Category Archives: Iowa

The 2012 Presidential Campaign: Iowa Will Be Center Stage For The Next Year by Gregory Hilton

January 3, 2008. Mitt Romney concedes defeat to Mike Huckabee in the Iowa Republican presidential precinct caucuses. Now the 2012 campaign is about to begin.


As soon as the polls close this year, the 2012 presidential campaign will begin in earnest. There has been remarkable GOP unity since Barack Obama’s election, but this will be difficult to maintain next year as Republicans join competing bandwagons of the presidential contenders. Similar to 2000 and 2008, Republicans are expected to divide themselves into economic, social and national security camps, with significant overlap in each category. Continue reading

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The Real RINO’s and the Republican Civil War by Gregory Hilton

Some conservatives are annoyed because Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) did not vote with the GOP the first time the financial reform bill was considered. I was also disappointed, but at the same I understand Massachusetts is not Utah. We cannot expect hard core conservatives to represent the Bay State.
Aside from Brown, there is no other Republican in the Bay State delegation. There are 40 members of the State Senate and only four of them are Republicans. Not one Republican represents the six New England states in the House of Representatives. Continue reading

Will Christian Conservatives Rob The GOP of Victory in Iowa by Gregory Hilton

The liberals can not defeat Republicans this year, but the radical right will make sure the left wing triumphs. As this article notes, that is what they want. The so-called Christian right would prefer a liberal victory rather than having a conservative Republican who would not focus entirely on abortion and gay marriage.
Bob Vander Plaats is a sore loser who was defeated in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Now he is talking about running as an independent because former Gov. Terry Branstad will not pick Vander Plaats as his running mate. His other demand is for Branstad to issue an illegal executive order banning gay marriage, even though this could result in a Governor’s impeachment.
Vander Plaats tactics worked in 2006 and four years ago he was selected as the nominee for Lt. Governor. I admire Branstad for saying no, but highly unpopular liberal Gov. Chet Culver may now be re-elected. Graham Gillette of the Des Moines Register says a Vander Plaats campaign equals a Culver victory, but that is the goal of the Christian right: “In many ways, the Vander Plaats folks would prefer a Culver victory over one for Branstad. They do not like Culver, but Branstad’s victory would limit options for them in years to come – like who gets to be party chair, who controls party resources and who is in charge of the messaging carried and heard by conservatives. The heart of the battle in Iowa is not about winning an office, but for who controls the Republican/conservative/Tea Party cause. Vander Plaats is not ready to go into that good night and Branstad puts a significant dent into the aspirations of many who support Vander Plaats.”
The Iowa situation is amazing because Branstad is absolutely a social as well as an economic conservative. He is focusing his campaign on jobs, taxes and the deficit. The Iowa Family Policy Center wants him to focus on abortion and gay marriage. The liberal Democrats can not believe their good fortune.
UPDATE
The Iowa Republican Convention is on Saturday, June 26th and Branstad has selected State Senator Kim Reynolds as his running mate for Lt. Governor. Her nomination will be challenged by the evangelicals and they are expected to push Vander Plaats. Both Branstad, 63, and Reynolds, 50, are solid conservatives and the only disagreement they have with the evangelicals is their refusal to issue an illegal executive order overturning the Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage.
The whispering campaign against Reynolds concerns her two arrests in 1999 and 2000 for drunk driving. Senator Reynolds has been sober for the last 8 years and says “I sought help, and I’m a stronger person for it today. What I learned is that you don’t give up. You don’t lose faith. You hold your head high and move on.
”It’s been a very public experience that I’ve been through. A decade ago I did not think I would ever get the opportunity to serve in the State Senate, or to be standing here as a candidate for Lt. Governor. I could not have done it without a strong faith, a family that has stood behind me and a great network of support.”

