The Other McCain

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

Memo From the National Affairs Desk: Strange Rumblings in the Heartland

Posted on | December 19, 2011 | 15 Comments

By this time a week from today — Dec. 26, the day after Christmas — I’ll be in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, covering the final campaign leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses, and I’m already getting advance vibes of serious Fear and Loathing in the Hawkeye State.

There is so much to do between now and my departure date that I’m beginning to worry that I’ll never get it all done in time. The chief task now is to say some long-overdue thanks for all the readers who have already contributed to the Shoe Leather Fund to help make this trip possible: Doug in Cincinnati, Mr. E in Alabama, Mike in Ardmore, Barry in Missouri, Maggie in Broken Arrow, Chris in Patterson, Mike in El Segundo, Philip in Lakeland, Jeff in Elizabethtown, Nathan in Illinois, Susan in Concord, Howard in Texas, Ross in Lakeland, Daniel in New Port Richey, Michael in New Hampshire, Joan in Georgia, Lisa in Clarkson, Bonnie in Utah, Stacy in Colonial Heights, John in Cambridge, Ronald in Oakland, Mike W. in Falls Church, Jeff in Walla Walla, and Charlie in Oregon.

It is not merely gratitude, of course, that causes me to recite this list of generous readers who’ve hit the tip jar since Thanksgiving, but also the hope that those of you who haven’t yet contributed will be inspired to emulate these excellent examples. I’ve explained this before:

The list of Good People is indeed long, but nearly not as long as the list of Ungrateful Sons of Bitches Who Never Hit a Blogger’s Tip Jar. And ’tis the season to add your name to the list of Good People, because time is running dreadfully short. It takes as many as three to four business days for the PayPal donations to show up in my bank account, and the banks will take a long weekend holiday at Christmas, which means that unless you hit the tip jar in the next 24 to 48 hours, I won’t see the money until sometime next week — too late to rent a car, book hotels, and all the other stuff I’ve got to do before Dec. 26.

Among the things I’ve got to do is call a Romanian immigrant in Cedar Rapids, a friend of Dan Collins, who has agreed to provide me sofa-crashing privileges at least for my first night in Iowa. But that won’t cover the whole trip, and hotel space in Des Moines for Caucus Night is sure to be hard to get if I don’t book it soon.

Woodward and Bernstein never had to worry about this stuff, of course.

It seems somehow my fate — “Not Good Enough for BlogCon” — to be banished to the marginal fringes of New Media, a disreputable figure compelled to desperate measures merely to pay the bills and do the job. And so I’m rattling the tip jar like an epileptic on methamphetamine, with just a week to go before my Iowa trip begins.



UPDATE: What did I say about fate? Just got off the phone with Dan’s friend in Cedar Rapids who, alas, will be out of town next week. So scratch that plan for having a ride from the airport or a sofa to crash on Dec. 26.

UPDATE II: While I’m apparently doomed to desperate measures, at least I’m not suffering a humiliating implosion in the polls:

Gingrich’s Lead Over Romney
Among Republicans Collapses

That’s the latest Gallup national survey, which shows Newt falling from 37% to 26 percent in the past two weeks, mirroring the “collapse” that PPP reports in Gingrich’s Iowa numbers.

UPDATE III: More strange and savage rumblings: Another poll, by Insider Advantage, confirms the Gingrich implosion but — contrary to the PPP poll — shows Newt’s collapse benefitting Rick Perry. Allahpundit thinks the hapless Perry can actually beat Ron Paul in Iowa, which is the one thing we can be sure won’t happen.

Absurd efforts to re-inflate the Perry bubble will only further divide and confuse the 50%-60% of Iowa caucusgoers who are both anti-Romney and anti-Paul. That confusion could split such voters four ways — Newt, Perry, Bachmann and Santorum each in the 10%-15% range — so that they are all in essence fighting for third place behind Romney and Paul.

UPDATE IV: While struggling to cope with an overpowering sense of doomstruck despair, I guess I’ll pass along some encouraging news:


Urbandale, IA — Republican Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum has received the endorsement of influential Siouxland radio personality Sam Clovis.
Sam Clovis, a popular conservative radio talk show host in the Siouxland market from 10 – 11am each morning on KSCJ 1360-am, is endorsing former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum for President. Clovis, whose program commands a number one rating in his time slot, has never endorsed a candidate but is taking what he considers is a major step in being involved in the political process.
Clovis said, “Many listeners and interested Iowans are always asking me who I will be supporting in the upcoming caucuses. I think it’s time I take a stand and let people know.” He said he came to his decision after spending months covering the election cycle and interacting with nearly all of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination president to run against incumbent Barack Obama.
Clovis said, “My ideal candidate must be a conservative who believes in a constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and unflagging devotion to life and traditional marriage.” He stated that only Rick Santorum had the experience, education and life-example to satisfy all of these characteristics. Clovis believes that Santorum, of all the candidates, is the one most likely to follow through on his campaign promises. He sees Santorum as trustworthy and a person who believes that individual Americans are best able to decide what is best for themselves, not some government nanny state.
Senator Santorum said: “Sam Clovis is a true voice for conservatism in Siouxland. He has stood tall for conservative principles and constitutional government both on the air and in the classroom. Sam is a respected voice whose endorsement will be important to his many listeners, so to have his support today is terrific boon to our campaign and honor to receive. The momentum continues building for us, and I am thrilled to have Sam as part of our team as we put our plan to win the Iowa caucuses into action!”
Clovis is a 25-year veteran of the United States Air Force, an Air Force Academy graduate where he earned a degree in political science. He holds an MBA and a doctorate in public administration from the University of Alabama. He has been following politics most of his life and, since going on KSCJ two years ago, has been deeply involved in analyzing policies and politics. He has also brought to the Siouxland the very popular Serious Civics lecture series. These presentations are rooted in the Constitution and provide context for contemporary events in America.

So we can dare hope that Sam Clovis influences more GOP caucus-goers in Iowa than does Allahpundit, which would probably come as quite a surprise to Allahpundit.

UPDATE V: Despite steadfast opposition from Allahpundit — who hates Rick Santorum with the heat of ten thousand suns — the senator’s campaign will continue across Iowa the next two days:

Tuesday, December 20:

9:00am CT: Senator Santorum will host a “Faith, Family and Freedom” Town Hall in Pella, IA.
Location: Monarch Restaurant, Royal Amsterdam Hotel
705 East 1st Street
Pella, IA

12:30pm CT: Senator Santorum will host a “Faith, Family and Freedom” Town Hall in Mt. Pleasant, IA.
Location: Mt. Pleasant Public Library
307 East Monroe Street, Suite 101
Mt. Pleasant, IA

4:00pm CT: Senator Santorum will participate in the Genesis Health Care Forum in Davenport, IA.
Location: Genesis Medical Center
1227 East Rusholme Street
Davenport, IA

6:00pm CT: Senator Santorum will attend a house party to benefit the congressional campaign of John Archer in Bettendorf, IA.
Location: Home of John & Andrea Archer
3195 Westminster
Bettendorf, IA

Wednesday, December 21

8:00am CT: Senator Santorum will host a “Faith, Family and Freedom” Town Hall in West Burlington, IA.
Location: Broadway Café
111 Broadway Street
West Burlington, IA

12:00pm CT: Senator Santorum will host a “Faith, Family and Freedom” Town Hall in Fairfield, IA.
Location: Fairfield Arts & Convention Center
200 North Main Street
Fairfield, IA

6:30pm CT: Senator Santorum will be the featured guest at a Christmas House Party hosted by Tim and Sheryl Schwager.
Location: Home of Tim and Sheryl Schwager
4811 Southchase Court
Iowa City, IA

No Republican has ever won the Iowa caucuses without Allahpundit’s support. But there’s a first time for everything, they say.


