On Saturday, Tamara, Nick, and I went to Ames, Iowa, to volunteer at Newt Gingrich's American Solutions tent.
That's Tamara greeting a smiling Newt as he exits his van.
The straw poll was cool. As we drove there, we saw lots of Ron Paul signs littering the interstate shoulders. Iowa State troopers were tediously pulling them from the roadside. I had to laugh at one point though - under one Ron Paul sign was someone else's custom sign, asking the important question: "Who is Ron Paul?"
We stayed around long enough to listen to Mitt Romney's speech. He's easily the most media-friendly politician for the Republicans. The three of us voted for Mitt. He floated the idea of having zero tax on capital gains. He contrasted that with Edwards' idea of leaving the first $250 as tax-free. "$250?" Mitt quipped. "That wouldn't even pay for John Edwards' haircut."
He also proposed forcing computer manufacturers to install a "porn-free" button that would begin to filter out porn. Serious faux pas on several levels.
That said, I still think he's the most capable executive and media-savvy candidate in the race. That's why I voted for him. He also showed an knack for turning out voters. Yeah, people might poo-poo his methods. I don't think that matters. He achieved what he needed to achieve, and at the end of the day, that's what matters for any candidate - or president.
- Who decides what porn is?
- If he believes that government should be smaller, how does this infiltration into the private sector demonstrate that?
- The technology would never work. Unless images can be screened for content - which they can't - there is no filtering of porn. Any image can be named anything we like and still posted, hosted, and sent by email. He's blitheringly naive to suggest this. But I suppose it makes for great soundbite...
Back to Newt...
I like Newt. I think he's a very smart guy. He proposes that instead of soundbites and short-form debates, the candidates give lengthy speeches that outline the what and the how of their future administration. I love that.
He also insisted that we bring Congress into an emergency three-day session to pass simple legislation.
Under a new immigration bill, Gingrich wants the Department of Homeland Security to outsource the creation of a secure, accurate system to quickly check legal status of people who commit serious crimes. He wants the bill to require that anyone arrested for a felony be checked for legal status. Lastly, he stipulates that any city, county or state that refuses to do so would lose all federal funding.What sane American would disagree with that? Good for him.
ETC: And more pictures with Newt from the Iowa Straw Poll...