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July 15th, 2011

Bachmann’s Weekend Job – Running for President

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:

Lynn McRoberts: Turned $5 into 11 cents. At least I’m better than our government…I at least have something left!


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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About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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