Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Birthday John McCain!

Happy Birthday John McCain!

As John McCain turns 70 his schedule heats up.

Clearly Mccain is fit to be president. He's a 70 year old who spent 5 years being tortured in a POW prison cell. That would put a few years on you too. Not only is he physically fit, his character has been forged in the crucible of combat and extreme torture.

Straight Talk Iowa Style knows that John McCain has the moral clarity, and physical fitness, neccessary to handle the most important issue of our time, waging war on terrorists.

A Long Way From Iowa...

John McCain's stature in the United States is having an effect on British politics. McCain will be in Bournemouth, England next month to speak to the British Conservative Party. Martin Kettle at the Guardian Unlimited posits the following:

This fact alone [McCain's presumed Presidential Candidacy] ought to remind us that there is something in this deal for McCain too, and not just for the Tories. McCain is running very hard and seriously for the Republican nomination. Gone is the insurgent anti-establishment candidate who gave Bush such a run for his money in 2000. Today McCain aims to be the candidate of the Republican establishment he once derided - and with that aim in mind it does him no harm at all to be taken seriously and admiringly by Britain's revitalised conservatives.

Read about it here and here and here as well.

Straight Talk Iowa Style
disagrees that John McCain "derided" the Republican establishment. We would agree that he has an independent style. McCain's rock solid record on the budget and his moral clarity on fighting terrorism indicate that he is "in line" with the Republican establishment.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Chuck Larson Interview on Fox's Big Story

Chuck Larson, former Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa and an Army Reserve Major who completed a yearlong tour in Iraq was interviewed by John Gibson on Fox's Big Story. Larson clearly articulated why John McCain is the early favorite among many in Iowa:

John, No. 1 — it's good to be with you today — but for a couple of different reasons, No. 1, Sen. John McCain is a fiscal hawk. Secondly, he is a social conservative, with a 24-year pro-life voting record. But from my perspective, the most important issue, whether it's 2006 or 2008, is going to be national security and the global War on Terror. And Sen. McCain recognizes that we must win this war for our own nation's security.

Watch the complete interview here.

Straight Talk Iowa Style likes Chuck Laron's credentials. We know that he served in Iraq and has seen with his own eyes what type of threat this nation faces. That counts for alot with us here in corn country. Also, his support means that many in the Bush 00 and 04 camps are probably not too far behind. If anything this interview was part of the subtle campaign roll-out planned for Iowa over the next few months.

Look for McCain to be back in Iowa to help Nussle and several other candidates who are in a "tight" before Election Day. Maybe McCain will even positively influence some of these races. Straight Talk Iowa Style has noticed that John McCain has been very aggressive in his support for candidates across Iowa and the rest of the country for that matter. Probably much more so than then-Gov. Bush in 99. This type of support will have a definite impact at the local level when it comes time for local legislators to start recruiting volunteer organizers in their districts after the 06 elections.

Draft McCain Movement Needs Your Help!

The Draft McCain Movement is seeking your assistance. In June they pressed their cause in Des Moines at the State Party Convention. Hoping to persuade delegates to support John McCain for the 2008 GOP nomination, Charlie Szrom (above), Draft McCain Movement Chairman, told delegates how John McCain represents the values that most conservatives and most Americans hold dear: support for our troops' efforts in Iraq and a commitment to cutting wasteful government spending, among other principles. (We seem to remember that they were the only organized grassroots support group in attendance.)

Now the McCain Movement is traveling to Concord New Hampshire to press the cause with delegates at their state's Republican Convention on September 30. Specifically, the McCain Movement wants to plaster the New Hampshire convention with T-shirts, buttons, literature, and if enough support exists, purchase local media.

