Six Days Out: Good Morning Iowa

Dec 28, 2011 9:22am

Good morning from Des Moines. We are 6 days out from the Iowa caucuses. We here at Good Morning Iowa are always open to news tips, suggestions, and praise…critiques too. Thanks to the other morning notes that this takes much of its inspiration from. We love all the suggestions and tips we have received since we started…and all our new readers! 

We are less than one week out and all six of the candidates competing in Iowa are here in the state. Rick Perry started with the earliest stop this morning, a 7AM breakfast at the Westside Conservative Club at the Machine Shed in Urbandale. He then stops in Indianola and Pella before a 5pm town hall in Oskaloosa. Mitt Romney had an early start as well. He officially kicks off his bus tour meeting with voters in Muscatine at 7:20AM before stopping in Clinton and holding a town hall in North Liberty later this afternoon. On the trail with him is Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock. Other surrogates including Norm Coleman, John Thune, and Jim Talent will be in other parts of the state stumping for Romney. Rick Santorum makes stops in Independence and Dubuque before an evening rally in Cedar Rapids. Michele Bachmann (and those covering her) has another marathon day today. She will make eleven stops in her effort to reach all 99 counties. She was supposed to finish the feat today, but is stretching it out until tomorrow. Today she starts at 9AM in Greenfield and finishes with an 8:15pm stop at Pizza Ranch in Boone. In between she will stop in Creston, Corning, Bedford, Mount Ayr, Decatur, Osceola, Indianola, Winterset, and Waukee. Three of the 11 stops are Pizza Ranches! Newt Gingrich starts with a stop this morning in Mason City before holding events in Algona, Spencer, and Le Mars (at a Pizza Ranch). Ron Paul will be in the Des Moines area today. He starts with a town hall meeting in Des Moines, then stops in West Des Moines before holding a “Salute to Veterans rally” at the Iowa State Fairgrounds this evening in Des Moines. They are expecting a very large crowd.

Weather: It is 23 degrees now in Des Moines with a feel of 15! In the afternoon the sun will be out and it will creep up to the 40s. Good news: There is a high of 49 today and the mild temperatures are supposed to stay with us until the caucuses.

Make sure to read The Note from Michael Falcone (@michaelpfalcone) and Amy Walter (@amyewalter): No Ordinary Rival: Piling on Ron Paul http://abcn.ws/rvxfic

 

This is the front page Des Moines residents are waking up to today: http://bit.ly/s0wS1q

What’s In The Register?

Occupy: The front page are the Occupy meetings in Des Moines last night: About 200 people were at Occupy Des Moines’ rented space Tuesday for the group’s “People’s Caucus.”…100 or more of those indicated they would protest at the offices of presidential candidates. Thirty people each said  they would protest at the campaign headquarters of President Obama and Mitt Romney; 18 people planned to protest at Ron Paul’s campaign offices; 10 people each said they would protest at the offices of Rick  Perry and Newt Gingrich; seven people planned to protest at Michele Bachmann’s office; and one person said they would be at Rick Santorum’s office…The People’s Caucus is the first major event in what organizers hope will be a week of large protests in front of candidates’ headquarters. While the attendance was smaller than organizers had hoped, people came from across Iowa and across the nation, including several from California, Washington and even one from Tokyo. http://dmreg.co/v71GKi

 

More Occupy: GMI was also at the “People’s Caucus” last night: David Goodner is one of the organizers of the event, and he said protestors will go to the candidate they have “the most beef with.” Protestors will return to their temporary headquarters in East Des Moines every morning at 10 a.m. this week before they head out to sit outside the offices. Goodner explained it’s not just candidates’ office that will be targeted. ”It could be blockading the doors at Wells Fargo to try to shut down the largest mortgage lender in the country who has their headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa,” Goodner said. “It’s really up to the people in this room to decide what form their protest will take, but those are …  some of the tactics that are on the table.” In what should be relief to caucus-goers here, Occupy the Caucuses has pledged to be non-violent and not to disrupt the actual caucuses that are one week away. At the end of the event, which drew young and old…the crowd made a verbal pledge to stay nonviolent, although Goodner added they may target campaign parties in Des Moines on caucus night. ”We’re not going to interfere or interrupt the caucuses because our targets are Wall Street, big corporations, and the politicians that carry the water for them — not every day voters,” Goodner said.”The biggest group that got a crowd to protest a candidate was actually President Obama. Goodner said a lot of the people there have “some serious issues with the Democratic party and President Obama.” http://abcn.ws/uAszDV

