The Other McCain

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


Posted on | August 13, 2011 | 64 Comments

UPDATE 6:41 p.m. ET: AMES, Iowa – Minnesota Rep. Michelle Bachmann has won the Iowa Republican Straw Poll of 2012 presidential candidates.

UPDATE 6:47 p.m. ET:

Bachmann 4,823 (28.5%)
Paul 4,671 (27.6%)
Pawlenty 2,293
Santorum 1,657
Cain 1,456
Perry 718 (write-in)
Romney 567

Quick analysis — obviously, Pawlenty’s toast. He spent more than a million bucks to finish a distant third. Santorum gets a real boost from his 4th-place finish. Herman Cain made the top five, but not as strong as he had hoped.

Rick Perry — as a write-in — out-polled Romney, who was on the ballot.

UPDATE 7 p.m. ET: Just interviewed Frank Luntz: “Rick Perry, who wasn’t even on the ballot, got more votes than Mitt Romney, who was in the debate 48 hours ago. Wow.”

UPDATE 7:11 p.m. ET: Also interviewed Mike Huckabee, who said: “I think it was a great day for all the Republicans — a big win for Michele Bachmann. But, it was probably not a day that takes Pawlenty completely out of it. It’s going to be tough for him, but on the other hand, I don’t think he’ll quit right away.” On Rick Santorum’s fourth-place finish: “I think it shows that he’s beginning to get some mommentum. Rick’s got a strong message and he’s a strong candidate. He’s a good guy.”

I’ve got more, but I was just told that Michele Bachmann will give a statement in five minutes at her bus.

UPDATE 7:40 p.m. ET: So much for the “statement” — she was surrounded by a giant media scrum, and I could barely see her. Readers who’ve followed this campaign trip from the start know that, last Friday, I covered Bachmann during her appearance at a muddy rain-soaked Christian music festival in West Des Moines. There were only three or four reporters at that event, including me. Now? Everywhere she goes, she’s surrounded by reporters and cameras.

And I just scored an exclusive video interview with Rick Santorum, who’s feeling very optimistic about his chances. You remember his visit to the barn in Roland, right?

I’ll upload that video — and many, many more — later on. But not on this craptastic WiFi connection. So I’m getting out of here and heading back to the hotel. Tomorrow, Rick Perry’s coming into Iowa, and I may cover that, too. Please hit the tip jar.

* * * PREVIOUSLY * * *

In front of T-Paw’s tent at the Ames Straw Poll

AMES, Iowa
“No parking for miles around,” they said. But I drove right up to within 100 yards of the Hilton Coliseum here on the campus of Iowa State University, then drove over a curb and pulled up on the grass in the shade of a tree. Is this legal? Is it moral? Is it permitted by the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics?

I dunno. The SPJ never asked me to join.

Just as I don’t know whether illegal parking constitutes an ethical violation, neither am I sure what the SPJ Code of Ethics says about scarfing up free barbecue provided by Republican presidential campaigns. But I’m not here to teach an ethics seminar. I’m here to report the news.

UPDATE: Currently experiencing a WiFi bandwidth suckage issue here in the Coliseum. Struggling to maintain a connection while I upload photos. Uploading video? Fuggedabout it!

An Iowa family for Rick Santorum.

UPDATE II: Just heard Ron Paul’s speech. It’s amazing, really, that this cranky old coot could inspire such a fanatical following among youth. He is a lousy speaker. His voice is not pleasant to hear, especially when boomed over the P.A. system in a basketball arena.

The Paulistas representin’ the man.

David Gregory is interviewed by a reporter for a local NBC affiliate.

UPDATE III: Tim Pawlenty is now speaking. His campaign clearly has a strong turnout, and I’d be very much surprised if they get fewer than 3,000 votes.

UPDATE IV: Inside the T-Paw tent, where supporters chowed down on Famous Dave’s BBQ:

UPDATE V: Just figured out why the WiFi is so craptastic today. Fifteen thousand people in the Coliseum are using their iPhones to update their Facebook statuses and check their e-mail.

UPDATE VI: Herman Cain just finished speaking — his basic stump speech, but it really fired up the crowd here. You can see why nobody ever wants to follow him onstage.

What comes next: The straw-poll balloting is open until 4 p.m. Once the votes are tabulated, they’ll be announced from the stage here.

The craptastic WiFi prevents me from uploading photos and video right now. Grrrrrrr.

UPDATE VII: OK, now the Coliseum is clearing out for a minute, so I have a bit of bandwidth:

Young Herman Cain supporters cheer his speech.

