Happy Christmas Eve!

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Oakley the Amazing Weimaraner and Annie the kid sis send their very best holiday wishes to everyone. I’m heading to California today and then to Carson City, Nevada — and wish everyone a terrific holiday and new year — though Michael Schiffer and I will be commenting on the political goings-on over the next week on a daily basis. A couple of things before I go. . . First, some of you keep asking to be put on the Blog…

John Edwards is Fighting, Fighting, Fighting. . .

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If the speech I went to yesterday by Mike Huckabee presented the kinder gentler face of economic populism (with Republican characteristics), today’s Iowa City event with John Edwards offered the full-throated, full-throttle version. By the time Edwards went on stage at the Holiday Inn this afternoon — the fog and mist these past few days has been playing havoc with travel schedules — the crowd, which seemed a fifty-fifty mix of the undecided and the already committed (including SEIU folks…

Morning Mail Call in Iowa

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While most people find their mailboxes filled with Christmas cards and the like, this time of year in Iowa (well, this time of year every four years) mailboxes are stuffed to overflowing with campaign direct mail. This is a representative sample of some of the direct mail pitch that we have received in the past two days. I don’t know if the lack of pieces sent our way from Biden, Dodd, Richardson et al represents the tight budgets of those…

Giuliani’s War Zealot & The War Zealot’s Candidate

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Jacob Heilbrunn, author of the soon-to-be-released They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons, has a devastating critique of the mutually exploitive relationship between co-czar of the neocon establishment, Norman Podhoretz, and former New York mayor and presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani titled “Norman’s Conquest.” There are two clips in particular that I want to highlight, but I highly recommend reading the entire piece. First on neither Podhoretz or Giuliani having any substantial foreign policy experience at all: In…

Mike Huckabee’s Sizzle in Iowa

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Michael Schiffer is The Washington Note’s blogger for the Iowa Caucuses and is a resident of Iowa. He is a program officer in Policy Analysis and Dialogue at the Stanley Foundation based in Muscatine, Iowa — and was previously senior national security adviser and legislative director in the Office of Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Thanks Steve, for an overly kind introduction. One of the first things you learn watching campaigns out here, however, is to try to ratchet expectations down,…

Introducing Michael Schiffer Who Will Be TWN’s Iowa Caucus Blogger

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I’ve seen Michael Schiffer smile — and by way of this blog entry, I’m encouraging the Stanley Foundation to get a pic of him up showing some teeth. Michael Schiffer was one of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s superstar national security advisers and was her legislative director. He’s now running the Asia program for the Iowa-based Stanley Foundation. Through the Iowa Caucuses and perhaps after if I can convince him, he will be posting regularly on the political machinations as he sees…

Obama Has Done Some Europe

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Senator Obama’s campaign has amended some of what it sent my way on his experience with Europe and with European leaders. Before I post that, I should add that I’m not absolutely sure that having a light slate on Europe is such a bad thing — as long as it comes packaged with a commitment to get to know Europe well enough to do the hard slogging ahead on any number of major global challenges. Sometimes, those with too much…

Good Guards and Bad Guards: John McCain’s Holiday Message

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Senator John McCain just sent the following Christmas and holiday message to his supporters — and I thought it worthwhile to post here. It surfaced emotions I felt when I saw the brilliant and disturbing Alex Gibney directed film, Taxi to the Dark Side which opens nationally on January 11th. In the movie, you’ll hear of horrible things our American guards did to detainees — a great majority of whom were innocent in the facilities at Bergram and Abu Ghraib….

C-Span, Reuters and Zogby Team on Tracking Polls

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For those who want to watch the daily ticks in who’s up and who’s up less in the early primaries, this may be useful news: Reuters, C-SPAN and Zogby International have joined forces to poll Americans on the 2008 presidential election, starting with polls in the key U.S. presidential primary and caucus states. The effort will kick off on Dec. 30 with daily tracking polls from Iowa ahead of that state’s caucuses scheduled for Jan. 3. Daily tracking polls from…