Watching Rs leave the media climate of DC for the Steve King Empire of Iowa is like watching people jump through a dimensional portal.
— daveweigel (@daveweigel) January 23, 2015
If you’re one of the BJ readers who objects to reading about Repub shenanigans, get ready to do some major scroll-bys this weekend. It’s time for the Iowa Freedom Summit, “Getting America Back on Track”, paid for by Citizens United and hosted by Rep. Steve King, as helpfully annotated by Paul Waldman in the Washington Post:
… After learning that Michelle Obama would be sitting at Tuesday’s State of the Union with Ana Zamora, a 20-year-old college student who came to America at the age of one and can stay because of Obama’s executive action on “dreamers,” King tweeted:
#Obama perverts ‘prosecutorial discretion’ by inviting a deportable to sit in place of honor at#SOTU w/1st Lady. I should sit with Alito.
The NYTimes reports that “Jorge Ramos, the Univision and Fusion television anchor who is often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America” will be covering the Freedom Summit, so Rep. King’s ugly comments — and any inapt up-sucking by the attendees –will be scrutinized by media with a much larger reach than TPM.
NPR (Nice Polite Republicans) is more diplomatic:
Take a nearly century-old theater in downtown Des Moines. Fill it to capacity, — that’s 1,200 audience members and another 200 credentialed media — bring in a lineup that includes almost 10 would-be, might-be, could-be Republican presidential hopefuls, and it’s looking like the 2016 campaign is officially underway…
The event is King’s attempt to have an outsized impact on the outcome of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses, which will take place just one year from now.
King’s big issue is immigration, and he wants candidates to go on the record. He wants them to oppose any kind of deal with Democrats and the White House that would lead to the kind of immigration reform that many leaders at the Republican National Committee have suggested might help the party begin to cut into the huge gap that Democrats enjoy when it comes to the Latino vote..
Apart from many paid political analysts/consultants/pundits, would-be bagmen, irritable RWNJs, and a broad spectrum of media people hoping for a particularly spectacular meltdown, the marquee attendees break down into three overlapping groups:
– “Serious” candidates: Cruz, Christie, Huckabee, Santorum, Perry, Walker
– “Brand managers” looking to keep their
grift name in the media: Palin, Trump, Gingrich, Carson, Fiorina
– Local bigwigs & paleocon favorites: Joni ‘Breadbags’ Ernst, Iowa governor Terry Brandstad, Chuck Grassley, Heritage Foundation’s Jim deMint, John Bolton, Utah senator & Tea Party darling Mike Lee, et al.
Slate‘s John Dickerson, as always, focuses on the inside baseball:
… Most people in Iowa’s political class have an interest in getting things started early. They want the state to be the first robust contest of the nominating process. They covet the visits and the personal calls from the candidates. Some want to get paid. The earlier that candidates start, the more they need pricey strategists and paid organizers. So lots of people have an incentive to push a hurry-up message.
The upside of starting early is obvious. “This isn’t like a normal election, where you convince people,” says Craig Robinson, the founder of the Iowa Republican website. “You have to convince them and keep them convinced.” That takes skill, and that skill is getting snapped up by other campaigns…
Organizations are usually staffed with operatives who have well-established networks from working previous election cycles. Robinson calls them tribes. David Kochel, who oversaw Mitt Romney’s Iowa operation and who helped get Sen. Joni Ernst elected in November, leads one tribe. A.J. Spiker and Steve Grubbs, who are backing Sen. Rand Paul, each represent their own tribes. Christie’s backers—Jeff Boeyink and Chuck Larson—represent tribes, too. The allegiances to the tribe are sometimes closer than the allegiances to the candidates. This came through clearly in a conversation with one operative who said of a talented volunteer, “He’s not with Bush, he’s with me.”….
Noticably absent from this scrum: Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney, Rand Paul. Those guys are saving their energies for Sunday, when the NYTimes reports “An invitation-only group of 2016 hopefuls will travel to a resort near Palm Springs, Calif., for the Koch brothers’ annual winter seminar, kicking off the so-called Koch primary…”
Everybody get rrrrready to rrrrrrrrumble…
Utter lack of self-awareness (& thus the ability 2 be shamed) is both the most infuriating quality of RW & its most valuable political asset
— Billmon (@billmon1) January 24, 2015