Little Birdie Chirps
By Steve Deace
The grapevine is saturated with speculation about whether or not 2008 Iowa Caucus winner Mike Huckabee, who consistently ranks at the top of many GOP 2012 national presidential polls, will return to defend his title.
Huckabee keeps saying publicly he’s not ruling it out and will make a decision this summer. However, on the ground here in Iowa he is doing absolutely nothing to indicate he is gearing up for a presidential run, although some of his most loyal Iowa supporters have taken it upon themselves to till the soil for a sequel.
With news expected to break this week that yet another one of Huckabee’s 2008 Iowa Caucus inner circle is set to join Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann’s presidential campaign, several little birdies are taking that as a sign.
“His 2008 Iowa team is now basically gone,” one little birdie said. “And with Bob Vander Plaats’ organization committed to their (presidential lecture series) until this fall, there’s no way he can put together an organization to compete in the Straw Poll if he’s not announcing until after June.”
Vander Plaats and THE FAMiLY LEADER have publicly committed to not endorsing a candidate for the 2012 Caucuses until after their scheduled presidential forum in November, which is supposed to be the culmination of their ongoing presidential lecture series. Vander Plaats was a close Huckabee ally in 2008 as were Danny Carroll and Chuck Hurley, who are now two of his staffers at THE FAMiLY LEADER.
“(Huckabee) is not getting into until after the Straw Poll if at all,” said a little birdie who supported Huckabee in 2008, basing his take on Huckabee failing to retain his previous Iowa campaign apparatus as well as his timetable for a decision.
Another little birdie who was a staunch Huckabee supporter last time around said that while Huckabee has not ruled out participating in the Iowa Straw Poll, “His time-table for a decision one way or another remains several months away and would likely place him dangerously close to the Straw Poll date. It is probably safe to speculate that his time-frame for making a decision will ultimately make it most beneficial for him to formally announce his intentions after the Straw Poll.”
Elsewhere, several little birdies were chirping about a very contentious Republican Caucus meeting last week pertaining to State Rep. Kim Pearson’s life at conception (aka “personhood”) bill. Little birdies tell me it got personal, nasty, and emotional. You can draw your own conclusion as to why a pro-life bill whose wording is found in the Republican Party of Iowa platform would be such a cause for division within the allegedly pro-life party, but I’m told it most certainly was and this is why it was removed from the agenda last week. Despite its removal little birdies tell me the bill is still not dead this session, and that every method available will be utilized to eventually bring it to a vote. The bill already passed out of a subcommittee, so Republican leadership will have a difficult time explaining to pro-lifers in Iowa why it was never brought up for a vote in committee if indeed they try to bury it for the remainder of the session.
A little birdie tells me that State Rep. Chip Baltimore in particular had some sharp words for those pushing for the personhood bill, and that could very well be why some not very complimentary robo-calls and literature was dropped in Baltimore’s district over the weekend that questioned his pro-life commitment.
Speaking of Pearson’s personhood bill, several little birdies tell me the mystifying and disappointing lack of support it has received from the folks at Iowa Right to Life has led to some groundwork being laid to form another pro-life advocacy group in Iowa. I’m told these folks are looking at replicating the successful model Iowa Gun Owners put together to challenge the NRA as the chief Second Amendment advocacy group in Iowa. Recall the NRA gave money to Mike Gronstal in a previous election cycle and endorsed Chet Culver in the last one.
Finally, the initial redistricting plan released on Friday has Congressmen Tom Latham and Steve King in the same district. Should it stand little birdies expect Latham to move into the third district to challenge Democrat Congressman Leonard Boswell rather than likely lose a primary to King.
However, grassroots conservatives are already buzzing about pushing State Senator Kent Sorenson for Congress in the third district, so one little birdie says Latham should perhaps anticipate a primary challenge regardless of what district he lives in.