Sunday Grab Bag: Oh Hey Rubio’s In, O’Malley Dings Clinton, and Daily Mail

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa and national political topics: Rubio Announces, I Guess Poor Marco Rubio. Already facing an uphill battle to gain credibility and win the Republican nomination, his announcement on Monday was completely overshadowed by the week’s all-out Hillary Clinton coverage. He let the media know weeks in advance which day he’d announce, but was helpless in breaking through cable news’ obsession with Clinton’s road trip and Chipotle stop. Some wonder whether Clinton views Rubio as […]

Sunday Grab Bag: SNL’s New Hillary, GOP Has More Fun, and RIP Bart

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa and national political topics: Buckle Up, Hillary, SNL is Back Finally, are Saturday Night Live political sketches going to be funny again? Last night’s certainly was, with the exceptional Kate McKinnon portraying Hillary Clinton once again for a skit where Clinton prepares her announcement video. McKinnon could soon be a breakout star here, because she actually understands that you’re not supposed to mimic the politician perfectly, you’re supposed to make them into a […]

Sunday Grab Bag: Blum’s Buddies, Ravi Patel, and IDP Unforced Errors

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa and national political topics: Rod Blum’s Buddies Ted Cruz traveled across eastern Iowa with freshman Republican Congressman Rod Blum close at his side for three separate events on Wednesday and Thursday. One has to wonder if it’s really the best idea to have the guy who sponsored the phase-out of the RFS two weeks ago headlining your fundraiser. Blum also delighted in telling the crowd in Cedar Falls how unpopular he is with […]

Sunday Grab Bag: Graham’s Moderate-ism, Indiana and O’Malley Events

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa and national political topics: A Moderate-Sounding Lindsey Graham Talks to Iowans South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham visited Iowa on Friday and Saturday, first stopping by Noah’s Ark restaurant in Des Moines for a meet-and-greet. His remarks focused on national security and dealing with the Baby Boom retirement through entitlement reform, but what stuck out to me was how he phrased his points. “You need a rational immigration system,” Graham said of his plan […]

Sunday Grab Bag: Pate Gets It, House GOP Don’t, Sanders Unlikely

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa and national political topics: Paul Pate Brings Matt Schultz’s Crusade to an End Give credit where credit’s due. The Secretary of State’s office dropped its appeal of Matt Schultz’s legal battle over its attempt to purge the voter file with lists of supposed noncitizen voters. The ACLU had fought Schultz’s effort hard, arguing that it could knock off many legal voters, mostly from minority communities. Paul Pate, the Republican elected in 2014 to […]

Sunday Grab Bag: Bush and Rand’s Base Problem, Schock’s Luck

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa and national political topics: Jeb Bush and Rand Paul Struggle With Expanding Their Base at CPAC The media fawned over Jeb Bush’s performance at CPAC on Friday, the mega-gathering in D.C. for conservative activists. He gave a strong, at times confrontational, defense of his policies and accomplishments as Florida’s governor. Despite occasional heckling from the crowd, he didn’t back down on or equivocate his stances. That may win him plaudits from the media […]

Sunday Grab Bag: Sanders Impresses, Paulsen and Gas Tax

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week in Iowa. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa-based topics: Bernie Sanders Impresses During Iowa Trip Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders finished up a three-day swing through Iowa last night. Once again, his visits stuck mostly to friendly liberal audiences: a book store in Iowa City, the University of Iowa and Drake’s campus and an ICCI dinner. Still, he gave impressive performances at many of the venues, displaying an effective speech style and natural interactions with the event attendees.This was a […]

Sunday Grab Bag: Rubio, Gary Kroeger and Ankeny Dems

Good morning readers! A lot happened in the political world this week in Iowa. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa-based topics: Marco Rubio Book Signing in West Des Moines Over the lunch hour on Friday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio stopped by the West Des Moines Barnes and Noble to sign copies of his book, “American Dreams.” He got a good crowd, with well over 150 people standing in line. He mostly chatted briefly with each person as he signed their book, not making any major speech at the event. Some notable observations: