The Game In Iowa

The Iowa caucuses are on January 3, 2008. Unless New Hampshire moves its own primary to sometime in December 2007, Iowa will be the first contest for the Democratic nomination.

Many non-Iowans are frustrated at what appears to be a tight contest in Iowa. Many wish Iowans would make a decisive shift for one candidate or another. The only ones who do not want a clear victor right now, are – Iowans. Iowans know they have more than 40 days in which to decide on the candidate they will support. Why should they rush?

Iowans will take their time quite simply because they have the time. Any lawyer who has waited until the last minute to finalize a brief, any student waiting until the last minute to finish a term paper, any holiday shopper procrastinating until the very last minutes to buy those gifts should know why Iowans will decide when Iowans decide to decide. Besides, Iowans wisely know that as long as the race is close, Iowa benefits.

Flag of Iowa

Many dollars will be spent in Iowa. Iowa hotels, Iowa waitresses, Iowa car services, Iowa gas stations, Iowa sign makers, Iowa restaurants, Iowa newspapers and Iowa television stations will all make a lot of money as long as Iowans appear to dither. But Iowans are not dithering. Iowans are enjoying their role as major decisions makers. The other 49 states can complain, the campaigns may be frustrated, candidate supporters may be jumpy and tense. But for this election cycle once again, Iowans are taking their sweet time looking at the merchandise over and over and over again. The more frustrated the salesman gets, the happier the Iowan. It’s a buyers market.

Hillary supporters in Iowa are working harder as the weather gets colder. For months Hillary has been in the lead in Iowa but Hillary is not resting. No whining from the hard working campaign in Iowa. The climate for a Hillary victory therefore is getting warmer.

EMILY’s List and AFSCME are just now beginning their efforts in Iowa on behalf of Hillary. Our allies are on the march. Today the New York Times writes about the rising Hillary efforts in Iowa:

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has nearly doubled the size of her staff in Iowa and has substantially increased her advertising here as her campaign reinforces its effort to prevent Democrats from coalescing around a single alternative to her candidacy. [snip]

Seldom will a day go by, aides said, when either she or former President Bill Clinton will not be on some patch of Iowa soil trying to solidify her support and win over an unusually high number of uncommitted voters.

We’re going to begin using all the assets we have,” said Tom Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa who serves as co-chairman of the Clinton campaign. “We haven’t been bashful about asking for the moon here.” [snip]

The maneuvering here is critical, because Mrs. Clinton’s aides, along with many Democrats not associated with her campaign, believe that her momentum will be difficult to slow if she wins in Iowa; polls suggest that she is strong in New Hampshire. The Clinton campaign has been flying in operatives from across the country to bolster the Iowa effort. [snip]

While the Obama and Edwards campaigns have been gradually building for months toward this moment, the Clinton campaign has bolstered its activity here in recent weeks, hiring 100 new workers to concentrate on a person-to-person drive to explain the quirky process of the caucuses, with a goal of having 50,000 in-home visits by Christmas.

More than 60 percent of those who have identified themselves as Clinton supporters, senior strategists say, have never participated in the Iowa caucuses. It is a far higher share than the campaign had been anticipating, which suggests that many of the reliable rank-and-file Democrats have chosen another candidate. So the Clinton campaign is working to expand its universe of supporters to women who have never participated.

“No one is going to give Hillary Clinton this nomination,” said Terry McAuliffe, the national chairman of her campaign, who has traveled to Iowa nearly once a week for months. “She’s going to have to earn it.”

By this week, the Clinton campaign had completed opening 34 offices across the state, arriving in many cities more than two months behind the local operatives for Mr. Obama or Mr. Edwards. Last week, the Clinton campaign’s national headquarters sent a top communications operative to Iowa and hired eight deputies charged solely with drumming up media coverage in smaller cities across the state.

The campaign also began running radio advertisements and significantly increased its television commercials, spending $360,000 last week compared with $260,000 two weeks ago.

Get it? Time to Work – Not Whine. Let’s support all the hard working Hillary supporters, like our own Celiff, working hard in cold, buyer’s market, Iowa.

The Iowa Game Chart

Let’s also support the hard working Hillary Team. They know what is going on. The Hillary Team knows all about the attempted smears coming out of the Obama and Edwards campaigns. The Obama and Edwards campaign are running a Ripublican talking points campaign against Hillary. But the Hillary Team is not whining – they fight back with the facts:

* * *

Protect the Iowa Caucuses

* * *

Celiff sounded the alarm on in the early morning hours of October 4, 2007. Senator Chris Dodd wrote a statement for Democratic candidates to take a Pledge on November 11, 2007. Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Joe Biden were the first to take the Pledge. The other candidates (except Bill Richardson) took the Pledge.

Good that all candidates have taken the Pledge. But let’s have some verification procedures for caucus night.

From The Hotline quoting Senator Dodd’s Iowa State Director Julie Andreeff Jensen:

Dodd IA dir. Julie Andreeff Jensen sent a 11/8 letter to the IA dirs. of the other ’08 Dem camps, calling for each “to sign a pledge stating that none of their staff or volunteers who have come from out-of-state to work” in IA “will attempt to caucus or be counted as a caucus-goer” on 1/3/08.

Andreeff Jensen, in the letter: “I’m sure we can all agree that the Iowa caucuses are unique and belong to the people of Iowa. As staff, we are fortunate to be a part of the process but should not interfere with the process itself. Therefore, I ask that each of you sign this pledge in good faith on behalf of your campaign to preserve the integrity of the Iowa caucus process and to ensure that caucus night truly reflects the decisions made by Iowans and not people from out-of-state” (release, 11/8).

Why do we need proactive steps to protect the Iowa Caucuses?

At the recent Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner in Iowa there were so many Chicagoans bused in by the Obama campaign that Senator Biden greeted them by saying “Hello Chicago”. Reportedly thousands of Obama supporters were imported to Iowa that night. The Iowa caucuses should not be outsourced to Chicago politics.

Celiff, a 19 year old college student in Iowa, alerted us on October 4. Celiff noted the 3 day registration period for the Iowa caucuses and informed us the Obama campaign will be busing in non-Iowa supporters – 3 day’s before the caucuses!

Oct 15, 10:43 PM: We just had our first students-for meeting, and we have an energized crew of youngins. I told them about the Big Pink, and also told them that Edwards’s national campaign IS Iowa, and Obama is going to bus in kids from Chicago 3 days before the caucuses (which may backfire because the caucuses are going to be moving to the 3rd, which would put the day of departure on New Year’s Eve; kids are partyin’ on New Year’s Eve), so we have to get native Iowans to actually go out and caucus, because the other “candidates” have no chance in the general (I can’t believe, according to a map I saw posted from Hillaryhub, that Edwards loses us New York in the general!). I told them about the fundraising, the latest polls, the latest endorsements, and Joe Wilson will be here in IC on Wednesday on behalf of Hillary (: I think we are going to dominate this caucus.

Confirmation of the lax registration procedures for the Iowa caucuses came in a video released by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Those who caucus in Iowa should have their process respected. The campaigns of all the Democratic candidates should take affirmative steps to make sure the Iowa caucuses are respected.

Pledges are fine. Affirmative steps will be needed to protect the Iowa caucuses. As Obama hero Ronald Reagan used to say about the Soviet Union: Trust but verify.

Oct 29, 5:57 PM — I don’t remember this being a problem, but with a top tier candidate with plenty of resources right next door in Illinois, I am a little worried.

Desperate campaigns do desperate things. The Chicago campaign is desperate. Let’s get some proactive procedures to preserve the integrity of the Iowa caucuses.


139 thoughts on “The Game In Iowa

  1. Christina Bellantoni at WashTimes 11/17/07: “Obama staffers in California: ‘Road trip to Iowa'”

    … One woman told the Obama fans from California to “Get in your car, and do a road trip.” “Get some Doritos and get some Diet Coke, and you can head to Iowa December 26 because election day is January 3,” she said.

    She didn’t explain what the supporters were supposed to do when they arrived to the Hawkeye State after drinking all that Diet Coke, but it invokes Howard Dean’s “Deaniacs” – including many young voters from other states who descended on Iowa and turned off some caucus-goers.

    Another Obama supporter reminded the California crowd that “Nevada votes Jan. 19” and “You can go there.” “You can impact that race,” he said.

    It’s an interesting concept, but came right on the heels of accusations the Obama campaign stuffed the Jefferson Jackson Dinner in Iowa with Chicago-based supporters. The campaign completely denies this, but Obama’s rivals all made mention of the friendly crowd.

    Sen. Joe Biden made light of it, first greeting Iowa during his dinner speech and then gesturing to the balcony to greet Chicago. The next day on the campaign trail in Onawa, Iowa, Biden quipped that he would nave done it too if he had the money to buy tickets for his supporters.

