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The Fix Makes Des Moines (Finally)

DES MOINES -- The Fix -- as regular readers know -- is a collector of facts and figures. So, here's a few from the trip from D.C. to Des Moines yesterday that we thought you might enjoy (since we certainly didn't):

1,107 miles flown

390 miles driven

1 political radio ad heard (An Omaha station early in the evening broadcast an ad for Sen. Barack Obama)

3 trips through security lines at the airport (twice in D.C., once in Minneapolis)

1 town named "Clinton Falls" passed. (It's in southern Minnesota)

2 flights missed or canceled

18 degrees at 1 am central time this morning

1 Caucus beard still intact

Those are the grim statistics of The Fix's 11-hour odyssey from our nation's capital to the center of the political universe this week. Given all of that, we'll be taking it a bit easy this morning -- checking out the Sunday shows ("Meet the Press" has Obama AND former Gov. Mike Huckabee) and planning our day.

But, we'll be back at it soon enough. Make sure to check this space later today for reports from the ground.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 30, 2007; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Fix Notes  
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Next: Edwards: A Black and White Perspective


As others here have noticed, Iowa is overrated - by the MSM, that is; not by anybody else.

I just hope everybody in the state is on neighborhood Diebold Watch.

Posted by: wardropper | January 2, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

markinaustin: Your mention of Sam Nunn, David Boren, and others meeting with Bloomberg in January brings to mind the political views of these folks. Nunn and Boren are pretty much Dems INO, and are far out of the Centrist position on about everything.

Posted by: lylepink | December 30, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

vbhoomes: I have been told the first state polls have Repubs supporting Obama in an attempt to stop Hillary, as I've posted several times. I am not at all surprised this was happening, because I said it was going to happen. My "Crystal Ball" is working well again. You at least admit to being a "Hillary Hater", and I am almost convinced that you are not. I think you are more in my "Fear" Factor category because you do seem to be a person that has little "Hate" in their makeup. Many others won't admit their true feelings because of the "Envy/Jealous" Factor.

Posted by: lylepink | December 30, 2007 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, Thanks for the heads up on the Bloomberg plan, it surely is a big story. Among those showing interest, I can tell you there is no one finer than Jim Leach of Iowa. A real gem who wouldnt lend his name and support to anything second-rate.

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | December 30, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

lylepinK : You are talking about overall national polls which do not raelly much. Why not talk about the head-to-heads polls that has Obama with a much bigger lead over the republicans than Hillary. Its easy, Obama would attract independent voters along with some republicans. Hillary just has a narrow base within your party and is hated by everyone else. CLAUDIA: Surely you must know I wasn't being serious about Osama over Hillary, just drawing a picture to show how much we hate her guts. My hairs stand up on my back when I see her on TV.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 30, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Rasmussen has Hillary 43%, Obama 24%. The Repubs, [five of them], are under 20%. This is nationwide.

Posted by: lylepink | December 30, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Miata7: These antics of yours and others of your ilk will not work. Hillary is going to be our next Prez and you might as well put that little truism in your pipe and smoke it, rather that what you are on now.

Posted by: lylepink | December 30, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

'The LAT continues casting serious doubt on the official explanations of Bhutto's death. The paper comes out up front and claims that either the government is unable to control the militant groups or it is working with them, or both. '

This is what I mean about Pakistan, Mark--nuclear powder keg. If McCain doesn't understand that, he doesn't understand CURRENT foreign policy--period.

Posted by: drindl | December 30, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the story, Mark. There are some people mentioned of both parties whom I really respect. Previously when Broder has talked about 'bipartisanship' it was mainly to warn Democrats to do what Republicans wanted and as examples would have a far right republican along with far right republican-in-every-thing-but-name Joe Liebrman.

Posted by: drindl | December 30, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

OK Enough with the funny business. Alright, before we stop the funny business I have to tell Chris to wear a hat. You will be absolutely amazed at how warm you will get when you wear a hat, and although I do not know you, I am fairly sure that you are not wearing a hat.

OK having said that...

The MAIN ISSUE this week is how does Hillary survive even the close races in New Hampshire in Iowa - her entire campaign has been built on being the runaway candidate, the inevitable candidate. NOW all that is shattered no matter who edges who out.

It is clear.

Hillary's other problem is stark: the anti-Hillary vote has solidified at well over 60% - that is WITHIN the democratic party - these are democratic who have decided they do not want Hillary as the nominee - She has simply NOT closed the deal and it is high time that the party begins the painful emotional process of putting her aside and choosing a ticket that can win in November.

It is so clear.