Stop by the Draft McCain Movement site and lend a hand if you can.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Red State Straw Poll

Go vote for John McCain at the RedState Straw Poll right now!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

McCain's Support Evident

WaPo writes about John McCain laying the groundwork for an inevitable Presidential Campaign and his newfound support within the Republican Party:

But doing it they are. And no one more assiduously, nor with more apparent success, than McCain, who has vaulted to the front of the GOP field. Early polls indicate he gets twice as much support as any other likely Republican candidate except Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York City, who runs close behind. Even in liberal, blue-state strongholds such as Massachusetts, McCain runs even with or better than the two most recognizable Democratic names, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore. As a former Navy pilot who was shot down over Hanoi and spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, he's got impeccable military credentials and stature, and a reputation for bipartisanship and fierce independence that appeals to a broad spectrum of voters. He's also got star power: Turn on your television most days, and you'll find McCain on one of the morning talkfests or on "Larry King Live," "Imus" or "Hannity and Colmes."

McCain has found success from both ends of the Republican party. Long-time Bush donors are lining up to help McCain:

Still, the detente has paid early dividends for McCain in important battleground states. Ana Navarro, a Republican activist in Miami, says big-time donors loyal to the Bush family are signing up to contribute to McCain. Ronald Weiser, a Michigan real estate developer who was Bush's state finance chairman in 2000, told me he's now backing McCain. Even Sam and Charles Wyly, two Texas businessmen and longtime Bush supporters who funded $2 million in attack ads against McCain in 2000, have given McCain's political action committee $20,000 (the PAC announced recently it was returning the donation because the brothers reportedly are under investigation for possible tax infractions).

The Grassroots superstructure is also being built:

"We'll be in good shape," says Weaver. "We'll have a 50-state structure by early next year, as opposed to a three-state structure last time. The house will be ready. Hopefully, we'll have an occupant."

That Grassroots support is clearly evident at the stops he's making:

It shows. As a purple dusk descends behind his head, he launches a stump speech with a bit more edge when he gets to Iraq. "Look, we should acknowledge the fact that we made some serious mistakes in Iraq and Rumsfeld was responsible for them -- I'll give you a little straight talk -- because we didn't have enough troops there. And the military guys knew it, and I knew it. But we still have to win, and we still have to prevail."

After the speech, the crowd mobs him for handshakes and photographs. A Vietnam vet in biker's gear and a braid in his hair is sobbing. A World War II veteran rises out of a wheelchair to shake McCain's hand. They give him presents: an Upper Peninsula flag, a hunting knife and a pair of antlers from a white-tailed deer.

"America" is playing on the loudspeaker. McCain's handlers try to clear a path to the car, but neither the candidate nor the crowd is ready to let go. It takes 20 minutes for Weaver and Yob to drag him from the scene.

Yob likes what he sees. "This guy can do what Ronald Reagan did for us. I'm just waiting for the starting gate to open."

McCain also relishes the moment. "That was really an amazing thing," he says later, as the plane takes off for another campaign stop, another hotel room, another fundraiser. "Did you see that old guy in his wheelchair? Oh, God, it was wonderful."

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We are on it.

John McCain has been in the news the entire week and we predict he will be front and center for the next few years...

Alot of stories that we are trying to wrap our Straight Talk heads around and we will get to them shortly. We still want to post about Meet the Press, McCain's willingness to commit more resources to the fight on terror, and how fit he is.

We will get it done. Between this and preparing for the big Corn Show up in Northwest Iowa this weekend we have been swamped.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

McCain Well Received in Poweshiek County

Kay Henderson at the Radio Iowa Blog reports that while stumping for State Rep. Danny Carroll, John McCain was well received by Poweshiek County Republicans.

McCain launched into the "meat" of his speech -- it was brief -- then fielded questions. He may have been saying these things in much the same way since 1999, but McCain hasn't been saying them here in Iowa and the audience reaction was positive. Mid-way into his speech in Grinnell, McCain interrupted himself right after he'd talked about Iraq and the world situation to invite all the veterans in the room up front to take a picture with him. The crowd applauded as the pictures were snapped.

