Jim Webb Shines, Lincoln Chafee Bombs At Labor Convention

Four of the five Democrats running for President spoke to an AFL-CIO convention at Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona, giving Iowa labor leaders a policy-focused look at their potential candidates. Richard Trumka, the national president of the AFL-CIO sat on a panel of four to quiz the White House hopefuls on working class issues. Only Hillary Clinton wasn’t able to make the event, denying a chance for labor to get her to commit one way or the other on $15/hour. The event was last Thursday, but with the GOP debate on immediately afterwards this post got delayed. We’ve written plenty […]

Monday Power Ranking: Iowa Caucus – Democrats (July)

I’ll be honest: last week I had a different idea of how I was going to rank this. I planned on taking the bold step of putting Bernie Sanders at number one, making the argument that if the Iowa Caucus were to be held today, he’d win it. Despite the Clinton organizing advantage, the sheer enthusiasm of the Sanders surge right now would flood caucus precincts with too many new Bernie-backing voters, and Clinton would narrowly lose out. I even had a really awesome opening line for the lede, which I’m sad I can’t use now. But such a move […]

Is Jim Webb the Second Coming of Newt Gingrich?

The Santa Maria Winery in Carroll, Iowa is a lovely place. Great food, good atmosphere, an elegant events center. (I’m not much of a wine drinker, so I can’t attest to their signature product.) If you live in the area, I imagine you have attended all kinds of events at the Winery; weddings, wine tastings, anniversary parties, book clubs, and meetings with amateur film makers about their latest cold war documentaries. Now, it is possible you may be saying to yourself, “meetings with filmmakers?” If so, you clearly forgot famous film producer Newton Leroy Gingrich (N.L.G. to his friends). Gingrich […]

Rumor Roundup: Ravi Patel’s Super PAC, Webb’s Loss, Adams In, Bertrand for Governor

We hear all kinds of interesting things here at Starting Line, and figured it was about time for another fun Rumor Roundup. Here’s the latest political chatter making its way around Iowa: Super PACs Coming in 1st District Primary All the cool kids these days are getting their own Super PACs. Starting Line hears that the initial stages of setting up a Super PAC for Ravi Patel, Democratic candidate in the 1st District, is underway. Jeff Link, Bruce Braley’s top strategist from the Senate campaign, is rumored to head up the effort. A number of firms in D.C. are reportedly […]

Jim Webb Criticizes Influence of Money in Politics During Iowa Swing

Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb displayed his military-like efficiency during an Iowa swing at the end of last week, marching through an impressive and diverse number of events throughout the state from Thursday through Sunday. Among other events, he met with Democrats in Council Bluffs, spoke at the Polk County Democrats’ fundraiser, toured a veterans museum and factory in Waterloo and an ethanol plant in Mason City, visited a Vietnamese community event back in Des Moines, and headlined a fundraiser for Democrats in Mason City. It was his first Iowa expedition this year, having done a three-day tour back in […]

EXCLUSIVE: Jim Webb Hires Iowa State Director

Starting Line has learned from multiple sources that former Senator Jim Webb has hired Rania Batrice to head up a potential Iowa Caucus campaign. From Texas, she is scheduled to begin work in the lead-off caucus state in April. Batrice has worked on Iowa campaigns in the past. She was Congressman Dave Loebsack’s campaign manager in 2008 and served on John Edwards’ caucus campaign in 2007-2008. She has recently worked on a number of races in Texas and North Dakota, including running Kinky Friedman’s campaign for Texas Agriculture Commissioner. Batrice also did a stint as the North Dakota Democrats’ communications […]

Democrats Need a Backup Quarterback. It Can’t Only Be Hillary

The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics released the newest Iowa Poll Saturday evening, which showed Hillary Clinton with a commanding 56% share of likely Democratic caucus-goers. Elizabeth Warren, who has said she won’t run, trails her at 16%. Vice President Joe Biden is at 9%. That’s a lead many Democratic presidential hopefuls would look at and think, “Eh, I’ll wait until next time.” That would be a mistake. 2016 cannot be an uncontested coronation for Clinton if Democrats care about their long-term future. They need only look to tonight’s Super Bowl to see why. New England Patriots quarterback Tom […]