Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Rudy G Skipping Ames?

Tuesday night, Rudy Giuliani wouldn't commit to taking part in the Iowa GOP's Presidential Straw Poll in Ames this summer (a huge fundraiser for the state party. Campaigns rent the space. And "voters" pay to take part in the poll).

This is only fueling the whispers that he'll run a scaled-down campaign in the state (mostly fueled by other campaigns). Jim Nussle, his top Iowa guy and former candidate for Iowa Gov last time around, didn't do anything to convince people otherwise Wednesday a.m. on our morning news. Nussle called the Straw Poll like "American Idol" and a "circus". (BTW, we'll get the whole exchange put on later today.)

Giuliani did tell the crowd last night that he planned on running in the Iowa Caucuses and predicted victory. We'll see how the other campaigns jump on Rudy G's comments (and Nussle's).

I'm sitting here at Tommy Thompson's official announcement in Clive (is it a re-announcement by now?). I can see a sign across the room, which makes it pretty obvious Thompson plans on doing the Straw Poll.

Thompson told me he plans on the largest Harley rally Iowa's ever seen. He'll have hot air balloon rides, too. (Not sure how the balloons work into this whole thing)

Just some random observations from the Giuliani event last night... It started nearly 30 minutes late. It seemed like the crowd of 400 or so stuck around. But the enthusiasm hardly compares to some of the others (like an Obama rally). There were a couple futile, short-lived attempts at "Roo-dy, Roo-dy". Very short-lived.

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