Straight Talk Iowa Style believes the MSM story line about McCain missing Iowa in 00 has lost steam and credibility. The premise that Iowans would just turn away from a Presidential candidate because he didn't' have enough money to campaign here in 2000 is dismissive of Iowans and how serious they are about giving candidates the hard look.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bush Team Merging into McCain Team Cont...

John Broder at NYT latches onto what Straight Talk Iowa Style has noticed for some time now. The Bush Team is migrating towards McCain.

Senator John McCain is locking up a cast of top-shelf Republican strategists, policy experts, fund-raisers and donors, in a methodical effort to build a 2008 presidential campaign machine, drawing supporters of President Bush despite the sometimes rocky history between the two men.

This trend is encouraging and says that alot of people at the top recognize what we see here in corn-country; that John McCain would make a fine President.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday Snipits (or Weekend Reading)

We've decided to roundup the snipits of news that we didn't get to this week.

First, McCain wins the Corn Poll at the Iowa State Fair. Notice where Romney finished.

Second, McCain is signing up political talent around the state and nation. Read about it here and here. This matters because there is a finite amount of resourceful, well-connected political operatives who make things happen in every state. It's also interesting to grouse about who is doing what.

Third, the Dollar Dance is on. Many are commenting on the competition between Mitt and McCain for the big dollars it takes to run a Presidential campaign. Read it here and here and here.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

McCain Reaffirms Commitment to Ethanol

During a morning stop in Council Bluffs John McCain reaffirmed his committment to ethanol production:

"I strongly support ethanol as a alterative fuel. We are too dependent on foreign oil, as we all know. Some of those sources of oil are in danger. I don't support subsidies, but I don't think we will need subsidies. I don't see the price of oil going below $75 a barrel," McCain said.

Read the whole story here and watch the grin and grip video while you are it.

Read about the tremendous amount of private capital flowing into ethanol production here and here and here.

Reagan 80/20 Rule and John McCain

The Radio Iowa Blog has a transcript of John McCain's Q & A with reporters regarding his Presidential aspirations. Specifically, McCain addresses questions about his conservative credentials here:

Q: Senator, you talked in the past -- you're a conservative, but you've talked about being a centrist and trying to unify the whole country and appealing to Democrats and Independents -- does the Caucus here, dominated as it is by conservatives, make you have to fight against that natural impulse to reach out?

McCain: I don't know, Mark. I think that most people attribute our low approval ratings of cognress to our inability to get anything done, that we've not really accomplished anything and that as you well know, as least in the senate, requires at least some level of bipartisanship because of the 60 vote requirement. I think most Americans are wanting us to work together on certain issues and I will, if I run, speak with pride over the things that I've been able to do in a bipartisan fashion and I understand and appreciate the bitterness in American political climate today. I watched the Lieberman thing, the Joe Schwartz election. I pay close attention to them but I still, every poll and every indicator that I see -- people want us to work together on issues that transcend partisan politics.

The premise of the question is flawed. It presumes several things: first that being a conservative means you can't get anything done. That is far from the truth. Conservative victories in the Congress have been numerous, including the confirmations of Alito and Roberts to the Supreme Court. The second presumption is that just because McCain "reaches out" to others he is not a Conservative. The effects of reaching out to others leads to getting things accomplished for America.

This is why Straight Talk Iowa Style claims that John McCain fits squarely into Ronald Reagan's pramatic ideolouge model. The Reagan 80-20 rule is demonstrative of this claim. Republicans may agree on things 80 percent of the time and not the other 20 percent. That's what you have here and that is why John McCain is the guy who can get things done for America.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

When Burt Day Speaks We Listen

Here's McCain yucking it up at the Iowa State Fair Grounds.

(AP Photo)

Burt Day, Republican Elder and long time go-to-guy, had some great on the ground common-sense words that really serve to counteract the Iowa 2000 story line pushed by the main-stream-media yesterday. The QC Times has it here:

Burtwin Day, a retired banker and former Iowa Republican Central Committee member from Grinnell, said he doesn’t believe Iowans will hold a grudge against McCain because he skipped the caucuses .“I think he’s a very viable candidate,” Day said. “The real partisan people might have a question about that. Every election is a new election.”

