From: RenewAmerica []
Sent: Sunday, August 05, 2007 8:30 AM
Subject: "We Need Alan Keyes for President" newsletter
Friends of Alan Keyes,
As the Iowa Straw Poll approaches, we thought you might be interested in learning more about what some of us at RenewAmerica are doing to draft Alan Keyes to run for president.
Below is the latest newsletter from the draft-Keyes organization, "We Need Alan Keyes for President."  It describes what the organization has lined up for the straw poll this Saturday; spotlights the new YouTube videos of Alan Keyes now available; summarizes Alan's latest "Crisis of the Republic" article; features Fred Hutchison's 2nd Iowa piece "Voices from the Iowa grassroots"; and links to an interesting prediction by John LeBoutillier of NewsMax.
Keep faith,
The RenewAmerica staff

August 4, 2007
See you in Ames!
Our plans for the Iowa Straw Poll are coming together remarkably well.  We continue to receive generous donations, and we have a group of volunteers who are making the trek to Ames, Iowa, to help on August 11.
We’ve printed 11,000 color tri-fold fliers to hand out.  We’ll have two booths--one inside the Hilton Coliseum and one outside on the event grounds--with a professional display, two 4' x 10' vinyl banners that say “We Need Alan Keyes for President,” and continuous videos of Alan (using 20” flat screens and--for outdoors--a 700-watt per speaker PA system).
We intend to be seen and heard.
In addition, we’ll give out 1,000 3" x 4" lapel stickers for interested attendees to wear, and 100 colorful T-shirts for those who make a donation.
For videos, we’ll feature the 1-minute INSP tribute to Alan and the 3-minute video "America's Moral Challenge"--along with brief clips of Alan on vital issues.
All this should make quite an impact.
If you will be coming to help at the straw poll, please RSVP at  We'll send you additional information (and don’t forget to pre-order your ticket online at
If you haven't already done so, please donate to our effort by clicking here:
Again, thank you so much for all you've done to help the “We Need Alan Keyes for President" movement.  We'll see you in Ames, Iowa, on the 11th!
Alan Keyes at
We've recently added numerous video clips of Dr. Keyes at  Tell everyone you know about these outstanding videos--which exceed in insight, timely significance, and eloquence anything the current candidates can offer.
We're adding more every day.
Note that we're posting at YouTube under the name "Keyes2008."  This is just a username, not the official name of our committee, which remains "We Need Alan Keyes for President."
Alan’s latest “Crisis of the Republic” article
July 30, we posted Alan’s ninth article in the “Crisis of the Republic” series--his ongoing commentary on the 2008 election.  The title is “'Abortion rights' and the moral threat to freedom.”
In the article, Alan argues eloquently for returning America to its moral foundations--and directly challenges Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Fred Thompson for their weak (or wrong-headed) positions on abortion and related moral issues.
You can read the article here.
2nd Iowa report by Fred Hutchison
Below is Fred Hutchison’s second report on his activities in Iowa, "Voices from the Iowa grassroots.”  He’ll be attending the Iowa Straw Poll on a media credential, representing RenewAmerica.  He’s currently volunteering as a Policy Advisor to “We Need Alan Keyes for President.”

Voices from the Iowa grassroots

August 4, 2007
Fred Hutchison
Policy advisor

In my report "A Trip to Iowa," I mentioned Tom Immermann, a senior advisor to Steve Rathje's campaign for the U.S. Senate from Iowa. Rathje's opponent is none other than Tom Harkin, a liberal Democrat who has been a senator from Iowa since 1984, even though he is far to the left of the Iowa political mainstream. In 2005 and 2006, Harkin's ADA rating was 100 (meaning 100 percent of his votes were liberal on issues of concern to Americans for Democratic Action).

Tom Immermann has proven to be the perfect mentor to me in all things concerning Iowa, because of his involvement in state-wide politics and because of his deep immersion in the Iowa grassroots. The reader might recall that I said in "A Trip to Iowa" that Tom and I "are like two peas in a pod." During a recent stay as a guest in his home, I was surprised at the many points of commonality between us. A substantial part of this report is based upon what I learned during this fruitful and educational visit.

Just as Henry Kissinger's wife calls him "Dr. Kissinger," Tom Immermann's wife calls him "Immermann." So as to follow this example, and to avoid confusion between Tom Immermann and Tom Harkin, I shall call him "Immermann" in this report.

This report will include the following sections: (a) the Republican straw poll on August 11; (b) Steve Rathje, a rising conservative Republican; (c) Immermann, Renaissance man of the cornfields; (d) a visit to the deep grassroots; and (e) Immermann talks turkey. The latter section includes some remarkable statements that Immermann made concerning the possibilities opening up for a candidate like Alan Keyes, whom he met when Ambassador Keyes stopped in Iowa during his 2000 campaign.

