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When I first started typing this post I thought it would center upon the recent visits to Iowa by Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, both who have been touted as potential candidates for President in 2016.  The piece was probably going to be a bit briefer in length but I thought I would compare both of the first-term Senators (Paul elected in 2010, Cruz in 2012) and what they are looking like as we inch closer to the time where potential prospects begin considering exploratory committees.

But as I began writing this piece I noticed, hey, there has been plenty of news about Iowa ’16 so how about just make mini-capsules of everything that has been covered with regards to presidential aspirations.

Rand Paul Visits Preachers

  • Paul was in town to talk to local preachers and African American ministers and in regards to questions from the press mentioned that Iowa was the place to go if you want yourself heard about issue given its status as a battleground state.  Since he talked to preachers though and did not address a publicly aired convention, it seems that Rand just wants attention period.
  • But remember him visiting Iowa is important when you are looking at 2016, however you have to look at WHO he visits.  Paul is seen as a slightly more marketable version of his father, who catapulted his way to fame with his libertarian views, but he doesn’t exactly connect as well with the religious community.  If he is trying to shore up support in his weakest area though, he appears to be doing all the right things.

Ted Cruz Makes Iowa Debut

  • Yahoo! asks what the heck Ted Cruz is doing in Iowa when the answer seems pretty obvious.  Cruz has done very little to stand out legislatively and his claim to fame is simply being a Tea Party guy that irritates the Senate.  So he might as well amp up his image, since he isn’t quite doing anything on the Senate floor, and tease a run for the Presidency.
  • Cruz might be greedy enough to make a bid though.  Conservative crowds, much like how they’ve done to Michele Bachmann and Allen West, will eat up anything Cruz says and he’ll be able to rake in some cash too.  Its just politicians like Cruz have very short shelf lives and even though Cruz is a very well-educated man, he has a habit of talking about communism.  He might as well strike while the iron is hot.
  • If there is one state in the early going in which Cruz could do well though its the same state that was won by Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

Paul Ryan To Celebrate Terry Branstad’s Birthday

  • 2012 Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan probably grew tired of not hearing his name in the news so he’s agreed to be the keynote speaker at Terry Branstad’s annual birthday fundraiser.  Last year Marco Rubio did the same thing which is basically regurgitating talking points to a bunch of wealthy GOP donors.
  • Ryan has slipped though from his once lofty perch as a possible big-name contender. He has a very high profile, thanks to his appearance on a national ticket, but he didn’t really make an impact.  The guy is a one-trick pony (budget) and has basically proposed the same thing annually.  I’m not saying he has peaked, he certainly can do well as he is very calculated in what he does; but Ryan doesn’t issue much excitement anymore.

Amy Klobuchar To Speak To Iowa Democrats

  • Thanks to the wait for any move to be made by Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, Democrats have largely avoided Iowa and New Hampshire.  Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar though did not get the memo as she will keynote the “North Iowa Wing Ding Fundraiser” next month.  Klobuchar doesn’t really have a high profile and she wouldn’t be a progressive crusader nor a big-time name but hey, might as well try to amp up your profile.
  • This isn’t Klobuchar’s first go-around with the 2016 speculators as she spent some time during the 2012 Democratic National Convention talking to the Iowa and South Carolina delegation.
  • It also helps that Klobuchar represents Minnesota which borders Iowa, its not like its a long flight or anything so she can make a few trips to the nation’s first caucus state.

Poll:  Christie, Clinton Tied

  • But where would we be if there wasn’t a poll to talk about?  Quinnipiac released a poll that shows New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in excellent shape, 1,200 days or so away from November 2016.  Christie is tied with Hillary Clinton and trounces Joe Biden by a double-digit margin.  Biden even loses to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.