Sunday, April 09, 2006


WH'08: Mark your Calendars

Mark your calendars: on September 1-4, 2008 Republicans will be nominating the next President of the United States. With the RNC's announcement of the date of the 2008 Republican Convention, the finish line is set and candidates and potential candidates have a little less than 29 months to make their case to Republican voters and win enough delegate votes to secure the nomination.

Granted, here in Iowa we have seven very important months to focus on the 2006 elections first -- but the WH'08 candidates have been wasting no time getting started. I hope to post occasional updates on visits and organizational developments by candidates here in eastern Iowa, as well as interesting stories from the national media about the preparations of the campaign. You can also check out the WH'08 Page on the Johnson County Republicans website for more details compiled about each candidate.

To kick it off, here's what we've seen so far. New York Governor George Pataki was the first candidate to visit Johnson County on Saturday, February 4, 2006. His advisers get props for organizing a full day for him -- rather than just headlining a fundraiser for Congressman Jim Leach (which he did quite successfully), he reached out to the county party and hosted a lunch for activists to learn about the party's successful efforts to win votes for President Bush in 2004 and to share about his experiences in NY. He did a good job mixing it up with the attendees before his talk, and during the speech made a rather convincing sales job of the improvements that he's made in NY and his conservative philosophy. He also placed a special emphasis on 9/11 -- and for those that are wondering, I don't recall any mention of social conservative issues. Still, he did a good job visiting briefly with all the attendees beforehand -- and he was accompanied by the full entourage of political staff, looking very NY-like (I wonder what people say about Vilsack's "entourage" as he's traveling around the country) and security. Also traveling with the Governor and actively chatting up the crowd was his friend and political adviser Sandy Treadwell, the RNC Committeeman from NY and former State GOP Chair and New York Secretary of State. Anbody else who was there have other thoughts or comments?

Incidentally, rumor has that the other northeastern Governor, Massachusett's Mitt Romney will be making another campaign swing through the state in the next month or so, which may include a stop here in Iowa City. If you've been living under rock, you may not have heard that he had a big week last week with the passage of the new mandatory comprehensive health insurance program in MA. I'm not so sure whether that's a positive or negative policy development from my perspective -- but making it onto nearly all the evening news and morning papers sure doesn't hurt his name ID.

Stay tuned for more on the others who haven't yet visited our fair county shortly ...