John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


The View from Iowa

Posted on March 7, 2012
It all started in Iowa.


Amazingly, only two months ago this campaign started in the Hawkeye State.  It seems like years ago.


I am currently in the Des Moines Airport, which is why I bring up Iowa.


You go through the security line in the Des Moines Airport, and the TSA agents are very friendly.  Happy even.  And there are a lot of them.  Mostly just kindof sitting around.


Not that there is anything wrong with that, unless of course you are a taxpayer paying for it.  Then it gets slightly annoying.


Mitt Romney won a nice victory last night.


He is on the right message.  More jobs.  Smaller government.  Less taxes.  It should be more private sector jobs.  But that would mean there would be fewer TSA agents looking to find all of those bad guys in the Des Moines Airport.


Romney eeked out a victory in Ohio because he had the support of many important allies.


One of them was Rob Portman.  Portman was named Chairman of the Ohio campaign on February 28th.   He was able to turn around a campaign that was down double digits late into February, mobilize volunteers, recruit endorsers, help with newspaper endorsements in Cincinnati, Toledo and Cleveland, raise him a ton of money, and otherwise help the Mittster get to the finish line.


It is safe to say that Romney wouldn’t be in as strong as a position as he is without wining Ohio, and he wouldn’t have been able to inch out a victory in Ohio without Rob Portman.


This election is breaking down on regional lines.   The solid South and states that act like the Solid South (including Oklahoma and North Dakota), don’t care much for Mitt Romney.  It could be because he is a moderate in conservative clothing, but my guess is that is more about his being Mormon.  Just a guess, but I think it is a pretty good one.


Romney is winning in the Northeast, and the Mountain West.  He is not completely solid in the Midwest, but he is doing enough to win there.  His strategy is to get enough delegates to beat his competitors, and he has the money and the organization to get there.  Nobody else does.


Romney is weakest where the Republicans are strongest and strongest where the Republicans are weakest.  In a general election, that will put him in the strongest possible position, because President Obama doesn’t have a chance to win where the Republicans are strongest, and if Mr. Romney can somehow win a few pro-Obama states, he can win the election.


That’s the theory at least.


Despite the fact that the President won Iowa last time, my guess is that he won’t win it this time.   If Mitt Romney wants to win Ohio, he is going to have to put his faith in Rob Portman, (perhaps name him to the ticket?).  And if he wants to win the election, he is going to need to win Ohio.