Dec 25, 2007

Christmas Lull Before Iowa Storm

The residents of Iowa are enjoying a couple of days respite from the intense campaigning for the 3 January primary. Pretty much all the candidates have left the state for Christmas.

On the Republican side former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was unabashed in defying political correctness and showing a television spot stressing that Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ.

While pitching his message to evangelical conservatives in Iowa, Huckabee said on CBS television Sunday that he would be president "of all America."

"And that's how I served as governor," he said. "People look at my record and they didn't see that I put a tent out on the capitol grounds and had healing services, and I didn't replace the dome with a steeple."

As for the Democrats Hillary Clinton was shown wrapping presents marked with her signature policies: universal healthcare, alternative energy, bringing troops home from Iraq, and nursery school education for all infants.

Obama, the Illinois senator bidding to be America's first black president, appeared with his wife and two young daughters in front of a Christmas tree and log fire to stress his core message of hope and change.

"In this holiday season, we're reminded that the things that unite us as a people are more powerful and enduring than anything that sets us apart," he said in his seasonal spot.

The bad news for Iowa residents is that the campaigning is going to get more intense. Republican front runner Rudi Giuliani is so worried about Huckabee that he is shelving plans to ignore Iowa. He will be there with the rest of the pack straight after Christmas.

Rudi also got a seasonal message out. "With the primaries coming so early this year, I've got to tell you, I'm having a little trouble getting my holiday shopping done," he said, offering the same gift to all voters -- a safe America, low taxes and a fruitcake.