Iowa GOP Debate and Straw Poll…

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Updates: Straw Poll Winner Results and More Updates below: 1st Official Casualty of Straw Poll: Pawlenty Out

Who won the Republican Presidential Debate?

Who won the Iowa GOP debate?  That would depend on who you talk to and which poll you are looking at.  Fox’s online National poll showed Ron Paul as the winner.  Several polls showed Mitt Romney as the winner and I even heard that one showed Newt Gingrich, who was pretty much counted out before last Thursday’s debate, as the winner.

Below is my ‘Quick Take’ on Thursday night’s debate written Immediately after the debate and wrap up:

Romney appeared and sounded the most presidential.  He didn’t allow himself to be pulled into the weeds like Pawlenty and Bachmann, and he gave his 7 point plan simply and right up front without being asked directly for it.  He is not my first choice but he did well in this debate!

I generally agreed with Frank Luntz and Joe Trippi’s analysis given on Hannity’s special right after the debate.  I thought the same before Hannity had them on.

Gingrich won the battle (against the media) and helped himself. (Shame on Chris Wallace, who I generally like, for the ‘gotcha’ questions’).  Romney won this round of the war.  Huntsman is out  (sounded unprepared and like he was a Democrat part of the time). Bachmann held her own and came out looking like a fighter. Pawlenty, although he has a good plan hurt himself, at least somewhat, in this debate. Santorum, Cain and Paul did fine.  Santorum and Paul got into a back and forth but made it about their points and issues, so it didn’t come across as petty as Pawlenty and Bachmann’s back and forth.  Cain stood strong and seemed more informed on his weaker areas.

After watching the debate, there is definitely room for Palin, Perry and a few others who are still debating their entry into this field.  Their entering the race would change the dynamics and probably knock out a few of the present weaker contenders…. sooner.  M~

More on the debate below…

Saturday 8.13.11 is the Ames Iowa Straw Poll…

So, what is the Ames Iowa Straw Poll?

This is actually a bit more complicated than you would think, but the short answer is that it is a straw poll, held by the Iowa Republican Party as a part of a fundraising dinner, in Ames, Iowa. Ames – the home of Iowa State University (go Cyclones!) – is located in Story County, which sits in the dead center of the state. This marks it as a symbolic location, the ideal place to officially kick off six months of state-wide political festivities. It will be held Saturday, August 13th.  Part of the festivities of this Iowa State Fair are the candidates coming to meet, greet and eat with you, up close and personal!  And that includes Sarah Palin, who has not yet thrown her hat in the ring, but rolled into Ames in her bus on Friday and took part in the festivities with her family.  She also appeared on Hannity’s special from Ames on Friday night along with several of the GOP candidates from Thursday’s debate, Rep Steve King and political analyst Joe Trippi. 

The Ames Straw Poll has been conducted every year there hasn’t been an incumbent GOP president since 1979. That makes it sound like a much more impressive tradition than it actually is – there have only ever been five Ames Straw Polls.

In a larger sense, the Ames Straw Poll serves a heroic purpose in our American lives. It gives the media something to fixate on during the critical month of August, when reporters often complain about there being “nothing to write about” because all the powerful men and women they have access to have left Washington D.C., leaving everyone with a slow news month. Left to their own devices the media can really mess things up royally.

This year they should be covering the town halls that most of the Congressmen and Senators have been holding back in their home areas and hopefully they will have Boehner to cover as he calls, at least the republicans, back to Washington to deal with the problems and debt.  Who knows… some Dems might return and Harry Reid might even be shamed into calling the Senate back.  (Actually according to New Gingrich, 15 blue-dog democrats have signed a letter saying they feel Congress should reconvene to deal with the problems at hand.)  That way when Obama returns from his Martha’s Vineyard vacation he might have some bills to sign???  or veto???  And then there is Glenn Beck’s Restoring Courage Event in Israel later in the month to cover… but I guess I am dreaming?!?

800 reporters were credentialed to cover this straw poll, a new record.

Who is participating in this year’s poll?

1. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann
2. Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain
3. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich – Not formally part of event
4. Former Utah Governor/Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman – Will not be at event
5. Michigan Representative Thad McCotter – Was not asked to join the debate
6. Texas Representative Ron Paul
7. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty
8. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney –  Will not be at event
9. Former Pennsylvania Senator/Jelly enthusiast Rick Santorum

So, the non-participants are Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, Buddy Roemer, and future primary candidate Rick Perry.  As well as Sarah Palin, who will be in Ames, but not participating as a candidate… yet.

Perry’s presence, however, will be felt this weekend, as he’s decided that he will be “making his intentions clear” and announcing his candidacy to run for President on Saturday… what timing!?! But not in Iowa.

How exactly does the Ames Straw Poll work?

It’s useful to think of it like this: it’s sort of an extension of the county fair, held outside the Iowa State University’s Hilton Coliseum, at which the participants in the poll are your hosts for the day. The candidates, with the help of their campaign staffs, are throwing the people of Iowa a big party, with food and entertainment and candidate pitches.

To that end, on June 24, the Iowa Republicans held an auction in which portions of the space for this “county fair” were sectioned off and sold to the highest bidder. The general consensus is that the portioned-off areas near the front of the space are the best locations. We have no idea why that is. Maybe Iowans just like making up their minds quickly, or they hate walking around. Either way, they are coveted.

Bidding for the spaces starts at $15,000. (Remember, every aspect of this is actually a fundraiser for the Iowa GOP.) The highest bid was submitted by Ron Paul. That’s not that surprising: Ron Paul is a shrewd winner-of-straw-polls and timed his preseason “money-bombs” so he’d have plenty of scratch on hand to get the best possible spot. In this case, his $31,000 bid topped the field.

This year’s auction featured a little bit of mystery in the form of an anonymous bidder, who showed up in Ames and refused to declare whose candidacy he was supporting. This caused the rest of the campaign operatives on hand to threaten a walkout. As it turns out, the secret operative was from the McCotter campaign, who ended up putting down $18,000 on a spot on the fairgrounds. (The Wall Street Journal described the bid as “a sum that suggests he wants to be taken seriously,” which is difficult to square with the pointless cloak-and-dagger act that went on before the bid was made.)

After that, Bachmann, Cain, Pawlenty and Santorum all took spots. Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, though on the ballot (whether they are officially on the ballot or just write-ins is somewhat unclear as we near the vote and reports vary), are skipping the event. Newt Gingrich had a representative at the auction who declined to make a bid on a space.  A Gingrich spokesperson said, “We will work to turn people out, not because we have an air-conditioned tent, but because we have good ideas.” But you know what? Having an air-conditioned tent in Iowa in August is a pretty good idea! Gingrich is definitely a write-in. (This is the first year that the Iowa Straw Poll is allowing write-ins.)

At any rate, it’s better to put it like that then it is to say, “Oh, yeah, the entire campaign staff in Iowa recently quit, and we’re up to our noses in campaign debt.”

What happens once they’ve bought a space?

From there, the candidates each do their level best to show attendees a good time. They’ll be serving food and providing a diverse array of fit-to-be-consumed-by-social-conservatives musical acts. (That means you probably shouldn’t expect sets from Slipknot or Destrophy or hometown heroes The Envy Corps.) Ames’ own The Nadas, however, will be among the performers. The HuffPost’s Alex Becker has the complete guide to all the musical acts that will be performing.

Also, Mike Huckabee will be hauling his bass guitar all around the grounds, slapping it for whoever wants to hear. Originally, people thought that he was providing musical accompaniment exclusively to Herman Cain, but he’ll actually be jamming with Santorum and Pawlenty as well. No favoritism! The guy just likes playing bass!  (Herman Cain gave Hannity’s audience a little sampling of his vocal talent on Friday night’s special coverage from the fair.)