 

Timmy Talks: Albrecht’s (@TimAlbrechtIA) insight and wisdom for the day: 

Much is made of the evangelical vote in the caucuses, which exit pollsters said comprised 60% of the caucus vote in 2008. Thus, conventional wisdom this year stated the evangelical vote would be the most sought-after, and anyone gathering a plurality of evangelical votes by focusing on social issues would be the likely winner in Iowa. The thing that makes the Iowa caucuses important each year is that Iowa often defies conventional wisdom and is a leading indicator for the country. Some candidates have made the mistake of fighting the battle of 4 years ago, focusing on social issues, when they consistently poll extremely low among evangelicals and non-evangelicals alike, who rank debt and the economy as far and away their top issues. Thus, candidates focusing their message and attacks on social issues are struggling to find footing, while those who are focusing on debt and the economy have found their voice. The candidate best able to articulate a debt reduction and jobs message will be most successful next Tuesday.
Romney: The Associated Press’ Tom Beaumont’s (@TomBeaumont) piece today backs this upIowa Republicans may be starting to choose with their heads rather than their hearts as the Jan. 3 caucuses approach. The ascent of libertarian-leaning Ron Paul and the lack of an ideologically pure consensus conservative seem to be awakening a new sense of pragmatism in some Iowa Republicans. That bodes well for Mitt Romney, as a large chunk of undecided voters continues the search for someone capable of defeating President Barack Obama. ”A lot of the people I’m around are not Romney fans, but they are kind of acknowledging they think he’s going to be the nominee, and that they’ll plug their nose and vote for him,” said Gwen Ecklund, Republican chairwoman in GOP-heavy Crawford County in conservative western Iowa. A week before voting begins in the fluid Republican race, interviews with a dozen Iowa political operatives and party activists – as well as internal polling by rival campaigns – suggest that some Iowans are increasingly concerned about Paul, whose views often stray from GOP orthodoxy, and have begun to fall in line behind Romney instead of another candidate seen as more devoutly conservative but weaker against Obama. Unlike Paul and his other opponents, there’s room for Romney’s support to grow. Public and private polling suggests he’s more often the second choice of Republican caucus-goers than any other candidate, indicating that Republicans could be swayed in the coming week to support him over others. Read here: http://apne.ws/umQvCd

Back to The Register: 

Gingrich: Tony Leys (@tonyleys) has an interesting piece on two Romney surrogates who claim Gingrich did lobby in 2003 and they were in the room for it: Newt Gingrich personally urged members of Congress to vote for a controversial Medicare expansion bill in 2003, two Republicans who were in the room said this week. Gingrich, who is running for president, has said he never lobbied members of Congress after he resigned as House speaker in 1998. But U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake and former congressman Butch Otter told The Des Moines Register this week that Gingrich helped persuade reluctant Republicans to vote for the Medicare prescription-drug program, which barely passed. Flake and Otter, who have endorsed Mitt Romney for president, said about 30 Republican House members were holding out against the bill in the fall of 2003 because they feared the proposal would expand the federal deficit. Proponents brought in Gingrich, who addressed a private meeting of Republican House members, they recalled. “He told us, ‘If you can’t pass this bill, you don’t deserve to govern as Republicans,’ ” said Flake, who represents an Arizona district. “…If that’s not lobbying, I don’t know what is.” Otter, who is now governor of Idaho, agreed. “I can’t define lobbying, but as a Supreme Court justice once said about pornography, I know it when I see it,” he said. “I felt we were being lobbied.” http://dmreg.co/v4YoqF