    A blogger noted recently he spotted Chicagoans signing people up for a bus trip to Iowa as “some kind of political trip” and later learned it was for Obama supporters to go to the dinner.


    And a blogger over at Iowa Independent noticed the applause got louder when Obama mentioned his experience from Chicago.

    – –

    Bellantoni ends by referencing Chase Martyn’s comments about HRC supporters at the JJ …. merging that with the concept of BO’s bringing in ringers to vote in the Iowa caucus.

  2. I swear his campaign is being run by Republicans – just like they did with Al Sharpton. I joke about Obama being Hillary’s tool to end Edwards’ campaign but sometimes it seems like Obama is a mole from another planet slipped in to chaos-ify the Democratic primary process.

    Creepy. If the Democratic party nomination is clouded by kids being bussed in from Chicago, it’s going to make all of the charges around 2000 and 2004 election look trivial. It’s going to justify all of the Republican accusations about Gore and Kerry.

  3. The final strech is coming close. Hopefully, Hillary and her team in Iowa will step up their game a couple of notches. They need all the support we can give them this last six weeks.

  4. BTW, if you haven’t read Goldberry’s The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pantsuit over at Daily Kos, you should get over there and rec it up immediately. Fantastic piece of writing. Should be a classic over at Hillary Hub.

  5. Iowa will do everything they can do to prevent a woman from winning the Iowa caucus. They will let everyone from the state of Illinois caucus.

  6. Are you sure about that hwc??

    Because my initial feeling about this is that, if I was an Iowan(are they called that?) I would feel pissed off having some out of state people coming in to ‘my’ state to choose on ‘our’ behalf!!

    That would almost make me pissed off enough about ‘their’ candidate, and more inclined to vote in another direction….

    I wish the media would pick up on this and confront Obama on this. It may not be illegal, but that doesn’t mean it is a good thing. People should be angry and offended by this. They will see Obama is out there playing ‘not so clean’.

  7. By the way, this is a very cute video clip of Hillary, a little while back when she was making a speech about alternative energy and she lost her voice. I had read about it but hadn’t seen a video of it, until now.

    She’s very cute and funny in this one.

    Also, I’m sure you’ve read about a heckler from code pink who showed up during a energy forum when Hillary was speaking, a brief video of that can be viewed here:

  8. Also, if anyone has anyway of ‘capturing’ or downloading this first video clip, I would love it, or see it elsewhere on youtube or something. I want to keep this. (I download and save all kinds of stuff for when I get old, I’m nostalgic! 🙂 )

  9. “Are you sure about that hwc??”

    I just think it’s important to remind Iowa that it is lumped with Mississippi as the only two states who have never elected a woman to a major office. It’s important for Iowa Democrats to really examine why that is, especially when it comes to their own votes.

    I think it will take a “perfect storm” to elect the first female President: a unique candidate with unique star quality, unique experience, and unique qualifications. We’ve got that perfect storm in a rockstar female candidate: Hillary Clinton. If we blow the opportunity, I strongly believe it will be at least fifty more years before there is another legitimate shot to break the all-boys club of Presidential politics.

  10. terrondt:

    If you think about it, Iowa’s polls are exactly the same as the national polls with one difference:

    Half of the Democrats who support Hillary nationally can’t vote for a woman in Iowa because their husbands won’t give them permission. Take that half away from Hillary and give them to the old white dude candidate and, voila, a three-way tie.

  11. I agree that it’s now or (never) a really long time till next opportunity comes along. And in my biased world, there will never be anyone like Hillary!

    But a short time ago when Hillary in an interview I believe, expressed a slight shock over hearing that Iowa had never elected a woman, and she brought up comparisons to Mississippi. It brought about a backlash, and she was forced to apologize.

    I just think this can go either way, now should we bully Iowans into voting for her, by calling them out on being sexist bigots?(using harsh words lightly here folks,I’m not angry)
    Or should we nudge them slightly by pointing out Obamas lame ass attempt to override their power? I think the latter is a safer choice, not risking any angry backlash on Hillary.

  12. You are probably right. It’s just not my blogger style. When it is so obvious what the deal is in Iowa, I can’t let the “progressive” voters in Iowa, especially the “progressive” women, off the hook. I’m trying to force them to confront the issue. I mean, my god, lumped with Mississippi? They must surely be ashamed.

    BTW, no matter what happens, Iowa should get a July caucus date in 2012. It’s just absurd that the entire Democratic Party kisses Iowa’s ass only to have 90% of the registered voters be too apathetic to even bother voting. Remember, we are kissing off 27 electoral college votes in Florida to plant that big juicy smooch on Iowa’s pasty white behind.

  13. I love the story Hillary tells when out campaigning, about how her mother all those years blanked out her husbands republican vote, only voiced in the voting booth!

    I don’t think for a second that women will vote their husbands way, they might ‘agree’ with them around the dinner table, but this is where it ends. I would even give this benefit of doubt to the last remaining (probably republican) Stepford wifes out there.

    I think Iowans are used to holding off on who they will vote for until election day, just to make it a bit more interesting and keeping focus on Iowa, as admin points out.

    But how different from the rest of the country can they possibly be?? When deciding they have got to decide on Hillary, I mean, really!!! Maybe they can start their own country and the united states can go back to being 49 states….

  14. You make a good point about how Iowa voting first, impacts the voting turnout in the rest of the country.
    If everyone felt that their vote actually mattered, THEY WOULD VOTE!!

    But seeing as everyone(MSM) is playing up the importance of the state, it is easy to become empathic, and how then gather up the will to go out in the cold to go vote when it’s already ‘decided’ who will be the nominee?
    (although I’ve never understood how anyone else votes makes me want to change my long held belief as to whom I want to support)

    I feel your frustration with them tho, but I guess as they say, only time(evolution 😉 ) will do the trick….

  15. is iowa a secret ballot? i believe nationally millions of women and REPUBLICAN women will vote for hillary dispite their husbands.

  16. hwc have been touting this iowa issue for a while and she has a point. i find it so strange and wierd iowa is sooo against the national grain. something is very wrong there. it is more than just not liking hillary. it is disturbing.

  17. Yeah…I agree….. But I just get depress when thinking about it, and admin asked us to stop whining and get to it! So, I digress. Go ‘real’ progressive Iowans!! And keep up the good work celiff.

    Whatever is going on in that state tho, I sure hope (and believe) the clinton team has a plan for it, they must have a plan to counter Obamas lame attempt….He needs to be exposed for what he is/doing.

  18. hi all,

    I agree with you guys’ analysis. Based on all indicators, I personally believe this is a hopless state for Hillary. I think the best thing in politics is to prepare for the worst. I have already lowered my expectations. The best scenario I have for this state is that all top three candidates to lump together at around 30% in the final tally. I’m kind of concerned about second choices, so even if Clinton has a 5 points lead into caucus night, she can still finish anywhere from 3rd to 1st.

    If clinton has a 20+ lead in NH while going into IA, as long as all three candidates are relatively close in IA, She will at least squeak out a win in NH. I really don’t care about IA, NH to me is key. Obama’s high tax liberal positions do not seem to garner him much support among independents. Hopefully, Ron Paul and McCain will further lure independents into GOP side.

    I think Obama will get lots of help from MSM, that’s why I’m ready for a brutal nomination battle.

    BTW, CNN has been playing this debate for a million of times. It’s already Sunday, and they’re still playing it. LOL.

  19. Shhh. Don’t tell anyone, but I really think that Clinton will win Iowa and win it rather convincingly. It’s going to be so much sweeter if expectations are such that that the Obama/Edwards supporters believe she has no chance. I’m sadistic like that. So, I’m just playing along with the Obama/Edwards fans.

    As much as I rail against Iowa, they also have a history of voting for whomever is perceived to be the most moderate establishment Democrat in the race. Look at how they kicked Howard Dean to the curb.

  20. BTW, I’m trying to promote a narrative by always referring to Hillary’s competition as the Obama/Edwards campaign. If anyone wants to help out, I would appreciate it. The more we can set the narrative of those two ganging up on Hillary, the better…plus we want them to continue splitting the anti-Hillary vote.

  21. BTW,

    We all know the importance of the second choices of second-tier candidates such as Richardson/Biden. I think these votes will be a kingmaker due to this 15% threshold rule. A recent poll from CBS/NYT seemd to suggest Edwards/Obama had an edge and Clinton was far behind. I believe it’s Edwards 30, Obama 27, Clinton 14.

    However, don’t panic yet! Yepsen mentioned in a Nov 8th article disclosing some interesting tidbits in that revered DesMoinesRegister poll back in Oct.

    Of course, all this assumes the caucus-goers would follow the dictates of some private deal cut elsewhere. They won’t. They have minds of their own, and that’s where it is useful to look at the second choices they express to pollsters.

