and other countries as well. He also went with Sen. John Kerry to meet with communist dictator Daniel Ortega and was present in the negotiations of an unauthorized treaty with the communists.

New Hampshire beat

Campaigning in New Hampshire on the eve of Americaís invasion of Iraq were two very opposite candidates for president. According to the Associated Press Mitt Romney was offering praise for President Bushís policy of fighting the terrorists abroad:

"Fortunately we have a president who recognizes how severe this threat is and realizes we have to wage war against such tactics and such a vision," he said.

The other individual in New Hampshire was Democrat Wesley Clark who some Clintonistas thought they could coat tail to the nomination in 2004. However, his hopes have not been completely dashed by his dismal showing in 2004:

"If we pull out before there's stability in Iraq, before there's been peacemaking between the Sunnis and the Shi'as, I do think the likelihood is we'll have deeper conflict and it will become regional in scale."

Nelson with McCain

Iowa native Terry Nelson is being reported by the Associated Press as the new senior adviser to Straight Talk America Ė Sen. John McCain's PAC. The AP is reporting that several individuals spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt an announcement by McCain's committee.

Nelson, who served as the head of the Republican Iowa Senate caucus staff, first gained recognition with Congressman Jim Nussleís campaign. Following this service, he was the political director of the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee. Most recently, he was the political director of the 2004 Bush/Cheney campaign.

Recently his name was attached to the accusation of laundering money in the Republican campaign to elect legislators in the State of Texas to redraw the congressional election districts. Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay is facing trial in this matter.

The allegation is that DeLay raised soft money that did not have to follow the campaign contribution guidelines and then Nelson sent hard money from the national committee back to Texas.

Sen. John McCain is the co-author of the current campaign finance law that most recognize as having created the largest campaign dollar loopholes in the history of regulated campaigns.

Wrapping themselves in the flag

Democrats plan on wrapping themselves in the flag in the upcoming Easter recess, according to the Washington Times:

Senate Democrats have mapped a political battle plan for the March congressional recess that calls on lawmakers to stage press events with active duty military personnel, veterans and emergency responders to bash President Bush on virtually every one of his national security policies.

The game plan, devised by the office of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, is contained in a six-page memo distributed to Democratic senators on Thursday at a closed-door meeting at the Capitol and provided to The Washington Times by a congressional staffer.

Titled "Real Security," the political document calls for staged town hall events at military bases, weapons factories, National Guard units, fire stations and veterans posts.

More Iowa news

The Washington Post reports that Terry Nelsonís move to Sen. John McCain's campaign isnít the only personnel news happening with Iowans:

Pete Jeffries is leaving the private sector to serve as senior counsel to the gubernatorial campaign of Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa). In that position, Jeffries will be charged with "strategic planning, policy development and external outreach," according to a document detailing the position. Jeffries spent eight years on Capitol Hill as communications director for House Speaker Dennis Hastert (Ill.), leaving last year to take a position as head of Hill & Knowlton's public policy practice in Washington, D.C. Jeffries is no stranger to the Hawkeye state, having attended the University of Iowa during his collegiate years. He is planning to move back to the state for the campaign. By doing so, Jeffries significantly boosts his value to 2008 GOP presidential candidates looking for an experienced communicator who also knows the ins and outs of Iowa.

John Edwards

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) was in Iowa once again. The Des Moines Register started their report on Edwards' visit to central Iowa with the fact that he recently was in Louisiana:

"Not a one," Edwards told about 150 people at a Democratic fundraiser Saturday night in Ankeny. "I never saw anybody working, I never saw anybody monitoring what was going on. It's now been months since this flooding and this hurricane occurred.

"This is a failure of presidential leadership."

Much of the Democrats' message of the week -- "Bush is incompetent" -- was contained in Edwards' speech in Iowa:

"It's not just a void in moral leadership here at home," he said. "There's a void in America's moral leadership in the world."

George Allen

Sen. George Allen (R-VA) was the keynote speaker at a Davenport fund-raiser for the Iowa GOP on Saturday night. A check of the news shows the Quad City News not reporting on the speech. Allen is considered a Washington insiders' favorite. This is one of the first visits to Iowa by Allen.


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