 

 

 

More Gingrich: Jason Clayworth (@jasonclayworth) was with Gingrich when he went after Romney in Dubuque: Newt Gingrich took a swing at Mitt Romney this afternoon, telling a crowd here that the former Massachusetts governor’s tax plan has higher rates, more regulation and maintains the status quo at the Federal Reserve. ”There is a huge difference between the philosophy of a supply-side conservative in the camp Reagan tradition and the philosophy of a Massachusetts moderate,” Gingrich said before a crowd of around 200 people at the Rotary Club of Dubuque. Gingrich made the statement at his first stop of his new Iowa tour, a 22-event affair known as the “Iowa Jobs and Prosperity Bus Tour” that will end Jan. 3….Gingrich repeated a few of the contrasts he made earlier in his speech He also again opened his invitation to debate Romney one-on-one, Romney declined the invitation last week saying the race has multiple candidates and that it would not be appropriate at this time. ”The governor has been very cheerful about his PAC spending millions in negative ads and he’s been very cheerful about of his staff being negative,” Gingrich said. “I’d like to have one 90-minute debate with the governor and myself somewhere in Iowa before the caucus. He can bring all of his negative attacks and let’s just face-to-face.” http://dmreg.co/tAnC7p

 

Gingrich vs. Romney: ABC’s Jonathan Karl reports on Gingrich taking Romney on and demanding he take responsibility for the negative ads being run by super PACs supporting him.  Watch: http://abcn.ws/tcQvjA and more from Karl on the battle here: http://abcn.ws/uJ0DHv

 

 

Paul: Mary Stegmeir (@MaryStegmeir) is also on the front page with a “leadership profile” of Ron Paul. Worth the whole read: http://dmreg.co/vrFN53

 

Romney: Leys was at Romney’s “closing argument” speech in Davenport yesterday: President Barack Obama has failed to fulfill the promises he made to Iowans four years ago, Mitt Romney said here Tuesday. ”Once the president challenged us to reach for our dreams. He now asks us to settle for less,” Romney told more than 300 people at the Blackhawk Hotel. Unemployment remains high, the national debt is soaring, and median incomes are falling, he said. ”Gone is the hope and change candidate,” Romney said. “Gone is the candidate who would heal the nation. Instead, the campaigner-in-chief divides Americans. He engages in class warfare and resorts to distortion and demagoguery. Once, Barack Obama appealed to our better angels. Now he demonizes our fellow Americans. … I’m tired of a president who wakes up every day, looks across the country and is proud to announce, ‘It could be worse.’ It could be worse? Is that what it means to be American?” Romney, who was starting a three-day swing through Iowa, made a more formal appearance here. He spoke at a lectern in an ornate ballroom, and read the speech from teleprompter screens. “Tonight there are some words I want to get just so,” he told the audience. http://dmreg.co/sNjxfT

 

More Romney: ABC’s Emily Friedman (@EmilyABC) was also at Romney’s “closing argument” speech and reports on how the candidate pivoted to attacking Joe Biden: In his final major speech to Iowa voters before next week’s caucuses, Mitt Romney pivoted from his nearly around-the-clock focus on President Obama to target Vice President Joe Biden, encouraging supporters to pity the president’s second-in-command. ”You have to feel sorry for Joe Biden,” Romney said, speaking in a ballroom at the Blackhawk Hotel in downtown Davenport, where Obama stayed a few months ago. “Four years ago, he warned us about Barack Obama. It turns out he was right. Now, every day, he has to keep quiet about that. And you know how hard that is for Joe.” While Romney had joked last week on the campaign trail in New Hampshire that Biden’s editorial in the Des Moines Register was just another “gaffe” by the politician who has come to be known for his off-the-cuff remarks, tonight’s speech included a large chunk dedicated to the vice president. In the piece, Biden wrote that Romney “appears satisfied to settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed.” Romney said this evening, “So he wrote a column in the Des Moines Register. He says Republicans don’t care. No, Mr. Biden, we do care that under your policies, more Americans have lost their jobs, more Americans are on food stamps, and more Americans have lost their homes. Blaming others is not a plan to get America working. On Jan. 3, Iowa will start our plan to get America working.” http://abcn.ws/tWdFug

