Friday, September 29, 2006

McCain Comes Out Swinging for Whalen

John McCain stepped right into the middle of the 1st CD race here in Iowa and came out swinging for Mike Whalen. According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette Online John McCain took serious issue with Bruce Braley's plan to cut off financial support for our troops in the field:

"Defunding" the war in Iraq to force the president to bring troops home "is not a sensible or reasonable option" and likely would result in the loss of more American lives, Sen. John McCain said today.

McCain joined 1st District Republican candidate Mike Whalen, who called Democrat Bruce Braley's call for Congress to cut off funds for the war "a pretty radical position."

McCain, a former Navy pilot who was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, agreed.A likely candidate for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, McCain said he understands the frustration of Braley and others who oppose the war. However, the reality is that American troops are in Iraq and "if we cut off the funds we would see the loss of more brave young Americans and we have an obligation to do whatever we can to prevent that."

Democratic Congressional Candidate Bruce Braley is the same guy who on Iowa Press repeated the often cited DNC talking point that we need to support our troops by providing them with body armor and other tools, then goes on to say that we should cut off that same funding stream. (BTW every soldier in Iraq has body armor today and has since at least late 2003. Many soldiers are complaining that they have to wear too much body armor, i.e. shoulder and groin protectors, which unduly inhibit range of motion and agility during the close in fight).

In typical Democratic fashion Braley waffled on the issue when he saw the handwritting on the wall (James Q. Lynch staff writer for the Dem Gaz couches it as "modify"):

Braley has sought to modify his position, most recently saying it's time to turn the fighting over to the Iraqis."I believe that it is time for a change in Iraq," he said at a rally with veterans earlier this week. "We need to turn the fighting over to the Iraqis and form an exit strategy to bring our troops home."

McCain rejected that, too, saying it would be wrong to leave "without having some function government and functioning military in Iraq so they can eventually have a free and democratic society."It's obvious to "almost all observers," McCain said, that pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq now would result in chaos there and throughout the Middle East."And I also want to point out, if we leave chaos in the region it won't be the end of the conflict," McCain continued. "

When we left Vietnam, they didn't want to come after us. I think if we leave Iraq it will become a greater haven and training ground for terrorists and we will be fighting them someplace else."So I reject the idea that we should cut off funding," the Arizona senator said.

John McCain understands that this is the biggest issue of our time and that this election cylce will be perhaps the most important of the Bush Administration if not the next decade. Big Shout Out to McCain for driving the Straight Talk Express up Braley's backside.

Have a great weekend and send a check to Mike Whalen at:

http://www.mikewhalen.com/donate.html

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Iowa Poll Good News for McCain

We've been out working at our real jobs so we apologize for being a little slow on the uptake. Honor does require us to show you the results of the most recent Iowa poll, which by now you have probably already seen.

The Des Moines Register reported Sunday that Senator John McCain would defeat four lead Democrats in a head to head match-up. What's striking about the Iowa poll is that it is not new news. McCain has been beating Dems in national head-to-head polling for the past six to eight months. This poll validates the notion that Iowa accurately reflects the nation's mood in regards to it's respect for John McCain.

On the Republican side, the Iowa Poll's findings that Giuliani and McCain are finding a receptive audience here are consistent with national polls pointing to them as strong contenders should they jump into the presidential race.

Further:

"I like McCain. ... He could side on a Democratic issue if it was in the nation's best interests, but he's still very Republican," [Brian] Vaudt said.

Straight Talk Iowa Style beleives that John McCain will have a solid platform to start from after the '06 elections. The next step is getting his boots on the ground and working the people.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Dave Roederer: McCain Iowa Chairman

John McCain's Straight Talk America PAC has announced that Dave Roederer will serve as his Iowa Chairman.

We are pleased to announce that David Roederer will be joining Straight Talk America as the Iowa Chairman of the PAC. He will help guide Straight Talk America’s efforts to help elect Republican candidates up and down the ballot, especially in Iowa.

David Roederer is the managing partner of StrataVizion, Inc., and recently served as the Economic Development Coordinator for Iowa State University. He has held various positions in state government and the private sector, including Chief of Staff and Legislative Liaison to Governor Terry Branstad, and two and a half years working in Saudi Arabia designing a national law enforcement agency for a Lockheed Martin company.