15 Responses to “Memo From the National Affairs Desk: Strange Rumblings in the Heartland”

  1. ThePaganTemple
    December 19th, 2011 @ 11:11 pm

    Hey Stacy, have you seen any Tea Party Patriots polls lately? Oh wait a minute, never mind, I’ve seen one, come to think of it. Here’s how the tally went-

    Newt Gingrich-31%
    Michelle Bachmann-28%
    Mitt Romney-20%
    Rick Santorum-16%
    Ron Paul-3%
    Rick Perry-2%

    Oh, and for an interesting little tidbit the candidate who inspired the most enthusiasm was-Michelle Bachmann. Seeing as how compared to Gingrich she has the superior organization, I would say there’s a pretty good chance she might actually come out on top. Of course this was just Tea Party Patriots, but then again, these are people that are actually likely to go to the caucuses.

  2. Anonymous
    December 19th, 2011 @ 11:49 pm

    Hey, thanks for the discouraging news, PT. My gut hunch is that we’re doomed beyond all hope of redemption, but it’s nice of you to provide further depressing evidence of this, just in case I wasn’t yet completely demoralized.

  3. elaine
    December 20th, 2011 @ 1:06 am

    Eh, forget about polls.  The only one that matters takes place in the caucus rooms this January.  Everything else might show trends, but their predictive value is suspect.

  4. Adjoran
    December 20th, 2011 @ 1:19 am

    Right – especially in Iowa, where predicting who will actually turn out on caucus night is so tricky.  In 2004 the nasty campaign between Dean and Gephardt actually inspired people who didn’t like them to turn out, creating the enthusiasm and motivation Kerry and Edwards couldn’t generate on their own.

  5. Mike Rogers
    December 20th, 2011 @ 1:21 am

    Answering the call – a shameless advertisement for show leather:

  6. Finrod Felagund
    December 20th, 2011 @ 2:00 am

    At least it would mean that your prediction about Rick Perry is dead on.

  7. Adjoran
    December 20th, 2011 @ 2:00 am

    From the reports I’ve read and heard, there is an ill wind blowing in Iowa.  People are upset with their choices, upset with the way the campaign, debates, and coverage have gone,  and in a mood to send a message.  From that I take the race may be far more volatile than even the changing poll data shows.

    Now, I can see nothing specific which points to Santorum as a beneficiary, except for the general point that introducing chaos into a contest hurts those in or near the lead and helps those back in the back with extra chances.  And that having not yet been the Flavor of the Month, he hasn’t suffered the pains and arrows of close scrutiny by opponents and media and the mounting pressures success brings a candidate, he is untainted by the ritual taking-down each receives in turn.

    I think the race is indeed still wide open, and Iowa doubly so.  I don’t see Perry winning Iowa, but he could build back up to where he would have finished without the ridiculous fanfare before he entered, which ruined him in the expectations game, 15-20%, which could be enough for second.  Even a close third would make Perry the Comeback Kid of this cycle (remember, Clinton lost the NH primary in 1992 and still declared himself Comeback Kid), and he would still have a chance to grab South Carolina as those backing Gingrich take a closer look and Bachmann’s supporters realize she is going nowhere and decide to make a difference in the race.

    Right about now, T-Paw is kicking himself for dropping out.

  8. Anonymous
    December 20th, 2011 @ 2:22 am

    T-Paw’s mistake was getting in. Dude never had a hope and this retroactive what-if stuff is absurd.

    As for Perry, to the extent that blowing a metric buttload of cash on TV ads can make a difference, yeah, he’s got a chance in Iowa, and third place would be good enough if Mitt and Ron Paul finish first and second.

    What I can’t figure, however, is why I seem to be one of only a handful of conservatives with access to a computer who doesn’t hate Rick Santorum. The complete contempt toward Santorum from the conservative blogosphere — at least the Big Sites That People Actually Read — is remarkable.

    Ace can’t stand Santorum. Allah despises Santorum. Red State is crammed to the rafters with Santorum-haters, and Instapundit won’t link anything positive about Santorum. I could go down the list of important conservative blogs — e.g., Legal Insurrection, Daily Pundit, Patterico, Powerline, etc. — and it’s a Murderer’s Row of unremitting anti-Santorum sentiment.

    You can understand why I find this situation particularly depressing: Because I’m known to be pro-Santorum, none of my Iowa coverage will get linked by any of the Big Sites That People Actually Read.

    I have become an UnPerson in the blogosphere, an ostracized pariah, persona non grata.

  9. Datechguy's Blog » Blog Archive » Ron Paul takes his turn in the rotation and there was much ??? » Datechguy's Blog
    December 20th, 2011 @ 5:15 am

    […] Now it’s Perry chapter 2? If so Barbara will approve. Share […]

  10. Finrod Felagund
    December 20th, 2011 @ 6:09 am

    I can’t speak for other blogs, but the level of Santorum hatred on Redstate is nowhere near the levels that Palin hatred or Cain hatred got to.  Gingrich opinion is a mixed bag with an undercurrent of negativity, Bachmann gets pretty roundly ridiculed, Perry is the kool-aid of choice, Romney is dead last on lots of peoples’ lists there, not a lot really is said about Santorum.

  11. Anonymous
    December 20th, 2011 @ 7:11 am

    Perhaps Santorum is the Tebow candidate rather than Perry.  Everyone hates Tebow.

  12. ThePaganTemple
    December 20th, 2011 @ 7:20 am

    Why so sad? Your candidate is in double digits here, 16%. Still 12% behind my candidate. You know, the one who is “going nowhere” and who “people ridicule” according to comments further down, but still, 16% beats the hell out of the three or four percent he usually gets in polls.

  13. ThePaganTemple
    December 20th, 2011 @ 7:41 am

    People don’t hate Rick Santorum. They are just dismissive towards him because they don’t think he has a chance to rise above the status of spoiler. And I can see why. Even people that like him talk about how whiny and petulant he puts himself across. My main problem with him is he puts me in mind of the old fashioned double-speak politico, and he reinforced that opinion when he criticized Newt for calling the Palestinians a made-up people, which is what they are, basically a fake ethnicity.

    For all their faults, Newt and Bachmann are the only two candidates who tell it like it is. Well, Perry does sometimes, but we can discount him because his ability to tell it like it is seems to come with the caveat that first he has to be able to spit it out in a way that’s sensible and comprehensible.

    In Newt’s case, he’s started down this road of “I’m going to run a positive campaign”. That’s the political equivalent of smiling while you’re being ass-raped. It looks weak, and makes me worry he would carry that persona into the general election campaign.

    Bachmann, by contrast, is exactly what we need-a vicious bitch who will smile at you while she’s ripping your nuts off. Yeah, she’ll call Obama “President Obama” out of recognition of the fact that he holds the title. But that’s all the respect she’ll give the little motherfucker.

    If you don’t believe me, look up the video where she let Chris Matthews have it. Matthews was treating her in a derisive, dismissive fashion, when she reminded him of his “leg tingles”. You could almost see Matthews tiny little dick shrivel up to nothing. The little pussy almost cried.

    And though I haven’t seen it yet, I hear she gave the little prick David Gregory pretty much the same treatment on Meet The Press last Sunday when he went out of his way to keep her from making her point about how much Obama has added to the national debt.

    There’s just something about conservative women that make me feel good, probably because they’re not the little pussies conservative men are.

  14. Slouching Toward Cedar Rapids : The Other McCain
    December 21st, 2011 @ 12:19 am

    […] morale during times of discouragement. And so I’m grateful to the readers who responded to last night’s emergency request for contributions to the Shoe Leather Fund for my rapidly approaching Iowa trip: Jeff in Walla Walla, Richard in […]

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