Thursday, August 02, 2007

Tommy's Iowa adventure near end

We're only nine days away from the Ames, IA straw poll. 40,000 people are expecting to participate. And after that, we can expect Tommy Thompson's campaign for president to finally end. In this week's column, I write,

Unfortunately for Thompson, the latest presidential preference poll in Iowa by the American Research Group puts Thompson at 2 percent, barely beating Libertarian Ron Paul. KCCI-TV is also reporting Thompson at 2 percent. Thompson is actually moving down in the polls as Republican voters in Iowa are settling on the top tier of candidates: Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Mitt Romney and John McCain.

Unlike when he ran for governor of Wisconsin, Thompson is not the fund-raising champion in this race, as he admits to the Des Moines Register. Grabbing his wallet, he told them, “I’m paying for it from right here.” He cannot count on a financial advantage to push his campaign.

To make matters worse for Thompson, he hoped to draw motorcyclists to the Ames straw poll by having a “Power to the People” street dance, but then canceled the event when Ames decided to charge the Thompson campaign to reimburse the city for security. The Thompson campaign balked at the $2,000 bill, and an aide was quoted in the Des Moines Register:

“It was obvious they did not want us to come here, and they were building it up to be something it wasn’t, so they could outprice us.”

Jim Geraghty of National Review Online commented on the affair, “Governor, no offense, but nobody remembers your debate performances (didn’t you say you were sick as a dog in the first one?), no proposal, policy, or idea you’ve proposed has made even the slightest ripple, and there’s a strong suspicion that your mid-single-digits polling numbers are overstated because people are mistaking you for Fred Thompson. Do you really think you’re important enough for Ames local officials to sabotage?”

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