Eventually, all of the candidates present at the event will get to address the throngs in a fifteen minute speech. The candidates get to choose their speaking slot, with the highest bidder in the Ames “land auction” getting first dibs. This year, the order will go like this: Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann, Thad McCotter, and Herman Cain. The monotony will be broken up with speeches from Iowa GOP luminaries like Terry Branstad, Chuck Grassley, and Steve King.

So, after all is said and done, how does the voting work?

Voters cast ballots for their favorite candidates, and they are totaled up and a winner is declared. Any attendee from the state of Iowa is eligible to cast a vote. You don’t even need to be a Republican.

The candidates however, spend money to sign up supporters in advance. It’s commonplace for campaigns to turn out support by buying tickets for people, and either providing transportation or paying for parking. Yes, that means that the Straw Poll is more of a test of a campaign’s organizational strength than of the value of a candidate’s ideas. It can be argued that all you’ve demonstrated, with an Ames win, is that you’re good at busing people across Iowa. This sort of criticism is blunted somewhat by the fact that a bus ride does not constitute a binding contract to cast a vote, but let’s get real: these campaigns wouldn’t be buying free parking and food for people if they weren’t more or less certain that it was going to translate into votes.

People can also write in a candidate, so Sarah Palin’s name will certainly show up and perhaps Rick Perry’s as well.

Some unusual voting shenanigan facts about the straw poll:

Up until 1995, anyone from anywhere could vote in the Ames Straw Poll. But after 1995, when the practice of busing out-of-state supporters in to Ames got out of hand, officials instituted the Iowa-only policy.

Also, in 1999, officials started using indelible ink to stamp the hands of people who had already voted, after widespread rumors of cheating surfaced in 1995 (“voters would have their hands stamped, run into the bathroom to wash the ink off, and go vote again“).  This is exactly what we need to do to stop the double voting corruption in the all our elections!!

In 2007, voters actually had to dip their thumbs in ink, just like in the Iraqi elections! They were also required to present their tickets and I.D. Because, you know, ACORN.

In 2007, supporters of Ron Paul raised a bit of hue and cry over the Ames Straw Poll’s use of “easily rigged Diebold computers” to tally up the votes.

More generally, people complain about how better funded campaigns have all the advantages in the Ames Straw Poll, if they’re not already complaining about how better funded campaigns can actually skip the event altogether, without consequence.

The conventional wisdom is that the Ames Straw Poll is a key test for the viability of a campaign. But does that stand up under scrutiny?  Perhaps less these days than in days gone by?

So, who has something on the line in the Ames Straw Poll?

Frankly, nobody should really feel they have anything on the line, in Ames. Obviously, Bachmann, Paul, and Cain are three candidates who’ll make great hay of an Ames win — or even a strong showing — should those results come to pass. Romney wouldn’t sniff at a win, either, but he’s got nothing invested in the process and will ride it out in any event. McCotter and Huntsman don’t seem poised to bail if Ames doesn’t go their way — and neither should be expecting to do well. Santorum announced today that after spending 3 weeks straight in Iowa and visiting 68 counties that needs to place 5th of better in the poll to stay in? And Newt Gingrich seems to be wiling to stay in the process on his terms no matter how he fares.  The only person who has something legitimately on the line at Ames is Tim Pawlenty, and he hurt himself in the debate on Thursday night allowing Chris Wallace to pull him into an ‘Minnesota Nice’ match with Bachmann.  (Both Bachmann and Pawlenty need to show well in their neighboring state, but Bachmann seems to have little, or at least less, to worry about.

Back to the debate:

I actually watched the debate live and twice more in replays and took copious notes. For this is the GOP’s race to win or lose. The person who wins the GOP nomination, by many economist’s and political analyst’s views, could be the person who saves America or will be the last president to serve as head of the American nation as we know it, because unless they can turn it around, China is expected to take our place as the economic super power of the world in 2016. If Obama is reelected there are few who think we can survive as much more than just a shell of the nation we used to be.

As ‘President Downgrade’ proceeded with his fundraising, Ramadan Dinner, fiestas, vacation planning and blame game the GOP candidates, at least the major contenders in the race at this time, met in Ames Iowa for another debate.

After sleeping on my notes and reading up and listening to polls and reviews, this seems to be the consensus:

Jon Huntsman.  The word(s) most frequently used in social media about Jon Huntsman last night was “creepy” and “slimy”   From almost every point of view, Huntsman is a man who would clearly be more comfortable in the Democratic Party than the Republican Party.  So why is he here?  Who knows?  He also seemed very unprepared. If anything, he turned more voters off last night who had not previously seen him.

Herman Cain. Herman Cain is probably the guy who would be the most fun to sit down and have a beer or  an iced tea with and he is very knowledgeable about business and finances. He did well in South Carolina, but his last two performances have been less than stellar, although he is getting better in the areas that are his weak points. In politics, unfortunately if you are not going up, you are going down. Herman kinda seems to be standing still.

Rick Santorum.  An hour into the debate, Santorum held up his hand and said, “I haven’t gotten a lot to say.”  Santorum was mostly ignored until the end which is unfortunate because he holds the values of fiscal conservatives and social conservatives and he had to fight to get his message out.  He did get into the fray somewhat, particularly clashing with Ron Paul.  Although he did a lot of campaigning in Iowa he is relatively unknown outside the Pennsylvania area and to some Fox News watchers.

Ron Paul.  It is hard to lump Ron Paul in as a winner or a loser.  Ron Paul is Ron Paul, kinda like the crazy, yet knowledgeable, old uncle that every has somewhere. He is a true Libertarian, through and through, and did his usual ranting about militarism and war mongering.  He is an expert and right on about the dangers of the Federal Reserve but he is way off on his underestimation of the dangers of Iran.  His opinion on social issues would be great if we lived in a perfect world, but alas…

Minor winners (because he was the frontrunner going in and still is):

Mitt Romney. Mitts strategy right now seems to be simply not to screw up.   He had his pat answers for Obamneycare and amazingly was again not really challenged, considering he is and remains the frontrunner, but the tougher debates will come.  He did look and act presidential , stayed out of the bickering and put his 7 point plan out on the table. As it was, he probably picked up a small margin overall.  He was the overall winner of the war, so to speak, by most estimates.

Big Winners:

Newt Gingrich. But the biggest winner of the night had to be Newt Gingrich.  Gingrich needed both a stellar performance in the debate and needs a good showing in the straw poll to keep his campaign alive.   Gingrich also looked Presidential and dominated a lot of the serious talk.  His comeback to Chris Wallace was spectacular.  The problem with Newt is he is a big government conservative.  If he were committed to the dismantling of socialism, he would be a great candidate.  If he were committed to absolutely destroying liberalism the way Reagan, who Newt often quotes, was committed to destroying Soviet Communism, he would be the guy we could all rally around. Unfortunately, he is not.

Michele Bachmann.  Memo to anyone who wants to take Michele Bachmann on:  Wear your body armor!  Whether you win or lose a fight with her, you are going to come away bloodied and bruised.  Bachmann was hit from all sides during the debate and held her own.  She took the tough questions from the panel and then fought back against the other candidates on the stage.  Michele Bachmann is a ‘Girl Scout with a sniper rifle’ (stole that line from Judson Phillips of TPN) and anyone who calls her out can expect to get hit. Michele showed the strength needed to be President.  She proved she could stand and take it, and then dish out better than she got.

The Biggest Loser:

Tim Pawlenty.  The only good news is Pawlenty’s performance was so bad he should soon be out of our misery.  Pawlenty, did not have the courage to attack Romney last time and barely did this time, but showed no compunction about attacking Michele Bachmann.  A bad chess move for him.

Pawlenty’s attacks against the only female candidate on the stage backfired.  He ended up looking like that creepy guy in the neighborhood who you expect any day will be arrested for stalking instead of presidential material.  Frank Luntz credited him with the funniest line of the night, but it wasn’t enough to save him.  Bachmann nailed Pawlenty for being the most like Obama of anyone on the stage, based on his past record. At the end, Pawlenty said we need conservative leadership.  Being neither conservative, nor a leader, he’s 0 for 2 in that department.

