Sunday, August 12, 2007

Are we in heaven?

No we are in Iowa.

Iowa held their 2008 GOP presidential Straw Poll. The winner of the event was Mitt Romney. Other top candidates did not show up and make speeches and spent little resources on the event. Mitt on the other hand spent millions on the event and came out wuth 35% of the votes cast. The big winner was Mike Huckabee who finished second but did not have the resources to compete with Romney. This could be a spring board for him if conservatives start getting behind him with cash.

This is a recap of the event and speeches from Whole article including some of the speech recaps can be found by clicking the title.

Grasping for straws in Iowa
AMES, Iowa -- So maybe message is more important than motorcoaches, after all.

Mike Huckabee finished a surprising second with 18.1 percent of the vote in the straw poll here Saturday even though he did not have the funds to rent a single bus or put a single commercial on TV.

True, Mitt Romney finished in first place with 31.5 percent of the vote, but Romney spent millions on buses and television commercials.

“For me to come in second is the story,” Huckabee said in a press conference immediately after the results were announced. “For me to hold the frontrunner under 50 percent is the story.”

Huckabee told The Politico on Wednesday night that he probably would have to withdraw from the race if he did not come in at least a strong third. That is no longer a problem, though it is not known whether Huckabee's second place showing will make him a “top-tier” candidate, a media judgment that has no hard and set rules.

Three major candidates or presumptive candidates who did not show up at the straw poll -- John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson -- finished in tenth place, eighth place and seventh place, respectively.

The winner of the Republican straw poll here is certainly not decided by the speeches the candidates give - - the people can vote hours before the speeches begin - - but the speeches are an important guide as to how the candidates intend to campaign in the weeks and months ahead.

So here is my summary of and commentary on the speeches given inside the Hilton Coliseum Saturday in the order in which they were delivered:

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