Mr. Roederer has been involved in campaigns at all levels of government. He chaired the Iowa Bush-Cheney 2004 Campaign, as well as serving as Chair of the Lamberti for Congress Committee and the Vaudt for State Auditor Committee. Among his community board activities, Roederer currently serves as the Executive Director of the Iowa Chamber Alliance working with Chambers of Commerce throughout Iowa.

“I am honored David is sharing his considerable talents with Straight Talk America,” Senator McCain said. “He has proven to be a devoted Republican and I look forward to working with him to determine how Straight Talk can best help our Party’s candidates in Iowa as the 2006 elections draw closer.”

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to assist Senator McCain’s Straight Talk America PAC,” Roederer said. “Senator McCain has demonstrated unwavering commitment to electing Republican candidates, and I look forward to helping him achieve his goals this November.”

This is great news for McCain supporters in Iowa. Dave's selection sends a message to the grassroots supporters out there that McCain intends compete hard in Iowa. This also sends a signal to the Republican base that John McCain is serious about addressing your concerns in order to earn your votes.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Grassley: "only one stands out right now...McCain..."


Words are powerful and admittedly Senator Grassley's recent comments regarding John McCain's Presidential aspirations should be interpreted as more than just a mere characterization or prognostication.

During an interview on Iowa Press, Iowa's premier political talkshow, Grassley said:

“Only one stands out right now, John McCain because of his efforts to pursue it.”

Grassley went on:

“He’s coming into Iowa strong,” Grassley said. “I believe the thing that would appeal the most to Iowa Republicans is his fight for openness in the appropriation and budgeting process in Washington D.C.”But, he added, that the nomination is not McCain’s yet.

Grassley sprinkled in his trademark prairie pragmatism on McCain's need to run strong:

“John McCain’s got to prove that he can get a broad base of Republican support, particularly among conservatives. If he can show that he may be anointed but today he is not anointed,” Grassley said. “And I don’t think he is on the process of being anointed yet.”

Grassley added that he believes McCain can beat U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, considered a likely contender for the Democratic nomination.

Grassley also gave his take on McCain's choice to not run in Iowa during the 2000 campaign:

Grassley said that shouldn’t affect him because Iowa caucusgoers have forgotten about that.

While Straight Talk Iowa Style cautions folks not to read too much into Senator Grassley's remarks at such an early juncture, we believe Iowans will be encouraged by Senator Grassley's remarks causing them to give John McCain the "hard look." We also believe in the power of words and thoughts when spoken by trusted leaders. The folks out there will certainly give more credence than not to such words after hearing Grassley say that John McCain "stands out."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Stars Fell on...McCain

In another sign that John McCain is establishing his early organizational network, he has invested heavily in Alabama. Traditionally Alabama has not been a player in Presidential Elections until this year when the state legislature moved its primary date from June to February. State party officials are encouraged:

"I think pushing up the primary date has made Alabama a player in presidential politics," said Tim Howe, executive director of the Alabama Republican Party.

In anticipation of his Presidential Campaign McCain has been making a sizable investment in the state:

U.S. Sen. John McCain's political action committee has spread around $117,500 to Alabama Republicans, the most aggressive financial strategy in the state from a potential 2008 presidential candidate so far and proof that the earlier primary is attracting national attention.

McCain also signed on Alabama Attorney General to co-chair his PAC Straight Talk America (photo above).

Last month, McCain named Alabama Attorney General Troy King the state chairman of his PAC. The PAC has given $10,000 each to King's and Gov. Bob Riley's campaigns; $5,000 to Luther Strange's bid for lieutenant governor; $5,000 to Jefferson County Commissioner Bettye Fine Collins; $5,000 to U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Vestavia Hills; and dozens of contributions to local legislative candidates.

In an encouraging sign, McCain's organization has been scooping up donations at the grassroots level. And while not the sole indicator of success, McCain's financial success certainly is a positive trend for building the grassroots network:

The campaign cash already is flowing in multiple directions. More than 300 Alabamians have cut individual checks to McCain's PAC, according to Straight Talk America financial records; McCain's PAC has given to Alabama candidates and party committees; and McCain's October appearance will generate thousands of dollars for Jefferson and Shelby Republicans.