All of this leads us back to the straw poll on Saturday.

Romney is not participating, or at least just half way.  Ron Paul will probably win the straw poll.  His followers are enthusiastic and come out for him.  Paul winning the straw poll, however, may pretty much invalidate it.

Michele Bachmann will come in second but the real fight is for third and fourth place.  Those are actually the most important positions in this straw poll.

For the second tier candidates, third and fourth place means they can continue.   For any candidate who does not place at least fourth, with the exception of possible write in candidates Rick Perry and Sarah Palin, money will begin to dry up.  Some of those campaigns are already in death spirals.   Rick Santorum said today that he ‘had’ to place at least 5th, but in reality his campaign is over.  And, Tim Pawlenty’s will be after the straw poll.  His only purpose in continuing at this point will be to run for a cabinet position.  The same is probably true of Cain, who may get fourth place.  Gingrich may have pulled enough out of the debate to hit third or fourth place, although he may hang in no matter where he places, at least for awhile.

Perry will throw his hat in the ring on Saturday and if Sarah is jumping in, it will be by mid-September. By the time we get to New Hampshire the true fun and seriousness of the campaign will be upon us.  For those like Giuliani and Bolton, I’d say back and help someone else.  As of Chris Christy… he would add some spice to the race.  And for Trump… please don’t screw this up and run as a third party candidate.

When you look at the line-up the two toughest candidates are the gals, if Palin gets in and of course Christy if he jumps in.  It looks like it really is still early in this race!!  And as Newt Gingrich said, “We are 15-months from the election, the Super Congress is a horrible idea and we have done nothing to attack our debt problems.  We cannot wait until the election.  He told Boehner on air that he needs to call he House back to Washington on Monday!”

But in reality, the more research you do, the more you realize that the true winner of the Ames Straw Poll is Ames itself, because it stimulates the local economy and brings a lot of attention to Iowa.  But at least for now, people seem to watch the activities there with a lot of interest, if not complete seriousness.

You can watch the full debate here in these Videos if you missed it:

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate in Iowa Part 1

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate in Iowa Part 2

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate in Iowa Part 3

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.4

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa  pt.5

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate in Iowa pt.6

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.7

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.8

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.9

2012 Presidential Republican Primary Debate In Iowa pt.10

Michele Bachmann “I’ve Been The Lone Voice In Washington Saying We Can’t Raise The Debt Ceiling!”

“I Just Don’t Believe These Wars Are Necessary” Ron Paul Post Debate Interview

h/t to Jean Stoner, the Huffington Post, and TPN

Related:

GB:  GOP Hopefuls Debate

Update:  8/13/2011 12:10A.M. ET

I just watched the replay of Hannity’s earlier live show from the Des Moines State Fair.  He had several people on including Gov Sarah Palin, GOP Candidate Herman Cain, Rep Steve King and Joe Trippi, is a long-time Democratic campaign consultant and political analyst.

For Sarah Palin’s interview with Hannity, the fair grounds around them were packed and the crowd was engaged.  All I can say is that Sarah is a phenomenon.  She lights up a room, captures a crowd at an event and has a down-home type of charisma that is relatable. I think she will run, do does Hannity. You can see the passion and love for this country in her eyes. 

Joe Trippi who is a Democratic political analyst and worked for crazy ass Howard Dean said tonight that he thinks if Sarah Palin were in the Iowa straw poll that she would walk away with it hands down.   That is quite a statement coming from him. And Rep Steve King said he has seen her in action and she can ‘work a room’ like nobody he has ever seen. I saw her speak live to an audience in an outdoor stadium. She is pretty amazing, Live!  She can make a crowd light up… which is tough in an outdoor arena.

I also think the notion that she can’t win is only true if we allow the media to convince us of that.  Sarah has a Libertarian streak that give her an edge over Bachmann.  She is also more down to earth. Don’t get me wrong… I like Bachmann, but there is something about Palin that is magic! 

