Wednesday, January 2, 2008

ROUNDUP - A Huckabee New Year!

Good afternoon everyone! There uis a ton going on so buckle your seat belts cause here we go!

There was much anticipation on New Year's Eve. Oh yeah there was that ball drop and everything but the biggest deal was the final Des Mines Register Caucus poll was to be released around 10 PM that night. There have been and will be a a ton of polls surrounding tomorrow's event but this was a biggie. In 2004 the final DM Register poll accurately predicted the outcome. So what did the poll have to say? I was able to read the results about 15 minutes until 2008 dawned. Needless to say I was quite pleased, poured some lowfat eggnog into a fancy flute glass, toasted the new year, and went to bed in good spirits! :)

There is a very determined and busy group of Huckabee volunteers from all over the country at the Iowa Campaign Headquarters in Des Moines. They are working tirelessly to make sure Mike wins tomorrow night. I have some reports from the ground there, from members of HucksArmy.

Tood Hertzberg reported on Sunday the 30th:

The Fayetteville platoon (balooned to 16 strong, including an ex-Arkansas state
representative) arrived at campaign headquarters about 18 hundred hours this
evening. It is exciting to be here alongside 60 plus volunteers from all over
the country (New Jersy, Wisconsin and more) The atmoshpere is electric. Also
Sarah Huckabee, David and Lauren Huckabee are here as well as Janet Huckabee.
All of the Huckabees are working alongside of us making phone calls on behalf of
this candidacy. Of the few hundred calls I made and supervised this evening, I
believe this will be a very very close race, The Governor has strong support
from many we have talked to, but also many people have been influenced by the
barrage of negative stuff thrown at the Governor. It was exciting to turn a few
people around on the phone this evening.We also brought enough windshield paint
to do a hundred cars and we hope to attack Des Moines with Windshields for
Huckabee tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be back on the phones and we expect to see
Governor Huckabee here in the early afternoon to pep up the troops (but honestly
we need no pepping up

Todd had this to say the morning of New Year's Eve:

It is 13 degrees this morning! Could be worse.Forgot to mention last night
in my post: When I mentioned at headquarters I was "with" Hucks Army, the
already warm reception we received got even warmer. All the paid staffers came
out of there offices and said all of the campaign resources were at our disposal
(not that we need anything). The campaign staffers and volunteers were SO SO
thankful for everything Huck's Army has been doing. I accepted the kudos on
behalf of all of you! I was surprised that out of 60 plus volunteers at
headquarter last night there were apparently no Huck's Army people already
there. Good to know that we have a very broad grass roots movement.One more
thing before I hopefully update you later today: Across from our hotel in West
Des Moines was a huge concert tour type decked out bus for the FAIR TAX. Guess
they have some resources on the ground here also. That is good.

IndyHuckFan had this to say:

My own experience from 3 days in Iowa, both in the office and out in the field,
is that the grassroots support is SO much deeper than just HucksArmy. That's not
a slam on HucksArmy at all, but a testament to how diverse Mike's support is

Todd wrote later on that day:

It is 6pm and the wind chill is zero.However there is a warmth of spirit inside
the Huckabee campaign headquarters.New friendships are being quickly made; not a
cross word can be heard and rarely do you hear even a disparaging word about the
other candidates. Everyone is just keeping their nose to the work at hand and
encouraging each other. We know how critical the work is. Like all campaigns,
this one will probably turn on who gets their vote out.In some ways it is barely
mangaged chaos. The staff seems incredibly competant but getting accurate
information to thousands of people about the correct caucus locations is
daunting, especially when the locations are still changing 4 days prior to the
voting.The volunteer count at headquarters doubled or maybe tripled today. One
group of 4 families (20 people) drove all night from Arizona and arrived this
morning. Without sleep, they immediately went to work on the phones and they are
still at headquarters phoning as I write this. There is the constant low roar in
the background of hearing people initiating calls " Hi my name is Melissa and i
am calling from the Mike Huckabee campaign..........." "Hi my name is
Holly..........." "Hi...........".The governor came by at 1pm and I was
expecting a media group to be with him. I had no idea. I am guessing 100 media
people pressing around the Governor as he made his way through the headquarters
thanking the volunteers.I was interviewed by a newspapaer reporter from
Switzerland (of all places). Two reporters from the San Fransisco Chronicle
found a small cubby of floor space near to where i was sitting. I heard the one
calling back to her office: ..."There is something unexplainable happening here,
these people at Huckabee headquarters are here from all over the country, they
are smiling, they are optimistic, they are here with children of all ages, this
isn't the normal political crowd or normal political story....."and on and on.We
are hearing some good things from certain parts of Iowa, people telling us they
will be at there very first caucus for Mike. People telling us that their
precint chairmen have to find new caucus locations because of all the new
Huckabee voters. These things are so encouraging. At the same time, whenver we
have been near a TV we see the negative ads from Romney and the Club for
Growth.No one knows how this will shake out and anyone who claims to know is not
being accurate. There is a new Des Moines Register poll due out tomorrow.There
seems to be almost no presence of Rudy or Fred campaigns here. There is
significant presence of the campaigns of Ron Paul and John McCain. However, no
question this is a two-man race.

