It appears that campaigning in Iowa is limited to just weekends for Michele Bachmann. The Iowa frontrunner has yet to do anything but show-up in the state on weekends. What is even more head scratching is that she continues to focus almost entirely on central Iowa.
Bachmann will return to the state tomorrow for an event in Knoxville on Saturday afternoon. The rest of her schedule includes a stroll on Pella’s town square, church in Des Moines, then breakfast at the Iowa Machine Shed. Just like the rest of her tours, Bachmann’s visits are more designed to get media coverage than actually help her lay the ground work that will help her be successful in Ames and in the caucuses early next spring.
At this point, I don’t even understand why Bachmann is spending money having a campaign bus. Candidates use buses for extensive tours of the state, not the quick in and out visits like Bachmann is making. The daily rate for Bachmann’s bus is $1600 a day. When the bus is not is use, the minimum fee is $750. She also has to pay for fuel and lodging for the bus driver. Yesterday, a Bachmann staffer took the bus to Ames to see how it would fit on their straw poll lot. Later it dropped him off at the Republican Party of Iowa headquarters for the Straw Poll meeting.
Bachmann’s campaign is currently living off of media attention and hype. If she wants to win, she needs to get serious about campaigning in Iowa. If she would aggressively travel the state by holding town hall meetings in multiple counties, she would be able to sign people up and capitalize on her current momentum.
Hanging around Des Moines on the weekends to attend sporting events and church services either indicates that you don’t have a campaign apparatus that can pull of a series of events, or they have become lazy as a result of their poll numbers and media attention.
The Bachmann team needs to realize that President Bush, Steve Forbes, and Mitt Romney worked their tails off to turn people out to the Straw Poll. They also need to realize that the “Huckabee Magic” from four years ago worked because he beat expectations. As the frontrunner, Bachmann can’t beat expectations – she has to meet them. That means she has to win comfortably. Anything else would be an embarrassment.
Photo by Dave Davidson
Other Iowa Caucus Quick Takes
Who Wants It More Rand or Ron?
U.S. Senator Rand Paul is embarking on a two day, eleven-stop tour of Iowa. That’s more extensive than anything that his father, Ron Paul has done. It’s also more extensive than anything Michele Bachmann has done.
From the Facebook Files: Viva Las Vegas!
Tim Pawlenty’s Iowa Coalitions staffer, Lynn McRoberts, appears to be in Las Vegas. I guess the Pawlenty campaign has some interesting coalitions it’s working on. When I was on a campaign twelve years ago, I got mad when staff got out of working on a Saturday because they had a wedding. I still can’t believe that Tim Albrecht actually went to a wedding…
Here is the Facebook Update:
Update: McRoberts appears to be at Freedom Fest in Las Vegas. Nevada is another early state, but you would think this is a “Degree All-In” moment for Pawlenty in Iowa.
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