Here's an Iowa Angle on the story:

"Just having the candidates active in the state benefits everybody," said Zac McCrary, a spokesman for the Alabama Democratic Party. "They'll employ people in the state and buy media time, and to the extent any candidates give time and resources to county or state parties, that is a benefit, too." Iowa's Vilsack, for example, donated $2,500 to the Alabama Democrats' County PAC.

While we can't and don't really want to speak to Vilsack's success in Alabama we certainly see a strong Southern operation being built by John McCain establishing a toehold in Alabama.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

We Remember


Lest we not forget.

Friday, September 08, 2006

McCain and Republicans Held in Favorable Esteem by America

John McCain and a host of Republicans are held in high regard by America in the latest Quinnipiac poll.

Earlier this month the Wall Street Journal conducted a poll which identfied the war in Iraq as the most important issue on the minds of Americans going into the midterm elections. (Over 53%).

The top three politicians with the most favorable ratings are all Republicans with strong national security credentials. When these polls are viewed in conjunction with one another, and viewed in the context of the Administration's most recent efforts, one is led to the most plausible belief that Americans hold in high regard those who have strong national security credentials.

Further, because the top three are Republicans and have strong national security credentials one is led to the conclusion that the Nation not only trusts Republicans with leading the War on Terror but that in November they will lean towards supporting the party that can keep this nation safe.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

McCain and John Thune

Here's an interesting story about the relationship between John McCain and South Dakota dragon slayer Senator John Thune, the guy who beat Tom Daschle in 04.

Word is that McCain and Thune have spent some considerable time together most recently on an 18 hour plane ride to Iraq, where they become very chummy, several months ago and have become buds through the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Recently Thune announced that he was bringing McCain to his homestate of South Dakota to speak at a venue which routinely draws more than 1300 people each year.

Look for Thune to play a part in helping McCain become President and win Iowa. One rock star helping another could be a potent combination for success. (Yes that is a prediction that Thune will endorse McCain should McCain run.)

Here's the Straight Talk Iowa Style tie-in:

Northwest Iowa is bombarded by the Sioux Falls, South Dakota media market and NW Iowa caucus goers are comfortable with Thune. He's on their televisions nightly and during election season. (This bleed over is similiar to what happens in Sioux City to NE and the QC to IL markets) We know this because we see him all the time.

Straight Talk Iowa Style remembers when John Thune came to several counties during the caucuses on behalf of George W. Bush, the crowds loved his surrogacy speech. In particular there were several appearances made by then-Cong. Thune and Cong. J.C. Watts on caucus night in Lyon and Sioux counties. With Thune's expanded role in the national GOP election and fundraising operations look for Thune to be courted heavily by 08 contenders.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Straight Talk Iowa Style is Up on MySpace.com

Folks:

We are up on MySpace.com now.

Check us out at: http://www.myspace.com/mccainiowa08

Saturday, September 02, 2006

McCain on Top in Hotline WH08 Rankings

The Hotline has issued it's monthly White House 08 rankings and John McCain is on top again. They say Mccain needs to do the following:

[]identify and remove the roadblocks that kept him from the nomination in '00. His brain trust has dedicated its waking hours to this task. Not enough money? McCain builds a broad donor base. Lack of Southern support? McCain methodically courts southern politicians and donors. Lack of credibility with the activist elite? Opinion drivers join McCain's PAC. Opposition from social conservatives? McCain goes out of his way to be civil and accommodating.

Hotline based its rankings on the following factors:

These rankings are based on a number of factors, including organization, money, buzz and polling. The candidates in our two top spots are the ones who are doing well in all four attributes. As always, these rankings are done in coordination with Hotline Associate Editor Marc Ambinder.

Straight Talk Iowa Style has been receiving reports that tell us McCain is ramping up the organization builidng efforts from the top down. Iowans will have to wait till after the mid-terms to see any further action and rightfully so.

Friday, September 01, 2006

From Other Blogs (Weekend Reading)

Pat Hynes, a McCain Blogger, posts on Anklebitingpundits.com about McCain's 24 year Pro-life voting record and how Mitt Romney has waffled on the issue. Again, and we have posted on this before, moral clarity is a prerequisite to running for President.

Read it about here.

McCain beefs up his Alabama campaign team by reccruiting that state's Attorney General to serve as his campaign chair there.

Read it here.

Have a good, long weekend.