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The Rick Perry Iowa Bus Tour Finale Seals the Deal
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The Texas Tribune's Jay Root reports from Fort Dodge, Iowa, about the final day of the Rick Perry Bus Tour across iowa. Root is not ready to throw in the towel for Perry, either. That's because the campaign came up with a very innovative approach to the Iowa caucuses. This isn't a mass media market, and although Perry has spent heavily on media, particularly television ads, the real decisions are made in person. The face-to-face sales effort is going to be accomplished by literally thousands of surrogates across the state, and from 32 additional states. There are some heavy hitters on the "Strike Force," including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, and Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, and a slew of business executives, Republican party leaders, decorated war veterans, and passionate citizens like myself to close the deal for Perry.
Overheard in the back of the Strike Force kick off training session from a mainstream media reporter, after seeing hundreds of volunteers, all of them quality people, who are about to fan out all across Iowa for Rick Perry: "How did we miss this story?"
This is going to be a hundred times more effective than any radio or television commercial.
I will be speaking as a surrogate for Rick Perry at the Jefferson, Iowa caucus tonight at 7 p.m. central time.
Yesterday, as the video above portrays, was the last day of the Perry Bus Tour through Iowa. He had two major stops, in Sioux City, Iowa and the finale in Perry, Iowa. Here's the map and news from along the road:
Sioux City, Iowa
Here's the video of excerpts of the Sioux City, Iowa speech on Jan. 2, 2011:
The local press did a great job of describing the mood of Iowa caucus attendees tonight. No one has closed the deal:
His final comment of the 35-minute event: "If you want a bumper sticker on what I am all about, it is freedom."
Veronica Krage of rural Sioux City has been taking in the late flurry of Northwest Iowa presidential campaign stops. Krage has seen Mitt Romney twice and attended a Ron Paul event. She will help stage a Plymouth County caucus precinct and said she was leaning toward Romney.
"Perry has some good ideas," Krage said, citing his position of securing the Mexican border and pushing to repeal "ObamaCare," as opponents call federal health care reform.
Ron Coon of Sioux City has narrowed his options to Perry and Newt Gingrich.
"I'm an ultraconservative," Coon said. "I watch Fox (News) all day long, until the night."
Coon said he wished Perry had begun his campaign sooner than his relatively late entrance in mid-August. And he said if it weren't for debate gaffes, Perry would be polling higher than he is, near the bottom.
The Houston Chronicle found support among the crowd in Sioux City, discussing his electability, which is a top concern of Iowa caucus-goers:
“To me, Perry’s the one that’s got legs,” said Stocking, who said he also grew up a “farm kid” – like Perry, the son of tenant farmers. “When I look at Bachmann, it looks like she’s on a dead horse now, and the same thing with Santorum. He ain’t got no money, so he just can’t go very far. You look at Perry, and he’s got the executive experience also. I’d be happy with any one of hose three, but when I go tomorrow I’ll be voting for Perry.”
An interview in between stops out of Sioux City, Iowa on NBC's Today Show:
Rick's wife, Anita Perry, interviewed this morning, notes how the campaign has really hit it's stride:
He’s so much improved. He’s so much better. And I’m not near as nervous as I used to be [watching him]. In fact, I’ve really enjoyed them because I’m seeing him excel now and we’re going to do two debates this weekend in New Hampshire and I think he’s excited about it, too,” she said.
As proof of Anita Perry's feelings, Perry picked up a popular local radio talk show host endorsement in New Hampshire yesterday, too!
This was a short stop, but long enough for the National Journal to sum up the mood of voters, and why they are so undecided at this late stage of the caucuses in Iowa:
It galls him [a voter], then, when he reads about how members of Congress have tripled their incomes in the last 20 years, while other Americans’ salaries have remained flat. “I think we all should be treated alike, not all the sweetheart deals, not all the lobbyists,” Peters said.
Linda Rhodes, too, is undecided but knows she’ll vote on Tuesday. And like Peters, Rhodes doesn’t project the voter rage often credited with driving the GOP base. She has been unable to settle on a candidate, she said, because the negative ads that have carpet bombed Iowa in the past several weeks have steered her away from temporary favorites.
Folks in Iowa, you don't have to settle for someone who doesn't have the record of being a true conservative who has the gravitas to shake up Washington D.C.!
This was the finale of the Iowa bus tour. Here's the entire event, recorded by C-SPAN (32 minutes in length):
After the Perry, Iowa event, Rick Perry was a guest on Greta Van Susteren of Fox News:
The Sioux City, Iowa Journal gets the link today.
If you'd like to keep up with the Perry campaign during the caucus, please watch the RickPerryReport on Twitter: Follow me or just watch this Web page (or the home page of Rick Perry Report) tonight for pictures, videos, and updates. Follow or watch @RickPerryReport on Twitter.
Image credit: From my iPhone: a packed house greeting Rick Perry at the campaign headquarters at the West Des Moines Sheraton this morning.
I leave you with this, a Rick Perry video just released today. "We've got to get it right this election":
Read more about it at siouxcityjournal.com