Well, we knew we were right yesterday when we wrote
Hillary has built the best team nationally and is building the best team in Iowa. We have full confidence in the decisions Hillary and her team make and it is of no point to second guess them or read pigeon entrails to try to divine all the moves in this complicated three-dimensional chess game with such important consequences. We trust the Hillary Team because they have proven themselves worthy of that trust.
We didn’t realize confirmation of our wel placed trust would come so quickly, via the DesMoines Register. We’ll discuss the new DesMoines Register poll at the end, but first, George McGovern.
Yesterday, in Iowa, George McGovern endorsed Hillary Clinton. Iowans and George McGovern have a shared history.
George McGovern, then a South Dakota senator, successfully used the caucuses to gain attention for his campaign, and in so doing contributed to their growth as a national event. McGovern’s 1972 Iowa campaign received limited national coverage, but the caucuses had an impact on the race for the Democratic nomination by alerting the nation that the presidential candidacy of Maine Sen. Edmund Muskie was vulnerable. Although modest by current standards, significant attention by the news trendsetters — the New York Times and the Washington Post — and the post-caucus success of the McGovern campaign assured more extensive media attention and a larger role for the Iowa caucuses in succeeding years.
Iowans also are very anti Iraq war today as they were anti Vietnam war in 1972. McGovern was the son of a minister, and a war hero turned anti-Vietnam war leader:
He volunteered for the United States Army Air Forces during World War II and served as a B-24 Liberator bomber pilot in the Fifteenth Air Force, flying 35 missions over enemy territory from bases in North Africa and later Italy, often against heavy anti-aircraft artillery. McGovern was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for saving his crew by crash landing his damaged bomber on a small Mediterranean island. [snip]
Although he voted in favor of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, McGovern later became a strong critic of defense spending, and was an early and vocal opponent of U.S. military involvement in Vietnam, often criticizing the policies of President Lyndon Johnson.
McGovern was outspoken in his criticism of the Senate’s “war hawks”. During Senate floor debate in September 1970, he assailed his colleagues for not supporting an amendment that he had co-sponsored with Senator Mark Hatfield (R-Oregon) calling for a complete withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.
At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, McGovern stood as the anti-war flagbearer for some of the supporters of Sen. Robert Kennedy, who had been assassinated two months earlier while running for the nomination. Despite strong anti-war sentiment, McGovern lost the Presidential nomination to establishment candidate Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
Iowa Democrats who remember 1972, a huge chunk of the caucus vote, remember what happened next in the George McGovern story:
In the 1972 election, McGovern ran on a platform that advocated withdrawal from the Vietnam War in exchange for the return of American prisoners of war and amnesty for draft evaders who had left the country. McGovern’s platform also included an across-the-board, 37% reduction in defense spending over three years; and a “demogrant” program giving $1,000 to every citizen in America that was later dropped from the platform. In addition, McGovern supported ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. [snip]
In the general election, the McGovern/Shriver ticket suffered a 60%–38% defeat to Nixon — at the time, the second biggest landslide in American history, with Electoral College totals of 520 to 17. McGovern’s two electoral vote victories came in Massachusetts and DC; McGovern failed to win his home state of South Dakota.
McGovern has subsequently had a respected career as Senator, ambassador to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Agencies, and United Nations Global Ambassador on World Hunger by the World Food Program. In 2004 McGovern endorsed Wesley Clark for president.
It was during McGovern’s presidential campaign that the seeds were sown that led to the destruction of Richard Nixon. Watergate.
Many Iowa voters see McGovern as a hero, an anti-Vietnam war hero, and his endorsement will help Hillary in Iowa in 2008.
McGovern’s endorsement was not the only Hillary event in Iowa. Yesterday, also in Iowa, Hillary attended the Johnson County bar-be-que. Here is commenter Celiff’s account of the BBQ (oops, Obama was AWOL – again):
The Johnson County BBQ in Iowa City, Iowa was amazing. The food was great, the people were excited, and the atmosphere was energetic. As the crowds arrived, they were met with a barrage of campaign volunteers, from all of the campaigns, pushing supporter cards and stickers.