    I asked Register pollster Ann Selzer to reallocate the second choices of those candidates who didn’t have 15 percent. She found Obama gains 4 percentage points, Clinton picks up 3 points, Edwards wins 2 more, and the uncommitteds gain 6.

    That means our statewide Iowa caucus would now have Clinton winning with 32 percent, Obama in second with 26, Edwards in third with 25 percent apiece and 17 percent uncommitted.

    Clinton would still win Iowa. And that’s still the scenario the boys can’t allow to have happen.

  22. You are right, hwc. Keep the expectations low. On whichever blog you post, repeat this:

    “Clinton was never supposed to win Iowa. She was supposed to come in third here.”

    It is also true, actually like Taylor Marsh pointed out. Clinton’s team knew Iowa will be extremely hard.

  23. JOHN L. SMITH: Clinton proves to be anything but the damsel in the debate

    The Broadway musical “Cats” didn’t make it in Las Vegas, but “Catty Shack” was a smash hit Thursday night in the Democratic debate.

    Political pundits were sure front-runner Hillary Clinton would be attacked by her closest rivals and that she would have to engage the issues and not just talk around them. But she surprised many by toying with one opponent and batting down another. While Clinton purred, Barack Obama chased his tail, and John Edwards coughed up a nicely coiffed hairball.

    Obama set himself up for a fall by asserting early that America needs “straight answers to tough questions,” but failed to land on his feet when asked whether he favored granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

    Instead of giving a straight answer to an anticipated question, Obama sounded like Porky Pig attempting to explain the nuances of astrophysics. By the end of his convoluted spiel, I didn’t know whether he favored those licenses or had lost his car in the parking lot. Th-th-th-that’s all, folks!

    If he’s lucky, Obama will have to spend only a week or so explaining what he actually meant to say before he went into auctioneer overdrive.

    I believe Obama’s mistake won’t soon be forgotten because it fractured his seemingly unflappable political persona. In a moment that seemed to last five minutes, he was exposed as a gifted intellect who was more sound bite and fury than significant leader. He stammered and waffled and was suddenly bereft of the silky rhetorical cadence that has served him so well.

    Political beard strokers scoffed at the gravity of the question, but they missed its importance to many U.S. voters who feel betrayed by politicians who have refused to meaningfully address the issue of illegal immigration. For many working-class Americans, that question is one-part policy decision, one-part loyalty oath.

    New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson proved that a thoughtful argument could be made for a yes answer. In his best moment of the night, Richardson explained that as governor he signed a bill allowing illegal immigrants in his state to carry a driver’s license. The result was better drivers, a lower fatality rate on the roads, higher insurance coverage and even lower insurance rates.

    You can answer yes. You can answer no. But if you need hundreds of words to answer, you ought not set yourself up as Mr. Straight Talk.

    Clinton, who fumbled on the question a week ago, answered with a simple, “No.” And that only accentuated Obama’s garbled response.

    Fortunately for Obama, Edwards was at the debate. Edwards also took swipes at Clinton, but he clung to the usual clichés that she “continues to defend a system that is broken, that is rigged and is corrupt.” Edwards, a former U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate, has been courting that system for years. Clinton deftly deflected Edwards’ generalizations, remained on message, and watched as he nearly imploded on a question he wasn’t even invited to answer.

    When Clinton was asked whether she was playing the gender card, she calmly explained: “People are not attacking me because I’m a woman. They’re attacking me because I’m ahead.”

    At one point, Edwards seized the airwaves and sucked much of the energy and oxygen out of the room by rambling on about fairness. He said nothing either memorable or clever, and his empty rhetoric only made him look more desperate.

    The best part is, it all happened in Las Vegas.

    Thursday’s Democratic debate provided a national stage for UNLV, Las Vegas, and Nevada. The setting was ideal for a debate that proved not only exciting, but also important. Yes, the debate was actually important.

    When the history of the Democratic campaign is written, I believe Clinton’s Las Vegas turning point will be mentioned prominently. It was here she emerged as a candidate capable of deflecting criticism without appearing defensive. It was here two of her opponents shrank stammering and sniveling before the eyes of the nation.

    Before Las Vegas, Clinton’s debate performances had been tepid, almost phoned-in. She’s been so scripted and played it so safe it was easy to tell she was more interested in not screwing up than in winning.

    That changed on a dazzling night in Las Vegas. Who could have predicted Hillary Clinton would be the coolest cat of all?

    Her opponents had better hope they have some lives left.

  24. I agree. I am going to assume Hillary will lose Iowa. I think she has two factors against her. The gender hurdle, and also Iowans are international isolationists.

  25. Edwards’ ‘plant’ site was taken out. A few days ago, somebody wrote on dailykos that one of her/his relatives in Iowa is Edwards’ precinct capital. She was mad as hell about that ‘plant’ site, and thought it’s just too negative, she complained to Edwards’ Iowa campaign, but got dismissed immediately. That woman is now considering to switch to Clinton or Biden. I guess that’s the reason ‘plant’ was taken out.

  26. So we these be like kids from Il who are students in Iowa? I wonder if he could really win Iowa. He really lacks political seasoning.

  27. AmericanGal:

    It looks to me that Obama’s folks got this story planted by Novak so that they could take shots at Hillary. They are disgusting slimeballs. Unfortunately, the big media is in his corner and regurgitating his statements.

  28. I first want to compliment Celiff (although he may not think so). I never guessed he was only 19. I mean nothing patronizing by this except that his maturity and involvement belies his relative youth.

    I’m almost old enough to be his great-grandmother so it’s reassuring to see people of his generation not dismissing politics as uncool.

    Now, about Iowa. Let me reiterate. I think the constant prognostication that Obama will or might win is great. Expectations are low for HRC, getting higher and higher for Obama. Secondly, although the polls have yo-yoed for months, from 2 to 10 points, HRC has had the lead in all of the latest (5 or 6) That isn’t as close as the one poll — the closest — they keep referring to. Also, if Hillary does as well in NH as she shows now, Iowa won’t matter. Does anyone on this board work in NH?

    I’ll say it again — keep it close in Iowa, win NH, and we’ll get Nevada. (BTW, one poll had her at 50%, but two had her at 39% — I think that’s closer). BTW, have you noticed that pundits now talk about the possibility (even probability) that Obama wins Iowa, and then can come close in NH, and then could turn it all around in SC. Talk about trying desperately to make a horse race! Nevada is never mentioned in that scenario.

    Hi ho! Hi ho! It’s off to work we go!

  29. Oh man, CNN has been using Vegas debate to fill in their air time for three days in a row. They’re playing it again. Gosh, this is mean…

  30. admin-
    this 3 day rule in Iowa has the attention of one of Hillary’s co-chairs-congresswoman jackson lee in houston. can u email whatever u have on this matter? Im asking her to address this with the Iowa party, dnc etc…

  31. DES MOINES — Whispers that supporters of presidential candidates might sneak over the Iowa border to participate in the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses have been heard around the state in recent weeks.

    But party officials say it’s unlikely that would occur without detection.

    Mary Tiffany, spokeswoman for the Republican Party of Iowa, doubts voters will try to abuse the system or commit fraud on caucus night, and said it would quickly come to light if a campaign tried to do so.

    “It’s worked for the past 30 years,” Tiffany said of the current system.

    Some have quietly expressed concern that Democrat Barack Obama’s supporters from his home state of Illinois would try to help him out by participating in the Iowa caucuses.

    Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor shoots down that idea that Obama supporters will cross the border to caucus for him.

    “We have made clear to all of our supporters that we absolutely condemn any attempt to fraudulently influence the caucuses. We hope all other campaigns will follow suit,” Vietor said.

    The campaign for White House contender Chris Dodd has encouraged the other Democratic candidates to pledge that out-of-state campaign volunteers and staff members would not participate in the caucuses.

    “It was important for us to really make sure that everyone understands the Iowa caucuses are intended to be for Iowans,” said Dodd spokeswoman Taylor West.

    Former state Democratic chairman Gordon Fischer remembers back to the 2004 caucuses when the other campaigns were concerned candidate Howard Dean would bus in supporters from other states to caucus for him, a fear that proved to be unfounded.

    Fischer, an Obama backer, said because the Democratic caucuses are attended by neighbors who know each other, they would be hard to infiltrate.

    “It can’t happen, and it’s not going to happen, for a whole long laundry list of reasons, ” Fischer said.

    Carrie Giddins, spokeswoman for the Iowa Democratic Party, said to participate in the party’s caucuses, the person must be a registered Democrat in the precinct in which they wish to participate.

    Voters can register on caucus night.

    Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro said voter registration cards filled out that night will be turned over to county auditors, the local election official.

    The auditors will process those registrations and most will mail out voter identification cards. If a card came back undeliverable, that could alert the auditor to a potential problem.

