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December 30th, 2011

The Ten Things I Wish I Had More Time To Write About

1. I despise the way that Bachmann’s Iowa staff has treated her.

The first campaign I was ever involved in was a presidential caucus campaign in Iowa. The lessons that I learned on that campaign are still with me today. I don’t know if it was ever said directly or not, but we all knew that the campaign was about our candidate, not about us as individuals.

It is obvious that Kent Sorenson was acting in his own best interest when he publically humiliated her on Wednesday night by endorsing Ron Paul. If Sorenson’s actions were not bad enough, Wes Enos basically called his candidate a liar in coming to Sorenson’s defense. It’s now easy to understand why Bachmann’s campaign has struggled after winning the Straw Poll back in August. Her staff was more focused on their own interests, not Bachmann’s.

Bachmann is responsible for the type of people she hired to run her Iowa campaign, but that still doesn’t justify how she was treated by Sorenson and Enos. I have never seen a presidential candidate be treated with such disrespect. This soap opera is what gives politics a bad name. Not only does it hurt all involved, but it also undermines Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation status.

Bachmann deserved better.

2. Mr. Sorenson, Your man card has been revoked.

Regardless of the reasoning behind Sorenson’s departure from the Bachmann campaign, it’s apparent that he’s not even half the man he is made out to be. I still find it hard to believe that Sorenson didn’t have the guts to tell Bachmann of his decision, especially since he stood by her side just hours before he endorsed Ron Paul. I can understand he was frustrated with her campaign, but be a man and tell her to her face you are leaving.

3. I’ve heard of killing two birds with one stone, but killing two campaigns with one move?

The Sorenson soap opera is a deadly development for the struggling Bachmann campaign, but it’s also not helpful for the Ron Paul campaign either. The news of Sorenson’s surprise endorsement was welcomed news, but now the Paul campaign is off message and distracted. Distractions are the one thing the Paul campaign has never had to deal with before now.

4. Santorum continues to dominate the news cycle.

You can’t turn on a TV, radio, or pick up a newspaper without hearing about the Rick Santorum surge. Santorum wisely came back to Iowa on Monday afternoon after Christmas to pheasant hunt. His Iowa appearance meant that he had the entire news cycle to himself. Why struggling candidates like Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich waited to return to Iowa is beyond me. They had to know that once Romney began his bus tour, the coverage of their own events would be limited.

Not only did Santorum have Monday all to himself, but the CNN poll that showed him in third place all by himself made him the toast of the town on Tuesday. Santorum has been the only candidate to be able to compete with Romney when it comes to earned media this week. Ron Paul has had his moment too, but some of that is not the same flattering coverage like Santorum and Romney are receiving.

5. Santorum is lapping the field.

Santorum completed his 99 county tour a long time ago, but he is now reaping the benefits from all of that hard work. While Gingrich, Perry, Bachmann, and Romney are all making stops across Iowa, Santorum is now able to hit major communities multiple times.

Santorum has visited Scott County three times in December, while every other candidate has only visited the populous county just once. In fact, Santorum has visited most of the urban counties multiple times this month alone. Each visit represents a local media hit, and all of that adds up over time. Santorum isn’t just outworking the rest field, he’s also out smarted them.

6. Rick Perry gets desperate.

I bet Rick Perry never thought he’d have to take a shot at Rick Santorum when he got in to the race. Perry is criticizing Santorum on earmarks. It’s not the type of argument that’s going to cut through at this time of the campaign and it also seemed to backfire given Perry’s own history of lobbying for earmarks.

The Austin Statesman Reported:

Perry bashed earmarks at each campaign stop Thursday, but Texas officials have sought numerous earmarks during his tenure. For example, in a 2006 report, officials with the state Office of State-Federal Relations bragged that they worked with Texas transportation officials “to secure over $669 million in highway earmarks for the state, $78 million in bus and bus facility earmarks, and $505 million in New Starts transit earmarks in the five-year surface transportation bill.” Perry sat on the department’s advisory board at the time.

Whoops. Perry’s shot at Santorum ricocheted.

7. Not enough oxygen for Perry and Newt to catch fire.

Both Gingrich and Perry needed a lot of positive earned media in the closing days before the caucuses to see their campaigns catch fire. While their campaign stops are being covered, they are not able to break through all of the chatter that exists in the final days of a campaign. They should have been campaigning like this in Iowa sooner.

8. Romney’s strategy was perfect, but will give birth to a conservative alternative.

It’s hard to argue with Romney’s strategy of avoiding Iowa. Romney seems poised to do very well in Iowa. He and his team have executed their plan flawlessly and deserve to be commended. The only thing that should concern them is that it seems likely that a conservative alternative will also emerge from Iowa, which could prevent a problem for Romney in future contests and debates.

9. After Iowa, Ron Paul will ultimately vet Romney like he has never been vetted before.

A number of conservative Iowa Republicans are frustrated that Romney has basically been given a pass in Iowa because he wasn’t here much. Like Romney, Ron Paul is also expected to do well. A strong finish in Iowa will provide Paul with an infusion of cash. What’s he going to do with al of it? Ask Newt Gingrich. Ron Paul will do to Romney what he did to Newt – eviscerate him.

10. Johnny Williams with the play of the day.

If you happened to catch Megyn Kelly’s interview with Kent Sorenson on Fox News Thursday, you might have noticed a huge Bachmann pick-up truck circling in the background. Right before Sorenson began the interview, the Bachmann bus pulled up along side of him for a moment. While the bus continued on, the Bachmann lead vehicle stayed back to get in the camera shot on a number of occasion.

Last week the truck was being driven by Johnny Williams, the proprietor of John L Productions, who owns the Bachmann bus. Johnny has driven for a number of presidential candidates. Johnny is a great guy and quite the character. Well played, Johnny, well played.


Photo by Dave Davidson –

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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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