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November 6th, 2011

Kevin’s Korner: The No-Debating Debate, Branstad’s New Career & You Go First Newt

Greetings and welcome. You wanted the best, well you’ve got the best. The hottest Sunday morning blog currently posted on this website…Kevin’s Korner.

My clandestine, ubiquitous informants tell me some key presidential endorsements will come down very soon, possibly in the next few days. These might provide a big boost to one lucky candidate in the Iowa Caucus.

The much-hyped Lincoln/Douglas style debate never came close to resembling the Lincoln/Douglas style … Or a debate, for that matter … It did expose Herman Cain’s inability to answer tough questions. Cain was asked about Medicare. He sat there for several seconds with a deer in the headlights look, before finally submitting with “You go first, Newt”.  Translation: “I have no idea what you’re asking me. Let’s hear Newt’s answer so I can copy it.” … Cain deferred to Newt again later in the debate when he couldn’t answer a question.

Gingrich was respectful in choosing not to dismantle Cain, which he easily could have done … The “debate”, in which there was no debating, was just slightly more interesting than that LSU/Alabama field goal fest which was ridiculously hyped as the latest “Game of the Century” … Newt had a very good week, shining at the forum in Pella and the Reagan Dinner in Des Moines. If Gingrich can assemble a field organization, he could become a contender and reverse that one-way ticket to Palookaville.

Newt is playing nice with the rest of the field, but Herman Cain will get no such love from Michele Bachmann. She shredded his inconsistencies on the issues during a recent radio interview … That leads us to the Bachmann Bungle of the Week: According to a tweet from Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard, Bachmann said on Fox News that she just spoke at “the University of Iowa in Ames.” Wow. Just, wow … I guess that is an easy thing for any “Iowan” to get wrong … She did correct the record moments later, before heading to Waterloo to visit John Wayne’s birthplace.

I love Steve King, but he wasted the first 10 minutes of the Gingrich/Cain discussion by talking and showing graphs. With all due respect, we wanted to hear the candidates, not the good congressman … On the other hand, if this politician thing doesn’t work out for Terry Branstad, I think he has a future in television. Branstad did a great job as one of the moderators during Tuesday’s presidential forum in Pella.

Former WWE head honcho Linda McMahon endorsed Mitt Romney. Linda’s running for senate again, which means WWE will pretend it’s “family friendly” until she loses. Again … I want to know which candidate The Undertaker will back. More importantly, which campaign will he tell to “Rest in Peace”?

Former wrestler and horrible governor Jesse Ventura says he might run for president, but wants dual citizenship in Mexico and will never stand for the national anthem again … Unfortunately for Jesse, the crackpot vote seems to be already committed for this cycle … Ventura is better off staying on TV, where he fits in perfectly with those media members that did not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance during the Reagan Dinner in Des Moines on Friday.

Congrats to Rick Santorum for running the 99-county gauntlet in Iowa. I suggested they make “99 Luft Balloons” his new campaign theme song, but for some reason they didn’t go for it. Maybe because the song is about balloons causing World War 3. The Paulbots already call Santorum a warmonger. They don’t need any more help … Let me rephrase that. Some of them need lots of help. The professional variety … Almost as impressive as Santorum’s 99 counties? He hit 26 Pizza Ranches. That’s approaching Vander Plaats numbers. Almost. More fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, please.

The Occupy deadbeats plan to invade GOP presidential campaign offices the week of the Iowa Caucus. How will the campaigns handle this? “If they’re coming in, they better help phone bank. We’ll even feed them pizza. But if they don’t make phone calls, I’m kicking them back out in the cold,” said one campaign staffer … I wonder how much Obama’s ACORN pals will pay people to do this, just like they’re doing on Wall Street.

Nice victories by the Hawkeyes and Cyclones this weekend. Mark Hanson, a Dallas County supervisor and former Minnesotan, had the best take I’ve heard yet on last week’s Hawkeye debacle. “In Minnesota, Floyd of Rosedale is a big deal. In Iowa, it’s just another pig.”

Jerry Behn is the first state senator to announce his intentions to become the GOP leader after Paul McKinley steps down next week. I doubt he will be the only candidate … Bill Dix probably had the position wrapped up, but blew it with his bungled coup attempt … Another name being floated is Sandy Greiner. Great lady, great conservative and has the ability to raise tons of money, which appears to be McKinley’s biggest weakness.

State rep Kim Pearson has done many things that don’t make sense to a lot of Republicans. The latest is recruiting another conservative to run for her House seat before she decides whether or not she will run for re-election … Supposedly, Pearson “wanted to be clear” that she didn’t recruit a primary challenger for herself. She succeeded. It’s clear. As mud.

Finally, the Quote of the Week comes from “60 Minutes” legend Andy Rooney, who passed away Friday. It’s very fitting for this week: “People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.”

Photo courtesy of Dave Davidson,

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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