And while McCain hasn't fully embraced the role ethanol must play in our National Security Strategy he is getting warmer:

On ethanol, McCain said high oil prices and convincing evidence of climate change have changed his mind about the value of ethanol. But he still opposes using federal tax breaks to help the industry. “I don’t support any subsidies,” McCain said. “But I am a strong supporter of ethanol because I don’t see any scenario where the price of oil is going to go back down again.”

Long-range strategic thinkers correctly understand that with ethanol it means fewer dollars are going to foreign countries that finance and support terrorism. The world paradigm shift that took place for certain on 9-11 is justification enough for McCain to have shifted his views on ethanol. We know that John McCain get's it. And we're glad to see that Burt Day shares the same observation.

Spending Out of Control: That's Some Good Straight Talk

John McCain talks tough on the federal budget while eating pork at the Iowa State Fair:

“We are living in difficult times, there are many challenges and Americans are not happy,” McCain said. Congressional spending, he said, is “out of control” and solutions must come through a bipartisan effort.Asked why Social Security is in such dire straits, his answer was direct: “Because we have no guts. We need a national will to say ‘no’ to stop the robbing of this fund.”

Here's the Straight Talk from John McCain on how to fix it:

* “I start by vetoing spending bills. There is just too much pork-barrel spending and we must become fiscally responsible.”

* “I would work more closely with our military allies. We need their support in the struggle that is ahead.”

* “I would speak every two weeks to the American people. You need to know what is happening — about the war and the many serious issues we face.”

That's what Straight Talk Iowa Style is talking about plain and simple solutions that can work if we have the will. That national will stuff he's talking about... comes from strong leadership on the issues and the courage to act on them.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Straight Talk Express Pulls into Iowa

The Straight Talk Express pulled into Iowa today. John McCain told Iowans point blank that there may be some hard feelings about 2000 but those were somewhat dismissed by the general impression that many who heard his speech had to say. Read about it here and here. An intresting comment that sums up Iowans attitudes in regard to the Presidential Election:

Bill Weeks, a retired businessman in Grinnell, said he was leaning toward supporting McCain but there was still some hostility in the state about his abandonment of Iowa in 2000. "I think there are people who will hold that against him," Weeks said. "But if he would spend some time out here he might surprise some people."

That comment by Bill Weeks, in addition to the focus group polling mentioned earlier, sums up Iowans' attitudes going into 08. This is nothing new and frankly is what we expect of ourselves here in corn country. Straight Talk Iowa Style has said it before and will say it again: No one deserves a pass to become President of the United States and John McCain realizes that:

"We haven't decided whether to compete here, but you could make the argument that it's very different from 2000," McCain said in Grinnell, where he appeared at a fund raiser for a Republican state legislator. "In 2000, I was the outsider and brand new and we could afford to pass up on Iowa," he said. "Certainly conditions are not the same as they were in 2000 politically."

In the next year leading up to the Iowa Straw Poll and the Caucuses Iowans will have an opportunity to look John McCain in the eye and shake his hand and hear what he has to say. We are confident that many, like Bill Weeks, will be focused on the future.

McCain does Well in Iowa Focus Groups

Patrick Hynes at AnkleBitingPundits has a some great analysis in his post about recent focus group testing regarding John McCain and how Iowans view him. Very encouraging stuff for those of us on the ground here.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz is well known for his focus groups and his clever, sometimes imaginative, analyses of them. Luntz recently conducted focus groups of Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire “to find out what Republican primary voters will be looking for in a presidential candidate.” His results: John McCain and Newt Gingrich scored very high, Rudy Giuliani is beloved but faces issues problems, Mitt Romney faces religion problems, George Allen turns women off, and Bill Frist doesn’t appear comfortable in his own skin.

