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  1. #1
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    Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007


    NEW YORK Hillary Rodham Clinton's deputy campaign manager wrote a memo this week making the case for the Democratic presidential candidate to bypass the Iowa caucuses and focus on later contests in the nomination fight.
    The memo by Mike Henry is a sign of division among the New York senator's strategic advisers. It was described generally by two senior Clinton advisers who, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was little chance the senator would take his advice.
    Harold Ickes, a top Clinton strategist, said the campaign is studying various options for dealing with the rush of nomination contests in early 2008, including bypassing Iowa, but he said the senator was determined to continue her Iowa campaign.
    "Every campaign games out different scenarios and this is one scenario," he said. "The campaign is moving in Iowa, is going to stay in Iowa and Mrs. Clinton is very dedicated to winning the state."
    The memo was written as a new poll suggests Clinton is trailing in Iowa. The Des Moines Sunday Register survey of likely Democratic caucus goers puts former Sen. John Edwards ahead in Iowa with 29 percent of the Democratic vote, compared to 23 percent for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and 21 percent for Clinton. Officials said Henry's memo argues that Clinton would be wise to use money and time now dedicated in Iowa to compete in New Hampshire and later primaries, especially on Feb. 5 when as many as 20 states hold Democratic primaries. Clinton's husband, former President Clinton, did not compete in Iowa during his first election in 1992, primarily because one of his Democratic rivals, Sen. Tom Harkin, was from the state.
    The officials who described the memo said the fact that its existence has leaked outside the campaign almost assures that Clinton will be forced to stay the course in Iowa. They said there are some in Clinton's camp who want to her to skip Iowa and the memo was designed to ensure that the option was fully debated. Others in her inner circle have argued that Iowa has been a focal point of the campaign for too long to be abandoned, and say that the senator has long shared their view.
    Henry did not return a telephone message left at his office. He is the former campaign manager of Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, credited with helping the Democrat win exurban counties that had been leaning Republican.
    Clinton has developed an extensive Iowa campaign organization with field staffers scattered around the state. She has hired veteran political operative JoDee Winterhof as her campaign manager, picking a veteran of Sen. Tom Harkin's political operation and a Washington consultant. Veteran operative Mark Daley has been hired to coordinate Clinton's message operation in Iowa.
    She has traveled and campaigned in the state often, with the latest swing beginning Friday in the western part of the state.
    Clinton has also collected the endorsement of former-Gov. Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie. They accompany her on virtually all of her campaign stops. Vilsack sought the Democratic presidential nomination, but dropped out earlier this year when he found it difficult to raise money. He remains very popular with Iowa Democrats and is considered a significant asset to her Iowa campaign.



    Interesting...Doesn't look good for Vilsack




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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    There was a similar report yesterday stating that Guiliani's team was considering skipping Iowa.

    If you ask me, these types of "strategies" are a case in point of exactly why the electoral college is flawed. I know this is just nominations, but the strategies aren't totally dissimilar. Small states like Iowa, and it's residents, don't really matter. California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Michigan, etc are what matter.

    Every other gov't office is popular election. Why not president? It irks me to no end that the top official in the country can be elected with the minority vote.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    There was a similar report yesterday stating that Guiliani's team was considering skipping Iowa.

    If you ask me, these types of "strategies" are a case in point of exactly why the electoral college is flawed. I know this is just nominations, but the strategies aren't totally dissimilar. Small states like Iowa, and it's residents, don't really matter. California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Michigan, etc are what matter.

    Every other gov't office is popular election. Why not president? It irks me to no end that the top official in the country can be elected with the minority vote.
    Um. A popular election (or a nationwide primary election) makes small states like Iowa LESS important, not more important.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Hopefully she is skipping to see if she can run a plane into a mountain without getting hurt. That would be o.k. to me. Hopefully she won't wear a helmet.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    I know that's preached by - some - poly sci classes. But how exactly?

    Right now, Iowa gets some miniscule 4 or 5 college votes. California gets like 100 - I don't care exactly how many, point stands.

    So, yes. If the ENTIRE state of CA voted for one candidate, and then ENTIRE state of Iowa voted for one candidate, the EC somehow makes sense.

    But since votes are usually closer to the 5?% to 4?%, how does the all or nothingness of the EC reflect the will of the people? And especially when you consider the fact that if you pick up a paltry 3 state (CA, TX, FL) you're something like 2/3rd the way through the college - even though those states might only have a few % pts difference in the popular vote. This is precisely why there are "Battleground States" - of which, Iowa is not usually one.

    Effectively, the EC makes the losing side's voice 100% absent - state by state. In that way, one only has to win a handful of states to win the election. Middle America is largely ignored EXCEPT for primary/caucus time just to get their name out there and gain early steam.

    The simple fact that we have a sitting president - one I voted for - that lost the popular election shows how out-moded it is. Does any other country employ such a process?


    Last edited by DaddyMac; 05-23-2007 at 03:57 PM.

