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July 21st, 2011

The Caucus Chronicles

Things Are Heating Up – But Pawlenty Sports Unseasonal Jacket in New Ad

Just like it is in many parts of the country, it’s hot in Iowa.  For the past week or so, the temperatures have been in the upper nineties and at times the thermometer has broken triple digits.  When you add in the Iowa humidity, it’s been unbearable to be outside.

The high temps and humidity have canceled sporting events and forced communities to open cooling centers.  However, the heat hasn’t affected the political campaigns.  Michele Bachmann has made it a habit to hold her political events outside.  Christie Vilsack, the Democrat running against Congressman Steve King in northwest Iowa, also held an outdoor event in the sweltering heat.  Continuing to hold events outside is this heat is foolish.  Caucus goers are typically older folks, and standing in a parking lot in the heat is not something most are willing to do.

The Pawlenty campaign has wisely stayed away from outdoor events, but the campaign’s new television ad shows the candidate wearing a heavy coat.  For a campaign that is trying to make the case that they are just starting to campaign, it sure looks like that ad has been in the can since last winter.

Romney Continues to Phone It In – But Adds To His Iowa Team

Mitt Romney conducted an Iowa tele-town hall the other night.  It is an effective and cheap way to keep a presence in Iowa, but nothing will replace actually campaigning in the state.  The Romney campaign also hired additional staff, a sign that he may engage his campaign in Iowa post Straw Poll.

New Romney Team Members

Gary Grant – Former District Director for Jim Leach.  In 2008 he was involved in the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.  Grant is also tight with State Representative Renee Schulte from Cedar Rapids.  Schulte is a staunch Romney supporter.

Brett Lyon – Lyon was Bob Vander Plaats’ driver in the 2006 gubernatorial campaign.

Romney’s team also includes: Jon Troen of West Des Moines, Heather Fransen of Cedar Rapids, and Don Blackford of Logan.


Mike Huckabee obviously doesn’t like Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Huckabee writes:

Meanwhile, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, is still flirting with a run, and it’s the type of flirting even his wife approves of. The Dallas Morning News reports that a campaign button collector ordered a “Perry for Governor 2010” button from Perry’s office. What he got back was a button, all pressed and ready to go, that reads, “Perry – President – 2012.” So if Perry’s not running, then that button will be a REAL collector’s item. For all his new-found commitment to hyper-conservatism, he’ll get to explain why he supported pro-abortion, pro-same sex marriage Rudy Guiliani last time.

Huckabee does have some skin in the game.  His daughter, Sarah, is working for Tim Pawlenty.  Huckabee seems to be more outraged with Giuliani now than he was four years ago.

Here is an excerpt from an interview he did with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

Wolf Blitzer asks Huckabee: “You said that abortion, from your perspective, was a holocaust. Right?”

Huckabee: “Yes.”

Blitzer: “So Rudy Giuliani is the only Republican presidential candidate who supports abortion rights for women. Is he participating in a holocaust?”

Huckabee: “No, and I think Rudy would be the first to tell you that he doesn’t support abortion. He just believes that it ought to be legal. He and I disagree with that, in the sense he believes we ought to accommodate that viewpoint…”

Blitzer: “But in effect what you’re saying is he wants — at least a holocaust to be made legal, which is abortion from your perspective.”

Huckabee: “He at least says he wants to see abortions reduced and move more toward adoption. And I appreciate that in him. I hope we can keep working on Rudy and get him to a full pro-life convert before it’s over.”

I guess Huckabee is done working on Rudy, and is now taking it out on Perry who supported Giuliani in 2008.





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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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