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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 6, 2011
What’s Ahead Dec. 6: Obama supporters set to party like it’s 2012

To fill that slow time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, President Obama’s re-election campaign will host more than 50 house parties this week with volunteers across Iowa.

Already more than 1,500 Obama for America volunteers are signed up to attend a caucus party this week, the campaign reported.

President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., for a campaign trip to Kansas, on Tuesday, Dec. 6. (Ann Heisenfelt/AP)

Unlike four years ago when the Obama campaign was introducing a still relatively unknown junior senator from Illinois to Iowa Democratic precinct caucusgoers, the focus of house parties this week will be on the general election rather than the Jan. 3 first-in-the-nation precinct caucuses, according to OFA Iowa spokesman John Kraus.

Not only were the house parties a friendly, neighbor-to-neighbor way of introducing the candidate, Kraus said, but “there was a competition last time.”

Apparently, Kraus isn’t taking seriously the challenges from Randall Terry, Cody Judy, Harry Braun and other Democrats seeking the 2012 nomination.

So this time, he’s comparing what Democrats did in 2008 to what Republicans are not doing this year. Obama, for example, made 44 visits to Iowa. Rick Santorum, on the other hand, leads the GOP field in Iowa visits this year with 29.

Since the president announced for re-election in April, OFA Iowa staff and volunteers have:

  • Held over 1,000 trainings, planning sessions, house parties, and phone banks.
  • Made over 250,000 calls to supporters.
  • Held over 2,500 one-on-one conversations.
  • Opened eight campaign offices across the state for the November 2012 election- Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Des Moines, Waterloo, Davenport, Iowa City, Dubuque and Council Bluffs.

“I think the context that is important here is we are doing all this building for next November, and the GOP candidates haven’t built as much for next month,” he said. “On Jan. 4th, look at where we will stand compared to whoever the nominee is.”

People interested in attending an OFA Iowa caucus house party this week can sign up on the OFA Iowa website.

Closing in on 300: No, not the stock market but the number of presidential candidates who have filed with the Federal Election Commission. So far, 292 candidates have filed.

On the calendar:

Dec. 6

Rick Santorum, town hall meeting, Lake Shore Cafe, Storm Lake; noon, town hall meeting Pizza Ranch, Spencer

Dec. 7

Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, Republican Jewish Coalition, Washington

Dec. 8

Ron Paul, 1 p.m., employee meeting, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines; 4 p.m., Boone Public Library; 7 p.m., Youth for Ron Paul, Great Hall, Iowa State Memorial Union, Ames

Dec. 9

Rick Santorum, 11 a.m., University of Northern Iowa forum “Addressing the Challenges and Opportunities in Education Today.” Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center, Cedar Falls

Ron Paul, 9 a.m., Webster City Fire Station; 1 p.m., Mason City High; 4 p.m., Waverly Public Library; 7 p.m., Youth for Ron Paul, University of Northern Iowa Maucker Union, Slife Ballroom, Cedar Falls

Dec. 10

Ron Paul, 10 a.m., Fisher Community Center, Marshalltown

Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum, 3 p.m., Veterans for a Strong America, Drake University, Des Moines

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum, 8 p.m., Des Moines Register/ABC News/Yahoo!/Republican Party of Iowa live presidential debate, Drake University

Dec. 14

Michele Bachmann, 7 p.m., Mike Huckabee forum on abortion issues, Hoyt Sherman Place, Des Moines

Dec. 15

Fox News/ Republican Party of Iowa live presidential debate, Sioux City



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