Thursday, December 27, 2007

McCain and the Elks-DM Report

TRS had the pleasure of attending John McCain’s forum at the Elks Lodge in Urbandale earlier this morning. The event seemed to confirm that there really is a small but growing tailwind propelling the Arizona Senator.

McCain has been mostly left for dead in Iowa since his decision to avoid the Iowa Straw Poll. However, the Lieberman endorsement and the success in Iraq seemed to give him a little bounce. The bounce grew as more newspaper endorsements, including the Des Moines Register, generated some positive earned national media attention.

As we wrote here last Saturday, McCain’s Iowa team is small but talented and they have certainly taken advantage of the good national news for the Senator. Today’s event had the largest audience of any of the Senator’s Iowa events that TRS has attended or seen on television with at least 300 in attendance. Moreover, the audience contained far more young faces that had previously appeared at McCain events.

The crowd was also enthusiastic. The Senator opened with a discussion the Bhutto assassination on Pakistani and regional stability. McCain emphasized his personal relationships with several of the regional actors including Hamid Karzai and Pervez Musharraf. After a discussion of the importance of Pakistan and the need to bring the Waziristan region of Pakistan under control McCain sounded very common campaign themes, the need to control spending, the need for energy independence and, of course, the need for victory in Iraq. McCain repeated his commitment to veto pork and make earmark authors famous.

McCain did sound greener than in previous events. The Senator discussed the benefits of clean coal (a program on which he and Joe Lieberman are working) and nuclear power as a means of limiting greenhouse gasses. McCain explains that a managed transition into a cleaner planet is a must because of global warming. In an equation with which TRS agrees, if we begin to reduce greenhouse gases and we’re wrong about global warming all we have done is leave a cleaner planet to our progeny.
(The devil of course is in the details of the transition to a cleaner economy-but that’s a column for another day).

McCain also emphasized his admiration for Ron Reagan in a number of ways, making a not so subtle comparison. When asked about his age, the robust looking McCain talked about his 95 year old mother buying a car and driving herself around France last summer when she was refused a rental based on age.

While the song remained the same the McCain concert theatrics were much livelier. McCain clearly had bounce in his step. This morning’s event confirms the other information that TRS has seen and heard locally, McCain is enjoying resurgence in Iowa. Based on the levels of campaign activity, the polls and the broad anecdotal evidence a fair minded observer would have to say that McCain has climbed past Rudy for fourth place in the horse race and may be hard nipping on FDT’s heels for third.


Anonymous said...

Great to see you out at the Elks Uncle Ted.


Anonymous said...

I don't care what time it was held, they still should have served beer.

MARK KLEIN, M.D. said...

Dealing effectively with the obesity epidemic would go a very long way to control global warming. The mammalian oxidative cycle converts food into carbon dioxide and water.

Overweight people exhale more carbon dioxide than normal weight folks. The carbon costs soar when adding to that the carbon costs associated with the production and distribution of extra food and larger clothes, etc they require. With more than half of industrialized world's population overweight we're talking very big green house gas numbers.

Then there's the carbonated beverage problem. Billions of soda pops consumed daily release massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Coke is likely a greater environmental enemy than the oil producers.

Prentis Clairmont said...

Iowans need to vote for someone they can trust--that's Hckabee or McCain

Jeff Fuller said...

This has been a very interesting race to watch. Within the last few weeks two GOP candidates (Mike Huckabee and John McCain) have come from relative obscurity and into contention for the nomination. They had both spent months on end out of the media limelight (cross-hairs) that usually accompanies the GOP front-runner(s) . It's like they've been drafting at the back of the pack of cyclists, without ever taking their turn up front where the pedaling is more difficult. Having evaded the negative headlines for months has proven beneficial for both.

Much has been said/argued about Huckabee's rise . . . and it's clear that the DNC/MSM axis has held much of their fire seeing him as an "easy kill" in a general election. But what of McCain?

McCain's rise was PRECEDED by newspaper endorsements from the Des Moines Register, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and the New Hampshire Union-Leader. TV and print journalists were obviously impressed and joined on the "comeback-kid" praise McCain bandwagon. Thomas Alan at to Romney expanded on how the McCain surge has been completely media created and driven. The editorial boards in New Hampshire have praised McCain and bashed Romney with regularity over the last week. And don't even get me started on how cable news outlets have been fanning the flames of McCain's surge and shouting nothing but negativity about Romney.

Does the MSM have power? Of course they do, but how they choose to wield it is the more important point. They know they have power/influence. As proof, just today I saw Chuck Todd (NBC's political director) actually admit on Hardball with Chris Matthews: "If John McCain comes in third in Iowa, we in the media, will carry him to a win in New Hampshire." (his assumption was that Huckabee would beat Romney in Iowa). That arrogance just inflames me.

But isn't there an inherent danger in being a media-created contender? Do we want to choose a nominee that has the media constantly plugging and defending them during the GOP primary? If they're in need of it now to rise in the polls do you think they can count on that during the general election? Absolutely not! The same media that is pumping McCain in NH and elsewhere is not going to be behind him if he's the nominee. You can take that one to the bank.

Instead, how about having a candidate that's been routinely savaged by the media with personal character attacks, gross distortions of his record, and misleading propaganda? How about one that has been has been target #1 for the DNC (drawing more press-release attacks than McCain, Thompson and Huckabee COMBINED!)? Maybe the one who has been THE MAIN TARGET OF EVERY OTHER GOP CANDIDATE FOR MONTHS ON END? Or one that has yet to draw an endorsement from a liberal newspaper's editorial board? Which do you think will have a better chance in the general election . . . the one who's a front-runner DESPITE the MSM coverage or the one(s) that's a challenger BECAUSE of the MSM coverage? I think the answer to that is clear. I'd want the guy who's truly battle-tested.

I can only hope that the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire can see thorough the MSM's distortions and look at the actual records and capabilities of the candidates. If they do that, it's clear to see that Romney will win in a landslide.

Anonymous said...


Of course you are going to be confused when you site information from the rest of your kool aid gang.

Don't get me wrong Jeff, I sincerely do appeciate your enthusiasm, not your guy. Hopefully, you'll show the same enthusiasm when for the nominee of the party... especially when it's not your guy.

Anonymous said...

The media's favorite thing to do is bury someone. The media's second favorite thing to do is resurrect someone they previously buried. Republican voters (or at least the Republican voters pollsters are calling) are again coming around to the fact that McCain is the best candidate in the field. He wagered his political life on Petraeus and the surge, and he is now justly collecting his chip from from that courageous (and successful) bet.

Nevadagirl said...

Romney's the real deal guys - check it out!

Anonymous said...

We can't forget their records..... McCain is a hero,but so are many other vets. He will always have my gratitude, but not my vote! McCain did not stay true to conservative values too many times. He is too mired in the political quagmires of Washington DC.
I want to clean up Washington DC and I trust the Mitt Romney to have the skill set to get us out of the mess we have there. With a lean, clean efficient Washington DC we can move on to so many big problems in this country!

John S. Maine said...

John McCain or Mike Huckabee= Main Stream "Antique Media" propelled candidacies. The two have a record that no Republicans are proud of unless Your a Clinton Democrat. I wont waste my vote and be fooled by the Liberal Press. I will support Mitt Romney all the way to the Convention. The old saying goes "as Maine goes So Does The Nation." I am another Mainer for Governor Mitt Romney. The man who actually reduced taxes, and kept criminals in jail on his watch! He is a brilliant honest man who has only been married once to his beautifull intelligent wife Anne. Not many other Republican or Democratic Candidates have the whole package like Mitt Romney! Dont be fooled by the press!

John S. Maine