Straight Talk Iowa Style ran it's own neighborhood focus group this weekend and the results were mixed. Many of our neighbors are still on the fence and not ready to commit to any one particular candidate. McCain was spoken of well by our neighbors but no solid committments as of yet.

Our analysis is that for many bean-riding, cattle-feeding folks here in Iowa it way too early to tell. That's why folks like us need to get out there and start educating our neighbors why John McCain should be the next President.

McCain in Iowa Today: more to follow

As reported on earlier John McCain is at the Iowa State Fair today.

We are working on bringing you pictures and stories feverishly.

Friday, August 11, 2006

McCain Organization Coming Together Nationally

The Analysis Department here at Straight Talk Iowa Style has commented on the encouraging moves made by the McCain Team in putting together a solid national campaign organization.

Before the weekend starts we want to recap where the McCain organization stands today in IA, NH and SC.

August 1, we commented about the solid team put in place here in Iowa and the team being put in place in New Hampshire.

August 2, Lance Tarrance, noted political consultant, signed on to the Straight Talk Express.

August 8, Former South Carolina Attorney General Charlie Condon and former Carol Campbell Chief of Staff Bob McAllister both agreed to Co-Chair McCain's Straight Talk America PAC.

August 10, Henry McMaster, Attorney General of South Carolina, signed on to Co-chair McCain's Straight Talk America PAC.

Several plausible conclusions can be drawn from the recent moves. First, South Carolina is crucially important to John McCain and understandably so. Second, McCain wants to capitalize on his past success in New Hampshire and leverage the state's open primary to his advantage. Third and most importantly, McCain will run hard here in Iowa to maintain that front runner status.

After the mid-term elections look for the organizational ground game to start in earnest in the three key early states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Neighborhood Comments on Today's Foiled Terror Plots

The folks in the Straight Talk Iowa Neighborhood tonight were plain and simple in their comments about the terror plots foiled by the leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair and President Bush. This doesn't require brilliant analysis or critical thinking. Just alot of moral clarity.

Some quotes from our neighbors tonight:

"Thank God for Bush!"

"What in the hell are those people [Islamofascists] thinking?"

"One more reason why we need to take the fight to them."

Straight Talk Iowa Style knows that we can't wait to defend and deter terrorism from occurring in this country. WE have to take it out at its source. We appreciated that last comment from one of our neighbors tonight.

One more reason why the next President of the United States has to be a man committed to killing terrorist where they live.

If You Haven't Heard McCain will be at the Iowa State Fair on the 15th

If you haven't heard by now, John McCain will be at the Iowa State Fair during the afternoon of August 15th. Come down and look this guy in the eye, shake his hand, and get a picture with him. Check him out and see if he could be a guy you want to be the next President of the United States.

Also, for those of you who are already McCain supporters email us and get your FREE Straight Talk Iowa Style T-shirt. Wear it to the Iowa State Fair, get a pic with McCain in it and post it on this sight. You can reach us at: McCainIowa08@hotmail.com

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Was John McCain the Real Winner in the CT Senate Primary?

Powerline has a note regarding the fallout from last night's CT primary race. Glen Reynolds writes:

McCain's appeal to independents and to some Democrats -- the appeal that enables him to run ahead of Clinton in some polls conducted in liberal states -- may not withstand a tough race following two more years of (what may well be) difficult sledding in Iraq. But last night suggests that, at least at this juncture, many on the left side of the center will not reject a candidate they like and respect merely because he's on the "wrong" side of the single issue of the war.

Straight Talk Iowa Style knows that John McCain appeals to many more people in this country other than just Republicans. That unitary appeal will be the common trait we beleive many Americans will be looking for in 08 given the somewhat devisive, yet absolutely neccessary, need to defend ourselves from global terrorism.

American Perceptions of John McCain

According to Gallup, Americans perceive John McCain to be a man of character who takes principled stands on the issues.

Read the in depth Gallup poll numbers and analysis here with your morning coffee:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

John McCain will be at the Iowa State Fair on August 15!

