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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Iowa: And So It Begins

Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin write at Politico:

Five potential presidential candidates vied to please a socially conservative crowd at a packed event here Monday night that marked the unofficial start to the Iowa caucus campaign and the first time a crush of GOP hopefuls shared a major stage.

Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty, Buddy Roemer and Herman Cain each took a turn at the microphone, riffing on a range of social-issue touchstones — denouncing gay marriage, lambasting activist judges and praising the push to defund Planned Parenthood.

But all five essentially share the same positions, and in the end, it was Cain and Roemer — the least known and probably longest-shot of the hopefuls — who got the most praise from a group of influential Hawkeye State conservatives.

“This is the first significant event of the caucus season and you’re turnout tonight says you are very interested in making some change,” Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad told the crowd before the speeches, calling those on-hand loyal caucus-goers and “valuable” potential supporters.

Martin also describes a Gingrich flyer proposing four executive orders:

• "Eliminate the thirty-nine White House 'Czar' positions created during the current administration" (fact-checkers have taken issue with claims that put the number this high)

• "'Mexico City Policy' of Respect for Life" (to stop taxpayer dollars from used to fund abortions abroad)

• "Restore conscience clause protections for Healthcare Worker" (to let those in medicine to opt out of any procedure, including abortion, they found ethically or religously objectionable)

• "Respect Each Sovereign Nation's Choice of its Capital" (moving the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem)