AMES, IA —GlossyNews At $30 each, 16,892 Iowans were trucked to Ames for a day of politickin’ (locally it’s called ‘pot lickin’) and BBQ. A grand $506,760 was the total straw vote cash take for the GOPTea in Ames, Iowa on Saturday with their straw poll. The candidates also ponied up $15K each to pitch a tent on the grounds of the poll, pumping another $120K into the coffers. This was confirmed by Matt Strawn, chairman of the Iowa Republican Party and improbably claimed namesake of the poll.
Representative Michele Bachmann claimed her victory in the 2011 Iowa straw poll by less than 1% over Ron Paul, as ‘decisive’.
Forty miles away, in the state’s capitol of Des Moines, Sarah Palin was sitting in her tour bus, eating deep-fried butter on-a-stick at the state fair. She was waiting for news from both Ames and South Carolina. She was trying to guess which would affect her more. She had her recent film running on the laptop and on her big screen TV monitor – Todd had the sound turned up loud.
The Minnesota GOPTea Patriots party is not happy that Bachmann is playing Iowa’s favorite-daughter candidate by reminding Iowans at every turn that she was born in the state and telling anyone who would listen that it’s past time there’s an Iowan in the White House.
“I have always been grateful that I’m an Iowan. Hometown is Waterloo, the home of John Wayne Gacy, where everything I need to know in life I learned growing up as a 7th generation Iowan,” Bachmann told one small group waiting in line to vote in Ames.
“You’d think that she lived in Iowa, and never been our US Representative for 3 terms in Minnesota,” said Amy Freeby, Minnesota GOPTea Patriots spokesperson.
Late evening Saturday, while most political watchers were taking bets on Pawlenty’s early exit Sunday, Bachmann focused on the national campaign and managed to appear on all 5 major Sunday morning programs. They were taped in Iowa on Saturday evening, of course.
“I wish him well. I had great respect for the governor,” Bachmann said moments after it was pre-announced that Pawlenty would announce he was dropping out. “But today is about me and my campaign.”
On the first program she taped for her favorite show Fox News Sunday, she answered the Minnesota GOPTea comment with, “My home state of Minnesota is not known as a conservative bastion, but that’s where I cut my teeth in a political sense, my home state of Minnesota.”
Quickly moving over to the ABC This Week taping 5 minutes later, Bachmann told ABC’s Jake Tapper live, “I think what people see in me is I’m a real person. I’m authentic Iowan. And I think people expect someone like me to go to Washington and represent their home state’s values,” she said. “You can tell Iowans for me Jake, that I am doing just that.”
As quickly as the ABC camera shut down, CBS’s Face the Nation crew exploded on the scene and Bachmann opened with her schedule for the week, “Marcus and I are going one on one from now on, state by state,” she told CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell, noting that her campaign was headed for her beloved home state of South Carolina later in the week.
“Then it’s on to New Hampshire, where I grew up, you know I am a 7th generation New Hampshirean on my mother’s side,” she said. When that camera switched off, she turned in her chair to smile at the CNN crew as they clipped on a mic.
Their State of the Union cameras began rolling and she waved to an unseen Washington-based host and said, “What I brag about most in my home state of Minnesota is my upbringing there. My core principles were formed there. You lead from your core principles–that’s how you learn that where you are going is the right direction.”
NBC’s Meet the Press was the last of the tapings on Saturday in Ames. When that camera light went on, Bachmann said, “I think it’s because I’m talking about what the people in my home state of Iowa really care about—turning the economy around and job creation.” She paused for a response to her comment, then continued with:
“Ronald Reagan, my icon, was guided by his core principles, and that’s who will guide my decision making in my presidency in 2012.” she said. “When he was the president, I remember how much I wanted to be with him in the oval office. I wanted to carry his water for him – anything. Now I will have my husband carrying my water.” NBC’s crew shut down their camera and removed the mic from Ms. Bachmann’s lapel.
Talking to no one in particular, Bachmann repeated an answer to a question that she thought she heard being asked. “From the top, leadership starts from the top, the leadership of our country.” No open cameras, no microphones, but she said it anyway.
Finished with the whirlwind of tapings, husband Marcus came from behind the NBC crew truck holding two fine tastes of the Iowa State Fair, deep-fried butter on-a-stick and deep-fried Twinkie on-a-stick. He was planning to give his wife a sweet finish.
No one asked how the food came into his possession.