Senator John McCain will be in Iowa on August 15 and 16, here are the details.

August 15th:

Fundraiser for State Rep. Danny Carroll
The Old Glove Factory
733 Broad Street

Afternoon at the Iowa State Fair (Straight Talk Iowa Style will be there!)

Fundraiser for State Rep. Bill Schickel
Home of Dan & Deb Latham
704 E. State St.
Mason City

August 16th:

Fundraiser for Rep. Doug Struyk and candidate Scott Belt
Iowa Western Community College Cafeteria
Council Bluffs

McCain Visit to Iowa: Exciting Info to Follow

Straight Talk Iowa Style has learned that Senator McCain will be in Iowa on August 15th and 16th.

If you are interested in getting a picture with Senator McCain at one of his events and would be willing to wear the newly designed Straight Talk Iowa Style T-Shirt while doing so please let us know. In the next day or so we will have the t-shirts up and ready to be sent to those of you who want them (a limited amount of course).

Here's the Straight Talk Iowans:

1) In the next few days this site will have the information about Senator McCain's upcoming trip to Iowa.

2) We will overnite you a free Straight Talk Iowa Style T-shirt to your home (Iowa addresses only).

3) You wear the t-shirt to the event where McCain will be and have your picture taken with him.

4) Send your digital pics to MccainIowa08@hotmail.com and we will publish them.

In addition to meeting a war hero and fine American we will publish them on this site and officially start the McCain Buzz.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Ethanol will Fuel the Presidential Election in 08

Straight Talk Iowa Style believes that ethanol will be a driving force in determining who will be the next President of the United States. Certainly, it will be a major factor in determining who wins the Iowa GOP Straw Poll and consequently the Iowa Caucuses. An article published this weekend and written by Ben Lieberman of the Heritage Foundation is what we believe will be the first of many regarding Presidential politics and ethanol.

John McCain, who is perceived as the front runner for the GOP nomination in 08, will have to compete hard in Iowa and win if he wants to maintain that status. President Bush, then Governor Bush, had the same issue to deal with going into the Iowa Straw Poll and the caucuses. GWB decided to solve this problem by making a strategic political move that was brilliant. He was able to garner the endorsement of every Republican Congressmen and Senator Grassley before the Straw Poll. This gave GWB huge momentum going into the August straw poll and the winter caucuses resulting in enormous wins.

According to informed sources the ethanol issue was the hang-up for several Congressmen in Iowa. GWB had to agree to fully support ethanol production in order to earn their support. If memory serves us right this was not a sure thing for then Governor Bush. Up until that time he had what we remember to be several conflicting statement regarding his support for ethanol. In the end GWB agreed to aggressively support ethanol production thereby locking up every Republican Congressmen and Senator Grassley before the organizational ground game started in earnest.

Now it's no secret that John McCain has been a tepid supporter of ethanol in the past, however, we believe that he is more than justified in fully supporting ethanol production. Here's why:

1) A new world paradigm has emerged after 9-11 and fundamentally changed America's strategic priorities around the globe. Those same countries who are supporters of terrorism are also oil producing countries. So it follows that reducing our dependence on foreign oil is vital to our National Security strategy. Nation-states like Iran (supporters of Hezbollah) and Venezuela (owner of CITGO, and an emerging supporter of terror-supporting nations) profit the most from American oil consumption.

2) Let's stop lining the pockets of Middle Eastern terror supporters and start filling the pockets of America's farming and agricultural industry.

3) Investing in ethanol production is an investment in American national security, the environment, and in the end means more jobs for Main Street Americans.

4) The free market has started to embrace ethanol. With the banning of MTBE and increased demand for an evironmentally-friendly substitute, Wall Street has been pumping billions into new ethanol production facilities across the United States.

Good politics is good policy.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

McCain 5-2 Odds: We'll Take'em

The Caucus Cooler lays out its political odds for the Iowa Caucus and gives John McCain 5-2 odds. The Cooler explains their odds here.

