2nd Update: Live Chat started, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad giving opening remarks.

Update: At Drake University, the debate is a little over an hour away.  The press setup in the Knapp Center is pretty nice… they’re feeding this hungry blogger.  I’m joined by Brian Myers who is here already.  David Shedlock will be joining us as well.  Looking forward to the debate… please be sure to come back and follow-along.

Original (1:00p): Tonight we have the ABC News-Republican Party of Iowa debate, other partners are The Des Moines Register and local affiliate  WOI-TV 5 (ABC).  This is going to be held at Drake University in Des Moines at 8:00p (CST).  I’m doing something a little different.  The Des Moines Register asked me to participate tonight in their live chat.

Joining me tonight will be:

  • Tim Hagle, associate professor of political science at the University of Iowa.
  • Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science at Iowa State University, is a featured blogger on politics at
  • Graham Gillette, a public affairs and communications consultant, worked in the George W. Bush administration but caucused for Barack Obama in 2008. He’s a featured blogger on politics at
  • Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics at Iowa State University

Yes, I will be the token conservative so it should be fun.  You can check out the live chat right here as The Des Moines Register has given me permission to embed it here for my readers.  I will also be tweeting the debate as well.  You can follow along at @shanevanderhart, the hashtag is #IowaDebate.

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  1. Dear Republicans and unhappy Democrats of Iowa.  Do not let the media confuse you on this debate.  I watched via TV in South Carolina and could not believe the biased commentators.  Every play back was desigend to show Mitt Romney in a negative light.  In their final “analysis”, they isolated on one event when Mitt Romney challenged Rick Perry with a bet.  How many of us have said, “I’ll bet you a million dollars that soemthing is not true?”  Nothing was said of the fact that Rick Perry lied to precipitate the bet.  We need an electable candidate!  The Obama camp will find enough garbage in Newt’s past to eat him alive.  To avoid voting for Mitt last time we got McCain – talk about not being electable!  In the last race, Repulicans committed the greatest bias in America today – it’s not race, it’s not gender, it is religion.  Mitt Romney is  the only candidate who can even attempt to fix our economy.  Isn’t that what we need?  He is far more electable that any of the other candidates and can take on the Obama machine and win.  The media has confused those of the Republican Party because that is what they do – create hype – because it sells.  They could care less about which Republican wins – that’s their job.  Let us  get rid of the biases which divides us and unite to show this country that Republicans can save this great country of ours.

    I plead with the people of Iowa to lead the way out of narrow-minded biases and on to victory!

    1. Nice long note from a Romney Washington Insider upset that he may not get that $500,000 job Mitt promised him if he became the president.  Save it.  Romney is running in the wrong primary.

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