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September 25th, 2011

Kevin’s Korner: Into the Great Wide Open, Texas Toast, and Mac Attack

Greetings and welcome to the Sunday tradition like no other.  It appears Halloween has come a month early in the political world.  This past week, Rick Perry dressed up as both Fred Thompson and Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann portrayed a butcher and Thad McCotter, and Kim Pearson reminded us that she morphed into John Kerry.  Confused?  Me too.  It doesn’t take much…

This might be the strangest GOP presidential primary ever.  And the most wide open… Several different candidates have captured huge momentum, only to falter under the bright lights.  Rick Perry is the latest frontrunner to fail.  The Texas Governor might be Texas Toast after this week’s developments… The only candidates who have consistently excelled in the debates, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, are also the only ones who have not ridden the top tier wave.  That’s a shame…

Herman Cain’s presidential campaign  book tour received new life when he destroyed the field and won Florida Straw Poll.  What does this mean?  Campaigning hard pays off.  Much like Barack Obama in ’08, Cain has the ability to win over crowds just on the power of great speeches.  He did that in Florida…  If Cain spent more than a few days in Iowa in June and July, he would have finished in the top three here.

The big news is this devastates Rick Perry.  He T-Paw’d the Florida poll, investing a ton in the event, but getting a Texas-sized failure.  The results are as much a rebuke of Perry as they are a boost to Cain.  And Iowa Straw Poll winner Michele Bachmann found herself in Thad McCotter territory, coming in dead last at 1%.  Ouch.

With Perry quickly fading, talk has once again intensified for Chris Christie to jump in the race. A lot of the GOP’s big money people are still sitting on the sidelines, hoping Christie will change his mind.  His advisors still say he won’t… But if he did, Christie could jump to the front of the pack and has the ability to stay there.  Some conservatives will have problems with a few of Christie’s stances, but unlike Rick Perry, the New Jersey governor can hold his own in any debate.

As for Sarah Palin, her “end of September” deadline for announcing has seemingly been pushed back.  Why?  Because she’s not running, but she loves the attention that comes with people thinking she might.  I know the Palinistas don’t want to hear that.  But it’s the truth.  However, the cat and mouse game will continue

There is no athlete on the planet more impressive than UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones.  The former Iowa Central CC star passed on a wrestling scholarship at the University of Iowa for a career in MMA.  He became the youngest champion in UFC history and Saturday night, “Bones” did what no one else in UFC has been able to do…make “Rampage” Jackson tap out.  Bones is the man.

State rep Kim Pearson, the so-called “staunch anti-abortion advocate” who blocked a bill that would have reduced abortions in Iowa, continues to look for ways to harm the party she belongs to.  Pearson has decided to recruit “pure” candidates to primary Republican incumbents next year…  Interestingly, Representative Pearson fails her own purety test… She is John Kerry in reverse.  Pearson voted against the late term abortion ban, before she voted for it.

Pearson also endorsed Ron Paul, who “defends constitutionally” the Iowa Supreme Court’s decision that brought gay marriage to the state and who revealed in Thursday’s debate he supports the morning after pillMrs. Pearson, a self-professed “constitutional conservative”, must have skipped over those parts of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence that talk about life and unalienable rights…  Ditto for Dr. Paul.

Iowa Republicans have a massive challenge on their hands, trying to win the senate seat vacated by Swati Dandekar.  You have to give the Dems credit for choosing Liz Mathis to run in Senate District 18.  They would be hard-pressed to find a better candidate.  She’s well-known and well-liked from her years as a local TV anchor…   From what I heard from Thursday’s GOP nominating convention, Mary Rathje, the chosen one, was unprepared for the questioning from delegates. Good luck to the winner, Cindy Golding.  She’ll need it…

Cindy Golding would be wise to steer away from Michele Bachmann’s offer to campaign for her.  The last thing Golding needs is the media to start asking her questions about Bachmann’s wacky statements.  If Bachmann really wants to help, she should donate some money or send some staff to lend a hand.  But Golding does not need to be seen in public with Bachmann.  Or even worse, have Bachmann speaking on her behalf.  There’s no telling what she’ll say…

There is no death penalty in Iowa.  I think there should be, but only in extreme cases.  For instance, the scumbags who dragged James Byrd to his death should be punished in exactly the same way.  An eye for an eye.  However, in the case of Troy Davis, I have serious reservations about his execution.  When 7 of 9 witnesses recant their testimony and there is no DNA evidence, I believe the State of Georgia should have erred on the side of life…  The death penalty issue should have come up in Thursday’s debate.  It didn’t.  Frankly, I think Fox News threw a bunch of softballs and it made for a boring two hours.

Finally, congrats to Dan McCarney for his first win as head coach at North TexasJust like the old days at Iowa State, Mac gets the better of a Big 10 team.  There are few human beings I have met in my life who are classier than Coach Mac.  I hope he has great success down there.

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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