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Ensign Extends Iowa Trip



Nevada Sen. John Ensign will make several stops in Iowa next month. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Nevada Sen. John Ensign has added two stops to a scheduled trip to Iowa early next month, a move that will further stoke speculation that he has an eye on running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012.

Ensign was already scheduled to be in Iowa on June 1 to give a speech in Sioux City as part of the American Future Fund's Conservative lecture series.

He will now also make a stop in Sioux Center to tour Trans Ova Genetics and will host a meet and greet at the Wells Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor on Le Mars, which, as any good political junkie knows, is the ice cream capital of the United States. (What we wouldn't give to be in Le Mars for "Ice Cream Days" in mid June.)

The signal sent by a trio of stops in Northwestern Iowa, the hotbed of Republicanism in the increasingly Democratic state, is clear. "There's only one reason for a GOP politician to be making multiple campaign-style stops in the most republican part of Iowa, and that's to dip your toes in the 2012 presidential waters," said Larry McCarthy, a prominent Republican media consultant.

McCarthy's comments echoes the Fix mantra when it comes to presidential politics: No politician -- NOT ONE -- goes to Iowa by accident.

In an interview with the Fix last month, Ensign said he is moving to to become more of a national voice within the Republican party and acknowledged that he dreamed of being president as a child.

And, in a dual profile of Ensign and National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) a senior Republican Senate aide was quoted as saying that "with Ensign, I don't think his skill set is fit for a Senate leader as much as maybe a national stage."

For those who wonder whether Ensign's Iowa trip is premature (after all, President Obama has only been in office for a little over 100 days), recent history suggests that it's never too early to make a first impression in the Hawkeye State.

By January 2006, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) had already been to Iowa four times and former New York governor George Pataki (R) (remember him?) made four stops in Iowa in 2005 (!). (Hat tip to Post research editor Alice Crites.)

Iowans love -- and expect -- attention to be lavished on them by would-be presidential candidates. While the rest of the country may have no interest in presidential politics at the moment, Iowans live and breathe this stuff and will be ready and willing to meet Ensign next month.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 13, 2009; 11:32 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012 , Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: White House Cheat Sheet: Commencement Speech Controversy
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Comments

Thanks, sertelt. There's a new thread on the issue over here: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/cheat-sheet/051809whute-house-cheat-sheet.html

Posted by: JakeD | May 18, 2009 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Actually abortions declined to record lows under Bush.

Any claim that they increased doesn't square with the latest national abortion numbers put forward by the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a research firm associated with Planned Parenthood.

Last January, AGI reported that the number of abortions nationwide have fallen to their lowest point in 30 years and have declined 25 percent since 1990 -- with half of that time period coming under pro-life presidents.

The number of abortions are now at their lowest point since 1.179 million in 1976, AGI said.

More on this at http://www.lifenews.com/nat4141.html

Posted by: sertelt | May 14, 2009 4:28 PM | Report abuse

bullcrap. this dude's runnin for iowa school board

Posted by: jsperez | May 14, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Also, economic conditions have an effect on the abortion rate. I don't know this for sure, but I'm willing to bet that abortions have gone up under Bush simply because of an increase in the demographical categories that abortion is most prevalent.

==

Well Bush pushed abstinence-only sex education, just as they have in Texas, and A-O states have more teen pregnancy than any others, so you're dead on.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"The way to stop abortion isn't by passing laws or jailing doctors or shaming women, the way to stop abortion is to make sure that there are no unintended pregnancies. And since the same control freaks who make such an issue of abortion are just as adamantly against preventing pregnancy, why should anyone take them seriously?"

In terms of science and policy, no one does. However, we live in a Democracy where a lot of people have this mindset, so we've got a lot of politicians pandering to this viewpoint.

Also, economic conditions have an effect on the abortion rate. I don't know this for sure, but I'm willing to bet that abortions have gone up under Bush simply because of an increase in the demographical categories that abortion is most prevalent.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Nobody needs an invitation from you to debate the topic, Jakey-D, all anyone needs to do is type in the little box and hit "Submit."

Get some help from a shrink for your pathetic need for attention.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

bsimon1:

If you want to discuss further who in the GOP will fight for the honor of the party's nomination, let me know.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

And Dole went down like a cheap prostitute running against Clinton. What's your point, Jake? Or are you just looking for some attention?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Buchanan and Forbes didn't have a shot against Bob Dole in 1996.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"If POTUS retains his current status for the next two years.. the GOP will need a sacrificial lamb to run against him"

It will be interesting to see who fights for the honor.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 4:25 PM | Report abuse

If POTUS retains his current status for the next two years.. the GOP will need a sacrificial lamb to run against him.. particularly one who might still be able to have a political role after a sound general elections thrashing..

If I had junket opportunities.. I wouldn't waste them on a trip to Iowa.. but that's just my amateur thinking.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 13, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I guess Ensign is worthy of a few paragraphs on an otherwise slow news cycle.

Posted by: newbeeboy | May 13, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Ensign happens to be up for reelection in '12. Guess we may have yet another Senate seat about to go blue.

Posted by: jgoodfri1971 | May 13, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Oh there we go again with abortion. Very well.

Abortion is a secondary, you're not going to get very far compelling women to have babies they don't want, they will find a way to induce a miscarriage if they can't get an abortion. Women have thrown themselves down staircases fer Chris'sake.

