5:30 - Palin’s Bus Tour Returns- Candidates for president won’t be the only ones in Iowa this weekend. Sarah Palin, who is not officially running and who won’t be ont he ballot for the Iowa straw poll, will pick up her summer bus tour. More from Sheila Marikar (@sheilaym) and Shushannah Walshe (@shushwalshe): http://abcn.ws/qlFKyr
4:58 – More on how loud it is at the Bachmann events, from @matthewbjaffe, who worked through the ringing in his ears. Campaign Coverage Advice from Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) – No. 5 – keep your eyes peeled. I met my future wife at the Chequers Pub at the Hotel Fort Des Moines. No. 6 — if you make it to SC without being yelled at by the campaign youre not doing your job More advice HERE: 4:57 Funny moment in Cedar Rapids – Rand was asked if Ron was unsuccessful would you run for president? Rand said “are you crazy! One Paul at a time.”(via @jason_volack) 4:10- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich arrives in Iowa from DC just before 4pm Wednesday ahead of Thursday’s debate. As he waited for the Mrs. at baggage claim, he told ABC’s @stevenportnoy he intends to take his grandkids, ages 10 and 3, to the zoo, and an exhibit at the fair that shows the molecular reaction of soybeans. He’ll also take part in various events at the state fair, including speaking at the soapbox there.
3:42 – Michele Bachmann compared the U.S. to Titanic, the movie, in Iowa today. (via @matthewbjaffe) “It’s like that movie, Titanic,” she said. “Remember what happened to the ship? It ran into an iceberg. Right now in America there’s a big iceberg out there and it’s money that we don’t have and we’re running the ship into the iceberg,” she said. “So the smart thing to do is to turn the ship, don’t go down, turn the ship. That’s what I want to do as president of the United States: turn the ship so we have more jobs, the country grows, and we all have better lives in the future.” That got us thinking about the cover of the magazine that featured Bachmann this week. No, not Newsweek, which featured her on the cover, gazing into space and came under fire for attempting to make Bachmann look odd. Rather, the New Yorker, which also had a long story on Bachmann, but featured a cartoon image of the Titanic on the cover. Three fat men in tuxedos and with monocles are in a lifeboat while the ship sinks in the background – seemingly a political statement about how the haves and the have-nots are faring in the recession.
3:30 - On one of his somewhat-rare trips to the state, Mitt Romney said President Obama “won’t carry Iowa in November 2012. He won’t carry Iowa because Iowans recognize that his presidency has failed.” Read more from Romney’s appearance in Pella here. (via @MichaelPFalcone) 2:38- You’re darn tootin’! Mitt Romney won’t be in Iowa for the straw poll Saturday. But how well does he expect to do in Iowa? “I’d like to do darn well” in the Iowa caucuses early next year, he said in Pella. “You’re going to see more of me from time to time” (via Michael Falcone) 2:34 – Rep. Ron and Sen. Rand Paul taking questions at their Waterloo, Iowa town hall. It’s the first time the two have been on the campaign trail since Paul announced he was seeking the GOP nomination for president. (via Jason Volack)
2:00 - Michele Bachmann toured the Competitive Edge facility in Clive, Iowa this afternoon. She spoke to employees there saying, “I love jobs.” Phew, that’s a relief. You wouldn’t want a presidential candidate who hated jobs, would you? (via @matthewbjaffe)
1:52 - ABC News’ David Reiter writes in from New York to point out that the buzzy food item at this year’s Iowa state fair (which starts tomorrow) is fried butter. Expect the presidential candidates to sample it. According to the Des Moines Register, for $4 fair goers will get a half-stick of butter dipped in batter containing a secret honey-cinnamon combination. The vendor is the same one that introduced deep-fried Snickers, Oreos and Twinkies in past years. You might think Iowa gets the culinary honor of inventing this. NOT TRUE! Turns out that honor belongs to Texas. This blog posting from the Dallas Morning News: “As everyone knows, fried butter (right) was introduced at the State Fair of Texas in 2009. By last year, we’d moved on to fried beer and fried Frito pie. Look for those delicacies to surface in Iowa some time around the next presidential election.” It’s on!