The line for Hillary Clinton’s booth stretched outside the hall, down the large ramp, and into the parking lot. A vast majority of the people there wore Hillary stickers. Hillary placards and a plate of a BBQ pork sandwich with beans filled the arms of so many people.
As the day went on, the candidates arrived and made their way to the main barn to give their speeches. The crowd sizes were interesting. Kucinich had a huge crowd. Edwards had a decently sized crowd as well. Those there to see Obama were presented with Forrest Whitaker, who drew a crowd slightly smaller than Bill Richardson’s. The big winner of the sign wars and the crowd size was Hillary Clinton.
She was introduced by George McGovern, professing his admiration for Hillary, and proudly endorsing her. Also there was Jim McGovern, the Massachusetts congressman. She electrified the crowd with a speech on Bush’s “War on Science” and on her memories of the Space Race and what we had accomplished. She also talked about women’s rights. After her speech, which was the last, she left going into the crowd, shaking hands, taking pictures and giving autographs.
When she left the barn, she took a picture with the Students For Hillary-University of Iowa Chapter, of which I am the President.
She then took a picture with some young boys, probably 9 or 10 years old, where she initiated and led the crowd in singing Happy Birthday to the little boy! That was personable. The boy left, saying “the President sang Happy Birthday to me!” No other candidate would have done that. She then stayed longer with supporters greeting them. Overall, it was clear at this BBQ who is number ONE in Iowa.
Our silly press corps meanwhile wants to misinform their readers as to what is happening in Iowa. They prefer their “insights” and coffee talk with Iowa participants all too willing to give the ‘reporters’ what they want to hear. The national press corps will continue to misinform their readers with amusing anecdotes, instead of explaining what is happening in Iowa as reflected in the latest scientific empirical evidence provided by scientifically conducted polls.
What is going on in Iowa? Reality based people want to know.
Hillary Clinton has climbed into first place in a new Des Moines Register poll of Iowans expected to participate in the state’s Democratic presidential caucuses, with John Edwards and Barack Obama both in striking distance.
The Iowa Poll shows 29 percent of likely caucusgoers preferring Clinton, a New York senator, an improvement from the Register’s most recent poll in May. [snip]
Clinton’s gain comes after a summer of campaigning in Iowa that included two trips with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and major policy speeches about Iraq and health care.
The new poll also shows Clinton picking up support while Edwards and Obama have sharpened their criticism of her. [snip]
The poll’s findings are in line with Iowa polls in the past month which have shown Clinton overtaking Edwards, who finished second in the 2004 caucuses and had led in Iowa polls earlier this year.
Clinton trailed Edwards by 8 percentage points and was neck-and-neck with Obama in the Register’s May poll.
Since then, she has expanded her campaign organization and joined her opponents in advertising on television in Iowa.
The race in Iowa remains fluid, but preferences have become firmer since May, with 53 percent of respondents saying they could be convinced to support someone else, down from 69 percent in May.
Among the roughly one-third of caucusgoers who say their minds are made up, Clinton is favored by 48 percent. [snip]
Clinton was viewed in the new poll as the strongest candidate on more key traits than her opponents, even as they have stepped up their critique of her.
Those traits include leadership, experience, toughness, intelligence and electability.
Clinton also was the preferred Democrat among caucusgoers 55 years and older, the most dependable age group for showing up to past caucuses. [snip]
In July and August, Edwards and Obama began attacking Clinton more while campaigning in Iowa, describing her as too connected to Washington, D.C., and unwilling to challenge foreign policy convention.
Edwards support declined by 6 percentage points since the May poll. Part of the decline was in union households, where Edwards led in May but where Clinton had the lead in the new poll. [snip]
Our bet is still that Hillary will win the Iowa caucuses because she is building the organization and speaking with voters. More and more the evidence is coming in that we are right.