 

Dems Speak: The Iowa Democrats are planning a press conference today with State Senator Bob Dvorsky and Iowa Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald before Romney’s event today in North Liberty. They also released a memo this morning going after Romney:  With less than a week to go until the Iowa caucuses on January 3rd, Mitt Romney has returned to the state to make his closing arguments to Iowa voters.  Just yesterday, Romney gave a speech to Iowans in Davenport – but rather than offering a plan to restore economic security for the middle class, Romney made it clear he would settle for an economy where fewer Americans succeed regardless of how hard they work.  After a year of pretending he wasn’t competing here, Romney continues to try to downplay expectations for his performance in the Hawkeye State next week.  But the reality is that in the month of December alone, Mitt Romney’s campaign and the Super PAC supporting his candidacy spent $4 million in Iowa – clearly, Romney is now all in to win in Iowa.  But don’t take it from us that Romney has gone all in – when recently asked about the campaign’s strategy for Iowa, Romney’s own spokeswoman Gail Gitcho simply said, “Our strategy is to win there.”

Perry:The Register’s Josh Hafner (@joshhafner) has a behind the scenes look at the new and improved Rick Perry stump: Rick Perry returned to Iowa on Tuesday with a revamped stump speech and in search of renewed momentum leading into the last week before the Jan. 3 caucuses. Fifteen minutes after Perry was scheduled to speak Tuesday morning in Council Bluffs, an aide wearing an earpiece and suit jacket walked in front of the still-waiting crowd and placed a black binder on the lectern embossed with the words, “GOVERNOR PERRY.” It was the first stop on leg two of the Texas governor’s bus tour across the state, and he was running late. A moment later, Perry, scheduled to arrive through the crowded front entrance, peeked around the corner from the kitchen area: “Howdy!” Perry started off on a fiery speech on topics such as border control, periodically glancing down at the open binder that contained his speech prompts…In a televised ad earlier this year, Perry criticized President Barack Obama for reading his remarks from a teleprompter, while proclaiming that Perry himself is a “doer, not a talker.” The Council Bluffs stop marked the debut of a tighter, more pointed, and, yes, more scripted stump speech from Perry, one that his state campaign chair Bob Haus called “a closing argument” to Iowa caucugoers as the caucuses quickly approach. Perry’s prompts, printed in a large serif font, occasionally had entire sections slashed out with a giant “Z” from a black marker, Perry’s self-edits on his way into town from the airport, Haus said. http://dmreg.co/uLoBX5

 

More Perry: ABC’s Arlette Saenz (@ArletteSaenz) reports just one week before the Iowa caucuses, Perry revealed he underwent a ‘transformation’ and changed his stance on abortion, previously believing it should be allowed in cases of rape and incest but now shifting to opposing all forms of abortion. Perry’s ‘transformation’ was inspired by Mike Huckabee’s “Gift of Life” DVD and after he had a conversation with a woman who was conceived as a result of a rape.  “God was working on my heart,” said Perry during a Personhood USA teletownhall Tuesday night.  http://abcn.ws/udpivo

 

 

Even More Perry: Saenz also reports from the re-launched Perry bus tour: The Texas governor hammered his GOP opponents, telling voters they don’t have to “settle” for Washington and Wall Street insiders and should instead look to him an “authentic conservative” and outsider to reform Washington.  Perry injected a more biblical tone in each of his speeches, urging caucus goers to take their country back while citing the prophet Isaiah’s passage: “Here am I, send me.” http://abcn.ws/rKdYi5 And catch this non-Perry oops moment: http://abcn.ws/sdvJ4w

