Palin “doc” to be shown in Iowa

Craig Robinson at The Iowa Republican is reporting the documentary about Sarah Palin will be shown in Iowa next week.  Robinson says an announcement will be made later this morning with all the details. Politico’s Ben Smith reports Palin has been invited to the event.

Palin doc producer wanted “Field of Dreams” for premiere

ABC News has the scoop.  The man who made “The Undefeated” wanted to stage the premiere of his film about former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin at the Field of Dreams.  The field is a few miles outside of Dyersville, Iowa, and was the site of filming for the 1989 movie starring  a baseball field surrounded by fields of nearly-mature corn.  (Kevin Costner also starred in the movie.)

To see the field as you see it in the movie, by the way, visit in early August.

Palin says “at some point” she’s coming to Iowa

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is on a tour of historic sites in the eastern United States.  CNN’s Peter Hamby reports Palin said during a stop on Monday that “at some point” she would be visiting Iowa.  A documentary about Palin is set to premiere in Iowa in June.

The Palin rumor

About 600 pastors are meeting in Des Moines, part of the Renewal Project.  Last year’s event attracted potential presidential candidates Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich & Tim Pawlenty.  Those three men are speaking at this year’s event, along with Haley Barbour, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum.  A source who is familiar with the line-up and the event itself says: “there is now a rumor that Sarah Palin will stop in at the last minute.”

Media, by the way, are not allowed into this event.  And some of the speakers (I don’t know which ones) may be appearing digitally rather than in person.  So Palin could do a digital drop-in without flying into Des Moines.

Trump to headline Iowa GOP fundraiser

Another sign from The Donald.  Read the Iowa GOP news release below:

Donald Trump to Headline Iowa GOP’s Lincoln Dinner

Continues tradition of high-profile speakers at Iowa GOP events

DES MOINES- Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn today announced that Donald J. Trump will headline the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual Lincoln Dinner. The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, June 10 in Des Moines and will be Trump’s first visit to Iowa this caucus season. 

“Mr. Trump’s speech at CPAC earlier this year caught the attention of many political observers and as the ‘First in the Nation’ caucus state, we extended an invite to allow Mr. Trump to introduce himself to Iowa Republicans,” Strawn said. “We are excited to have Mr. Trump share his vision for a better America through his experiences as an individual who has made a career as an entrepreneur and job creator.”

Strawn went on to say that Mr. Trump’s appearance is the latest in a long line of political leaders the Iowa GOP has hosted during his leadership of the party.

“As Chairman, I have made it a priority to deliver interesting and high-profile national Republican leaders to speak at our events. Mr. Trump’s appearance in June is the latest instance of the Iowa GOP working to provide value to its activists, donors and supporters.”

Iowa GOP officials noted that since January 2009, national leaders including Governor Haley Barbour, Governor Tim Pawlenty, Congressman Mike Pence, Governor Mitt Romney, Speaker Newt Gingrich, Congressman Ron Paul, Senator Rick Santorum, Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Rand Paul have each headlined an Iowa GOP event. 

Further details will be released closer to the event.

Barbour here to tell Iowans “what a Haley Barbour is”

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour was in Iowa in mid-February.  He came back on the Ides of March (that would be March 15) to visit with a few groups and individuals in Des Moines before trekking over to Iowa’s east coast.  He’s the headliner tonight for an Iowa Republican Party fundraiser in Davenport.

Barbour explained earlier today that his primary goal in Iowa is to explain to Iowans “what a Haley Barbour is.”

Barbour was the “host” of the luncheon for the Iowa Federation of Republican Women meeting at the statehouse in Des Moines, which means he bought lunch. He joked the sandwiches, chips, cookies and Pepsi products proved he was a conservative “because lunch was so cheap.” 

After repeating the line that he’s “seriously thinking about running for president,” Barbour said Iowa would be a key state in his campaign — if there is one. “I also know from my own state that if you want to win,you need the Republican Women,” he said, to applause from the Republican Women.  “You need ’em fully involved, energized and leading the team and so that’s why I wanted to get a chance to meet some of you,”

Barbour is in full-on meetin’ and greetin’ mode, and he’s conjuring up images of southern governors of the past who’ve gone on to win the presidency to buttress his electability argument.  “I start off with hardly any Americans who really know me.  There are some political leaders, some elected officials, some reporters,  but the average American has no reason to have ever heard of Haley Barbour,” the governor said during an interview with Radio Iowa.

“Is that an advantage in a year when people like Sarah Palin are well known and people have already formed opinions?” I asked.

“I tend to look at it more like Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton,” Barbour replied. “At this time and the year before each of them was elected president, nobody ever heard of them either.”

“And they both have southern accents,” I added.

Barbour smiled.  “And they were both southern governors,” he said.

Barbour will be governor of Mississippi through the end of the year, which his second term ends.  Mississippi has term limits, so he cannot seek reeleciton.  Barbour has indicated he’ll announce in April whether he plans to run for president.

Trump guy, in Iowa, talks to media

A vice president from Donald Trump’s empire jetted into Iowa this morning.  Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn walked out to the Trump plane for a very brief meeting, then Michael Cohen (executive vice president and special counsel to Trump) spoke to a small group of reporters.  AUDIO: Remarks by Cohen 6 min.  Here’s the Radio Iowa story.

