Monday, June 18, 2007

Giuliani, McCain Bail on Bales

Ho hum.... that may be the interest in the Ames, IA straw poll, an early test of GOP presidential campaigns.

Two major GOP candidates have opted out of the straw poll scheduled for August 11.... former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Senator John McCain.

Interestingly, though not a candidate, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to attend. Hmmmmm.

The bada bing of the poll may now hang by a straw.... the champion of "going to announce soon," former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson. His participation would make the event a match between at least two GOP superstars.... former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and Fred.

Perhaps the reason Giuliani and McCain have basically abandoned Iowa is the rush by many big states to hold their primaries right after Iowa's January 14 caucuses.... 20 plus state primaries are within 3 weeks of Iowa's caucuses.

It takes money, money, money.... and campaign organization in Iowa to successfully compete in the Ames bus-in.... I mean straw poll. In a crowded primary calendar the effort may not seem worth it.

McCain thought he didn't need Iowa in 2000, and how did that work out for him (and the nation)? We got The Decider. McCain's Straight Talk bus seems to need a map.

First impressions do count, and for many voters their first impression of a winner in the primary contests will be from Iowa's first-in-the nation results . Any GOP candidate not participating in the Iowa straw poll can expect to suffer in the caucuses.

Democrats wisely don't hold a straw beauty pageant before the caucuses, but they have to contend with a crowded primary calendar too. That is why New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is nesting in Nevada.... their caucuses on January 19 will make them the second after Iowa on the nominating calendar.

The really disappointing new Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, elbowed his home state forward, upsetting New Hampshire, the traditional second-in-the nation state. Besides the obvious higher-profile and income payoffs for Nevada and Reid... it jump-starts the Democrats chase for the Latino vote, whose population is 23 percent in Nevada.

Richardson, unlike other Democratic candidates, can easily travel from New Mexico to Nevada, and understands the Latino population. He hopes for a slam dunk there in the presidential sweepstakes.

But, even Richardson acknowledges, "South Carolina and Nevada are players.... Iowa and New Hampshire are in a class by themselves.

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