    Columnist Dan Savage was prosecuted after claiming a Des Moines hotel as his residence in the 2000 Iowa caucuses. A judge sentenced Savage to a year of probation, 50 hours of community service and a $750 fine.

    According to the attorney general’s office, a person commits registration fraud if he or she submits a voter registration application known to be false, including a false claim that he or she is an Iowa resident.

    The voter could be charged with election misconduct in the first degree, a class D felony, which is punishable by a fine of up to $7,500 and up to five years in prison.

  32. I fully expect that Obama will bring in supporters to campaign for him, just as he brought them in last week for the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

    But if those out of state supporters also attempt to vote in the caucuses, then that would be voter fraud, would it not?

    If that is a real possibility, then why isn’t it preventable by simply matching voter lists and personal identification at the time of caucus?

    Surely they have a procedure in place for that.

  33. Belay my last. The Hillarylandrocks posting which I did not see before confirms what I suspected. Even so, it is good to be vigiilant, because in every jurisdiction at one time or another voter fraud has been known to happen.

  34. wbboei, as the article posted by HillaryLandRocks states “Voters can register on caucus night.”

    The Obama and Edwards campaigns are relying, as they themselves state, on a “slingshot” effect after Iowa to propel them to victory in New Hampshire. What these campaigns want is a big headline the day after the Iowa caucuses declaring them the winner.

    It will be little consolation if weeks or months later it is determined that there was election fraud in Iowa.

    The campaigns need to be aware of the problem and take proactive steps to prevent thousands of non-Iowans voting in small rural areas where they could dominate the rural caucus. Indeed, in the large caucuses in the cities non-Iowans could easily blend in.

    If the Obama campaign is intent on bringing in thousands of non-Iowans into Iowa 3 days before the caucuses some transparency as to what these non-Iowans are doing and proof that they are being clearly instructed not to engage in shenanigans is imperative.

    Again, all the campaigns and election officials and Iowa Democratic Party officials should be prepared to protect the integrity of the caucuses. Trust but verify.

    Many caucus/primary dates are bunched up one immediately after the other. Proving months later that there was election fraud in Iowa will be as frustrating as what was experienced in 2000 and 2004 in Ohio.

    Trust but verify.

    BTW, we make no particular accusations against Obama. All campaigns should cooperate to protect the integrity of the Iowa caucuses. We do worry more about the Obama campaign due to the history of his hires, the desperation of his campaign and most importantly the proximity of Iowa to Illinois. Obama has already (Harkin Steak Fry and Jefferson Jackson Dinner) demonstrated his capacity to bus in thousands of supporters from Illinois.

    We Hope for the best but prefer to prepare for any eventuality.

  35. It would seem to me that if the average voter in Iowa is closer to 50 that 20, and Obama brings in hordes of young people from Chicago to campaign, party and do what young people do (for those of us who can still remember), then he may actually turn off alot of Iowa voters. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

  36. i agree admin. the nominee will be made by the time iowa officials are done going back and verifying voter apps. this is something that i hope i and u can get camp hillary to do-apply whatever pressure needed to ensure a fair night. we are dealing with dirty tactics here. i will forward all this info on..

  37. That John Smith article above is a riot. A Broadway Play called Cattie Shack, Edwards swallowing a hairball, Obama asserting that the American People want straight answers and then sounding like Porkie Pig trying to explain his own position on dl, and Hillary as the coolest cat of all. The only thing missing was Pumpkin head cast as the Samsonite luggage gorilla in a steel cage jumping on his television set as Wolfe Blitzer demonstrates how to conduct a fair debate.

  38. I’ve never caucused in Iowa, but I have certainly worked in campaigns in rural areas. My experience is that the locals who run the campaigns know who lives in the area, who is new and just generally what is going on.

    I cannot imagine the fury if there is genuine evidence that he busses people in for this – legal or not. He won’t be able to get away with it for very long. Once the press gets wind of it, and starts tracking these people down, it’ll end his political career – unless he jumps parties, that is.

    I don’t put it past him, but I don’t know how he could hope to pull it off in a Democratic primary.

  39. It seems there is 2 groups among Hill fans and supporters.

    One group thinks Iowa is so hopeless and unpredictable.

    The other group [lead my admin] believes that we should stop whining and get on with it.

    Whilst I belong to the first group – I believe we should just lay off and lower our expectations as far as Iowa is concerned. We should not be invested in a victory in Iowa. We should prepare for the worst. We should be pushing the narrative in all the blogs that Obama-Edwards hold the advantage in Iowa.

    This will achieve two things. One it will get us off Iowa and concentrate on the states we believe in and work there and put our energy constructively. Second if and when Hillary does well – it will be so much sweeter since our narrative is Obama-Edwards advantage in Iowa.

    As far as the second group led by admin is concerned – I deeply respect you guys and salute Celiff for his work on the ground. We promise not to run your camp down. We will stay off Iowa and work on other early states like NH we believe in.

  40. God morning peeps! 🙂
    check out Obama blaming Hillary for being slow to deny rumors!! lol

    This is bound to follow him around for a while, and not Hillary.
    Now how many hours did the Clinton team use to deny the rumor??? Not many if I recall. I guess Obama realizes he blew it and is trying to go on another attack to lessen the embarrassment on him, by once again trying to reflect this back to Hillary.

    This seems to me to be a time of ‘make it or break it’ for him. I felt that after the last debate that, now this thing is over! This is the moment we will remember as the point of no return, Hillary became the nominee!!! 😀 ( I can’t help it, I shouldn’t jump the gun yet, but it’s what I feel)

  41. good morning hillfans. this busing thousands of kids to iowa by obama smackes off dean pulling the stormtroopers of red cap fame 2004 all over again. iowans don’t like that crap.

  42. I posted a comment earlier but it contained a link so I knew it would take time before it showed, but I thought it would show up before people awoke to a new day 🙂 I guess not…. 🙁

    Like you say terrondt, if Obama is cought doing this, it would most likely cause a backlash against obama, voting vise.

  43. On “Morning Joe” on MSNBC this Monday morning, they have been showing a clip that they (MSNBC) took of Obama losing his cool and berating one of those old folks that he seems to despise so much, at one of his Iowa events this weekend. She had asked him a pointed question about his stand on the driver license thing and he becomes increasingly irate at this poor woman and literally starts yelling/screaming at her. It’s really something to watch as I’ve never seen a good, old-fashioned “canipshon” caught on tape before!

  44. That Mika lady on Morning Joe is so untolerable. She cannot hide her resentment at all. Isn’t there a conflict of interest when her father works for Obama campaign and she openly trashes Hillary and pimps for Obama?

  45. Anybody got a video from that? I would love to see it!

    Now what were the comments about that? Did they say he was out of line or something, or did they defend him….??

  46. Cotton-eyed Joe: he becomes increasingly irate

    We saw this during the debate. Amazes me that he’s still in the running. He’s all smiles when it’s the adoring crowds, but ask a tough question and he loses his stuffing.

  47. Jeff Zeleny at The Caucus/NYT has an article up on BO’s “fit” but still looking for the video clip: 2007/11/19/obama-takes-terrorism-deadly-serious/

  48. Gorto,
    MSNBC hasn’t posted it on their website as of it but I’m sure someone will post it fairly soon.

    The “Morning Joe” folks present this morning (David Schuster, Willie Geist, that Mika woman and Pat Buchanan) all said that it cast Obama in a very poor light and only accentuated the developing narrative that he’s crumbling under the pressure. David Schuster and Pat Buchanan were especially critical of him.

  49. Cotton-eyed Joe:

    Did you see that Mika woman openly pimping for Obama? She acts as if Hillary had leaked it Bob Novak. There is an open conflict with her dad being his advisor, and she pimping for him while attacking Hillary. Geez.

  50. Thanks all, I’ll have a look.

    This is the pattern I think Obama has been showing for a while now, he crumbles under pressure, and after having such a long time in the spotlight as the ‘rock star’ this is very hard for him to deal with, which means we have a lot of good moments like this to look forward to… 🙂 (I know I’m cruel, but at least I own it lol )

  51. B. Merry:

    That is an open conflict of interest. She should stay away from topics of democratic politics instead of openly pimping for him. Markos makes a big deal of Carville, an ex-Clinton advisor doing pundit work on CNN. How about this lady? Atleast, Carville stays away for the most part on criticizing BO. This lady openly trashes Hillary.

  52. Doesn’t sound good for obama losin’ his cool in public. A candidate has to do well under pressure. Hillary has always seemed to thrive under pressure as in the Las Vegas debate. I am not particularly surprised to hear that he folds under pressure, however, he’d take it personally.

  53. Here’s a really interesting exchange between Mika and Bo on 11/1:

    Senator, it’s Mika Brzezinski here. Thanks very much for being on the show.

