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Thursday, January 3, 2008
posted by Justin Hart | 6:42 PM | permalink

Hey folks. I've been away with family weddings and vacations but I'm back in action tonight.

Let me set up the cast of characters for you to guide us through Iowa:

First, Jason Bonham, leaving wife and children to trod through Iowa following Romney embedded with the press. Jason will no doubt be making his own updates throughout the day but I'll pitch in and throw an audible via proxy for him from time to time.

Second, my best friend, we'll call him M. He is showing me up big time by leaving his 5 kids to spend 3 days in Iowa and 4+ in New Hampshire. M is from Virginia but will actually be giving the pro-Romney speech at a caucus location in South East Iowa. He'll give us some excellent insights as the night proceeds.

Third, Romney campaign staffer. We'll call him "Scooter" (just because). Scooter will give us the perspective from the home base and keep tabs on the unexpected for us.

Fourth, Romney campaign staffer in Iowa. We'll call him "X" - a highly prized consultant to the Romney campaign with good knowledge of Iowa.

OK... here's our first report:

Jason - is down at the Marriott Hotel with other press folks waiting for the fireworks. He saw Amanda Carpenter right after her Ed Rollins experience. Apparently, there's even more to the what Ed had to say about Romney and family. Yuck. Ugly. Jason must be tired but I think he's having the time of his life.

M - Last I spoke with "M" (my best friend from Virginia) he was in a car with other Romney supporters making stops at various caucus locations, dropping off people to make the Romney pitch to the local crowd. Yesterday, he said HQ was overflowing, packed with people. "M" tells me that the area captains for Team Romney are jumping off the walls. These are the folks who are in charge of the geographical regions in Iowa. Apparently, the amount of support they have gotten to help them in their efforts is literally overwhelming.

Scooter - I asked "Scooter" in Boston about one of my favorite topics, push-polling. The timfoil hat theories that other campaigns are pushing seem to be falling apart since its apparent that the NH AG will not have a report ready before next Tuesday. "Scooter" will be shooting up to New Hampshire to meet Romney tonight after the caucus.

"X" - This top Romney consultant tells me that he feels great. In his opinion, Huckabee has completely outsourced his GOTV efforts, relying on the Fair Tax and Homeschool crowds. One reporter indicated that the Huckabee phonebank was full of 13 year olds compared to the serious non-outsourced volunteers who (like "M" above) have come from all over the country to help out.

All of these sources tell me it will be a nail biter but that they feel the Governor can really pull it out in the end.

More soon!

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