The McCain campaign team has been putting together many of the Bush 00-04 team members and after after the November elections you will see a full rollout of the McCain organization here in Iowa. Along with the Bush professionals will come many of the county chairs and team leaders needed to take the straw poll a year from now.

The Team here at Straight Talk Iowa Style will have much more to say about the Iowa Straw Poll process and the Iowa Caucuses in the future. Until then...we will take the Cooler's odds.

The Difference is Clear

Many liberals view the War in Iraq and the Global War on Terror as political football or as an obstacle to greater political gains here at home, while Republicans view the threat this nation faces as a real probelm that needs to be solved. That contrast was on display during Senate Armed Services Committee hearings on Friday.

The following exchanges between McCain and General Abizad and then between Hillary and Sec. Rumsfeld are illustrative. Read them here.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Like Father, Like Son II

The Arizona Republic salutes the courage of Jimmy McCain and his father in this morning's edition. On a side note: the article refers to Jimmy as a future officer, however, the Veterans Department here at Straight Talk Iowa Style wanted our readers to discern the difference between officers and non-commissioned officers.

Young McCain is enlisting and that means he will be on track to become a non-commissioned officer. Yet, at any time he can always apply to become a commissioned officer, like his brother will become and what his father was.

Read it all here.

A BIG salute and shout out to Veterans this Friday morning!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

...and he's a war hero

This nation is eternally indebted to our combat veterans. John McCain spent 5 1/2 years in a POW prison cell and now Newsday's James Pinkerton says that is why the American people are looking up to him in a time of war. In his column voters look up to war heros, Pinkerton says:

[]it's no accident that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is the 2008 front-runner right now, both for the Republican nomination and for the presidency itself. As everyone knows, he was a Navy carrier pilot before being shot down over Vietnam and spending 5 1/2 harrowing years as a POW. To be sure, war-hero status is not enough by itself; plenty of other Vietnam vets, including POWs, have fallen by the political wayside in recent decades. But at the same time it's indisputable that the core of McCain's appeal is his war record.

We here at Straight Talk Iowa Style think the reasons for John McCain's core success in the polls go beyond his service to this nation. We move beyond Pinkerton's comments and claim that a war record alone is not enough to satisfy the hopes and dreams of everyday folks. Americans want to know that you are going to look out for them, not only in terms of defense, but with pocketbook issues, social values and strong leadership. It is because McCain is with the American people on these issues, in addition to his tremendous service record, that he enjoys popularity with the electorate.

McCain has Gravitas to fill Top Spot

From now until Election Day we will hear about who's got the "right stuff" to become President. An observant and loyal reader has alerted us to an article by NRO editor Kathryn Lopez that follows this line of inquiry, read on:

The vice president usually has an edge going into the primaries because he’s close enough to the president to associate himself with the credibility that comes with being leader of the free world, and just far enough away to distance himself from full responsibility for unpopular presidential decisions. But in the absence of a Cheney 2008 charge at the White House, a substitute VPOTUS-like candidate has emerged. I don’t know if running as the VPOTUS-like candidate will work for John McCain, but it has its advantages. The key thing? While having some pretty extreme differences here and there, he can latch onto something reassuring at a time of war: experience and continuity.

Straight Talk Iowa Style knows that this nation needs strong, proven leaders capable of fighting our enemies when we are at war. Do you trust John F. Kerry to fight the war on terror? Maybe Hillary Clinton, or John Edwards hardly.

But McCain is hardly the heir-apparent and the staff here at STIS thinks rightfully so. No one should get a free pass to become President of the United States. We're confident that John McCain knows this and is going to fight hard for every vote regardless of his challenges. Lopez states:

[]McCain has his challenges securing a right-wing fan base. As a recent Esquire piece made clear, he’s not all that chummy with conservatives, especially religious ones, who are key to winning GOP primaries.

Our analysis is that McCain looks like the "VPOTUS-like candidate" because he is ready and more importantly the American people think he's ready.