    And given the multiple Brzezinskis working with you on foreign policy, I won’t ask you about Iran.

    [Followed up with …]

    I’ll just maybe commend you for your dancing. Great dancing on “Ellen.” 2007/11/02/barack-obama-on-morning-joe-2/

  54. I hope that clip of “Mr 2002 Speech” losing his cool gets maximum play. Its time that folks see him for the empty suit that he is. After all the attacks that Hillary has had to face, this should remind voters who is the real “shrill” and who is in fact the real “presidential looking” candidate. You could see his petulance even at the debate when he stood glaring at Hillary and looked visibly angry when she was answering his BS on the SS “crisis”.

    The Clinton campaign should make full use of this video to emphasise if this is the kind of person we want as Commander in Chief . After all the crap he threw at them over the weekend and showed us how intemperate he is, they should not let go of this opportunity. He deserves to be hit hard over this. If there was any video showing Hillary in an unflattering light even in the slightest way, you can be sure that the media, the rival campaigns and the anti-Hillary blogs would be playing it up to the fullest.

  55. BO supporter Donna Brazile 11/19:

    In the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, Clinton leads her closest rival by 22 percent — a higher percentage than the combined totals of competitors John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Chris Dodd and Dennis Kucinich. Among likely Democratic primary voters, Clinton’s 47 percent leaves Sen. Barack Obama so far in her shadow that his 25 percent might as well be flashlight wattage. No one wants to declare a victory before ballots have even been cast, but the Clinton campaign has succeeded in making the outcome seem inevitable. Having mastered the game of political poker, her campaign knows to play its cards carefully or else the entire deck could come crashing down like a house of cards.

    Meanwhile, after being stalled in the sands of summer, Obama is now hard at work trying to connect with the African-American voters needed to win in South Carolina and stoking the momentum-building machinery needed to win in Iowa, where the race still appears fluid enough for a political upset.

    It’s not too late for Obama, who has finally gotten his presidential rhythm in sync with his presidential tune of change, hope and common ground. But where are the big ideas? Obama needs to develop that vision thing a little more and give us some boldness, some soul, some hook to catch the hearts and minds of voters other than charisma and youthful idealism. A unified vision detailed in big ideas would keep Obama in the hunt long enough to challenge Clinton directly after the first couple of primaries and caucuses. If Obama can’t awaken America’s shattered dreams of a better tomorrow, then Edwards will indeed become Clinton’s nightmare from North Carolina.

    Edwards is playing hardball, seizing every opportunity to rip apart Clinton’s positions on everything from Iran to trade agreements. He knows that it’s time to change the tide or risk being swept away by the Clinton tsunami come January. Edwards is banking that Iowa caucus voters will think twice before electing his vision of Clinton II: more polarizing, more radical and even less plainspoken than Clinton I.

    While the boys can’t continue to play nice with the female Democratic voters’ favorite sister-in-chief candidate, they also can’t be too aggressive without suffering for it in the all-important Iowa caucuses. Negative campaigning doesn’t go over well in Iowa. Without it, however, no one but Clinton stands a chance. To avoid appearing as bullies, Obama and Edwards must fight clean by attacking Clinton on her record or lack thereof, misstatements, mistakes and whatever else she leaves on the table or has hidden underneath it. Iowans are generally policy wonks who like to size up the candidates by looking at their records, listening to their policy prescriptions and then getting a chance to chew the fat with them in person. They know how to spot a phony and are willing to give a long-shot candidate with vision and big ideas a chance to succeed.

    This is why Clinton’s rivals must walk the fine line of throwing punches that look like air kisses but land like political grenades. They need to shatter the carefully scripted, focus-group-tested image of her as the one most seasoned and capable of bringing about change.

    Like other former Democratic frontrunners at this stage in the electoral preseason, the only person Clinton has to fear is Clinton herself (and some leftover Bill Clinton fatigue). Clinton cannot give her opponents an inch of leverage by taking their advice to “stop triangulating and provide straight answers or else.”

    I wonder what else the men will throw at her now that the Democratic version of the famous Republican swift-boating has started. At least that what the former President has labeled the attacks on his wife’s character

    . Will Obama and Edwards join the Republican chorus in challenging her veracity and candor? Will they attempt as Republicans have to smear her by associating Clinton II with the past scandals of Clinton I? And what about these so-called records still being sifted through by the National Archives? Is there anything in those voluminous files to knock the crown off her coronation?

    This is why the nail-biting season is just getting started. No one knows for sure if any of these necessary attacks will do anything but energize Clinton supporters and encourage even more female voters to rush to her defense. There’s a reason why Clinton still stands tall after a full week of withering criticism for portraying herself as a victim and her competitors as bullies: Hillary is perceived as a winner and proven leader.

    She remains the candidate most Democratic voters perceive as having the right kind of experience to lead the country in one of its most challenging times. Although she is serving only her second term in the U.S. Senate, Clinton has piled up an impressive record, from helping New York get back on its feet after one of the worst attacks on our nation to working with Republicans on social issues and foreign policy. Clinton’s record in office receives high marks, but it will come under increasing scrutiny and attack as this electoral season heads into the holidays. Her challenges will be even greater and more complex.

    With Clinton judged or attacked not on her gender but on the strength of her presidential timber, most of us will eventually figure out who the possible first female commander in chief is: a victim of bullies or a bully who cries victim.

  56. Rasmussen from Sunday:

    Clinton: 41
    Obama: 26
    Edwards: 14

    Obama seems to have picked up a couple of points since the debate. We have to wait for few more days to see a more stable number.

  57. Barack Obama has unveiled a new line of criticism against Hillary: In speeches he’s started to point to the allegation made in Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta’s Hillary book that the Clintons secretly formulated a 20-year-plan to deliver the presidency first to Bill, and then to Hillary.

    “I’m not in this race to fulfill some long-held plan or because it was owed to me,” Obama said the other day.

    Asked if that were a reference to the Gerth allegation, an Obama spokesperson left virtually no doubt that it was, telling Newsday: “Barack Obama has not been mapping out his run for president from Washington for the last 20 years like some of his opponents.”

    But the source that Gerth and Van Natta cited with supposed first-hand knowledge of this plan — historian Taylor Branch — has since vehemently denied that any such pact existed. “The story is preposterous,” Branch told The Washington Post, adding: “I never heard either Clinton talk about a ‘plan’ for them both to become president.”

    It’s hard to see how the use of Gerth’s allegations could possibly play well among Dem activists. Many of them dislike Gerth for his role in “breaking” the Whitewater story and see Gerth’s book as an anti-Hillary hatchet job.

  58. Edwards must be one dumb duck. After it’s been explained that it’s unconstitutional, yesterday he repeated his “[I] would yank Congress’ healthcare” on CBS’s Face the Nation yesterday. Maybe he thinks these viewers haven’t been paying attention to his utter nonsense.

    Story over. Move on. Nothing to look at here.

  59. Hillary Clinton still holds a commanding lead in the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. Clinton attracts 41% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters nationwide while Barack Obama earns the vote from 24%. John Edwards is the choice for 13%, Bill Richardson is the favorite for 4% and no other candidate tops 3% (see recent daily numbers).

    These results are based upon a nightly telephone survey and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. Roughly three-fourths of the interviews were completed following last Thursday night’s Democratic debate. Clinton earned positive reviews from most pundits in that debate. She challenged Edwards and other for “throwing mud” (see video) and engaged Obama on the topic of health care (see video).

    The moderator for last week’s debate, Wolf Blitzer, is viewed favorably by 40% of Likely Voters nationwide and unfavorably by 36%. He earns better reviews from Democrats than Republicans. The moderator of the previous debate, Tim Russert, is viewed favorably by 50% of voters nationwide and unfavorably by 22%. He earns similar reviews from Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters (see crosstabs).

  60. HillaryLandRocks:

    Which one is the latest, the one I put up for Sunday or the one Realist has put up a couple of posts above?

  61. Op-ed in Foster’s Daily Democrat (Dover, NH), 11/18:

    All it took was for Hillary Clinton to become the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president and chivalry was declared to be dead.

    It’s no holds barred. John Edwards and Barack Obama are throwing everything they have at the former first lady.

    When Bill Clinton left office seven years ago, he and his wife were lionized by Democrats. Four years later, when Edwards was John Kerry’s running mate, people like Edwards were calling for a return to the good old days.

    Things are different today. Not only are Bill and Hillary Clinton on the outs with former Vice President Al Gore, but Hillary’s temerity to bring about a new Clinton administration, has Edwards bad-mouthing her and her husband’s administration whenever and wherever people will gather.

    Edwards and Obama used Clinton as a punching bag during a debate among Democrats Oct. 30. Clearly, they had her on the ropes, but failed to hurt her enough to put her down. The debate in Las Vegas last week saw Clinton fight back and while it wasn’t a knockout for the New York Democrat, the judges (pundits) gave her the fight on points.

    It isn’t over. The worst might be yet to come. Edwards is fighting his last battle. If he doesn’t win his party’s nomination in 2008 he’s history, just as Kerry is as much yesterday’s news as Mike Dukakis.

    Obama might get a second life. It’s only his first term in the Senate and he’s young. He will easily qualify for a shot at the top spot in 2012.

    Edwards’ biggest negative right now is that he is sounding mean and if he continues to ratchet his campaign along those lines he’ll lose ground. Americans like people who can be tough, but they don’t like people who come across as mean.

    Edwards is relying on his ties to the big labor unions and trial lawyers like himself to push him across the finish line ahead of Clinton. But unions have been losing their clout and the only time a trial lawyer is popular is when you need one.

    Throughout it all, Clinton has held on to a substantial lead in the polls. At the same time, polls notwithstanding, it’s not as if she has captured broad imagination among people who are going to vote in primaries.

    It’s close in Iowa — very close. But Edwards is the one with the most to lose. Clinton’s on-ground organization in New Hampshire — made up mainly of knowledgeable in-state Democrats — is ready to bounce back from a loss in Iowa. There is no sign of a similar Edwards organization ready to pick the pieces if he fails to finish first in the Hawkeye State.

    The biggest smiles in New Hampshire are on the faces of Republicans, whether they back Mitt Romney, John McCain or Rudy Giuliani. They figure the longer Edwards and Obama go after Clinton, the better chance their guy has in November 2008.

    Democrats don’t have a lock on devouring their young, but they’re way ahead of the GOP in that regard this year.

  62. They publish daily tracking (4-day rolling avg) and weekly. Today’s daily tracking, conducted Th/Fr/Sat/Sun appears to be:

    Hill 41
    Bambi 24
    Edwards 13
    Richardson 4

  63. Mason-Dixon poll in Florida (Nov 12-14, 304 Dem LV, 315 GOP LV) showing Hillary Clinton with a near three-to-one lead over Obama and Edwards:

    Clinton 42 (+11 vs. last survey July 23-26)
    Obama 15 (-2)
    Edwards 12 (nc)
    Richardson 7 (+3)
    Biden 3 (nc)
    Undecided 19 (-11)

    Clinton leads by 27.0% in the RCP Average for Florida.

    In a follow up question, Florida Democtrats were asked who they’d support if the race has boiled down to a two-person contest between Clinton and Obama by the time they get to vote. The result? Clinton 54 – Obama 34, Undecided 12.

    On the Republican side, Giuliani has surged while Thompson has fallen almost an identical amount, while everyone else has remained basically static:

    Giuliani 36 (+12 vs. last poll Sept 17-18)
    Romney 15 (+2)
    Thompson 12 (-11)
    McCain 10 (+1)
    Huckabee 8 (+2)
    Undecided 15 (-7)

  64. Clinton Shows Strength Across Racial Lines in South Carolina
    According to a new Winthrop/ETV poll, 40% of white Democrats in South Carolina will back Sen. Hillary Clinton in the South Carolina presidential primary, followed by John Edwards at 17% and Sen. Barack Obama at 11%.

    Meanwhile, among black voters in the Palmetto State, Obama holds a slim lead over Clinton, 35% to 31%, with Edwards way back at just 3%.

    Key takeaway: Clinton is the only candidate who shows strength across racial lines, doing almost equally well among black and white Democrats.

  65. Mo Rocco is NOT one of my faves but does have a following. I like his assessment of “the boys” and “our girl” in the last debate:

    John Edwards was angry and shrill. (When will Democrats learn that righteous indignation never wins elections? Be sunny. Be optimistic. Bush proved that you can be dumb as a box of rocks and still get people to vote for you if you seem like a happy guy.) Edwards describing everything the current administration has done as a “total disaster” is tiresome and depressing. I don’t care where he is in the Iowa polls. If he doesn’t change his demeanor, he won’t caucus-block Hillary.

    Barack Obama was underwhelming, cowed by Hillary. He’s much better solo. Body language is everything in confronting Hillary. (Remember Rick Lazio menacing Hillary at her podium in 2000?) When Obama compared Hillary to Mitt Romney, he wouldn’t have gotten booed if he hadn’t turned and gestured toward her. (He should demand that he not have to stand next to her next time. Apparently voters are just too uncomfortable with the image of a man confronting a woman several inches shorter.)


    Hillary had a terrifically real moment in this debate. It came after Campbell Brown asked Hillary about delivering a speech at Wellesley in which she referred to the “boys club.” … after Campbell pushes with the follow-up: “What did you mean at Wellesley when you referred to the boys club?”

    Hillary simply says “Campbell,” and her expression is priceless. The translation: “Give me a f#%ing break. You’re a woman. I’m a woman. We both know that it’s a whole lot harder for a woman to get here than a man. Am I going to dwell on that? No. But to ignore it completely is ridiculous. So, um, give me a f#%ing break.”

    It’s a great moment, a window into a refreshingly caustic wit that we never get to see. (Hillary deftly avoids the temptation to sneer or be too sarcastic.) And it’s disarming, which provokes a real reaction from the smart and beautiful Campbell Brown (thank goodness she’s escaped Weekend Today).

    All in all, a good moment for Hillary.

  66. ra1029, Michigan appears to be back on with the appeals court siding with the trial court on tossing the new primary law.

    “LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A state appeals court on Friday dealt a blow to Michigan political leaders’ hopes of holding a presidential primary on Jan. 15.

    In a 2-1 ruling, Judges Patrick Meter and Donald Owens objected that a law recently passed by the Legislature setting up the primary would let the state political parties keep track of voters’ names and whether they took Democratic or GOP primary ballots but give no public access to that information.

    Michigan had at one time tentatively scheduled caucuses for Feb. 9, but state officials and Gov. Jennifer Granholm have tried to push up the date to Jan. 15.

    The weeks-long logjam involving the courts has delayed scheduling of the nation’s first primary. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he won’t set the date of his state’s primary until it’s clear what’s going to happen with Michigan. New Hampshire law says it must go first in the nation.

    A spokesman for Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox said no decision had been reached on whether to take the case to the state Supreme Court.

    “We’re disappointed with the court’s decision,” Matt Frendewey said.

    Michigan lawmakers could change the law so it would pass legal muster, but so far they have failed to do so and they don’t have much time left. Clerks need to start sending absentee ballots to overseas Michigan voters by Dec. 1, so a new primary election law would have to be approved in the next two weeks.”

    And from another article:

    “If the Jan. 15 primary doesn’t come off, both state parties have scheduled smaller nominating contests restricted to party members. For Democrats, an alternative is a Feb. 9 statewide caucus. A similar election in 2004 drew more than 160,000 voters. Republicans would decide their presidential preferences at a convention on Jan. 25-26.”

    The way I read it, the DNC can’t mess with MI’s delegates if the 1-15 date doesn’t happen. Maybe I am wrong, but if that happens, the four who opted out at the last minute, will lose out.

  67. JMO:

    First, I’m feeling confident about IA b/c I think Hill’s the best all-around candidate for issues that are important for voters, period.

    A solid nr of Iowans make a decision at the end — last week, days — because they go first. I think for about 1/2 the voters, the idea is “earn my vote.”

    There’s also a subset of voters who make a decision based on quirky reasons. I read somewhere that one IA woman supports Hillary simply because she visited Spain as First Lady.

    For this reason, I don’t think it’s productive to rant about Iowa demographics/traditions in a public forum, and I don’t plan on doing it — will save any comments for post-caucus.

  68. OkieAtty:

    I hope Florida and Michigan move their dates back to Feb 5th. That would be ideal. I hope they do as late as possible, say December 15th.

  69. From NBC/NJ’s Athena Jones

    DES MOINES, Nov 19 — Clinton brought out Gen. Wes Clark, onetime presidential hopeful himself, in Iowa. Clark appeared with the New York senator at an unscheduled stop at Drake Diner — part of the campaign’s efforts to shore up support among voters in a state where the race for the Democratic nomination is far closer than in the rest of the country.

    Clinton introduced the general and chatted with a handful of voters who worked at a children’s hospital and with a man who asked about housing issues.

    “I’d love to have your support,” the senator said at one point; one of the diners said she would have his. Clinton then settled in at the counter to chat, before the cameras, with Clark and former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack about the challenges of campaigning over the holidays.

    Clinton wondered aloud how they would keep momentum and voter contact going over the holidays, saying that campaigning at that time of year has never really been on anyone’s agenda.

    “You can’t call them on Christmas,” Vilsack said.
    “You can call them on the 26th,” Clark responded with a chuckle.

