Monday, May 23, 2011

The Iowa Republican: No campaign can yet draw crowds like Newt's

Kevin Hall of The Iowa Republican wrote an article today in which he discussed the great week Newt had in the Hawkeye State -- despite the bad national press the former Speaker received.

One week after he launched his presidential campaign, the pundits were declaring Gingrich had already lost. However, if you attended any of Gingrich’s town hall meetings across Iowa, you saw quite a different story. At every single one of his 17 stops, Gingrich packed the house. The other presidential candidates would love to be able to draw crowds the way Gingrich did last week. At this point, none of them have proven they can. caught up with Gingrich toward the end of the tour on Friday, after he talked to a crowd of 65 in Le Mars.

"The fascinating thing is, of all the people who talk on Washington television, only one has come to Iowa to see what’s actually happening," Gingrich said. "And she ended up saying 'You know, this is a real campaign, with real support,' and she was just totally turned around because she came to two meetings, they were both overflow, they both had to go to a bigger room. And she looked around and she said 'This doesn't resemble anything the Washington reporters are talking about.' So, I invite anybody who would like to see what’s happening in the real campaign to come out and spend a day with me."

Hall: "Although Gingrich might have been exhausted from his interminably long week, you would not have known it once he began speaking to the Le Mars crowd. Gingrich’s appeal comes in his ability to talk about complicated policy issues and break them down into simple terms. Frankly, there is no politician in America that can match Gingrich’s ability to do this. That is what made him such a popular guest on Fox News Channel."

"Well, I think if you asked the people in there, I suspect none of them thought this was the end of the road," Gingrich said. "I think they thought it was the beginning of the road."

Hall added: "That road to the Iowa Caucus is an extremely long one. Perhaps Newt’s biggest potholes and speed bumps are behind him."

While Newt received terrible press nationally, actual voters -- the very ones who will determine the first nominating contest -- are turning out in droves for Newt, who are apparently paying no attention to the Washington establishment media.

Hall's point about no other campaign being able to attract such a large crowd is very important anywhere but especially in Iowa, whose caucus is all about organization. Newt appears to be in the lead in that regard.

It is also not the first time someone writing for The Iowa Republican was impressed by a large crowd Newt attracted in Iowa. The previous event was even before Newt had officially entered the race and was a screening of his documentary Rediscovering God in America, which, as the author noted at the time, had been aired on FOX News "numerous times."

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