Update: 8.13.2011 6:39PM ET

Bachmann Wins the Ames Iowa Straw Poll

No real surprises in Ames as Rep. Michele Bachmann came in first with 4,823 votes, narrowly edging Ron Paul out of the top spot and finishing far ahead of third place finisher Tim Pawlenty:

Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty secured 2,293 votes. Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum earned 1,657. Former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain locked-up 1,456 votes. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who did not actively campaign in the event, captured 567 votes. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who also did not aggressively look to secure support in the straw poll, got 385 votes. U.S. Rep Thad McCotter, a longshot contender, received 35 votes. And Jon Huntsman Jr. received 69 votes.

The Minnesota congresswoman narrowly outpaced libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, who had 4,671 votes, and whose red t-shirt-wearing supporters flooded the campus of Iowa State University, and packed the arena when Paul spoke. Paul gave a strong anti-abortion speech. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty finished third with 2,293, a showing that keeps him in the game for next year’s Iowa caucuses, but had to come off as slightly disappointing.  He spent in $1 million dollars in Iowa. (Santorum and Cain spent little and did it the old fashioned way by meeting people and shaking hands).

The hope in his camp was that his organization muscle in Iowa would propel him to the top, but he was no match for the charismatic Bachmann, whose political star continues its dizzying ascent. Where Pawlenty relied on traditional, on-the-ground campaigning, Bachmann rode a wave of media-fueled enthusiasm that, right now, shows no sign of abating.
Still, in spite of Bachmann’s victory, the poll came on the day that Texas Gov. Rick Perry declared that he, too, will mount a presidential run, setting up a showdown in Iowa over the social and fiscal conservatives that dominate the caucuses here.  Perry had mounted an on the ground write-in campaign for the Straw Poll with a representative and staff even though he did not appear there and garnered 712 write-in votes.

Bachmann planned to appear on the five major network Sunday morning talk shows Sunday as part of a  blitz to capitalize on the win–and perhaps a tactic to thwart Perry’s momentum. Both candidates will speak at a dinner in Waterloo, Iowa Sunday evening.

The results are the first indication of what Iowans think of the field of Republicans competing for the chance to challenge President Barack Obama next fall. But it’s hardly predictive of who will win the winter Iowa contest, much less the party nod or the White House

We may see a one or two dropouts as a result of the straw poll. Rick Santorum hinted yesterday that he might call it quits if he didn’t do well. He finished a distant fourth, but said he needed to finish 5th to stay in. Herman Cain is expected to continue his campaign despite finishing 5th, but his polls show that him at 3rd across the state of Iowa.

Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll, Paul Second Followed by Pawlenty

Ron Paul Emphasizes Social Issues as the Veteran Congressman Finishes 2nd in Ames

Pawlenty Campaign Moves Forward After Third Place Straw Poll Finish

Is Palin Definitely Out of the 2012 Race?

Texas Governor Rick Perry Announces Bid for President

See Romney’s Heated Exchange With Angry, Heckling Crowd In Iowa

Santorum After Ames Boost ‘Voters Rallied Around Our Message’

Herman Cain Touted Business Experience at Straw Poll:  ‘The Engine of Economic Growth Is the Business Sector’  –  But Cain He Do It?

Obama: New Low Jobs Approval Rating Sinks Below 40% For the First Time – But not to worry, he is heading out on a jobs bus tour this week on the taxpayer’s nickel to fire us up… before leaving on his Martha’s Vineyard vacation….

It Begins: Bachmann and Perry at Same Event

Allen West: Ron Paul ‘Not the Kind of Guy You Want to be Sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave’

1st Official Casualty of Straw Poll: Pawlenty Out

Herman Cain won the best line award in the straw poll speeches… “People say I don’t have much foreign policy experience….(pause), Like the guy that’s in the White House now does?”

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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2 Responses to Iowa GOP Debate and Straw Poll…

  1. Pingback: GOP Candidates Looking to ‘Close the Deal’ in Last-Chance Iowa Debate | askmarion

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