The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

A One-Way Ticket to Des Moines …

Posted on | July 26, 2011 | 26 Comments

. . . would cost $249 if I booked today for an Aug. 3 departure from Reagan National in D.C.

You may ask, “Why Iowa? Why Aug. 3? Why a one-way ticket?” Here’s the story at The American Spectator:

Atlanta businessman Herman Cain will begin a nine-day bus tour of Iowa next week, leading up to the Aug. 11 Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News and the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll. . . .

The “Common Sense Solutions” bus tour kicks off Aug. 4 in Des Moines. I’m thinking of booking a one-way flight because it’s my first trip to Iowa and, while I’ll be following Cain’s bus tour across the Hawkeye State, I also want to catch up with as many of the other candidates as I can before the straw poll.

My general idea is to get a solid on-the-ground perspective of the political landscape in Iowa, to talk to organizers, activists and operatives, developing sources so that all I have to do — as we move ahead toward the February 2012 GOP caucuses — is make a few phone calls to get the straight lowdown.

Having spent the weekend rattling the tip jar — not just for me, but also for Da Tech Guy and for Zilla — I am loath to shake it now like a stripper’s booty in a Ladd Ehlinger attack ad. Heck, I haven’t even finished sending thank-you e-mails to all the people who’ve hit the tip jar since Saturday. Yet the itch to get back on the campaign trail has been burning a hole in my soul, and its been months since I’ve done the total Shoe Leather Fund operation. Enough of this sitting around and aggregating, I gotta hit the road.

So it would be $249 for the flight, and figure $75 a day for car rental plus $75 a night for motels. It’s possible that some of my Iowa friends will offer me sofa sleeping accommodations — if you’re in Iowa, send me an e-mail — which would save money.

Whenever I announce one of these crazy road trips, Mike in El Segundo usually hits me $50 for a carton of smokes. The dollar menu at McDonald’s is a reporter’s best friend — double cheeseburger, small fries and large sweet tea, $3 — and if I eat two meals a day for 10 days, that’s $60 total. Then there’s the coffee budget. Let’s say five cups a day at $1.50 per cup, that’s $7.50 a day or $75 for the 10-day trip.

All told, including $249 for the return flight, this trip should cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,500 — which sounds like a lot, until you realize that Da Tech Guy raised $1,800 in three days:

For those interested in raw numbers a total of 76 donations came in from 75 different people (Stacy McCain kicked in twice). The smallest amount given was $2 the largest $100. The total was $1833.26 with an average gift of $24.12 after paypal’s take.

Therefore do not for a minute doubt that, between now and an Aug. 3 departure date, we can get at least halfway to the $1,500 total. If 100 people each gave $15 or 60 people gave $25, that’s the whole trip right there. We’ve done it before, we’ll do it again, and here’s where I quote Jimmie Bise’s brilliant observation:

What I don’t understand is why anyone with any internet savvy at all would look at the Return On Investment (ROI) potential of new media and not at least give it a try.

You can go see what Jimmie’s talking about: $1,500 would be chump change to major Republican contributors, but it seems no one at GOP-HQ — and none of the geezerly types on their donor list — ever thinks of what huge results could be achieved through relatively minor investments in New Media. So that leaves it to you, the readers and tip-jar hitters, once more to give me a chance to show ’em how it’s done.

To quote Jake Blues: Hit it!

UPDATE: As if on cue, Smitty’s wife just went into labor!

The World’s Youngest Blogger obviously knew to time his arrival when we needed publicity the most.


26 Responses to “A One-Way Ticket to Des Moines …”

  1. smitty
    July 26th, 2011 @ 5:20 pm

    OK, I’m in. Just make sure Mrs. The Other Smitty doesn’t find out.

  2. Anonymous
    July 26th, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

    Your secret is safe with me. Now let’s talk about a more local road trip — tonight.

  3. David Vilches
    July 26th, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

    Do you even have a Samoan attorney?

    Kick some ass, Stacy!

    Cain is cool but the lesson of our time is hedge. TMac 2012.

  4. Journalism Is Hard « The Rhetorican
    July 26th, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    […] Journalism Is HardJournalism is hard.  And independent journalism like R.S. McCain’s is hard on the pocketbook.  So hit the tip jar and send him to Iowa to cover Herman Cain’s bus tour. […]

  5. Anonymous
    July 26th, 2011 @ 6:00 pm

    Do you even have a Samoan attorney?

    Indeed, I do. He lives in Alabama. He’s kinda pale for a Samoan, but …

  6. smitty
    July 26th, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

    Hmmm, well, let’s see how the rest of the process plays out.

  7. Zilla of the Resistance
    July 26th, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

    I’m spreading the word through facebook & Twitter and will blog about this later today. I look forward to your announcement that you ARE going to DesMoines and I can’t wait to read your posts from the road!

  8. DaveO
    July 26th, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

    If we pay, do we run the risk of you returning?

  9. Wannabe contributor
    July 26th, 2011 @ 7:07 pm

    I would like to contribute to Tfhe Other McCain website, but I don’t contribute electronically. Can you e-mail me a P O BOX and name of payee, to which I can mail a check?

  10. Iowa Bob
    July 26th, 2011 @ 7:20 pm

    Look into flying into Omaha instead of Des Moines. Omaha is usually $75-$100 cheaper than Des Moines and it’s only a 2 hour drive. If you’re already renting a car, it might be worth it.

  11. Mr. McCain Goes To Iowa...........Or At Least He's Trying To - The POH Diaries
    July 26th, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

    […] $1500 bucks to fly to Iowa, cover the essentials and get his butt back to Maryland. If you can help please do. I’ve hit his tip jar just recently as well as DaTech Guy’s so I may not be able to hit […]

  12. Joseph Fein
    July 26th, 2011 @ 9:05 pm


    Also in the middle of September is the CAGOP Spring Convo — we need Gonzo representation among the media!  Check my last tweet! 

