Pawlenty staffer suspended after arrest

KCCI-TV interviewed the 15-year-old girl who was inside the house early this morning when a reportedly intoxicated Pawlenty staffer tried to get into the home. Jennifer Jacobs of The Des Moines Register and James Q. Lynch of  The Cedar Rapids Gazette have the story, too.

Pawlenty on “tiger blood” & “incoherent” Obama foreign policy (AUDIO)

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty was a keynote speaker at this evening’s gathering of Iowa College Republicans in Des Moines.  The event opened with a College Republican’s joke about Al Gore, Bill Clinton & Barack Obama winding up at heaven’s door on the same day — the punch-line of which was Obama, saying to God, “I believe, sir, that you’re in my chair.”

Pawlenty, once he started speaking, quickly connected with the crowd with references to Charlie Sheen and Lady Gaga.

The moment Pawlenty uttered Charlie Sheen’s name the giggling began. “Now, we may not in this room have ‘tiger blood’ like he does,” Pawlenty began and the crowd laughed. “But we do have something else in common with him. There’s going to be a lot of winning on the Republican side in 2012.”  The crowd clapped; a few cheered.

A few moments later, as Pawlenty told the College Republicans Obama had “duped” their generation in the 2008 election, Pawlenty made a cultural reference to another entertainer with whom the crowd is quite familiar.  “What the younger voters have figured out this is really a broken relationship.  He made soaring promises, set grand expectations. He’s broken those promises.  He’s failed to fulfill the expectations.  If this was a Lady Gaga song, the relationship between the youth vote and Barack Obama would be ‘Bad Romance,'” Pawlenty said, as the crowd began to react, a bit more slowly than they had at the Sheen reference.  “You know what I’m talking about.”  The crowd applauded.

Listen to the entire speech: TPawCollegeRs

Toward the end of his speech, Pawlenty offered a brief critique of the Obama Administration’s foreign policy. “We’ve got a president now who has projected uncertainty, delay, equivocation and, in my view, very misguided and confused and incoherent national defense and foreign policy on behalf of this great country,” Pawlenty said.

After the speech, I asked Pawlenty for specific examples of what he considers Obama’s “misguided” foreign policy and Kathie Obradovich of The Des Moines Register followed up by asking what the “Pawlenty Doctrine” might be.  Listen: TPawforeignPolicy

Pawlenty, in answer to my question, cited as examples the way the U.S. handled the crisis in Egypt and the Obama Administration’s decision to junk the anti-missile defense systems planned for Poland and the Czech Republic. “Those are just examples of, I think, an incoherent, uncertain, inexperienced hand on the throttle of our foreign policy,” Pawlenty said. “And it’s not only misguided, it’s dangerous.”

As for the Pawlenty Doctrine, “in general, we need to commit our military only in those circumstances where our vital interests or our security interests are at stake and that there’s a clear plan and that we’re willing to see the plan through to success.  And the rule has to be when the United States goes to war, the United States wins and this idea that we’re going to have unclear goals and subordinate our options to the United Nations and the Arab League is preposterous.”

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.

Chief of Huckabee ’08 in Iowa a T-Pawer in ’12

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee chose a rent street level space in downtown Des Moines for his 2008 Iowa Caucus campaign headquarters.  I often drove by at night and through the large windows that faced Locust Street I could see a solitary figure — Eric Woolson — sitting inside, banging away on a keyboard or talking on the phone.  Woolson did communications and coordination, organizing and strategizing — and he is generally referred to as the “manager” of Huckabee’s Caucus effort. 

Woolson had worked on George W. Bush’s Iowa campaign.  And he was press secretary for Governor Terry Branstad in the final phases of Branstad’s fourth term in office.  In 2010, Woolson did not work for Branstad, however.  He was with BVP2010 (Bob Vander Plaats, the second place finisher in the GOP gubernatorial primary), then Woolson worked on Senator Chuck Grassley’s general election campaign. 

Now, The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza reports Woolson will back former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty in 2012.  Pawlenty has already drawn some key McCainiacs & Bushies and now adds a Huckabee-er to the mix.

Audio from Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event

Five prospective/potential/probable presidential candidates spoke this evening in Waukee, Iowa to a crowd of about 2000 who turned out for the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event.  Each man was given 10 minutes to speak to the crowd. 

Listen to former Godfather’s Pizza president & CEO HermanCain (mp3 runs 9 minutes 20 seconds) and read about his remarks.

Listen to former House Speaker NewtGingrich (mp3 runs 10 minutes 48 seconds) and read about his remarks.

Listen to former Louisiana Governor BuddyRoemer (mp3 runs 17 minutes and 7 seconds)  and read about his remarks.

Listen to former Minnesota Governor TimPawlenty (mp3 runs 13 minutes and 32 seconds ) and read about his remarks.

Listen to former Pennsylvania Senator RickSantorum(mp3 runs 20 minutes and 22 seconds) and read about his remarks.

Rick Santorum @ Iowa Faith & Family Coalition event

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is the fifth and final potential presidential candidate to speak at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event this evening in Waukee, Iowa.  (Listen to his speech)

“Steve, good to be with you, Steve.  That’s cheap,” Santorum said after he was introduced, referencing former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty’s faux pas  just a few seconds earlier, as Pawlenty had mistakenly called Steve Scheffler (president of the Iowa Faith & Family Coalition) Chuck rather than Steve. (Pawlenty told the crowd he knows a Chuck Scheffler from Minnesota.)

“I shouldn’t have done that,” Santorum then said, apologizing to Pawlenty. “I’ve done that a million times, so sorry.”

Santorum began his remarks by telling the crowd: “This is not just another speech to me…This is a group that means a lot to me, because this is a group that I’ve been attached to the hip from, working in the vineyards.”

America isn’t about great wealth or great power, according to Santorum. “The purpose of America is to create an opportunity for each and every person…to live as they were called to live,” he said.

As for that “truce” on social issues that another prospective presidential candidate, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, has suggested? “You can’t,” Santorum told the crowd.

Santorum joked about being referred to as an “ultra-conservative” Republican. “My kids used to think my first name was ‘Ultra,'” Santorum said, to applause and laughter from the crowd.  “…Once you fight for the moral fabric of your country, you’re labeled.”

After a brief foray into foreign policy (the Obama Administration, according to Santorum, took the side of the mullahs), Santorum returned to the domestic issue of partial birth abortion.

“I’m Ultra,” Santorum declared. “Why? Because I share your values and I fought for them.”

“…We have an opportunity in this election to frame a great moral cause.  Everyone wants to talk about the economy…It’s vitally important to create jobs…repeal ObamaCare, but what’s the mission?” Santorum asked. “…We have to paint an America…where Americans believe in themselves again.”

Santorum, in hushed tones, urged the people in the crowd to “put your citizenship cap on” and be faithful, then closed with a story about the partial birth abortion debate in the U.S. Senate that he often tells in speeches.

Speeches over at 8:34 p.m. central time.

Tim Pawlenty @ Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event

Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is the fourth candidate to speak at this evening’s Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event in Waukee, Iowa.  (Listen to his speech.)

“Well, thanks a lot, or as President Obama would say, ‘You’re welcome,'” Pawlenty began, getting a laugh. then he quickly launched into a story about LBJ and a prayer LBJ aide Bill Moyers was delivering at a White House meeting.  When LBJ complained he couldn’t hear Moyers praying, Moyers replied: “It wasn’t you I was talkin’ to.”

Pawlenty continued: “That’s a great story about remembering where we get our help from.”

Pawlenty mentioned Ronald Reagan and how the Bible Reagan used to take the oath of office in 1981 was “opened up” to II Chronicles 7:14.

“We need to know where our helps comes from. We need to be a country that turns toward God, not a country that turns away from God,” Pawlenty said. “…The constitution was designed to protect people of fatih from government, not to protect government from people of faith.”

Pawlenty stressed his pro-life stand and his opposition to gay marriage.

“We need leaders that can not just talk the talk, but walk the walk,” he said, adding it’s important to have the “compass set right.”

Pawlenty seems to be adopting a southern accent as he talks about his record as governor of Minnesota.  “It ain’t gonna be easy,” Pawlenty said as he wound down.  “…This is about plowing ahead and getting the job done.”

Pawlenty came back after the crowd applauded to apologize to Steve Scheffler, the president of the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition, who he had called “Chuck” a few times.  “There’s a Chuck Scheffler in Minnesota,” he explained.

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.

A Tuesday night potpourri

I’ve been “away” from the blog for a few days.  Here are some of the stories, events, happenings I should have/could have blogged about:

Babies:  Secretary of State Matt Schultz (R-Council Bluffs) and his wife, Zola, have a new son — Jacob Isaac.  State Senator Roby Smith (R-Davenport) and his wife have a new daughter — Natalie Ruth.

Baby kissers: Former Arkansas Governor Huckabee is “trying to be smarter” about 2012.  President Obama has named Iowa Governor Terry Branstad co-chair of Council of Governors.  Branstad has named former state legislator Libby Jacobs to be chair of the Iowa Utilities Board.  Branstad has named another former state legislator, Jeff Lamberti (the business partner of Iowa GOP Chair Matt Strawn), to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission.  And Branstad wants his #1 campaign fundraiser to serve on the Board of Regents.  Governor Culver appointed Ruth Harkin (wife of US Senator Tom Harkin) and Bonnie Campbell (former Iowa Attorney General, Branstad’s Democratic opponent in 1994) to the Board of Regents during his term, and Democrats in the Iowa Senate foresee Bruce Rastetter will be confirmed to the Board, too.   Which Minnesotan — Bachmann or Pawlenty — would win Minnesota’s Caucuses on February 7?  Branstad talked with David Chalian of PBS about the field of potential GOP presidential candidates.  A HuffPo story jokes that Iowa’s Caucuses may be held on Halloween.  Newt Gingrich has signed up to speak at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition event next week.  The Gingrich camp is giving mixed signals.

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