…Trump, a real estate developer who is the star of a reality show on network television, has been a target of comedians like David Letterman, who once joked he knew Trump was serious about running for president because he “threw his hair in the ring.”

Trump’s vice president bristles at the suggestion Trump is unelectable because he’s been the butt of those kind of jokes.

“As is President Obama, as well as Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Pawlenty, Sarah Palin — I believe they’ve all been made fun of,” Cohen said. “That’s what the press does. They like to have fun with anyone and everyone.”

 UPDATE:  a reader of the blog emails about the “small” Trump plane that landed in DSM today. 

It’s a Boeing 727–100. Hard to know how it’s been revamped by the Trump folks with hot tubs or whatever, but the original jet seated 94 passengers.

Santorum on why ’12 race is slow developing (AUDIO)

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, a potential candidate for president, suggests the reason there are no “declared” Republican presidential candidates today is because of the restrictions on fundraising and spending that fall upon someone once they become an “official” candidate for the GOP’s presidential nomination. 

“Look, I don’t really see any real reason to make a decision at this point. I mean, what’s the point of announcing your candidacy and putting yourself in a position where you’re under all of the FEC and all of the rules and regulations and funding restrictions and everything like that,” Santorum told three Iowa reporters late today. “…If you can go out and test the waters and get your message out and see — it sort of gets you a lot more flexibility than being under these restraints that McCain/Feingold put us under.”

Santorum also predicts the 2012 presidential race will be cheaper than 2008.  “Barack Obama raised $750 million.  I will predict to you today that he will not raise that amount of money, because it isn’t there,” Santorum said.  “…The economy’s taken a real hit and people don’t have disposable income like they d in 2007 and 2008 when folks were here running.  So, to say, ‘Why aren’t you running?’  Well, you’ve got to have fuel in the tank and right now there’s just not a fuel out there.”

Listen to his full remarks to reporters, including Santorum’s analysis of the decision facing both Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin about running for president in 2012:   Santorum

Santorum is the guest on this weekend’s “Iowa Press” program on Iowa Public Television.  The program was taped this afternoon; he spoke with reporters after the taping.

Ron Paul 2012?

Texas Congressman Ron Paul has agreed to do one of The Family Leader’s three-stop tours of the state.  Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty at this hour is in Pella on stage two of the three-stage tour. Read the news release below outlining Paul’s schedule.

Iowans Taking a Leading Role in Educational Process

Pleasant Hill, IA – The FAMiLY LEADER received confirmation Friday that Congressman Ron Paul will be the featured speaker at their Presidential Lecture Series on March 7.  Congressman Paul is scheduled to deliver his pro-family lecture and meet with members of Leadership Roundtables at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Pella Christian High School in Pella, and the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  Congressman Paul will follow former Governor Tim Pawlenty, who is kicking off this educational series today, February 7th.     

[Read more…]

Pawlenty signs books, talks about Raisin Bran, 2012

“Well, this morning I woke up at five to get my daughter to volleyball by seven, Jay, so the thing I felt in my belly was a bowl of Raisin Bran,” Pawlenty said, when asked the “fire in the belly” question. 

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlety made an appearance late this afternoon at a Christian bookstore in Ankeny, Iowa, a suburb that sits on the north side of Des Moines.  Some people showed up at the store with a book in hand; staff at the store say they sold about 50 copies of his book.  (A display of Pawlenty’s books was stationed near the check out lines — on the other side of the display one could buy copies of Sarah Palin’s latest book.)

Pawlenty signed books for nearly an hour as a few television cameras and a group of still photographers captured the scene.  After the signing was done, a reporter from Minneapolis asked Pawlenty if he had the “fire in his belly” to run.

“The country’s in big trouble and we need some people who are concerned about that who are willing to rise up and be strong and be clear about how we got into this mess and help lead out of it, Pawlenty said, adding the next president has to be the kind of person who “has their compass set.”

The Minneapolis reporter followed up, asking Pawlenty how he felt “when you wake up each day, even on a tour like this, do you get excited by it?”

“Well, this morning I woke up at five to get my daughter to volleyball by seven, Jay, so the thing I felt in my belly was a bowl of Raisin Bran,” Pawlenty said. “WhenI think about these issues, the country is facing just very obvious challenges and it’s not necessarily right versus left. It’s a matter of eighth grade mathematics…and if we don’t fix it, we’re going to take the country over the financial cliff.”

Pawlenty said President Obama “just doesn’t get it” and Pawlenty dismissed the president’s budget freeze proposal as a “spit in the ocean.  It’s a joke.”

Obama’s State of the Union messages was “a swing and a miss,” according to Pawlenty.  “He is, I think, taking the country in a misguided direction and he is not addressing the real issues,” Pawlenty said.

Pawlenty advocates changes in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.  “Reasonable things we can do” include smaller cost-of-living adjustments for the “wealthy” compared to middle and lower income Americans; raising the retirement age for new entrants. 

“The president, unfortunately, had a golden opportunity the other night with the State of the Union and he didn’t even significantly address the government spending crisis in this country and that it was a huge disappointment and it makes me very upset,” Pawlenty said, “and that’s one of the things that motivates me for 2012.”

At this hour (6:15 p.m.) Pawlenty is in the ballroom of the West Des Moines Marriott. In about half an hour he’s scheduled to address the more than 200 Waukee Chamber of Commerce folks who are in the room.