UPDATE VIII: The voting has now closed and we await tabulation of the vote before they announce the results. The WiFi connectivity issues got so frustrating a few minutes ago that I threw my fedora on the floor, shouted a string of frightful epithets and went outside to smoke a couple of cigarettes to calm down. When I returned, the WiFi connection had slightly improved, so apparently the cussing worked.

UPDATE IX: While I was out having my smoke, three of Rick Santorum’s kids wandered by — evidently unrecognized as such by anyone else but me.

Of course, if their Dad should get the GOP nomination, they’ll be constantly surrounded by very serious armed men with wires in their ears. At this stage, however, everything is kind of informal and it’s possible to get to know the candidates personally. This is why the early part of the campaign is so much fun — at least when the #$%& WiFi is working.

UPDATE X: The rumor here is that 16,000 ballots have been cast in the straw poll — substantially up from 2008, when 11,000 ballots were cast — and that Michele Bachmann paid for tickets for 6,000 of her supporter. One nationally known journalist said to me: “If that’s true [i.e., about her buying 6,000 tickets] Bachmann’s gonna clean Pawlenty’s clock.”

We await announcement of the totals.

UPDATE XI: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is going to be on the grounds here at Iowa State University to share her reactions to the results of straw poll. Hope it turns out better than her speech Friday at the State Fair.

UPDATE XII:  Just talked to a Bachmann adviser who says they are “very confident” at this point.”



64 Responses to “LIVE! AMES STRAW POLL COVERAGE: Fear and Loathing at Hilton Coliseum UPDATE: BACHMANN WINS!

  1. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    August 14th, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    This is in reply to richard_mcenroe,  we didn’t sign the treaty.  The US never signed the Paris Declaration.

  2. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    August 14th, 2011 @ 8:48 am

    Bachman like Paul is also a follower of Von Mises and the Austrian School.  So of course they would share similarities.  In my mind she’s the candidate I’d like to have, if I can’t have one of the Libertarian Republicans.
    Plus I like her stance on abortion much better than I like Gary Johnson’s

  3. Jorge Emilio Emrys Landivar
    August 14th, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    No way, Sam Adams was a hardcore statist who wanted political speech shut down.  Ron Paul is not much like Adams at all.

  4. McGehee
    August 14th, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    As a recovering Trekkie, I had a bit of a start at seeing that the Paulinos were all wearing red shirts.

  5. ThePaganTemple
    August 14th, 2011 @ 1:25 pm

    I think you’re mixing him up with cousin Johnny.

  6. FMJRA 2.0: Roam : The Other McCain
    August 14th, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

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  7. Anonymous
    August 14th, 2011 @ 9:27 pm

    Jorge — Turns out you’re right.  However:

    The United States, which aimed at a complete exemption of non-contraband private property from capture at sea, withheld its formal adherence in 1857 when its “Marcy” amendment was not accepted by all powers, chiefly as a result of British influence. It argued that, not possessing a great navy, it would be obliged in time of war to rely largely upon merchant ships commissioned as war vessels, and that therefore the abolition of privateering would be entirely in favour of European powers, whose large navies rendered them practically independent of such aid. All other maritime states acceded to the declaration except Spain, Mexicoand Venezuela.In 1861, during the American Civil War, the United States declared that it would respect the principles of the declaration during hostilities. The same was done during theSpanish-American War of 1898, when the United States Government affirmed its policy of conducting hostilities in conformity with the dispositions of the declaration. Some of the questions raised by this declaration were clarified by the 1907 Hague Convention.The rules contained in this declaration later came to be considered as part of the general principles of international law and the United States too, though not formally a party, abides by provisions.So while we’re not a titular signatory, we have been acknowledging the validity of the treaty for the past 144 or so years.

  8. Bob Belvedere
    August 15th, 2011 @ 12:08 am

    John Adams was not a statist and, as Russell Kirk pointed out in The Conservative Mind, he is one of the fathers of American Conservative thinking.

  9. Anonymous
    August 15th, 2011 @ 12:14 am

    Thanks, that’s good to know.

  10. ThePaganTemple
    August 15th, 2011 @ 2:54 am

    I thought Jorge might have been referring to the X,Y,Z Affair and the Alien and Sedition Acts.

  11. Bob Belvedere
    August 15th, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    In the XYZ Affair, Mr. Adams conducted himself with great skill. The A&S Acts were a big mistake, however.

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    August 15th, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

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    August 18th, 2011 @ 10:21 pm

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