Christian Right and Regular Republicans Are Divided in Iowa by Gregory Hilton

Why do liberal Democrats win in states such as Iowa? Because some conservative groups are very foolish. The Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) is refusing to support former Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) in his comeback attempt. Branstad is pro-life and is definitely a social conservative. They will not support him because he is emphasizing jobs, taxes and the economy, rather than abortion and gay marriage. This silly in-fighting has led to 12 years of Democratic control in Iowa.
Polling conducted during the 2008 presidential primary showed six out of 10 people who attended Republican caucuses described themselves as evangelical Christians. According to the Des Moines Register, “Even if the IFPC’s decision causes only a slight drop in Branstad’s support, it could be decisive because the Democratic party has roughly 100,000 more members than the GOP in Iowa. Unaffiliated voters outnumber both Republicans and Democrats.
“Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford said Branstad faces an almost impossible situation. ‘He’s got to find a way of pulling in the hard-core religious conservatives without alienating the independents he needs,’ Goldford said. ‘It can’t be a fire-breather, a cultural warrior.'”
UPDATE
Will the Christian right allow liberals to win again? It could happen and apparently they are in no mood to forgive State Senator Kim Reynolds, right. The Iowa Republican Convention is on Saturday and four term former Governor Terry Branstad has selected Reynolds as his running mate for Lt. Governor. Her nomination will be challenged by the evangelicals and they are expected to push Bob Vander Plaats who was defeated in this year’s primary by Branstad. Both Branstad, 63, and Reynolds, 50, are solid conservatives and the only disagreement they have with the evangelicals is their refusal to issue an illegal executive order overturning the Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage.
The whispering campaign against Reynolds concerns her two arrests in 1999 and 2000 for drunk driving. Senator Reynolds has been sober for the last 8 years and says “I sought help, and I’m a stronger person for it today. What I learned is that you don’t give up. You don’t lose faith. You hold your head high and move on.
”It’s been a very public experience that I’ve been through. A decade ago I did not think I would ever get the opportunity to serve in the State Senate, or to be standing here as a candidate for Lt. Governor. I could not have done it without a strong faith, a family that has stood behind me and a great network of support.”
On June 26th Reynolds defeated Vander Plaats at the convention by a vote of 56% to 44%.

Obama’s Broken Promises: The Message From Iowa by Gregory Hilton

President Barack Obama is expected to sign the health care reform legislation tomorrow and he will return to Iowa City on Thursday. It will be his first trip outside of the nation’s capital since the House of Representatives narrowly passed the bill on Sunday evening.
The President will discuss health care at the University of Iowa and in the city where he first unveiled his medical plans three years ago. Iowa City was then a bastion of Obama support but that has changed dramatically. The President’s approval has slipped steadily in Iowa since he carried the state in 2008 and after winning its leadoff Democratic nominating caucuses that year. According to the Des Moines Register’s Iowa Poll, only 33% approve of his health care plans while 58% disapprove.
A study released Monday indicates the bill is highly unpopular with the very professionals which will be asked to treat an expanded pool of insured Americans. Seventy-one percent of U.S. physicians said they had an unfavorable opinion of the administration’s plan. The poll of 1,217 physicians was conducted by HCD Research and the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. Of those who had a negative view of the President’s plan, 80% said the new law would have made them less likely to enter the medical field.
A major reason why American’s have soured on the President can be seen in Iowa. The significant theme in the 2008 Obama campaign was to bring the nation together, and to govern in “a post partisan manner.” That has never happened, and not one Republican in the House or Senate voted for the health care bill. All of the GOP reform proposals were rejected, and it is now clear Obama is one of our most partisan presidents.
Obama has constantly been in the national spotlight since he won the Iowa precinct caucuses on January 3, 2008. His address that evening in Des Moines emphasizes his subsequent failure to cross party lines and to move forward in a bipartisan manner. In claiming his Iowa victory, Obama said:

You said the time has come to move beyond the bitterness and pettiness and anger that’s consumed Washington; to end the political strategy that’s been all about division and instead make it about addition – to build a coalition for change that stretches through Red States and Blue States. . . We are choosing hope over fear. We’re choosing unity over division, and sending a powerful message that change is coming to America.
I’ll be a President who finally makes health care affordable and available to every single American the same way I expanded health care in Illinois – by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to get the job done.
This was the moment when we finally beat back the politics of fear, and doubt, and cynicism; the politics where we tear each other down instead of lifting this country up. . . . We are not a collection of Red States and Blue States, we are the United States of America; and at this moment, in this election, we are ready to believe again.

Barack Obama entered the White House with an enormous reservoir of political and public support. His honeymoon with the American public was greater than any incoming president in the past three decades. He had better numbers, and they were usually by double digits, than Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan or either George Bush on every item traditionally measured in transition polls.
President-elect Obama told CBS’s Steve Croft about his ability to bridge differences and bring people together. He said he wanted to rally Americans to a common cause. To date, the only groups Obama united are the Republican Party and his political opponents. The President is now returning to Iowa but the message of his 2008 campaign has been forgotten.

The Social Conservatives vs. the Regular Republicans: The Battle for Iowa Has National Implications by Gregory Hilton

Because of its first in the nation presidential precinct caucuses, Iowa is often at the center stage of American politics. Statewide candidates are frequently linked to presidential contenders, and this year will be no different. A crucial battle is now being waged between social conservatives and regular Republicans, and it will culminate in the June 8th gubernatorial primary. Continue reading