Friday, May 11, 2007

Thompson (Tommy) in West Des Moines…………

………… demonstrated what appears to caucus strength in the most traditional of ways. The Real Sporer has quite literally had bulldogs to feed following the Wednesday night Tommy Thompson event at the Tavern II in West Des Moines so I had to wait a day to review the event but here it is.

Team Tommy generated a turn out of around 100 almost entirely new faces. Having attended several Tommy events it appears that he has a great ability to work a crowd, very dynamic (although uncharacteristically passive in the recent mockumentary on MSNBC) and very likeable. Tommy and Mike Huckabee continue to front run for the Dale Carnegie Cup. Reliable and unbiased sources travelling with Tommy confirmed pretty much the same result for his other recent Iowa events.
Tommy certainly is working this state like his life depends on it.

Tommy engaged almost every person in the crowd and they left pretty enthused. He answers questions with a rare brand of energetic forthright creativity. Those traits have given the guy a career of almost continuous policy and political success. He also oozes that Badger “aw shucks’ kind of sincerity and likeability that charms in even the blue moon rare year where they beat us football and basketball. Perhaps most importantly Tommy offers the promise of winning in Iowa, Minnesota (they kind of sound alike), Michigan and, of course, Wisconsin. We certainly do need those states, unless we can spring our leadership in Ohio from the pen.

January 14 will find most caucus goers arriving undecided. Creating a large body of new people to serve as precinct leaders provides a value that television and celebrity doesn’t necessarily outweigh in the caucus format. The tactics are most distinct from those of a primary, where TV and celebrity might constitute the voter’s entire data base. In little old Iowa four people off your street might be talking up their candidate while sitting right next to the voter as they vote. Old Tip was right, all politics is local (although he meant union bosses sitting next to their members in the actual voting booth on election day or the “social worker” riding on the homeless bus paying the bums in cigarettes for a little multiple precinct exercise in voter fraud). The caucuses are as local as it gets.

Tommy Thompson is rolling out a powerful ground game. More of a 2000 Rams flexible approach than the ’72 Dolphins ground pounders but pretty darn good none the less. Twenty five percent could win the blue ribbon next January so the affable Badger is not all that long of a shot.
P.S. Dave Price has some good Thompson coverage on The Price of Politics.


Anonymous said...

Gov. Thompson has a great way of slapping backs and making people feel important and heard. He was at the Wig & Pen in Iowa City after the Wisconsin/Iowa basketball game and was rubbing my shoulders as he was being introduced by Steve Grubbs. No, I'm not a female. He also talked with and listened to everybody who wanted to chat with him. He understands Iowans and should do well in the caucus.

Anonymous said...

I've been to two Tommy events. He was introduced to me at the first event and at the second event a couple of months later, he remembered my name.

Nice warm touch.