Omaha, Please Elect Richie Rich So Des Moines Can Get An NFL Team

In the race to be the next economic powerhouse city of the Midwest, the future winner will be crowned by one decisive factor: whether Omaha or Des Moines lands an NFL team. Wait, what? That’s emerged as a key issue for Omaha’s increasingly ridiculous mayoral race, or at least for its most colorful candidate. Taylor Royal, a Donald Trump-loving, 27-year-old business grad being financed by himself and his rich father, has made attracting an NFL team to Omaha a central part of his campaign since last Fall. That’s gotten him some mocking national attention, and now he’s running ads on that and more […]

Aw, Yeah. Joe Biden Gets Fresh With Chuck Grassley’s Wife

How will we miss Vice President Joe Biden once his time in office soon ends? Let us count the ways. Top among them will certainly be the delightful “Uncle Joe” antics we see every other January at the Senate swearing-in ceremony. In his role as Vice President, Biden serves as the official President of the U.S. Senate. In theory he gets to cast a tie-breaking vote when the Senate is deadlocked 50-50, but in reality his main official duty is to swear in the newly-elected and re-elected senators every two years. And he sure does make the most of it. Whether […]

I Challenge Speaker Linda Upmeyer To One Million Debates

I am announcing today that I, Pat Rynard, am challenging Republican Speaker of the Iowa House Linda Upmeyer to one million debates between now and Election Day. Although I have not informed Speaker Upmeyer of this ahead of time, I will premptively call her out for shamefully avoiding these fair and reasonable debates. What is Speaker Upmeyer hiding? Is she afraid to confront the real issues in front of hardworking Iowa voters? Shameful, I say. Shameful. Now, does it make sense for a random Democratic-leaning writer to debate the Speaker of the House? Not really. Is holding one million debates between […]

How Trump-Loving Branstad Should Deliver His Condition Of The State

While Iowa Governor Terry Branstad remains officially neutral in the Iowa Caucus, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t spend a lot of time with the candidates and their families. This past week Branstad invited Donald Trump’s son along for his annual hunting fundraiser in Centerville. The business mogul’s son was all too eager to attend, and brought Branstad a gift: a camo “Make America Great Again” hat, which Branstad donned in a picture that made its rounds on the internet. We thought the hat actually looked pretty good on the Governor. So much so that maybe it’s time Terry Branstad take […]

The Christmas Gifts Voters Should Give Each Candidate

It’s almost Christmas and Starting Line is in the festive mood. The presidential candidates have worked long and hard this year, and perhaps it’s time for the voters to reward them with a gift for the holidays. But what to get each? They almost all are certain to end up on the naughty list for various misdeeds in 2015 (Trump’s done enough to land him there for at least three lifetimes), but that’s alright. Here’s our ideas of the best gifts voters could get each candidate: Have some ideas of your own? Leave them in the comments section or on […]

Photos: Iowa Republicans’ Spooky (And Silly) Halloween Costumes

Iowa Republicans got into the full spirit of Halloween this weekend, with a number of activists donning some creative and creepy outfits at two recent events. Rand Paul held a Halloween costume party in the back room of Buzzard Billy’s in Des Moines on Friday night, which ended up being perhaps the strangest Iowa Caucus event Starting Line has attended this year (and that’s saying something!). Then on Saturday the Republican Party of Iowa held their big Growth And Opportunity event at the State Fair. 10 candidates attended and all the campaigns decorated booths in the Halloween theme. Here’s our […]

We Review Ted Cruz’s Ridiculous Children’s Coloring Book

Few other presidential candidates’ campaign events are as stage-managed as Ted Cruz’s. Fancy backdrops, dozens of volunteers in matching t-shirts to welcome you, well-produced introductory videos and free pocket constitutions are present at nearly every Cruz event in Iowa. And the best piece of campaign chum you’ll find when you go see Cruz in person? The professional children’s coloring book produced by his campaign. Now, to be clear, I think having a coloring book to hand out to children is actually a good idea for candidates like Cruz who are appealing to the evangelical set. You see lots of families […]

20 Reasons Kanye West Is The 2020 Iowa Caucus Front-Runner

The game-changing moment of Kanye West’s announcement at the VMAs that he will run for President in 2020 continues to send shock waves through the political class this week. The 2016 campaign now seems a dull affair in comparison, as every candidate campaigns for the honor to be defeated after one term by future President Yeezy. Let’s take a look ahead to the 2020 Iowa Caucus, where the overwhelming front-runner is certain to be the Kanye/Kanye ticket (obviously, he is the only one qualified to be his own Vice President). A special thanks to Starting Line readers for sending in […]

Top 10 Wildest Moments From Iowa State Fair Campaigning

After 11 days, 21 presidential candidates and a whole lot of pork chops-on-a-sticks eaten, the 2015 Iowa State Fair has (sadly) come to a close. It will likely be remembered as the most political caucus Fair for some time, with every legitimate candidate save for Rand Paul showing up. Team Starting Line was on hand for all but one candidate (missed Jeb Bush) to bring you every moment. Here’s our list of the 10 best ones: 1. Trump Buzzes Hillary in Helicopter, Tells Child “I Am Batman” It’s doubtful many other moments during the 2016 Iowa Caucus campaign will stick […]

Steve King Says It’s Legal, So I Tried To Marry My Lawnmower

“You could marry your lawnmower with this decision,” Iowa Congressman Steve King said last week about the recent Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. Something about that statement didn’t seem very… accurate. But hey, this is an elected member of the U.S. Congress, responsible for crafting the nation’s laws. So Starting Line decided to do a little fact-checking of our own on this topic. That’s right, I actually tried to marry my lawnmower. I wheeled her out of the garage, placed her in the car and took her down to the Polk County Recorder’s office in downtown Des Moines to […]