Santorum: The Register’s William Petroski (@WilliamPetroski) was with Santorum yesterday where he went after Ron Paul: Santorum criticized U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, saying the Texas lawmaker has no record of success in Congress. He also warned that if Paul is elected commander in chief, he would have authority to carry out his proposal to withdraw U.S. troops from foreign countries around the globe and return them home. ”Who will fill that vacuum, friends? You think the British? The Belgians? The French? No, it will be bad folks who don’t want us on the beat any more,” Santorum said. He added, “Congressman Paul knows the threats out there. He just doesn’t believe they are real. He is not a good alternative for the people of Iowa.” http://dmreg.co/rzEJdR

 

Bachmann: The Register’s Jason Noble (@jasonnoble1) is still out with Michele Bachmann and he reports she was focused on socialism yesterday: Socialism” was presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s key emphasis on Tuesday as her campaign wound through the ninth day of its 99-county bus tour. Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, issued repeated warnings of imminent socialism and positioned herself as the only Republican candidate equipped to resist it during 10 campaign events in western Iowa. ”Of all of the candidates that are running in this race, I am the one that’s going to go in and dismantle the system of socialism,” Bachmann told a crowd at the King’s Crossing Cafe in Mondamin. “That’s what we’ve got to have.”…”We are at a time in our country when we are full-on embracing socialism,” Bachmann said during a stop in Glenwood. In a later stop in Atlantic, Bachmann referred to Obama himself as “socialistic.”Even her own party has veered left, she said. ”Now I know it’s hard to imagine, but there are even Republicans that want to be socialists in Washington, D.C.,” she said. “I have stood up against them as well.” http://dmreg.co/uumhCI

 

Bachmann vs. Perry: Register columnist Kathie Obradovich (@KObradovich) has a great campaign contrast between the two candidates: Michele Bachmann was scheduled to start her bus tour at 9:30 a.m. at Scooter’s, a tiny, three-table coffee shop in a strip mall next to a Great Clips and a gold-buying, check-cashing joint.  Her bus arrived early, but the candidate wasn’t on it.  Her plane was delayed, staff said, and she was going to be roughly 45 minutes late. By 9:30, there were over a dozen members of the press, but few actual voters, or even customers.  Campaign staff said the event wasn’t publicized, it was just a media availability.  A few minutes later, a car drove by with a loudspeaker blaring, inviting people to see Bachmann at Scooter’s. There was no restroom at Scooter’s, and the Great Clips next door had already turned away a fellow scribe. Time to move on.  I drove the six minutes downtown to the Main Street Café, an old-fashioned local spot  decorated for Christmas…Perry spoke for less than 10 minutes, and didn’t take any questions.  He’ll likely be on time for his next stop, but there’s a cost to staying on time. On the way out, Perry stopped to sign a sticker for a young man with a coat that proclaimed him a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Iraq war, but walked away as he was trying to ask a question about restoring checks and balances. No harm done, apparently.  John Robbins of Council Bluffs, who said he was a veteran, didn’t seem upset that Perry didn’t wait to answer his question.  He said he still likes him better than Gingrich or a former candidate, Herman Cain, because he said he hasn’t heard about any personal scandals in Perry’s background. http://dmreg.co/rVsEZj

 

More Bachmann vs. Perry: TheIowaRepublican’s Kevin Hall also looks at their similar path and the similar voter both are targeting: http://bit.ly/rRdi4r

 

More Bachmann: Hall also looks at some possible wavering on Bachmann, late-term abortion, and state’s rights. Worth the read: http://bit.ly/vwWH5o 