  13. Debt Ceiling Fatigue | The Lonely Conservative
    July 26th, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

    […] a lot less safe.Oh yeah, and there’s a Republican primary race going on out there. Good thing Stacy McCain is heading to Iowa to cover things while most of the press will no doubt remain in Washington to document the theater […]

  14. Best and Most Important News of the Day
    July 26th, 2011 @ 8:05 pm

    […] Via Stacy, who’s going somewhere to do something, it appears that Itty Bitty Smitty might make… sometime today. His name is going to be Wolfgang Friedrich Smitty, or something like that. […]

  15. Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » Stacy McCain On the Road again… with your help
    July 26th, 2011 @ 10:14 pm

    […] Stacy McCain is preparing one of his famous roadtrips to Cover Herman Cain’s bus trip in Iowa: The “Common Sense Solutions” bus tour kicks off Aug. 4 in Des Moines. I’m thinking of […]

  16. The Incredible Herman Cain Campaign Work Ethic (Updated: A Last Minute Iowa Bus Tour Added) » Caffeinated Thoughts
    July 26th, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    […] course the biggest news out of all of this is that Stacy McCain is going to grace Iowans with his presence.  He could use some help with his shoe leather […]

  17. Adjoran
    July 27th, 2011 @ 10:04 am

    10 days in Iowa?  Are you out of your mind?  If not, you surely will be after 10 days in Iowa!  What’s the state motto?  “More fun than a five hour lecture on Gastropods!”? 

    Be careful, man – remember when Howard Dean sent 10,000 fresh-faced kids to their deaths as volunteers in Iowa?  Never to be heard from again?  [Okay, granted they were all liberal douchebags whose families had moved while they were on the road and left no forwarding addresses, but probably at least some of them ended up in those Iowa “loose meat sandwiches” or some roadside chili].

    Please reconsider for the sake of your children, who are expecting a much bigger inheritance than you’re sporting at the moment.  Remember “The Children of the Corn” was only set in Nebraska because Stephen King found Iowa just too dang scary.

  18. Charles
    July 27th, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

    The Cain bus tour around Iowa is 1770 miles, by Google’s calculation.

  19. Herman Cain: He’s In It To Win It : The Other McCain
    July 27th, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

    […] Matt wants to collect his $20, however, he’ll have to be in Ames on Aug. 13 — because that’s where I plan to be.Hit the freaking tip jar, y’all — this is gonna be fun!Category: Election 2012, Herman […]

  20. ‘F*** JOHN McCAIN!’ : The Other McCain
    July 27th, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    […] ‘F*** JOHN McCAIN!’ : The Other McCain.recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 !important;}@import url( );HomeAbout Robert Stacy McCainAbout Smitty The Other McCain"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler‘F*** JOHN McCAIN!’Posted on | July 27, 2011 | No Comments var addthis_product = 'wpp-261'; var addthis_config = {"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_language":"en"};That was the complete text of a Twitter message — except I spelled out the first word — I sent when I heard about this:Mr. McCain mocked Tea Party-allied Republicans in the House for believing — wrongly, he said — that President Obama and Democrats will get the blame for a default if Republicans refuse to increase the nation’s debt ceiling. By that flawed logic, “Democrats would have no choice but to pass a balanced budget amendment and reform entitlements and the Tea Party Hobbits could return to Middle Earth,” he said, quoting a Wall Street Journal editorial. “This is the kind of crack political thinking that turned Sharron Angle and Christine O’Donnell into G.O.P. nominees,” he jeered, referring to two losing Tea Party candidates for the Senate in 2010.”If there were any justice in the world . . . Well, it probably wouldn’t be wise to finish that sentence. But I think you see why I supported J.D. Hayworth in last year’s Arizona primary, and why I bragged on Election Day 2008: “Don’t Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr.” However, I felt it necessary to apologize to my Twitter followers today:And this seems like a good time to remind readers that I’m raising money for a shoe-leather trip to Iowa. […]

  21. Wannabe donor
    July 28th, 2011 @ 3:54 am

    Provide a p o box number to which I can send a check by snail mail.

  22. Herman Cain: He’s In It To Win It | Herman Cain PAC
    July 28th, 2011 @ 9:05 pm

    […] So I’ve got $20 that says Herman Cain finishes ahead of Pawlenty in the Ames Straw Poll, and I double-dog dare Matt Coulter to take that bet. If Matt wants to collect his $20, however, he’ll have to be in Ames on Aug. 13 — because that’s where I plan to be. […]

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    July 30th, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

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  24. News: Herman Cain Beats Rick Perry and I Just Bought My Ticket to Des Moines : The Other McCain
    July 31st, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    […] His name is Herman Cain.”Meanwhile, my own Iowa plans are moving forward: I just spent $340 for a one-way ticket to Des Moines, leaving Wednesday.Herman Cain’s “Common Sense Solutions” bus tour of Iowa starts […]

  25. News: Herman Cain Beats Rick Perry and I Just Bought My Ticket to Des Moines | Herman Cain PAC
    August 1st, 2011 @ 12:15 am

    […] my own Iowa plans are moving forward: I just spent $340 for a one-way ticket to Des Moines, leaving […]

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    […] to mind as I prepare to embark on my first shoe-leather excursion onto the 2012 campaign trail.A one-way ticket to Des Moines, 10 days in Iowa leading up to the Aug. 13 Ames Straw Poll and, at this point, I don’t have […]