    They also spoke about China and ways to fight global warming. Clark called eggs his “comfort food” and both he and Clinton ordered fruit bowls.

  70. 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary
    How Important is Iowa for the Democrats?
    Monday, November 19, 2007

    While most Americans are preparing for Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the nation’s political junkies are eagerly anticipating the Iowa caucuses on January 3. Following that launch of Election 2008, campaign addicts will have 33 days of bliss with a string of primaries and caucuses culminating on Super Tuesday, February 5.

    In eager anticipation of the nominating season, many pundits and armchair analysts have speculated about what will happen in Iowa. Last week, Rasmussen Reports noted that the Democratic race has become a tale of two narratives that will collide in Iowa.

    But, while it’s fun to speculate about what will happen in Iowa, far less attention has been paid to the importance of the Iowa caucuses this year.

    In the race for the Democratic Presidential Nomination, Iowa becomes extremely important in one of two circumstances—a victory by Hillary Clinton or a double-digit loss for Clinton.

    A victory, even a narrow victory, in Iowa would effectively wrap up the nomination for Clinton. Polls everywhere outside of Iowa show the frontrunner with substantial leads and the headlines from an Iowa victory would do nothing to change those dynamics. If anything, an Iowa victory would further boost her lead in other states and add to the perception of inevitability.

    At the other extreme, a double-digit loss for Clinton would be devastating for her campaign and radically alter the race. That’s what happened four years ago when Howard Dean lost to John Kerry by eighteen-percentage points in Iowa. Instantly, Kerry took Dean’s place as the frontrunner.

    At the moment, it’s difficult to envision such a lopsided defeat for Clinton partly because of a key difference between her campaign and Howard Dean’s. Dean, even while he was the frontrunner, was the second choice candidate for hardly anybody. Clinton, on the other hand, is the second choice for many in Iowa and New Hampshire. But, with seven weeks to go and a caucus in the midst of the holiday season, there’s plenty of time for surprises.

    That leads to the final scenario, a narrow loss by Clinton. Polls show this as quite possible. The latest Rasmussen Reports Iowa poll, like most other polls, shows Clinton with a very narrow lead. However, she draws more support than any other candidate from people who have never participated in a caucus before. Among those with caucus experience, Edwards attracts 27%, Clinton 25%, and Obama 23%. Among voters who are “certain” they will show up and participate in the caucus, the three leading candidates are tied at 26% each.

    So, what happens if Clinton loses by a point or two? Or three or four? It’s impossible to know for sure because the Internet and other new media outlets are re-writing the rules of Presidential politics. But, it seems unlikely that a narrow Clinton loss would radically shake up the race. Partly that’s because of the new media saturation coverage. In times past, candidates like Jimmy Carter could be introduced to the nation following a victory in Iowa. Today, challengers like Obama and Edwards have long-since been introduced to the politically active segment of the population.

    Most likely, a victory by Obama or Edwards would add some support to their candidacy in other states, but nothing on the magnitude of the bounce Kerry enjoyed in 2004. It might, depending upon the specific results, narrow the field to a single serious challenger. But, ultimately, a narrow loss for Clinton in Iowa would simply maintain the status quo. Clinton would be a somewhat more vulnerable frontrunner but still the frontrunner. The winner in Iowa would have an opening to challenge the former First Lady, but would have to find a way to capitalize. The importance of New Hampshire would grow.

    So, when all is said and done, Iowa remains a must-win state for Obama and Edwards. They cannot win the nomination without first winning in Iowa.

    For Clinton, victory in Iowa would eliminate the biggest remaining threat to her campaign and clear the path to the nomination. A narrow defeat would force her to re-group but still leave her with a good chance of being the Democratic nominee in 2008. Only a double-digit defeat in Iowa would truly threaten her position as frontrunner.

    The place where these competing narratives will ultimately collide is the Iowa caucus on January 3. The race for the nomination has always been closer in Iowa than anywhere else and the nature of the caucus means that a well-organized campaign can outperform expectations. This year, the unusually early and holiday season timing of the caucus adds further uncertainty to the outcome.

    But, while the outcome is unclear at this time, the stakes are very clear. Iowa is a must-win state for both Obama and Edwards. If they can’t stop Clinton there, they won’t stop her anywhere.

    Rasmussen Reports will be polling in Iowa this week for the first time since the October 30 debate.

    Rasmussen Reports conducts national telephone surveys on the Presidential race every night and releases updated data from our Presidential Tracking Poll by noon each day, Monday through Friday.

    For the seven days ending November 18, 2007, Hillary Clinton earns 42% of the vote. Barack Obama is second at 23% followed by John Edwards at 13%. Bill Richardson and Joe Biden attract 3%, Dennis Kucinich 2% and Chris Dodd 1%. Mike Gravel rounds down to 0% support while 12% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters are undecided (review history of weekly results).

    The seven day results typically include interviews with more than 1,000 Likely Democratic Primary Voters. This includes both Democrats and those independents likely to vote in a Democratic Primary. In some state primaries, independent voters are allowed to participate in party primaries while in others they are excluded. The margin of sampling error for the weekly update is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

    Updates prior to July 16 were based upon four days of polling conducted the Monday through Thursday preceding release.

  71. DES MOINES, Iowa – Even when Iowans do a Google search for “turkey,” “champagne” or “stocking stuffers,” the presidential caucus will be there, lurking like a holiday party gate-crasher. All will play a part in growing the number of Iowa caucus-goers.

    The group EMILY’s List, which raises money for female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, plans to launch a campaign this week aimed at first-time caucus-goers. A website goes live this week and will be followed by five direct mail pieces, a tour of Iowa college campuses, phone calls and micro-targeted Web ads.

    This is where the turkey, champagne and stocking stuffers come in.

    In its first presidential campaign effort, EMILY’s List will target women who are interested in the election but more focused on, say, the holidays and their own lives than the Jan. 3 caucus. The group will post ads on yoga, health care and children’s sites, as well as on Google, where searches for “election” and “eggnog” might direct voters to the same caucus ads.

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) stands to benefit because EMILY’s List has been with her since she announced her candidacy.

    “We are playing in Iowa as a pro-Hillary group,” said Maren Hesla, director of the group’s Women Vote program, which will release more details of the effort this week to Iowa reporters. “That is what our focus is on here.”

    The EMILY’s List campaign is part of a massive quadrennial exercise by presidential campaigns to expand the universe of caucus attendees. About 125,000 Iowans participated in the 2004 Democratic vote — an increase over the 2000 caucuses, but still just a fraction of all eligible voters.

    The compressed primary calendar has only elevated the pressure to do well in Iowa. Unlike past years, when a candidate who fared poorly would have several weeks to rebound, the New Hampshire primary could fall within five days of the Iowa vote. (New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner has yet to set the primary date.)

    EMILY’s List initially planned to zero in on the Feb. 5 primary states, but recently shifted its attention to Iowa, recognizing the outsized importance of the state and its sometimes baffling caucus process.

    Clinton, along with a flood of surrogates, will focus on turning out first-time caucus attendees during an Iowa trip in early December, aides said. She brought dozens of new staff members to the state solely to push this message. For the next few weeks — seven days a week, eight hours a day — the staff will visit 50,000 supporters, often spending 15 minutes in their homes, showing the video and answering questions.

    This is around the same time that EMILY’s List will kick its campaign into high gear, with phone calls alerting Iowans of mailings to come. The group is targeting about 125,000 women who have never attended a caucus, Hesla said.

  72. Obama’s latest mud-slinging at Hillary using Gerth’s discredited book is yet another low that he has sunk to. Frankly, I am quite surprised at how nasty he has become and how much he hates her. Using repub talking points against her and just the way his campaign (especially that ungrateful communications director of his) has attacked her shows he is willing to stoop to any level to hit her.

    It was obvious when he first came in to the US Senate, he was not exactly what he had portrayed himself to be. He said he was against the war from the beginning – in which case, he should have been atanding shoulder-to-shoulder with Feingold in trying to end it. He should never have voted for funding it and he has gone on record saying he doesnt know how he would have voted if he had been in the Senate at the time of the IWR. Added to the fact, that he refused to campaign for Lamont in CT, his talk of “hope” and “bi-partisanship” and “reaching out ” showed he either did not understand the machinations of the modern republican machine and that he was plain idealistic or taking a page out of the Lieberman book of compromising. And he tried to distance himself from the netroots that had played a big role in helping him get his name around and win the senate contest.

    Edwards is pissed because he practically lived in Iowa for the last 4 years selling his populist dream thinking that will make him the nominee and Hillary comes along and blows him away. But Obama’s campaign has gone negative from the very beginning, trying to find anything to hit Hillary with. There’s no way in hell he can ever be considered for VP and thank God for that. The book tours that he did just went to his head – all that he can handle are adoring audiences. Put him in a not too friendly environment and his true colors show.