Pile on Paul: Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson (@okayhenderson) reports on the new target for all the candidates: Ron Paul: The intensity of campaigning has accelerated in Iowa, with three Republican presidential hopefuls going after rival Ron Paul, a candidate who is shown as leading or near the top of recent polls here. Newt Gingrich took direct aim at Paul in a CNN interview earlier today, saying Paul’s views are outside the mainstream of “virtually every decent American.”  ”There will come a morning when people won’t take him as a serious person,” Gingrich said during an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Gingrich cited Paul’s comments about Iran, Israel and 9/11 and said Paul’s “total record” shows a “systemic avoidance of reality.” Another candidate, Rick Santorum, criticized the Texas congressman during a campaign stop in Mason City. Santorum called Ron Paul’s views on foreign policy “scary”. ”Think about having a guy running for president who’s going to be to the left of Barack Obama on national security,” Santorum said. Paul has vowed to close five federal agencies and cut a trillion dollars out of the federal budget. Santorum suggested Paul is “least likely” among the candidates to get those kind of cuts enacted.”He’s been in congress 20 years and never passed a bill,” Santorum told the crowd in Mason City. “So what would lead you to believe that he could get something that huge done in a town where he’s shown no track record of getting anything done?” Rick Perry also suggested Paul “would allow Iran to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth” if he becomes president. Perry is using one of his campaign ads to take aim at Paul and Santorum, who’s a former Pennsylvania congressman and senator, as well as Minnesota Congressman Michele Bachmann and Gingrich, the former speaker of the House. ”If Washington’s the problem, why trust a congressman to fix it?” the ad’s narrator asks. “Among them, they’ve spent 63 years in congress, leaving us with debts, earmarks and bail-outs. http://bit.ly/tuixNr

 

More Piling on Paul: ABC’s Jason Volack (@JasonVolack) reports as Paul is seen as the frontrunner here, along with Romney, all the other candidates are going after him: http://abcn.ws/s1kmDB

More Gingrich: TheIowaRepublican’s Craig Robinson (@IowaGOPer) reports on the group, Strong America Now’s work in the state and their support of Gingrich. Read here: http://bit.ly/uEYchb

 

Air Wars: 

Gingrich: ABC’s Elicia Dover (@Elicia Dover) reports Gingrich’s TV ads here are keeping the campaign in debt: Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s campaign made a new ad buy today, the third of an expensive advertising in Iowa, keeping the campaign in debt, according to a spokesman. A campaign spokesperson told ABC News today they would still have debt in the next FEC filing report because “we’re trying to win in Iowa.”  The campaign would not release the purchase amount of the new ad, saying only that the buy was “major.” The ad titled “Winning the Argument,” will begin airing tomorrow and shows clips from Gingrich in past debates. The Gingrich campaign made two $250,000 ad buys in December, running two ads repetitively over the last month. The campaign is buying large amounts of ads instead of paying back debt, some of which include charter planes and debts owed from big spending early in the campaign season. ABC News reported last month that the Gingrich campaign did pay back the $42,000 owed to Gingrich himself for his list of contacts. http://abcn.ws/tBjfYe

Paul: Ron Paul is also out with a new television ad this morning called “Machine.” It goes after Rick Perry directly: http://bit.ly/w28mSA

Santorum: The former Pennsylvania senator is out with a new radio ad today called “Unite” and it urges “all conservatives to unite and support Rick Santorum for president.” It lists his social conservative and family values credentials while mentioning some of his high profile endorsements in the state, including Bob Vander Plaats. Here it is: http://bit.ly/vysi5p

He also said on WHO radio yesterday if he’s “dead last” he’ll pack his bags and go home: http://abcn.ws/uCgj1h

Romney: The New York Times’ Ashley Parker (@AshleyRParker) and Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) have a must read on the new Mitt Romney on the campaign trail. If you only have time to read one sentence today read this: (A regular query: ‘Are you French Canadian?’)  http://nyti.ms/tGFkI8

