The Other McCain

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Fear and Loathing on Highway 193; Pawlenty Aiming at Bachmann?

Posted on | August 4, 2011 | 15 Comments

Got back from Oskaloosa — an hour away on Highway 193 — about 6 p.m. local time and spent hours struggling to upload video and photos. Now I’m just a couple hours aways from my deadline for The American Spectator, and so there’s only enough time for a couple of pictures and a quick note.

Basically, the Ames Straw Poll on Aug. 13 is shaping up to be Tim Pawlenty’s make-or-break moment. And if he is broken, many observers will declare that it is his fellow Minnesotan, Michele Bachmann, who has broken him. Pawlenty and Bachmann are the only two candidates I’ve seen running TV ads here in Des Moines, and when I posted Bachmann’s latest ad here earlier today, it apparently got the attention of some T-Paw supporters.

Let’s just say that there is no love lost between the two rival Minnesota camps, OK? And we can also point out the obvious: If a Bachmann win on Aug. 13 would be a death knell for Team T-Paw, the clock is ticking down on the time at which “Minnesota nice” goes by the wayside and Pawlenty goes negative on Bachmann. Not that the candidate would attack Bachmann personally, you understand. But the oppo-research files on Bachmann wouldn’t be of any value to the Pawlenty campaign after Aug. 13, if a defeat at Ames effectively destroys Pawlenty’s viability.

Keep that stuff in mind, because surely I’m not the only journalist in Iowa who’s getting “friendly tips” about the Bachmann family’s tax records, etc. And I’m not even trying to get that kind of stuff. It’s just out there, as they say, and I can’t help it when stuff shows up in my e-mail inbox.

Now, a couple of photos from today’s events:

Herman Cain holds an impromptu press conference on the town square in Oskaloosa. Note the two handheld digital recorders at the bottom.

Dale Peterson showed up in Des Moines today. He is agricultural adviser to Cain’s campaign. Maybe he’ll also be on the lookout for people trying to steal yard signs.

And here is a video of a nice lady in Oskaloosa talking about the big annual festival:

I’ll have more later. But first I have to hit that deadline.

UPDATE: After hitting my deadline, I went out to Urbandale — about eight miles from my motel here in Des Moines — to take a quick after-hours look-see at Bachmann’s Iowa campaign headquarters, just to scope out the location. It’s in a shopping center near a pub called Groucho’s. So I was heading back out when I looked across the driveway and, less than 100 yards away from Bachmann HQ is the headquarters of . . . Herman Cain’s campaign. You could quite literally throw a rock from one office to the other. Kinda weird.


15 Responses to “Fear and Loathing on Highway 193; Pawlenty Aiming at Bachmann?”

  1. KingShamus
    August 5th, 2011 @ 2:21 am

    Because Dale Peterson gives a rip about Herman Cain’s campaign!

    Dale Peterson for Ag Commissioner…OF THE EARTH.

  2. SVT
    August 5th, 2011 @ 4:02 am

    What do you call a politician who doesn’t have the nuts to criticize a squishy male candidate to his face but allows or instructs his underlings to wage a whispering campaign against a bona fide conservative female candidate?

    What a weenie.

  3. Adjoran
    August 5th, 2011 @ 5:28 am

    If there are skeletons in anyone’s closet, we WANT them to come out in the primaries, don’t we?  Or do you think Obama is just too much of a nice guy to fight dirty?

    Pawlenty is definitely make-or-break in Iowa, and probably needs a strong showing at Ames to carry on to the caucuses themselves.  He needs a good performance in the debate as well, because of his fumbling the RomneyCare question in the first one.  This is because without Iowa, it’s hard to see another early state where he could make enough noise to become a factor.  The only other early contest in his region is Michigan, but Romney’s been on the ground there for 5-6 years, and was raised there, and can probably call on voters who rang bells for his Dad.

    Bachmann would also find the going rough if the Huckabee hicks don’t come through for her in a big way.  Her much-ballyhooed fundraising machine isn’t setting the world on fire like it was supposed to, and she has no real experience managing anything.  Neither was she an accomplished legislator in Minnesota or Washington.  Her basic qualification is her ability to throw red meat at the base.  We do know there are plenty of dumb clucks in the state, though – Huckabee won it, after all.

  4. Nospam
    August 5th, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    “Huckabee hicks”
    “Dumb clucks”.
    Gee, I know who’s looking forward to another four years of Obama.

  5. McGehee
    August 5th, 2011 @ 2:16 pm

    Spoken like a true rube who believed Huckabee’s “I’m a real conservative” jive in ’08.

  6. Anonymous
    August 5th, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    ” Not that the candidate would attack Bachmann personally, you understand. ”

    Pawlenty’s real tough talking behind someone’s back, Romney, Bachmann, whoever.  When they turn around he crawls.  I have no time for him.  Do you seriously think he’d stand up to Obama in a debate?

  7. Nospam
    August 5th, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

    Amazing… how you could read a commentary on Huckabee into a one-sentence comment aobut some clown’s willingness to badmouth people whose votes he depends on.

    Are you blind, stupid, or just a loudmouth on the Internet?

  8. Fleischen DePann
    August 5th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    If Dale Peterson is Herman Cain’s agriculture adviser, then that’s reason enough to vote for him right there.  I think “Dale Peterson, Secretary of Agriculture” has a nice ring to it.

  9. Long Knives in Iowa : The Other McCain
    August 5th, 2011 @ 11:38 am

    […] a convicted drug dealer/money launderer in 2007″?They’re bringing it all now — as predicted — and check out this bit buried in today’s Wall Street Journal profile of Bachmann:Ms. […]

  10. ThePaganTemple
    August 5th, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

    Any chance of me voting for Cain in the primary would pivot on him firing his current crop of advisers, and afterwards “clarifying” his stance on Islam and on Muslims in American and any potential Cain Administration. The general election isn’t an issue. I’d vote for Foghorn Leghorn over Obama.

  11. Joe
    August 5th, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    Adjoran does have a point, the primaries are about shaking all of this out. 

    And Pawlenty knows he has to win something to be able to go to the big dance with Mitt Romeny.   Michelle is in the way. 

  12. McGehee
    August 5th, 2011 @ 7:11 pm

    I could ask the same of you, given that you quoted Adjoran about Huckabee and appeared to accuse him of wanting another four years of Obama.

    Adjoran and I don’t agree on everything but I know damn well he wants Obama gone as much as I do.

  13. An Important Detail, and Pawlenty’s Last Stand
    August 5th, 2011 @ 4:36 pm

    […] getting closer, and the numbers looking bad, Stacy made a note yesterday about the approach we were likely to be seeing: Not that the candidate would attack Bachmann personally, you understand. But the oppo-research […]

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