Fire and Ice: Snow Grounds Campaigns While Things Heat Up in Iowa

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 11, 2007 1:41 PM

CNN:

On the Democratic side, former President Bill Clinton has canceled planned stops on behalf of his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton. The events were to take him to In West Branch, Wapello, and Burlington, Iowa.

John Edwards canceled his first event of the day in Clinton, though the campaign hoped the former North Carolina senator would be able to make it to planned evening in events the eastern part of the state.

As for Republicans, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee – the leader in recent Hawkeye State polls – has canceled two appearances.
But Huckabee couldn't be kept from this humdinger of an endorsement:
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Huckabee announced this morning the endorsement of Jim Gilchrist, the founder of the anti-illegal immigration and border security group the Minutemen. More to come.
Some pro-enforcement immigration experts have already called his current plan pretty rockin', while questioning both his commitment to it and ability to follow through. Michelle Malkin notes his quick conversion from open-borders to enforcement. Very convenient. It's certainly not a bad news story to be coming out the day of Romney's ad attacking his record on the subject, which Jonathan posted, here.

Huck responds to the ad:
“The people of Iowa, especially I think, are turned off by negative attack ads, and that campaign can call that [ad] anything it wants, but that's what it is, and it's the first one of the season, and we feel honored to be in the middle of it. My experience is people here kind of want to vote for somebody not just against somebody, and they like to believe that a candidate has enough of a platform that he can stand on it not knock the props out from under the guy next to him.

"If the basis of running for the presidency is, 'Let me tell you what's wrong with the other guy,' not 'Let me tell you what I'd do for America,' I think the people of Iowa -- who have been through this so many times, will say, 'I vote for the guy who has a plan for the future of America' not just somebody looking around and saying, as the tattle tale in the third grade, let me tell you what this guy's doing. We didn't like it when we were in the third grade. I don't think we like it electing a president either."

I think he overplays the Romney camp's alleged "desperation," here. The Romney ad is straightforward, not overly harsh (sinister music notwithstanding), and Huckabee has things to answer for in his record. Of course, so does Romney. Huckabee could easily run almost an identical ad, but contrast his long-time positions on social issues with some of Romney's more recent conversions on the same issues.

Update: And, Huck is running away with it in Iowa, according to Rasmussen. We're gonna see the negative ratchet up...