More Romney: The Washington Post’s Phillip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) reports on Romney’s real chances of taking Iowa, which could make the whole primary process much shorter: On his first trip to Iowa this spring, Mitt Romney was asked a question that has been hanging over his campaign ever since: Could he win the Iowa caucuses after exhausting his time and money here four years ago for a debilitating second-place finish? Romney never answered the question. A fire alarm went off. Somewhere upstairs, a bag of popcorn was burning inside a microwave oven. Everyone evacuated the building; Romney climbed into an SUV and off he went. Now, with a week to go before voters provide the answer that Romney didn’t, the former Massachusetts governor appears to have about the same level of support as four years ago — only this time that could be enough to win Tuesday’s contest and put him on a path to quickly lock up the Republican presidential nomination. ”They’re trying to get new supporters,” said Brent Siegrist, a former Iowa House speaker who endorsed Romney four years ago and has again this time. “But obviously if they could turn out voters like they did last time, given the split on the Christian conservative side, Romney could end up doing pretty well.” http://wapo.st/uqav1K

Even More Romney: The Wall Street Journal’s Neil King and Sara Murray report on Romney and his aides sounding confident as Iowa nears:  Mitt Romney isn’t about to predict victory in Iowa, the state that tripped him up four years ago. But he and his usually staid campaign are taking on a swagger not seen all year. ”I’m not exactly sure how all this is going to work, but I think I’m going to get the nomination if we do our job right,” Mr. Romney told a packed room of volunteers in New Hampshire on Tuesday morning, before jetting to Iowa for a last burst of campaigning. http://on.wsj.com/tAkJil

Perry: CNN’s Peter Hamby (@PeterHambyCNN) has a great story out toda, after surgery this summer, Perry is able to squeeze in a run into his hectic campaign schedule at least four times a week: Rick Perry’s best asset in the race for the White House these days might just be a pair of Brooks running shoes. After recovering from a painful summer back surgery that left him weary and unable to exercise, the Texas governor, an avid runner, has returned to old form. Perry’s frequent jogs, along Iowa roadways and in hotel fitness centers, have become both an energy booster and a welcome break from his marathon bus tour of 42 Iowa cities, a late push that campaign advisers hope will vault him to a top three finish in the January 3 caucuses. His aides are now carving out time for the governor to jog at least four times a week, usually at distances between three and four miles at a time. Perry is always accompanied on the runs by a member of his security detail, and often by his 26-year-old traveling aide, Clint Harp. ”I get anywhere between 13 and 16 or 17 miles a week, which is enough,” the Republican candidate told reporters during a recent visit to the eastern Iowa hamlet of De Witt. ”It’s good to get back running,” he said, even inviting a reporter to accompany him on one of his outings. http://bit.ly/sP1nvK

The Financial Times looks at how the GOP candidates are now targeting farm subsidies here, which used to be political suicide in the state: http://on.ft.com/tFCFJN

Iowa Fact of The Day: Several landmarks and tourist stops mark Iowa and you will probably be driving by them this week including:  the Field of Dreams  in Dyersville, Dubuque County, the covered bridges of Madison County, several Frank Lloyd Wright constructions including Cedar Rock in Quasqueton, in Buchanan County, and the Blue Bunny headquarters in Le Mars, Plymouth County.

Who’s Tweeting?

@AshleyRParker Romney, to a little girl on someone’s shoulders: “Is this Pop or Grandpop? Oh, it’s dad!” #MittsFavoriteGuessingGame

@PhilipRucker: Ann Romney on Rep. Aaron Shock: “He might be one of my sons. He’s really cute. Don’t you girls get any ideas out there.”

