Presidential Campaign

Presidential Campaign


Here's what we know about Friday in Iowa: That noise we'll hear is the "giant sucking sound" of the candidates, advisers, reporters and other tourists getting out of Fort Dodge and all the other hick towns. It'll be time to say goodbye to the white people of this unrepresentative state and move on to the white people of equally unrepresentative New Hampshire.

What we don't know yet is the results in Iowa. What we do know is that each candidate's advisers have prepared talking points for any outcome:

Edwards: Too Cute by Half

John Edwards may very well win Iowa. He has a strong organization, four years in the making, and a message that goes to the anger and frustration of many voters.

His central theme is that Washington is corrupt. Lobbyists and money control the process. He alone can fight it and fix it.

Even if you accept that this rather over-arching, simplistic notion has some merit, Edwards is probably not the best one to be making the argument.

Sam Nunn, Chuck Hagel, Mike Bloomberg for President?

Here is my first mega-prediction of the new year: There will be a major and high-powered movement in our national politics for a national unity government that might, or might not, include an independent presidential candidacy.

On Jan. 7 there will be a summit meeting called by former Sens. Sam Nunn and David Boren to set the stage for a national unity government. This meeting will include a galaxy of highly respected national figures including leading Democrats and Republicans such as Chuck Hagel, John Danforth, Bob Graham, Jim Leach, Susan Eisenhower, Alan Dixon and others beyond the visible leaders Nunn, Boren, Hagel and New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg.


In case you missed it, more surrogates for the powerful, disciplined, meticulous Team Clinton continue speaking out of school. Turns out Billy Shaheen isn't the only one who went off-script ...

A couple days ago I read that Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio said that beginning the presidential race in Iowa just "makes no sense," and that he hopes both parties will say "We're going to bring this to an end." Clinton just featured Strickland in weekend rallies in Iowa to hint she could win the battleground state in a general election, because he has endorsed her. It's a stretch, but that's another matter.

What Gore, Clinton and Democrats Can Learn from Benazir Bhutto

Benazir Bhutto was no angel, but she was a believer in democracy who gave her life for her country, retuning to Pakistan knowing she would probably give her life for her country.

By contrast, Democrats in Washington have a life crisis, consult an army of pollsters, and have trouble taking clear leadership stands on war and peace because members of a Congress with record unpopularity might lose another point or two in the polls.

Slim Pickins

I am so glad I don't live in Iowa or New Hampshire.  I will not have to make my choice between Democrats ...

Mitt's Missteps

Today and yesterday, two key final days before the first primary contest of the '08 presidential election, were awful for Mitt Romney. He was once the front-runner in Iowa and New Hampshire — states he hoped would provide him victories and a bounce to the nomination — but now Romney is fighting for survival with Hawkeye voters polling for Mike Huckabee and Granite State voters choosing John McCain in even numbers.

This morning Robert Novak predicted McCain would be the last man standing since all the other candidates are faltering and referred to Romney as plastic." Yesterday Huckabee dressed up in orange hunting gear, complete with goofy hat, to contrast himself in the Iowa snow as a real hunter who had indeed hunted varmint, hunted everything, his whole life. Huckabee embarrassed himself by straining a macho posture — "See, that's what happens when you get in my way," he said, displaying three dead birds. It was painful but the deed was done, the media reminded everyone who read about it that Romney pretended to be a lifelong hunter and had to take it back, that he thought the National Rifle Association had endorsed him when in fact it had not. "Mitt Romney won't own up to his own words, but he wants to challenge everyone else's," Huckabee said, holding his dead. You get the picture.

Time For Obama-Edwards Alliance For Change

With Al Gore out of the race, I propose that in the Iowa caucus supporters of Barack Obama, John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich fire the shot that will be heard around the world and vote for Iowa delegates committed to change the world.

In each local caucus, the caucus-goers can unite behind the leader in that locality with a shared delegate slate that would include supporters of Edwards, Obama and Kucinich.

The headline out of the caucus would be: "Iowa fires the cannon for change," and my hope is that at some point, Obama and Edwards could come together in a formal alliance or ticket with either one at the top.

Numbers Game

Momentum will play a huge role in the Republican primary process. Unless, of course, it doesn’t.

Rudy Giuliani is hoping for confusion to reign in the early primaries. He figures he can pounce on the big states, after the first primaries split. This strategy looks smart. Unless it isn’t.

Mitt Romney is hoping for a slingshot effect, after he wins Iowa and New Hampshire. Unless he doesn’t.