1:50 -Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn, on Twitter, tells visitors to Iowa for the Straw Poll , “One benefit of being in Ames over noonhour is hitting Great Plains Pizza downtown. Worth the stop 4 out-of-towners covering #iastrawpoll We checked out their menu and one of the house specials sounds interesting. “The Great Plains Taco Pizza – You pick a crust (but we’d suggest one of the thin styles) and we build a taco on top. We start with spicy taco sauce, add ground beef and cheese, and bake it. After we pull it from the oven, we add chopped lettuce, crushed tortilla chips, more cheese and tomatoes. Olé!” A pitcher of Michelob there is $7.71. 1:16 p.m. In contrast to Bachmann’s raucus rallies, there was no music when Rand Paul took the stage in Waterloo this afternoon. Jason Volack was there for Rand and Ron’s second stop of the day. The father-son duo have two more to go.
12:21 p.m. - Matthew Jaffe notes that Bachmann events are loud. Really loud. “Incredibly loud.” He’s been told by a sound man in Iowa that the campaign wants the music played at that level from before she arrives until after she’s left. Here’s how he notedthe difference in rally style between Bachmann and Pawlenty, the other Minnesotan in the race. “Bachmann pulled up to the event in a massive blue bus that parked directly behind the stage, flanked by a tent on one side and a truck on the other, both emblazoned with her banners, all part of a carefully orchestrated arrival that also included blaring music. When she left, she paused on the steps of the bus, turned around, and waved to the crowd, urging them to come to the Ames straw poll on her behalf. “Pawlenty, meanwhile, rides around in a non-descript white RV, walking into the back of the picnic room with little fanfare to await his introduction and quietly exiting the event to head off towards his next stop down the road in Fort Dodge.” 10:45 a.m. Matthew Jaffe caught a glimpse of Tim Pawlenty praying at the Humboldt County Republicans Picnic. Pawlenty, like Michele Bachmann, is an Evangelical Christian.
Jason Volack hit a Ron Paul event in Fairfield, Iowa Tuesday night.
Volack says the town is the definition on pastoral … pas-ter-uhl, adjective, 1. having the simplicity, charm, serenity, or other characteristics generally attributed to rural areas: pastoral scenery; the pastoral life.
Newt Gingrich is marching with Polk County Republicans in the Iowa State Fair parade today. The weather in Des Moines has a high of 75 degrees. Things will heat up by Saturday, but how much does that really have to do with the weather?
10:00 a.m. - Michael Falcone tweeted out a link to a list of all the foods on a stick at the Iowa State Fair. Believe it or not, there are more than 50 items on this list. Some ones to check out include fried butter, the Octocdog (a hot dog in the shape of an octopus), chocolate covered tiramisu and the hardboiled egg – all on a stick!
9:20 a.m. - The Iowa GOP released the schedule of speakers for Saturday’s Straw Poll in Ames. Here it is (candidate speaking times are bolded):
- 12:00 p.m. Program Begins
- 12:15 p.m. Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn delivers remarks
- 12:20 p.m. Governor Terry Branstad delivers remarks
- 12:30 p.m. Strawn welcomes all candidates on stage
- 12:40 p.m. Rick Santorum delivers remarks
- 1:00 p.m. Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds delivers remarks
- 1:15 p.m. Ron Paul delivers remarks
- 1:40 p.m. Congressman Steve King delivers remarks
- 1:50 p.m. Tim Pawlenty delivers remarks
- 2:10 p.m. Senator Chuck Grassley delivers remarks
- 2:20 p.m. Michele Bachmann delivers remarks
- 2:40 p.m. Congressman Tom Latham delivers remarks
- 2:50 p.m. Thaddeus McCotter delivers remarks
- 3:15 p.m. Herman Cain delivers remarks
-Compiled by Z. Byron Wolf and Sarah Parnass