On Monday, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson becomes the first "D" to "go up." Richardson's campaign has bought airtime in Iowa's biggest tv markets. The buy is a mix of 30 and 60 second ads featuring biographical information and his plan for Iraq, the biggest issue of the election, a campaign staffer told me. I'm told one of the ads has him sitting at a desk going through his accomplishments and credentials.
The ad buys will come after Richardson leaves town this weekend. Richardson is one of the three candidates to speak at the Polk County Democrats' Spring Dinner with Congressman Leonard Boswell in Des Moines Friday night(Hillary Clinton's headlining a fundraiser for Boswell on Saturday in Des Moines).
Mitt Romney was the first republican (and the first candidate overall, outside of a few spots from Duncan Hunter's PAC that ran the end of last year) to air tv ads in the state. His poll numbers have gone up since he started advertising. Hmmm....
Some leftovers from the Jimmy Carter visit in Iowa City...
During his speech Carter didn't exactly diss Iowa, the state that catapulted him from obscurity to a Caucus victory (o.k., technically, "uncommitted" received the most votes, but apparently he dropped out), but he did say he favors a four-part regional primary system to replace Iowa's first-in-the-nation current process. But Iowa wouldn't even be part of the region that goes first. The east coast goes, then the west coast. He didn't say whether Iowa would be part of the region that goes third or the one that goes fourth. But either way, it would be spring, not January, when the Iowa Caucuses would commence.
Carter did recall some fond memories of the Caucus. He said he felt lucky if he could get just five people to show up at one of his early events. And he said since he had no money for motels, he and his family had to rely on generous Iowa families to put them up for the night. Campaign staffers who wanted lodging had to find a couch someplace or pay for a motel room.
Carter said he did invite all the generous families who helped lodge his family during the campaign to the White House after he got elected for a thank you celebration. 765 families, in all, I believe he said.