The way to stop abortion isn't by passing laws or jailing doctors or shaming women, the way to stop abortion is to make sure that there are no unintended pregnancies. And since the same control freaks who make such an issue of abortion are just as adamantly against preventing pregnancy, why should anyone take them seriously?

Abstinence-only approaches don't work.

I'd be interested in the debate if the other side didn't violate the ground rules of honesty and logic, but as long as they're against birth control being freely available, and as long as they're in favor of the death penalty, I don't take them seriously.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"The Prevention First Act seeks to expand government-funded healthcare and promote sex outside of marriage."

Woo-hoo!

Posted by: Bondosan | May 13, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

And is this yet another Republican who's gonna "save the GOP?"

It's gonna take more than a defibrillator to revive this corpse.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 2:23 PM | Report abuse

" I mean, we could simply murder every female of reproductive age and THAT would "reduce" abortion rate too."

It's odd, isn't it, that a man should spend so much time thinking about pregnant women?

Posted by: drindl | May 13, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

@Jake - It's interesting data and truly unfortunate that some service members were unable to vote. I wonder how this number compares to the fraction of ballots requested by civilian Americans living abroad. It may be that 75% is a decent return rate for absentee ballots.

I lived overseas for almost 4 years in the late '90s and didn't vote in elections. That was partially due to the fact that my last state of residence was Utah. As I never planned to move back, I didn't think it would be appropriate for me to play a role in selecting their representatives.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 13, 2009 2:12 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new study suggested Wednesday that over 25 percent of ballots from voters living overseas, mostly members of the military, were not counted in the 2008 election.

==

Wouldn't have gotten McCain a single additional EV.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

JakeD does NOT think that Reagan was an angry anti-Carter obstructionist. JakeD thinks that a Republican can beat Obama. JakeD would rather see any pro-lifer as President instead of Obama.

==

Why do you post about yourself all the time instead of about the topic? Everyone who reads these comments knows about your obsession with abortion and nobody cares. Quit gazing in the mirror all the time.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

So do we now have seven dwarves already jockeying to be the next Republican to lose a national election?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | May 13, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Ensign John. Warp factor 9.

Posted by: DDAWD | May 13, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

As a Nevadan, I can tell you, he doesn't have the skill set to be a busboy, much less a senator or president. And my apologies to all of the hard-working busboys out there.

Posted by: greenm1 | May 13, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

What do you think of this? How many more simply did not even vote because they knew their votes would never be counted?

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A new study suggested Wednesday that over 25 percent of ballots from voters living overseas, mostly members of the military, were not counted in the 2008 election.

"It is unacceptable that bureaucratic snafus could prevent our troops from exercising the very rights they are fighting to protect," Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement.

The study, unveiled at a Wednesday hearing, surveyed election offices in the seven states with the highest number of troops serving overseas. According to the study, 98,633 of the 441,000 ballots sent to those military personnel and other eligible voters living abroad were never sent back to the election offices and declared "lost" and 13,504 were rejected for a missing signature or a failure to notarize.

"This data provides only a snapshot of the problem, but it is enough to show that the balloting process for service members is clearly in need of an overhaul," said Schumer. "We have an obligation to make it easier, not harder, for our military to cast their ballots when they are away on active-duty."

He said that troops are not given enough time to complete and send back their ballots, and urged the Pentagon to revamp the office that handles military voting.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

"Did you think that Reagan was just another angry anti-Carter obstructionist?"


Pssst!! Its not 1980 anymore.

.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 1:28 PM | Report abuse

FairlingtonBlade:

You are aware that the West Wing staff "runs ragged" too, right?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

JakeD does NOT think that Reagan was an angry anti-Carter obstructionist. JakeD thinks that a Republican can beat Obama. JakeD would rather see any pro-lifer as President instead of Obama.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@Jake - Reagan wasn't A anti-Carter obstructionist. He was THE anti-Carter obstructionist.

My neighbor works for Ensign. He's got her running ragged.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 13, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

parkerfl1:

Did you think that Reagan was just another angry anti-Carter obstructionist?

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Another angry anti-Obama obstructionist is running for the GOP nomination. That should lose them another election...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | May 13, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

"recent history suggests that it's never too early to make a first impression in the Hawkeye State.

By January 2006, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R) had already been to Iowa four times and former New York governor George Pataki (R) (remember him?) made four stops in Iowa in 200"


The evidence does not support the hypothesis. Mike Huckabee won the 2008 Iowa caucuses - Mitt Romney came in 2nd, despite extensive time & effort spent on winning the state. 3rd place was won by Fred Thomson (remember him?), who'd only been in the race for a few months.

Posted by: bsimon1 | May 13, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Sen John ERIC Ensign Ensign authored the Child Custody Protection Act in 2003 that prohibits taking minors across State lines in circumvention of laws requiring the involvement of parents in abortion decisions. He also opposed the Prevention First Act. The Prevention First Act was co-authored by Harry Reid, the senior senator from Nevada, who says he is "pro-life but" has a 0% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. The Prevention First Act seeks to expand government-funded healthcare and promote sex outside of marriage. I mean, we could simply murder every female of reproductive age and THAT would "reduce" abortion rate too.

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I live in California but still have interest in Presidential politics. Go Ensign!!!

Posted by: JakeD | May 13, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

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