Iowa Caucus Predictions…Big Night For Fred Thompson?

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Predicting the winners of the Iowa caucuses is one of those blogging events that is just fun to do.  I say that because there is no real way to predict the outcome of a caucus when turnout is key to victory, and Democratic participants can be lured to another candidate if their first choice is not ‘viable’ in their local firehouse or neighbor’s living room.  There is no real way to gauge the mood of the actual caucus goers, and so one needs to rely on trends in the overall polling to even guess at the outcome.   Even then most will not write down any predictions.  Nonetheless I offer my predictions knowing that I have a real good chance of being so very wrong.  Unless an animal is found in bed with a presidential candidate between now and January 3rd, this is what I think will happen.

I start on the Republican side because I feel that this is where a potential news story that is not foreseen might happen on Thursday.  Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee have been blasting each other and proving many ways why they are not the type of nominee that the GOP will require to win in the November election.  Romney has flip-flopped on so many issues, and seems fake to many voters.  Huckabee has social conservatives energized but has turned off many fiscal conservatives with his actions while Governor of Arkansas.  The negative ads and talking points have been blazing, leaving I suspect many Republicans in Iowa concerned about the overall tone of the GOP message, and potential messenger.

While Rudy Giuliani and John McCain are on the ballot they are not seriously vying for voters in Iowa.  But Fred Thompson is.  While I have poked at the former Tennessee Senator here on my blog (he warranted it) I think that Thompson has a chance to make news. As a candidate with conservative credentials who can be viewed as a seasoned politician, I am going with my gut instinct and placing Thompson in second place to Mitt Romney.  If this happens the news story on Friday will be Fred….Fred….Fred.

The top three GOP finishers in Iowa

Mitt Romney

Fred Thompson

Mike Huckabee

On the Democratic side I am going to echo what my overall thoughts were on December 19th, on my blog.  While I think Hillary Clinton will eventually win the Democratic nomination I think she faces a dust-up in Iowa.  John Edwards has a message of corporate greed and economic concern will resonate with voters who have already fought for him once before on a cold winter night in 2004.  I also think that Edwards will do well after other candidates are no longer ‘viable’ at the caucus, and he will be many folk’s second choice.  Obama will suffer from too many fresh faces at the rallies, but not enough of them having the drive to get them to the caucuses.  Howard Dean repeated.

The top three Democrats in Iowa

John Edwards

Hillary Clinton

Barack Obama

To my friends that want percentages…..you must be kidding!!

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My New Year’s Resolutions

With January 1, 2008 soon to be on the calendar this is the time for fresh starts.  Some will say that serious New Year’s resolutions are not wise as there is too much stress with the holidays just passed, and therefore large goals should be implemented differently to be successful.  That always makes sense to me if the goal is to lose 40 pounds, or to end a gambling addiction.  But my resolutions this year, much as in the past, are more tempered in the day-to-day living of life. 

When I first moved to Madison in late December 1986 I would often say that I lived in Madison, but my home was back where I grew up in central Wisconsin.  Over the years that has changed to where I am truly now home in Madison.  It took a long while to make that mental leap, but I love where I am now!  Yet I have never done a serious reading of Madison history.  I know bits and pieces and can weave the general narrative of the city to a stranger, but I wish to better understand the place I now call home.  So the first book of the year for me will be “Madison, A History Of The Formative Years” by David Mollenhoff.  The book came with our new/old house in 2007, and I am eager to start my voyage through the rich history of this amazing city.  In addition, I want to further understand the house I live in, and the people who once also called this place home.

High on the agenda is my continuing effort to learn to play the piano.  This past year did not afford me the time required to become the next Floyd Cramer.  But I do enjoy music and have personal incentives to drive me.   I plan to spend some time each day learning and practicing.  I am reminded as I write that Archie Bunker once likened Edith’s singing to that of cats being strangled.  I hope the neighbors will think more kindly of my musical efforts.

The aim of low stress living this year is one that both James and myself will try and abide by.  In that effort we are not going to garden our two vegetable plots, as they are a great deal of work throughout the summer.  Instead we are going to concentrate on the flowers and landscaping at our home.  I have already planned where the sunflowers will grow in the backyard, and am looking forward to expanding the flowerbeds and plants that will someday overtake the lawn.  Less grass is more attractive!  The flowers are not only fun to grow, but also provide the perfect place to sit around with a good read on a warm summer day.

I have always been quite good with geography but still find that while reading international news a more obscure city or river cannot be placed in my head.  So the new geographical dictionary at my desk is going to be used frequently while reading this year.  In addition, I am going to once again read a magazine that I loved for many years.  In December I subscribed to Columbia Journalism Review.  While working at the Capital I would buy it from Pic-A-Book on State Street.  Reading some stories online is fine, but I love to discover that our mailman has a magazine in the mailbox.

Oh…and I plan to follow politics too………

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