Cut those holiday plans a little short. Iowa Democrats and Republicans will caucus the same night after all. At 2pm Thursday afternoon, the Iowa Democratic Party will notify its 50 or so members of the state central committee to be close to their phones Sunday night.
That's when State Party Chair Scott Brennan will hold a statewide conference call at 8pm to say he wants the caucuses to move up to January third, instead of the previously scheduled (very loosely scheduled) January 14th. I'm not sure I can tell you a single Democrat who thought Dems would stick to their original date.
The move lets the Dems caucus with the Repubs, something that oughta make all of our out-of-state friends' bosses happy. They won't be spending nearly as much dough on hotel rooms, meals, etc., in Des Moines. They can save their coin for an earlier, longer stop in New Hampshire. This is good news for Iowans who can now likely find tables at Centro and 801 Steak and Chop House.
As long as New Hampshire's Sec of State doesn't crazy, this should keep Iowa first in this complicated, ever-changing Presidential picking process. It's sounding like New Hampshire would move up to January 8th and leave it there. Let's hope that's the case and no one decides to hold seemingly meaningless 2008 contests in 2007.
One thing we learned through this is that former Secretary of State-turned-Governor Chet Culver may now better understand how this all works. At a news conference two months or so back, Culver told us he'd consider calling back the Iowa Legislature to change state law that says Iowa has to caucus eight days before the next state. Apparently, that isn't quite correct. It's up the state parties to decide when we caucus. And the parties have now decided we all caucus a little sooner next year.