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The Gazette KCRG
Posted December 15, 2011
What’s Ahead Dec. 15: Iowa caucus hopefuls sprinting to the finish line

You think you’re busy: The presidential hopefuls like to tell us the Iowa precinct caucus campaign is not a sprint, but a marathon, Call it what you will, the 2012ers, or at least some of them, have traded their walking shows for running spikes.

With 18 days until Caucus Christmas (That’s when one candidate gets a really nice gift and the others try to explain how that lump of coal they’ve been handed will turn into a diamond in New Hampshire or South Carolina or Florida or, well, you get my drift.), the candidates are racing around Iowa like Stephen Bloom ahead of the angry mob.

Gov. Rick Perry

The most action is coming from the so-called second-tier candidates – those running in single digits: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum as well as the Rodney Dangerfield of the campaign, Texas Rep. Ron Paul/

I’m tired from just reading their schedules. Bachmann has 13 stops planned Saturday. The question quickly becomes whether she’ll be on time for any of them and whether any stops get scrubbed because she’s running later.

On the plus side, Republicans in recent years have had a pretty good track record of being on time for their events. They aren’t using those slow-running Clinton and Kerry clocks.


Other observations:

  • Small town coffee shops and Pizza Ranches appear to be the real beneficiaries of the caucus campaign. Who knew there was an

    Rep. Michele Bachmann

    espresso shop in every town in Iowa? And the Grand Central Coffee Station in Storm Lake is double-dipping, hosting Bachmann Dec. 15 and Perry the next day. Same with the Sac County Cattleman’s Company in Sac City. Santorum will be there Dec. 15th and Perry two days later.

  • Perry, who has blamed poor performance in his first debates on fatigue associated with his back surgery, probably will need more surgery after he finished his 44-city bus tour of Iowa.
  • He’s also doubling down on his effort to court the Christian conservative vote with visits to a pair of church services Sunday in Clear Lake and Charles City. No Saturday synagogue visits, governor?
  • Cronk’s Café in Denison continues to be one of the most popular stops in the state for politicians.

On the calendar:

Dec. 15

Rick Santorum, 8 a.m., town hall, Dangie’s Diner, Rockwell City; 11 a.m. Sac City Cattleman’s Co. employees, Sac City; 2:30 p.m., town hall, Java Junkies, Holstein

Newt Gingrich, noon, meet and greet, Willow Ridge Golf Course, Fort Dodge

Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, Fox News/ Republican Party of Iowa live presidential debate, Sioux City

Michele Bachmann, 11:30 a.m., Family Table Restaurant, Le Mars; 12:45 p.m., Dutch Bakery, Orange City’ 2:15 p.m., Shari’s Kitchen, Rock Rapids; 3:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Sibley; 4:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Primghar; 5:45 p.m., Danny’s Sports Spot, Cherokee; 6:45, Grand Central Coffee Station, Storm Lake

Dec. 16

Rick Santorum, 7 p.m., house party, Sioux City

Rick Perry, 1:30 p.m., Copper Cup Coffee Shop, Cherokee; 3:30 p.m., Grand Central Coffee Station, Storm Lake

Dec. 17

Rick Perry, 11 a.m., La Chiesa Restaurant, Spencer; 1 p.m., Chrome County Country Inn, Algona; 3:30 p.m., Cabin Coffee Co., Clear Lake; 5:15 p.m., Music Man Square, Mason City

Michele Bachmann, 9 a.m., Hy-Vee, Spencer; 10 a.m., Hey Good Cookies! Espresso & Gift Shop, Spirit Lake; 11 a.m., Cool Beans Coffee House, Estherville; 11:50, Pizza Ranch, Emmetsburg; 12:45, Chocolate Season, Algona; 1:45 p.m., Miller’s Landing, Humboldt; 2:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Pocahontas; 3:45 p.m., Pizza Ranch, Rockwell City; 4:45 p.m., Sac City Cattleman’s Co. employees, Sac City; 5:45 p.m., Pizza Hut, Ida Grove; 6:45 p.m., Cronk’s Café, Denison; 7:45, Carroll Bowl, Carroll; 8:30 p.m., Abundant Life Ministries, Jefferson

Dec. 18

Rick Perry, 8 a.m., Evangelical Free Church, Clear Lake; 10:30 a.m., First Wesleyan Church, Charles City; noon, Dave’s Restaurant, Charles City; 2:45 p.m., Chickasaw Events Center, New Hampton; 5 p.m., Winneshiek Hotel, Decorah

Dec. 19

Rick Perry, 10:15 a.m., Johnson’s Restaurant, Elkader; noon, Pizza Ranch, Manchester; 4:30 p.m., Country Junction, Dyersville; 6 p.m., MannaJava World Café, Dubuque

Dec. 20

Rick Perry, 11:45 a.m., Hotel Decker, Maquoketa; 1:30 p.m.; Main Street Walk, DeWitt; 3:30 p.m., Candlelight Inn, Clinton; 5:30 p.m., Figge Art Museum, Davenport

Dec. 21

Ron Paul, 10 a.m., Comfort Inn & Suites, Fort Madison; noon, Civic Center, Mount Pleasant; 3 p.ml., Washington Public Library, Washington; 7 p.m., Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center, Bettendorf

Rick Perry, noon, Port City Underground, Muscatine; 1:30 p.m., Button Factory, Muscatine; 4:15 p.m. De Brito Baking Bistro, Mount Pleasant

Dec. 22

Rick Perry, 9 a.m., Drake on the Waterfront, Burlington; noon, Kuhly’s Bar & Grill, Ottumwa; 3 p.m., TPI, Newton

Ron Paul, noon, Grand River Center, Dubuque, 3 p.m., Delaware County Fairgrounds, Manchester; 7 p.m., Hotel Kirkwood, Cedar Rapids

Dec. 27

Rick Perry, 10:45 a.m., Main Street Café, Council Bluffs; 1:15 p.m., Glenn Miller Museum, Clarinda; 3:30 p.m., Adams Street Espresso, Creston; 5 :30 p.m., Clarke County REC, Osceola





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