The democrats have another, potentially larger, problem ahead: if Edwards shows any strength, if he builds any momentum and Obama wins South Carolina, the democrats are headed for a split vote on SuperTuesday and a deadlocked nomination process.

The numbers are simple: if Hillary can not put together 50% of the delegates, the rest will be split between Obama and Edwards and there will be a deadlock.

IN ADDITION, 25% of the democrats' delegates are superdelegates, officially unpledged to the end, and those are not up for grabs in the primary. If Hillary can not put together 50% of the delegates - (AND she just might be closer to 35%) - in that situation Hillary simply does not have a claim on the nomination.

This is why Bill Clinton has been so angry this month - his anger is clear in all his public appearances and private reports - Hillary's claim on the nomination is just not that good, AND her negatives are still extremely high, it is time to drop Hillary.

I know it will be painful, and many woman's groups will put up resistance, however it is time for the democrats to go through the thought process of a nomination without Hillary.

The sooner the better. What will Obama do in this situation? I hope there are smart people in the demcratic party who are willing to take another look at Biden and re-think this whole thing.

It is by far best for the democrats to put Hillary aside earlier than later.

Posted by: Miata7 | December 30, 2007 1:25 PM | Report abuse

' If Hillary is the dem nominee, I just as soon vote for Osama bin Laden over her.'

How can we get past partisanship when we have people so brainwashed by rush limbaugh, etc. to the point where they say they'd rather vote for a mass murderer than Hillary Clinton? I really cannot say I've ever heard a democrat say they'd vote for bin Ladin over Mitt romney, or even Rudy Guiliani, the most polarizing person on earth.

And I do like McCain, but his views on foreign policy are no different than Bush's-- so I couldn't vote for him for that reason. Plus he said Iran is more dangerous than Pakistan, and that proves to me he's either naive, brainwashed by neocons, or pandering to the base, none of which is appealing.

Biden is the only one who really gets it, probably the only one that can stop a nuclear WW3.

Posted by: drindl | December 30, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin:

In her royal we comment, Beth was criticizing CC, not you. Let's not forget the focus here, shall "we"? ;-)

And, as to your advice to undecided IA caucus goers, even though I'm strongly in favor of Obama, you give good advice. Biden and McCain are leaders for these uncertain times. Biden is my second choice, but the high powered national campaigns of Clinton and Obama have sucked the oxygen out of the room. I don't see how Biden can emerge.

The republicans have the opposite problem. Someone should close the window in that room to keep the vortex of excess oxygen from alternately lifting up and crashing down their candidates seemingly at random. Talk about a crap shoot! Step up and take a crack Iowa.

Posted by: rich5 | December 30, 2007 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

how weird is ths as a political dirty trick? as someone once remarked, when you mix relgion and politics, you get politics. wonder who's behind this? i'm guessing, but.....

'A holiday card that falsely claims to be from "the Romney family" and highlights Mitt Romney's Mormon faith was anonymously sent to Republican mailboxes across South Carolina earlier this week.

The source of the card is unknown.

View entire card [PDF]

The mailer, which says it is "Paid for by the Boston Massachusetts Temple," displays a quote from Mormon apostle Orson Pratt saying that God had multiple wives:

"We have now clearly shown that God the father had a plurality of wives, one or more being eternity by whom he begat our spirits as well as the spirit of Jesus, his first born, and another being upon the earth by whom he begat the tabernacle of Jesus, as his only begotten in this world," the quote reads.

A copy of the glossy brochure obtained by CNN offers holiday wishes from "the Romney family": "We wish you and your family a happy holiday season and a joyful New Year," it says.

The card focuses on the Republican presidential candidate's home state of Massachusetts, displaying a photo of the Mormon Temple in Boston as well as a snowy photo of the Public Garden in Boston.

The mailing also quotes from the first Book of Nephi, part of the book of Mormon, in which the Virgin Mary is described as "exceedingly fair and white."

Posted by: drindl | December 30, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Well Mark_in_Austin: For one Mitt has the energy for the job, has proven mangerial/leadership success saving the winter olmpics, is not a Polarizng person. Sorry but have McCain fatique with his constant mugging the camera's the last 8 years to bash Bush and his fellow republicans. But if McCain is our nominee, I would probably vote for him because he understands the dangers of the world more than the rest.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 30, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

CC, welcome to Iowa, the land of the FREEzing.

Mark, Good thoughts on Biden and McCain. If only.....

My New Year's greeting at:

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | December 30, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

beth, to have referred to my wife and me as "I" would have been disrespectful to the person I respect most in the world.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

The Fix has been brutally honest all year, and no doubt it's angered some candidates. However it's been particularly disheartening to see Romney's personal fortune essentially buying the Republican vote in Iowa. Would it be possible to prevent candidates from using their personal fortune in the manner Romney has?