Primaries, polls, and Iowa straw

Since the 1952 nomination of Dwight Eisenhower for president in a bitterly contested Republican convention, presidential primaries have steadily increased in importance, while party nominating conventions have decreased in importance. Two consequences of this trend are the increasing importance of political polls and the increasing focus on Iowa, which traditionally has had the first primary in the nation.

Polls have become a standard tool of top-down politics. People in states that emphasize grassroots politics, however -- like Iowa -- tend to dislike polls based upon statistical samples of the population. The Iowa Republican primary is a caucus at the precinct level involving the face-to-face persuasion of individuals to support particular candidates. It is neither an election nor a poll.

The Iowa Republican straw poll -- held as a rehearsal of the state caucus -- is a compromise between the grassroots caucus approach and the modern demand for polls. I love the folksy name "straw poll," because it evokes the image of Iowa farmers standing on the strawed floor of a barn trying to persuade other farmers about the merits of their candidate.

Iowa Republican Straw Poll

On August 11, 2007, The Iowa Republican Straw Poll will be held on the campus of Iowa State University at Ames, Iowa. An estimated 50,000 people will come from all parts of Iowa. Speeches in the Hilton Coliseum will be given by candidates Mitt Romney, Tom Tancredo, John Cox, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Tommy Thompson, and Sam Brownback, in that order. Each of these candidates will have a hall of their own in which to organize events, caucus with their supporters, persuade the undecided, give press conferences, and take interviews from by reporters.

Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, and Fred Thompson will not be there, but they will be included as a poll choice, and they might also have literature tables with volunteers to persuade the undecided.

Laura Ingraham will be master of ceremonies of the events in the Hilton Coliseum. As an outspoken conservative celebrity, she will be heavily covered on television and will be swarmed by reporters from the national media.

The witching hour is 6:00 p.m. -- the deadline for an Iowa citizen to register his poll choice. The undecided citizen has all day to listen to speeches, confront the candidates and their staffers, read candidates' literature, go to the caucus rooms of the candidates, and be swarmed, pandered to, and passionately argued with at length in the traditional grassroots manner. Unlike the good old days, they will not be asphyxiated with cigar smoke, buttonholed in the cloak room, or made to stand in chewing tobacco slime -- and no straw will be on the floor. The results of the straw poll will be announced at 7:00 p.m.

Iowa presidential politics, Republican vs. Democrat

Immermann told me that the Democrats are better organized in Iowa than the Republicans. My internet surfing seems to confirm this. Democratic candidates make more visits to Iowa, give more speeches, and have more debates. However, I cannot find an event on the Iowa Democratic Party website that is comparable to the Republican straw poll.

Are Republicans more oriented towards grassroots politics in Iowa than are the Democrats? Yes and no. No, if the sheer number of visits, debates, and speeches by candidates is a measure. Yes, if we look at (1) the straw poll, (2) the approach to the precinct caucuses, (3) the use of the media, and (4) the distribution of support.

According to Immermann, the western half of Iowa is strongly conservative and Republican. However, this "red state" itself is mostly farms and small towns that are politically grassroots in orientation. I met some farmers in Southeast Iowa who were both Democrats and Republicans. In contrast to the dispersed nature of the Republican support, the Democratic support is focused in enclaves in the cities and the universities. The press in the cities is liberal in ideology and gives more coverage to the Democrats.

During primary season, there is an incentive for Democratic candidates to concentrate on their enclaves. In contrast, Republicans in the primaries are obliged to visit the grassroots country in the small towns in farming country.

The precinct caucuses on primary election day are hard to characterize with precision, but the Democratic caucuses seem to be a little closer to an election than a caucus, while Republican caucuses seem closer to old-fashioned caucuses. According to Immermann, grassroots sentiment on the issues at the Republican precinct caucuses has an influence in developing planks in the party platform at the Republican convention. In contrast, the issues presented for discussion at Democratic caucuses are determined by the umbrella state and national Democratic Party structures.

Steve Rathje, entrepreneur and conservative

Immermann told me many anecdotes about Iowa scholars, entrepreneurs, and engineers. Farmers moving to the city have furnished America with entrepreneurs for the last two centuries. All the qualities and traits of the entrepreneur -- understanding of markets, haggling, risk-taking, a long-term perspective, understanding of technology and finance, and long hours of hard work -- must be learned to survive in the precarious business of farming.

Senate candidate Steve Rathje is the archetypal Iowa entrepreneur. As a broker of machine parts manufacture, supply, and distribution, he specializes in finding American-made parts for manufacturers. If he cannot find a part made by an American company, his company will often make the part. He has found a way to avoid outsourcing abroad, save American jobs, and make a profit.

As junior senator, Rathje would work with Iowa's senior senator, Charles Grassley, to institute a plan to save American jobs from outsourcing and foreign competition, while encouraging American entrepreneurs and respecting the free market system. Immermann said that Rathje is not a professional politician, but is a citizen-legislator, like the Roman Cincinnatus.

Rathje is a born-again Christian and is strongly pro-life and pro-family, and he believes in the traditional marriage of one man and one woman for life. He wants to enforce the immigration laws and opposes amnesty for illegal aliens. Rathje stands strong for the Second Amendment.

