It is hard to believe that we are 17 days out from the Iowa Caucus on January 3rd.  Here are some noteworthy items for my Iowa Caucus edition of Five Items.

1.  Rick Santorum’s first TV Ad

In case you haven’t seen it.

 

2. Marcus Bachmann’s Lackluster Attempt at Advocacy

Kevin Hall notes an interesting exchange between Michele Bachmann’s husband Marcus and an undecided voter from Storm Lake, Andy Wobbema, who was not happy with the answers that Congresswoman Bachmann gave about same sex marriage when she was on Jay Leno three months ago.  After asking the Congresswoman about it, Marcus Bachmann approached Wobbema:

Following the event, Marcus Bachmann made his way over to Wobbema to try to appease him. TheIowaRepublican.com overheard part of their conversation. Mr. Bachmann was clearly trying to earn Wobbema’s vote for his wife in the Iowa Caucus. At the end of the conservation, Marcus Bachmann said, “So, you’re undecided between us and Rick Santorum?” Wobbema said yes. Bachmann then said, “Santorum can’t win.”…

….That attempt to sway Andy Wobbema’s vote failed. “He’s entitled to his opinion. I’m not necessarily looking for the person who can win, I’m looking for the best candidate,” Wobbema said.

The Storm Lake resident remains undecided on who will vote for on January 3. However, he believes Rick Santorum’s defense of one-man, one-woman marriage is stronger than Michele Bachmann’s.

“I can’t say it’s a defining thing, but I feel like when Santorum speaks he conveys his message a lot more clearer than her,” Wobbema said.

3.  Gingrich of Freddie Mac

This editorial in The Wall Street Journal as well as comments made by Mitt Romney yesterday morning prompted a tele-town hall with Iowa voters.  He said:

I just want to set the record straight. We had a company. The company had three different offices. We were paid annually for six years, so the numbers you see are six years of work. Most of that money went to pay for overhead, for staff, for other things that didn’t go directly to me. It went to the company which provided consulting advice & our advice included how do you help poor people earn the right to be in a house & to be a homeowner. I had spent years working with Habitat for Humanity. I believe deeply in trying to help people have the right to have a home. I think it’s a good part of being an American to own property and I’ve been very much in favor of property ownership which is also why I’m for the abolition of the death tax so that family farms aren’t forced to be sold because you can’t afford to pay the federal taxes when the parents die.

In that setting, I also want to say I have never once advocated that people do something for Fannie or Freddie. I do not in any way work on influence, per se. I’m a public figure. I make public speeches. Everybody can go look at what I’ve said in public.  I actually suggested they needed more regulations & that’s actually in writing on their website,so you can go look @ it yourself. That’s an area where people have just said things that are wildly inaccurate and don’t reflect anything about how I’ve operated or what I’ve done.

I want to be this open and this straight so everybody can see the record.

I’m curious why he’s not having in person town halls with people in Iowa.  Hmmm….

4.  The Des Moines Register is announcing their endorsement today.

Which will mean absolutely nothing to the typical Republican voter, frankly since everybody knows the editorial board is liberal I don’t even understand why they bother making an endorsement.  In 2008 they endorsed John McCain and Hillary Clinton.  Obviously Iowa Republicans did not take their advice during the Caucus, and neither did Iowa’s Democrats.  I thought it was pretty hilarious that they then in the general election they were in the position of endorsing someone they didn’t endorse over somebody that they had endorsed in the Caucus.  Awkward.

I predict they’ll endorse Mitt Romney, all the other candidates are either too conservative for them or have taken stands on issues contrary to their position.  For instance, Gingrich’s position on the Judiciary runs counter to what they have stated.  They were in favor of the Iowa Supreme Court decision allow gay marriage and against Iowans voting no on judicial retention.

5.  Can Iowa overlook Mitt Romney’s flip-flops?

Some will, most who are concerned about it won’t.  Romney is only in this contest due to a divided field.

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