There are more reports from the field below but let's continue on. For a Holiday New Year's Day was sure busy and full of excitement. There was never a dull moment to be had yesterday at all. Mike had several stops on the Iowa trail yesterday and he was met by large enthusiastic crowds wherever he went! the momentum sure is building up there. I really hope and pray it results in a Caucus win. Afterwards Mike headed back towards Des Moines for the BloggerBash, a conference call, and a huge rally with Chuck Norris last night. More on that later.

Meanwhile down in Florida a group of dedicated supporters were getting people fired up at the Gator Bowl, where we got a plane to fly over the stadium before the game! You can see pictures of the event HERE

So back up to Iowa. At 6:30 PM last night I was a on another Huckabee bloggers call. It was very short but highly entertaining with Chuck Norris on the call as well. As always Kerry has a great synopsis at her blog ONE MOM The New Yor Times has a little piece about the Bloggers Bash yesterday that you can head HERE

Than it was off to the Val Are Ball Room in Des Moines for Mike and Co. for the big rally. This event was to be webcast live to the whole nation but the demand was so strong that it just didn't work. I gave up after about 15 minutes to watch my Dawgs whip some tail on Hawaii. Appparently an audio feed was made available. Mike was expecting a crowd of 500 people but over 2,000 enthusiasitc people packed the place! I am told it was awesome and quite sucessful! You can read an account from The Hill, and another from WHO TV. Here's a video clip of the event

After getting back from the events last night Tod posted yet another update for us:
We just returned from the campaign rally with Huck and Chuck. Earlier in the day
I made an advance trip to the circa 1940 ballroom and thought "uh oh.....this is
risky" because the venue is quite large. I thought if he did not fill it up, it
would look very empty to the press throng.We arrived at the ballroom 2 hours
early and began to ask those who were arriving if they wanted their windshields
painted. Almost everyone we asked was more than willing to let us paint the
windshield, but we also learned that many people who attended the event said
they were still undecided. One person asked us if we were with "windshields for
Huckabee". We said yes because we would have never thought of it ourselves. (We
did learn that it is very hard to paint frozen windshields in 8 degree
weather-but it more or less worked). Outside the ballroom was a huge greyhound
size bus all decked out for Huckabee prominently parked directly opposite the
front door. The Huckabus? oh no, it was the Huckabeast. A bunch of people decked
out there own bus and drove it to the event from Kentucky. Really a great
metaphor for the whole campaign (can't image the Rommney campaign allowing a
Rommneybeast anywhere near an official campaign stop- nor can you imagine any
Rommney supporters being passionate enough to deck out their own bus and dirve
it to Des Moines from Kentucky)Also outside the ballroom we were treated to
protesters dressed as pigs and cows (PITA) and a guy in a Bill Clinton mask who
carried a sign that said the U.S. did not need another liberal governor from
Arkansas.Additionally, for the first time we saw a visible presence of the
Reform the Vote group. (Another concert tour type bus and lots of
staffers/volunteers). From talking to them, they have been throughout many rural
areas Iowa registering new voters but will now be working Des Moines the last
couple days.So how many were in the ballroom?.............drum roll
please................Over two thousand!! And that on a night when it was colder
than cold and many people had to park in far away lots because the ballroom lots
were completely filled. So this is what the press told us: 500 at Mitt's event
that night and 200 at the Hillary event. That seemed to be the press buzz of the
evening. i.e. Huckabee's event was so much larger than all the other guys the
same night. How does he get these crowds out?It was a good day at campaign
headquarters. New volunteers continued to arrive from all over the country. I
met Frank who flew in from Melbourne Florida, then there was the pastor of a
church from California who took a leave from his flock to join in the last week
of the campaign....they just keep coming. Also New Year's Day seemed to be an
excellent day to call people. We seemed to be catching half or better the people
home as opposed to perhaps 20% the two days before. Also, there were two other
Huck's Army folks at headquarters who had been there longer than I (I just
didn't know it-very possible in that enviroment) IndyHuckFan and the gentleman
who is the Democrats for Huckabee blogger (can't remember his Huck's Army name).
They were hard at work banging on the phones.
Okay...I think that is enough for a roundup for this entry. I have so much to talk about I am breaking it into halves. Stay tuned for more this evening!

No comments:


blogger templates | Make Money Online