Noam Scheiber
Senior Editor

Huckabee's Advance Work: Not Always An Exact Science...
December 29, 2007

Indianola, Iowa From the site of that Huckabee presser a little earlier today: I guess sometimes you hold a press conference in the burger joint you have, not the burger joint you wish you had...  --Noam Scheiber

Waiting For Huck...
December 29, 2007

Indianola, Iowa Mike and I are both here at some beer-and-burger joint waiting for a Huckabee presser to start. I missed the preceding event (I think Mike's about to blog about it), but I'm told Huck really laid into Romney, so we'll probably get more of the same. One quick thought before he does: When I showed up at that Romney event this morning, I thought the energy level was pretty high. A decent number of supporters turned out, and there was a respectable media scrum, too. Then I showed up at this event and thought, boy is Romney in trouble.

Romney In The Home Stretch
December 29, 2007

Newton, Iowa I just got out of a Romney event here in Newton--probably 100-150 people (and 25-30 press) crammed into a local diner. Romney's closing stump speech is pretty solid--and, as Time's Joe Klein put it, very "efficient." He manages to pack several themes into a lean, 15-20 minute affair.  Not surprisingly, Romney was strongest talking about how his business career gives him the experience to bring change to Washington ("I've spent my life changing things, I know how change works.").

Second-choice Preferences
December 29, 2007

My colleague John Judis (via e-mail) and commenter ilnoca both make a great point: Given the closeness of the race in Iowa, the difference may well be who supporters of Biden, Richardson, and Dodd migrate to if/when their caucus-groups are declared non-viable. (For those confused by terms like "non-viable," Mike will be posting a piece on caucus mechanics in the next day or two.) John suspects that these people are headed Clinton's way, given that they're probably attracted to experience and Clinton, fair or not, has been labeled the most experienced of the front-runners.

Romney's Iowa Strategy May Work, But Not In New Hampshire
December 29, 2007

I'll be spending most of today with Romney and Huckabee--and I promise I'll be posting from the road. In the meantime, just a thought about where things stand with them in Iowa. According to the latest poll, which is consistent with the broader trend line, Huckabee is still up 7 points on Romney here. My gut tells me that Romney is still very much alive, though--I think the odds of his winning may even be slightly higher than Huck's at this point. Here's why: Romney has spent the last few weeks absolutely pounding Huckabee on the air, on the stump, in mailings, in e-mails.

Who Has More Paths To The Nomination?
December 29, 2007

Just a quick thought about what Iowa may or may not accomplish for the Dems. First, the three easy scenarios: 1.) Hillary wins by more than a point or two, in which case the race is basically over. 2.) Obama wins convincingly (five points or more), in which case it starts looking pretty good for him and Edwards is done.

The Wizard of Iowa
December 28, 2007

“It’s an exciting time to be alive,” Bill Clinton exclaims. No seven words would sound more banal in the hands of a lesser politician. Clinton says them with the wonderment of a toddler who just learned to walk--at least if that toddler could speak in complete paragraphs and had a sponge-like memory for detail. “When I ran for president the average cell phone weighed five pounds,” he muses. “Go figure. You know how many sites there were on the Internet? The whole shebang? Fifty.

Rolling The Dice With Obama
December 28, 2007

Coralville, Iowa I just went to an Obama event near Iowa City--not far from the University of Iowa and legions of young voters rumored to favor the senator from Illinois. (The Obama campaign says there were about 900 people in attendance.) The first thing that struck me was how explicitly Obama rebutted the preparedness argument Bill Clinton made recently on Charlie Rose. Yesterday in Des Moines, Obama alluded to it only elliptically: "The real gamble in this election is playing the same Washington game with the same Washington players and expecting a different result," Obama said.

Obama's Closing Argument, Cont'd.
December 27, 2007

I just had a chance to read over the "closing argument" speech Obama delivered in Des Moines this morning. With the caveat that I didn't actually hear him deliver it, it read more impressively than I expected based on those talking points I mentioned earlier.

Obama's Closing Argument
December 27, 2007

I didn't see a whole lot new in the talking points Mark Halperin says are the gist of Obama's retooled stump speech, but this nugget did stand out a bit: The truth is, you can have the right kind of experience and the wrong kind of experience. Obama’s experience is rooted in the real lives of real people and it will bring real results if we have the courage to change. But those are not Obama’s words.

Pages