@globeglen IOWA CAUCUSES: Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney aim differently in today’s Political Intelligence Caucus Diary. bo.st/tCRLh5 #mapoli #fitn

@RealClearScott Eager to see how Newt disavows & attacks his Super PAC, as promised, now that they’ve gone negative on Romney

The Schedule:

RICK PERRY

7:00am CT – Urbandale, IA: Westside Conservative Club Breakfast at the Machine Shed Restaurant  - dining room (11151 Hickman Road, Urbandale, IA)

1:30pm CT –  Indianola, IA: Meet and greet at The Sports Page (1803 West 2nd Avenue, Indianola, IA)

3:30pm CT – Pella, IA: Meet and greet at the Smokey Row Coffee Shop (639 Franklin Street, Pella, IA)

5:00pm CT – Oskaloosa, IA: Town hall meeting at the Smokey Row Coffee Shop (109 South Market Street, Oskaloosa, IA)

MITT ROMNEY

7:20am CT – Muscatine, IA: Will meet with voters and discuss jobs/economy at the Pearl Plaza – Elly’s Tea and Coffee (217 West 2nd Street, Muscatine, IA)

12:20pm CT – Clinton, IA: Will meet with voters and discuss jobs/economy at Homer’s Deli and Bakery (241 Main Avenue, Clinton, IA)

5:40pm ET – North Liberty, IA: Town hall meeting at Centro Incorporated (950 North Bend Drive, North Liberty, IA)

RICK SANTORUM

8:00am CT – Independence, IA: Meet and greet at Ariana’s Café (1008 1st Street West, Independence, IA)

12:00pm CT – Dubuque, IA: “Faith, Family and Freedom” town hall at Café Manna Java (700 Locust Street #110, Dubuque, IA)

3:30pm CT – Dubuque, IA: Will visit USA Furniture and Bedding (9029 Tamarack Drive – Tamarack Business Park, Dubuque, IA)

6:30pm CT – Cedar Rapids, IA: Campaign rally at TrueNorth Learning Center (500 1st Street SE, Cedar Rapids, IA)

MICHELE BACHMANN

9:00am CT – Greenfield, IA: Greenfield Meet and Greet. Nodaway Diner (502 SE Kent Street. Greenfield, IA)

10:00am CT – Creston, IA: Creston Meet and Greet. Adams Street Expresso (213 W. Adams Street. Creston, IA)

11:00am CT – Corning, IA: Corning Meet and Greet. Kay’s Café (608 Davis AVE. Corning, IA)

12:00pm CT – Bedford, IA: Bedford Meet and Greet. Junction Café (2025 Highway 2. Bedford, IA)

1:00pm CT – Mount Ayr, IA: Peggy Sue’s Good Eats (103 W. Monroe Street. Mount Ayr, IA)

2:00pm CT – Decatur, IA: Dinky Diner (104 NE 4th Street)

3:00pm CT – Osceola, IA: Family Table Restaurant (1610 Jeffreys Drive. Osceola, IA)

4:10pm CT – Indianola, IA: Pizza Ranch (1709 North Jefferson Way. Indianola, IA)

5:16pm CT – Winterset, IA: The Northside Café (61 W. Jefferson Street. Winterset, IA)

6:30pm CT – Waukee, IA: Pizza Ranch (448 SE University Avenue. Waukee, IA)

8:15pm CT – Boone, IA: Pizza Ranch (1703 South Story Street. Boone, IA)

NEWT GINGRICH

10:30am CT – Mason City, IA: Bus tour stop at Southbridge Mall in Center Court (100 South Federal Avenue, Mason City, IA)

1:30pm CT – Algona, IA: Bus tour stop at The Chocolate Season (16 E State Street, Algona, IA)

4:15pm CT – Spencer, IA: La Chiesa Restaurant (24 West Park Street, Spencer, IA)

7:00pm ET – Le Mars, IA: Bus tour stop at the Pizza Ranch (11 Central Avenue, SW, Le Mars, IA)

RON PAUL

12:00pm CT – Newton, IA: Town hall meeting at the Iowa Speedway Media Center (I-80 at Exit 168, Newton, IA)

3:00pm CT – West Des Moines, IA: Visit to GuideOne Insurance (1111 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines, IA)

7:00pm ET – Des Moines, IA: Salute to Veterans rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds – Knapp Learning Center (East 33rd Street and University Avenue, Des Moines, IA



 

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