John McCain will be in Iowa this month

Senator McCain will be in Iowa later this month!

Details are not immediately available, however the Straight Talk Iowa Style Intelligence Resources Department will be hard at work getting you the details.

Read about the plethora of candidates coming to Iowa here and here and here.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Lance Tarrance now on board the Straight Talk Express

From the Hotline:

Respected Republican strategist Lance Tarrance Jr. has signed on with Sen. John McCain's Straight Talk America PAC as senior strategist. McCain: “I am delighted Lance will be lending his considerable talents to Straight Talk America. He has been a longstanding central player in electing Republicans to office, and I am grateful Straight Talk will benefit from the strategic experience of such a distinguished professional.” Tarrance: "I appreciate Senator McCain’s commitment to maintaining a Republican majority through the 2006 election cycle, and I am glad to be a part of his effort."

Tarrance is one half of RT Strategies, with Dem Thomas Riehle. The two produce the Cook Report/RT Strategies poll. The firm has no campaign clients this cycle.

The architect of the GOP's "Southern Strategy" is now on board Team McCain. In 2000 Tarrance presented the idea of a GOP "Hispanic Strategy." The implications of such a move could keep the GOP in power for decades, but more importantly it allows the only party with solutions and ideas to continue bringing opportunity and possiblity to all Americans.

McCain On Top

A compilation of polling data at Polling Report.com showing John McCain on top in a head to head with Hillary Rodham Clinton. Scroll down to the to the second question listed on the page. It's a list of candidates and their favorability ratings. Note where John McCain is and then where several other candidates are that have been showing up alot in Iowa lately.

At first glance we see that John McCain is looking solid even with what has been a less than favorable summer for the GOP.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hat tip to the Hotline

A BIG shout out to the Hotline today for mentioning Straight Talk Iowa Style. They are driving our stats way up there. Alot of readers logging on from the Capitol Hill servers today after the Hotline mention...now get back to work! Those are our federal dollars paying you to read this blog!

The only thing a man really owns in this world is his name: A correction and apology

An alert reader has notified us that in the last post Mr. Gronewald's name was mispelled and transposed with the wrong first name.

We thank that reader and send Matt Gronewald a public apology.

Bush Team merging into McCain Team

One of the trends that Straight Talk Iowa Style has had it's eye on for several weeks now is the alignment of the Bush Campaign Team with the McCain Team. This alignment has been occurring in the key pre-Super Tuesday states, Iowa, New Hampshire and overtures have been made in South Carolina.

Here in Iowa Chuck Larson has signed on to lead McCain's efforts along with some other notable operatives from '00 and '04 including: Craig Schoenfeld, Matt Gronewald, and sources say Becky Beach.

While it looks like efforts in New Hampshire are in the preliminary stages, McCain's team has been securing key operatives from the Bush '04 campaign. The Nashau Telegraph reports that:

The New Hampshire primary is still a year and a half away, and McCain says he won’t make a decision about running for president until November. In the meantime, he is putting together a team of supporters that is a campaign staff in all but name. In many cases, McCain is drawing the support of people who did not support – or outright opposed – his last presidential run.

In New Hampshire, that effort has already yielded some results. Earlier this year, McCain’ s political committee signed up Susan Duprey, who served as George W. Bush’s New Hampshire finance director in 2000.Chuck Douglas, a former Republican congressman and New Hampshire Supreme Court judge, is another recent addition to McCain’s team of political advisers.

Douglas, well-known in state conservative circles, said he was attracted to the Arizona Republican by McCain’s record on government spending. He said McCain’s fights against waste in the federal budget make him the most reliable fiscal conservative of any potential Republican presidential candidate.

These early moves sound good...from the top down. Now it's time for the grassroots, those of us down here in the corn and bean fields to rise up and meet these folks halfway. Team Straight Talk Iowa Style is encouraged that solid and knowlegable politicos are signing onto the Straight Talk Express.