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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Iowa needs to move to the end of the cacuses. I am already tired of it and it is still a year away.


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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    Small states like Iowa, and it's residents, don't really matter. California, Florida, New York, Illinois, Michigan, etc are what matter.
    I beg to differ.

    Back in 2004, Howard Dean was leading the polls heading into Iowa. When he finished 3rd behind Kerry and Edwards, it sent him into a tail spin that he never recovered from. Kerry on the other hand used the momentum to gain the Democratic nomination.

    It didn't help that he gave his infamous "scream" during his press conference that night.

    Basically, the voters in Iowa had a role in determining the Democratic challenger.


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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    For the record, California gets 55 votes. Iowa gets 7. Just so everyone knows the numbers. I still think that the Iowa Caucuses matter. They are what I like to call, America's first impression. Trust me, skipping Iowa would not be a good idea. I'm sure they have their reasons, but it doesn't sound wise.


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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    A couple things

    1) I was speaking more to the actual presidential election - in terms of "don't matter"

    2) "The scream" had far, far more to do with Dean's collapse than the Iowa caucus results. People from all other 49 states could recall that video clip. Probably less than 1 in 10 could even tell you where he was when he did it. BTW, these are the same people who can't tell you who the current Sec of State is, what the closest star is to earth, what country is immediately north of the US.

    3) What you'll see now - actually I got this from the Guiliani article, but agree - candidates who don't have a strong shot at Iowa (or really are a lock or a complete goner) will likely skip it so as not have that first round "set-back" - ala Guiliani & Clinton. Apparently Bush considered the same in '00. So in that sense, Iowa matters.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    The small states get more influence in the electoral college system because of the extra two senator votes that every state gets regardless of size. Thus small states with only one representative get three times the votes they would get otherwise.

    Additionally, I love the fact that Iowa has the caucuses. I've been able to see and often talk to any major contenders I have wanted to since going to ISU. If I lived in most states I would never get that chance, I would just be forced to watch a bunch of stupid TV commercials.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post
    I know that's preached by - some - poly sci classes. But how exactly?

    Right now, Iowa gets some miniscule 4 or 5 college votes. California gets like 100 - I don't care exactly how many, point stands.

    So, yes. If the ENTIRE state of CA voted for one candidate, and then ENTIRE state of Iowa voted for one candidate, the EC somehow makes sense.

    But since votes are usually closer to the 5?% to 4?%, how does the all or nothingness of the EC reflect the will of the people? And especially when you consider the fact that if you pick up a paltry 3 state (CA, TX, FL) you're something like 2/3rd the way through the college - even though those states might only have a few % pts difference in the popular vote. This is precisely why there are "Battleground States" - of which, Iowa is not usually one.

    Effectively, the EC makes the losing side's voice 100% absent - state by state. In that way, one only has to win a handful of states to win the election. Middle America is largely ignored EXCEPT for primary/caucus time just to get their name out there and gain early steam.

    The simple fact that we have a sitting president - one I voted for - that lost the popular election shows how out-moded it is. Does any other country employ such a process?
    Iowa accounted for around 1.2% of the popular vote in total during the last election. Our 5 EC votes account for close to 2% of what is need for victory. By doing away with the EC, Iowa would be less of a factor just form the mathematics of it.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    I understand all that. But how does a state like California, or Texas influence the numbers as well.

    CA accounts for roughly 12.18% of the population, but has effectively a 20% impact on winning the election (55 votes, 270 needed).



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    The reason Iowa matters in the general election is because it is typically a state that is close enough for either side to win. In a general election the candidates would focus much more heavily on major population centers because they could reach more people.

    Texas and California don't get nearly as much attention now (except when it comes to raising money) because they generally vote the same way every election.

    As far as Hillary goes it might not be a bad idea and one that has happened before. A lot of states moved their primaries up which could lesson or increase Iowa's role depending on how the other states react to what happens. She has enough money that skipping Iowa will hurt less than receiving the bad publicity of finishing third. Her biggest asset is the conventional wisdom that her nomination is inevitable and looking up at Edwards and Obama would go a long way to destroying that.

    I think that Dean's performance here hurt him a bunch and gave Edwards and Kerry a bunch of momentum heading into New Hampshire where Dean was doing well before.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    I wish we could get rid of the caucus and just go for straight voting. I've only been to 1 caucus and it was dull, unorganized and didn't seem like a great way to count votes. I'd rather go to the polls and color in some little dots on a page than stand around for a few hours while people decide who they want to vote for.



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    Re: Hillary Clinton Campaign Memo Proposes Skipping Iowa Caucuses

    Quote Originally Posted by DaddyMac View Post

    2) "The scream" had far, far more to do with Dean's collapse than the Iowa caucus results. People from all other 49 states could recall that video clip. Probably less than 1 in 10 could even tell you where he was when he did it. BTW, these are the same people who can't tell you who the current Sec of State is, what the closest star is to earth, what country is immediately north of the US.
    Or in laymans terms, democrats



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