    That talk of him not being able to play attack dog is BS – we now know that he can be vicious against fellow democrats ( dont forget the “can we get some info on Bill’s sex life” move by his campaign staff) when he wants to be and his campaign is showing how he is not ready for prime time.

  73. Again, referring to his appearance on Fox & Friends, Novak added fuel to the fire and BO is pouring on the gasoline (in the media, that is):

    Novak insisted that his source was a “well-known” but neutral Democrat who had been given the information by an “agent of the Clinton campaign” and that he had then confirmed the rumor with Clinton staffers. “This is very similar to the kind of tricks Richard Nixon used to pull,” Novak insinuated. “He would say, ‘I know some very bad information about the communists supporting George McGovern but I can’t put that out because it wouldn’t be right.'”

    Novak then went on to throw additional fuel on the fire by suggesting that Obama is in a double-bind, where his “only hope” is to convince people that Clinton is another Richard Nixon, but at the same time he risks alienating primary voters if he accuses her of dirty tricks.

    “Senator Obama’s only hope is to portray Clinton as a manipulative, almost Nixonian type of candidate who would do anything to win and can’t be trusted,” Novak stated. “Obviously, Senator Obama is in a difficult position. He must win in Iowa and the Iowa caucus-goers might be put off by any kind of allegation of dirty tricks on the part of the Clinton campaign.” news/2007/Novak_Obamas_only_hope_to_convince_1119.html

  74. mj:

    It is now obvious. Novak planted this story to help Obama paint Clinton as manipulating, almost Nixonian. This guy is the devil.

  75. URGENT: Can we find support for this Kentucky op-ed writer’s comment yesterday?

    “Obama wasn’t eligible to vote on the war in 2002, he lied saying he was anti-war from the beginning. What about his statement that he didn’t think the Iraq war was important when he was campaigning for U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2002? Is he honest?” articles/2007/11/19/opinion/hopin34.txt

  76. The poster is Kyu Reisch, a real person, from Radcliff, KY, whose name comes up on numerous pro-HRC anti-BO online posts as well as a HRC campaign contributor on the HuffPo FundRace list.

  77. So let me get this right…We are talkin’ about the same Bob Novak who played a role in helpin’ the repugs/Bushies out a CIA agent, right? The same Bob Novak?

  78. Clinton & Clark, wow, my dream ticket.

    From NYT’s blog…
    http: // 11/19/clinton-and-clark-campaign-in-iowa /

    DES MOINES – File this under the Department of Getting Ahead of Ourselves: Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is campaigning in Iowa this morning with a political ally, Gen. Wesley K. Clark (ret.), and on first blush it’s pretty easy to see a future political ticket there.

    For one thing (superficiality alert!), there’s height.
    Mrs. Clinton is said to stand at 5’8” (some observers put her an inch or two less); if she wins the Democratic presidential nomination, one school of thought is that she would be better off with a running mate who did not tower over her and create a jarring contrast for the cameras.

    Mr. Clark, the former NATO commander during Bill Clinton’s administration, appears only slightly taller than Mrs. Clinton, and they had good stage presence together as they table-hopped together at the Drake Diner this morning in search of Iowa Democratic caucus-goers.

    General Clark, for his part, talked up Mrs. Clinton as a strong commander-in-chief during his asides with patrons at the diner. He told a tableful of middle-aged men that “she knows what she believes” and “she knows where she stands,” while Mrs. Clinton said of Mr. Clark, “he was leading our forces in Kosovo and Bosnia when we got rid of a dictator.”

  79. On “The View,” Walters reads note from co-host and outspoken Republican Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who says a congrats letter from Clinton after the recent birth of her son might lead her to vote for the former First Lady!!!
    Watch it above.

  80. hillfans when mika is talking about or with obama is she throwing a misclaimer on her father supporting obama on the air?

  81. Crap. Michelle Obama will be ruining “The View” on December 5, 2007. That sucks. Poor Whoopi will have to put up with that woman’s ungodly mouth. Maybe Whoopi will tell her when to shut up.

  82. Obama’s campaign is just lousy. They’re imitating Hillary’s again and again.

    Obama’s facts

    No good campaign innovation goes unimitated, and the Obama campaign just launched an answer to Clinton’s “Fact Hub,” called Fact Check.

    A bit of a stumble out of the gate, though: The campaign seems to have posted, and then removed, an item claiming that Hillary called Nafta a “boon.” Here’s a screenshot of the vanished item.

  83. Obama’s Fact Check site also contains the campaign’s most concerted effort to deal with the various email rumors furiously circulating about the candidate, and could be an effective attempt to challenge these rumors on their own ethereal turf.

    The site’s first two items take on the major subjects directly: One is titled “Obama Has Never Been a Muslim, and Is a Committed Christian.”

    The other: “Obama Is a Patriot Who Loves His Flag and His Country.”

    Also, the campaign has posted its open letter from religous leaders (.pdf), condemning the suggestion he’s a Muslim Manchurian candidate as a “despicable tactic.”

    As Jonathan Martin and I wrote a while ago, this is incredibly tricky turf. To argue back suggests there’s a controversy. But to ignore the smears allows them to spread unchecked.

  84. just saw obama on msnbc saying hillary “wasnt sec of the treasury when bill was prez.” she was just first lady. keep going barack.marriage is a partnership and being a wife can be mor epowerful than a position in cabinet-hah

  85. I think Obama has been knocked off the track for the past few days. it’s just stupid for him to respond to any ‘non-charges’ spouted out by MSM.

  86. Terrondt, Mika has stated on several ocassions that her
    father is supporting BO. I think there are other members
    of the family doing the same.

  87. Great news about the Obama Fact Check imitation of Hillary site. Maybe now we can get some of the answers to Obama and Rezko deals.

  88. Some weeks ago, the LA Times was supposed to sitting on
    a “scandel.” It never materialized. I’m wondering if the L A
    Times and the Novak article have a common source.

    I just hope this is not a staffer thinking they have damning
    “information” about an opponent; and they feel they can talk
    for the campaign.

  89. If I understood the Obama dust-up, it made me a bit sympathetic to him. The lady evidently was one of those who still insist that Iraq and 9/11 were connected. They are ignorant, annoying, and absolutely convinced of their beliefs, like the one that Vince Foster was murdered.

    On the other hand, he handled it badly and unpresidentially. And it had a double lesson for all the candidates. If you encourage people to believe a lot of nonsense, it can come back to bite you.

    It is now time for Democrats to drop this revolting Republican mantra that anything is better than Hillary. Get back to some interesting plans to solve our enormous problems. If we like them better than Hillary’s, you might have a shot. The problem is, you have made a really bad choice by thinking you can advance your candidacy by denigrating her.

    Here’s a really good idea. Listen up, O & E. Admit you made a mistake. Apologize if you like. Then proceed to stop telling the public why they shouldn’t like Hillary and, following her lead, concentrate on the solutions you propose. You might not win, but without a turnaround, you have a better shot at being drummed out of the party.

    Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work we go.

  90. Kegs, There’s no way anyone on Hillary’s campaign would confirm something like that to Novak. They wouldn’t confirm it to anybody, let alone a Republican mouthpiece like him. He’s just trying to cover his you-know-what. And conveniently, his “sources” are anonymous, so there’s no way to prove he’s full of s***.

    This whole thing is a dirty trick by either the Repubs or the Obama or Edwards campaigns, I’m guessing.

  91. Fron News


    A growing focus on fresh ideas coupled with lingering doubts about Hillary Clinton’s honesty and forthrightness are keeping the Democratic presidential contest close in Iowa, with Barack Obama in particular mounting a strong race against the national front-runner.

    Most Democratic likely voters in Iowa, 55 percent, say they’re more interested in a “new direction and new ideas” than in strength and experience, compared with 49 percent in July — a help to Obama, who holds a substantial lead among “new direction” voters.


    Overall, in current preferences, 30 percent in Iowa support Obama, 26 percent Clinton and 22 percent Edwards, with 11 percent for Bill Richardson. That’s little changed since July (Edwards -4, Obama +3, both within sampling tolerances, and Clinton unchanged).

    Among those who say they’re “absolutely certain” to attend a caucus, Obama has 28 percent support, Clinton 26 percent — again very close, and a contrast to Clinton’s nearly 2-1 lead over Obama nationally.

  92. I was wondering if maybe we could set up penpal relationships with the women caucus-goers in Iowa who are caucusing for the first time and Hillary supporters in later voting states. Just provide a level of moral support. I’m in Cali, so I’ll be voting later. But since so much of Hillary’s support in Iowa is from women who have never caucused before, and since I can’t GO to Iowa and drive them to the caucus, is there another way it could be handled?

    As for the polls, once Obama actually moves ahead, Hillary has more latitude in her campaign.

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