In 2006, Rathje met Immermann at church, and they discovered they shared the same political concerns. Immermann agreed to help Rathje win his 2008 campaign, and has won Rathje's trust with his candor.

As a personal note, I am pleased with Immermann's straightforward and candid mode of communication, and I admire his carefully thought-through code of political ethics.

Immermann, Renaissance man of the cornfields

Immermann and his wife live on a two-acre plot surrounded by cornfields. One acre is for the house and yard, and one acre is for the family farm and orchard. Cornfields come up to the border of the property. The farm includes a windmill, fishing pond, world- class tomatoes, orchard fruit, hens who lay eggs with orange yokes, roosters, geese, a horse, a donkey, a goat, a dog, and a cat. As Mrs. Immermann served us a scrumptious feast in the screened porch, I chose a seat to gaze out upon the garden paradise -- a veritable Norman Rockwell image of the small American family farm.

Sometimes Immermann and I would forget farming and politics and talk about history, philosophy, theology, culture, and literature. Having taught the classics at the college level, he is an incisive literary critic. This was my golden moment to bounce some of my literary judgments off an intelligent literary critic.

I am proud of my personal library, but five libraries like mine don't make one of his, either in quantity or in quality. He has many books that are collectors' items, such as a first American edition (1819) of Samuel Johnson's dictionary. When he heard that I like theories of history, he showed me a whole collection of them, including some interesting ones I never heard of.

Why did Immermann spend a lifetime and a fortune developing a library like that? It was for the sake of the books themselves. "Books have souls," he said, "and the best books are great souls -- they are minds alive on the shelf." I felt a little embarrassed when I reflected upon my haphazard treatment of my own books. Immermann's patronage of books extends to the public sector. He is one of the founders of a new local public library building.

When I first saw Immermann's library, I exclaimed, "The Montaigne of Iowa!" Montaigne, a man of the late Renaissance, had a personal library at the top of a stone tower, which was one of the largest and finest libraries in the world. His ivory tower was a real tower. Immermann, by contrast, is the Renaissance man of the cornfields.

A visit to the grassroots

Immermann took me to his morning coffee klatch consisting mostly of older farmers. They met around tables in a side room of a restaurant in a small town named Kalona. That day, they did not talk about farming. They talked mostly about politics.

I was not able to tell the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans. They all dislike Hillary. Some were interested in Barack Obama and others were interested in Fred Thompson. One old-timer liked both -- until I pointed out a few facts in the public record about Thompson. The man immediately disqualified Thompson, and he said that in spite of being a lifetime Republican, he might consider voting for a third party candidate.

I ask them if a presidential candidate came in and shook their hands and listened to them, would it induce them to consider voting for him. They all said no. However, they all agreed that they would think less of a candidate who never showed up. They would all think better of a candidate who showed up several times.

The old farmers all agreed on the following points: (a) they do not like the smorgasbord of candidates they are being offered; (b) they are all worried about the moral decline of America; (c) they all want a candidate who upholds family values, and d) they all think that America needs a spiritual revival.

These sweet old curmudgeons are very friendly to visitors like me. However, Immermann, who has been attending the coffee klatch for only four years, is still regarded as the new kid on the block. Knowing something of his biography and life's journey, and witnessing his deep integration into this old farm community, I said, "You have come far, pilgrim." I borrowed this famous line from the Hollywood movie Jeremiah Johnson.

Immermann talks tough turkey

After we had returned from the coffee klatch and had finished a glorious breakfast of eggs with orange yokes, we discussed our tour of the countryside that Immermann was planning for me before dropping me off at the airport. Immermann became pensive for a few moments, and suddenly pounded his fist on the table.

"This country is hungry for moral and spiritual leadership!" After this exclamation, he paused and selected his words with care.

He said that if a candidate like Alan Keyes could differentiate himself from the second-tier Republican candidates, he could bypass them in a flanking movement and vault up to become a first-tier candidate. The way a candidate like Keyes could do this is to take the following four steps:

(1) He should say that America is in moral decline and the decline will continue until a critical mass of Americans are willing to say "no" to evil.

(2) He should say that America's culture will not be healed and restored until we have a major spiritual revival.

(3) He must make the two messages the foremost theme of the campaign.

(4) He must bring the message to the grassroots.

While other conservative Republican candidates do not disagree with these ideas, they stop short of saying these things in an unequivocal way, because they are reluctant to totally alienate the left and they fear losing the position they have already gained as candidates.

Immermann pointed out that Keyes has nothing to lose and everything to gain from this strategy. A large number of voters are waiting for a moral and spiritual leader to emerge from the pack. The man they are waiting for will have the moral courage to directly confront evil and call for a spiritual awakening in the land.

Thompson to drop out?
For additional perspective on what’s possible in the 2008 election, be sure to read “Fred Thompson will drop out,” by NewsMax’s John LeBoutillier.
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