Posted by: chrisbak52 | December 30, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Why the royal we? Is that really necessary? There is sufficient damning evidence of elitism in the corporate media without that.

Posted by: bethcaskie | December 30, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

This morning we have been watching the Sunday "talk" shows. This is what we have learned that is new for us.

My wife and I have agreed to diverge on Edwards. His message is exactly wrong for me on the structural issue of who is the "enemy" and the economic issue of protectionism. But my wife has come to think of "globalism" as a bad word.

Also, my wife will not vote R. Period. First time she has said that aloud, although her growing irritation with GWB was apparent a long time ago. So when I asked her why she had closed her mind to a Republican candidate she answered "Dubya".

Sam Nunn, David Boren, and a bunch of other centrist Ds and Rs are holding a conference about post-polarization in January. Among others, Mayor Bloomberg will be in attendance.

Nothing else was new to us.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Cranky? New Hampshire is a much easier state to drive around in.

Iowa looks small on a map - mostly because it is a little smaller than the states around it - however - the state has vast distances and many of the small towns do actually fit the definition of "small towns."

What are you going to do? Mill around a few campaign offices, watch people make phone calls? Go to a few bars or stores - ask random people what they think of the candidates? Check the weather report?

I would say you should check the weather report again.

OH, did I mention that you should check the weather report?

Posted by: Miata7 | December 30, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin: Even though I have been strong Republican over the last 27 years, I would vote for Biden, Barck or Dodd over Huckabee,if he was our nominee. If Hillary is the dem nominee, I just as soon vote for Osama bin Laden over her.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 30, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I can't think of a better argument against keeping Iowa as the most important state in the primary system...

Posted by: parkerfl | December 30, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Campaign speech follows.

If any undecided IA precinct-goers both exist and read this thread, I respectfully solicit their support for Sen. Biden, D, or Sen. McCain, R.

In either case, I am asking you to support a man whose worse political fault is the tendency to call a spade a spade. In either case, I am asking you to support a man with the proven ability to work hard for, and gain, consensus across party lines. In either case, I am asking you to support a man who has significant foreign policy experience that is respected by other decision makers.

It is time to stop talking about our political opponents as "enemies" and get back to the notion of the "loyal opposition". In our everyday lives we have friends of other political persuasions, religions, races, and genders, and we are able to talk to them, issue-by-issue. Political parties try NOT to do this. It works against their raison d'etre.

We will do better finding the individual candidates who are committed to rising above "Party" than by annointing those who play "the game". Among those who fit that bill, Biden and McCain are best equipped to walk into the Oval Office Jan. 20, 2009, and speak to the world for America with a supportive Congress behind them.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey Chris,

Sounds like your having a bunch of fun. ;-)


Posted by: hardline | December 30, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Yes, Joe Biden is a good man and candidate so is Barack and Chris Dodd. It is important for this country to have somebody to rally around if another 911 crises should hit us. These 3 gentlemen have those qualities. If Hillary was our President, we be in seriously trouble because she is just to polarizing to unite the country. Dems think about what's best for your country and vote for real change. I already have gotten Clinton fatigue,that's why I want her to lose Thursday.I just want the Clintons to go away.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 30, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

And we get two new polls this morning from Zogby and from MSNBC. Both have VERY good news for John Edwards and for Mitt Romney. Check out the full numbers here:

Posted by: campaigndiaries | December 30, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"We all know that experience matters -- but what matters more is Judgment, Wisdom, Honesty and Integrity"

That is why I am supporting Joe Biden he has all that and more. We need a president who understands the world and has a well thought out approach to foreign policy.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 30, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

As an agent of Change, Obama has aleady had a positive effect and change on the political landscape as evidenced by the "nicer tone" of the campaign commericals and political discourse prevelent today, which heretofore has been dirty and ugly. This is due to Obama's stance not too take the low road. To stay positive and above the frey, preferring to take the high road, to focuss on the issues and his message of change. -- And then they followed.

We all know that experience matters -- but what matters more is Judgment, Wisdom, Honesty and Integrity. We have to remember and weigh its seriousness, that in the most important policy decision of our times, the Iraq War, which has helped to escalate the present situation, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards got it Wrong. Barack Obama got it Right.

Obama a man of Judgment; a man of Positive Change.

Posted by: dsoulplane | December 30, 2007 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Good Morning, CC -

I do not envy your travel schedule or your pending week of motel life.

But I thank you for it. You will give us a taste of IA Precinct Madness that we who actually celebrate the New Year Season with friends and family would not have had.


Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 30, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

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