Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 647
From the inbox today, a pretty amusing episode of dueling emails between the Obama and Clinton campaigns on who owns Iowa at this point in the cycle.
First up was the Obama campaign's email on what they've been up to in Iowa, complete with stats:
"Obama in Iowa - By the Numbers
Since announcing his candidacy two months ago, Senator Obama has visited Iowa on five different occasions, making stops in 20 different counties, including many smaller communities like Ida Grove and Colo.
Demonstrating his commitment to the hallowed Iowa tradition of retail politics, Senator Obama has hosted 25 smaller gatherings where he was able to hear directly from Iowans about the issues affecting their lives. From riding on buses with teachers to hearing from veterans in Marshalltown and Mason City, Senator Obama has shown a willingness to listen.
Including the 17 other events Senator Obama has hosted in Iowa, he has now answered more than 200 questions from average Americans who attended an Obama campaign event in Iowa.
The combined attendance at campaign events hosted by Senator Obama, according to media reports and our in-house counts, is more than 30,900. And we keep hearing from people that the crowds he’s attracting are young, diverse, and bipartisan. In fact, of those who signed in at events, an astonishing 23 percent are registered Independents and 10 percent are registered Republicans.
During his Iowa visits, Senator Obama has worked hard to give access to Iowa journalists covering our campaign by granting 39 interviews or media availabilities with Iowa-based reporters.
Finally, to capitalize on the enormous interest in our campaign, we have already opened 12 campaign offices across Iowa.
With 276 days until the Iowa Caucuses, we know we have much more work to do, but these early measurements show our commitment to running an inclusive campaign that shows proper respect to Iowans and the caucus process. In addition, these numbers are an indication of the enormous interest in Senator Obama and his vision for the future of our country. It’s our job to build an organization that will turn that interest and energy into votes on caucus night.
Most importantly, this milestone gives us yet another chance to say thanks to the thousands of Iowans who have volunteered, attended an event, or voiced an opinion.
In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll send regular email updates to keep you apprised of our progress here in Iowa. Senator Obama takes very seriously the important role that Iowans will play in choosing the next president of the United States, and we’re working hard to build the kind of foundation we need to earn your support."
Not to be outdone, the Clinton campaign responded - and I think that's the very word: responded - with their own Hawkeye State Travelogue about 2 hours later:
"A giant sign hung on a fertilizer spreader on the side of a long gravel road. A field of cars lined up across the horizon. From the very beginning of Hillary's Four Corners of Iowa tour, it was clear that Iowans want a strong, smart, and experienced leader.
It was a picture-perfect day in Fort Madison where Hillary's tour began in the southeastern part of the state last week. State Senator Eugene Fraise, his wife Faye, and their family opened up their farm -- and kitchen -- to Hillary and hundreds of guests.
You could see the enthusiasm in their faces. It could not have been more clear -- Iowans are ready to support a candidate with the experience take command now and the vision to change the direction of our country.
From Fort Madison to Waterloo, audiences were deeply impressed and motivated to help Hillary win next January. In Burlington, hundreds of Iowans joined Hillary for a conversation on the challenges America faces today.
The next morning, Governor Tom Vilsack and his wife Christie hosted Hillary and area supporters at their home in Mount Pleasant for coffee and cinnamon rolls.
Hillary then toured the Riksch Biofuels Plant in Crawfordsville, discussing her plan to bring new jobs to rural America. She rounded out her trip by joining hundreds of supporters in Iowa City and Waterloo.
Iowans from all over the state have had a chance to discuss with Hillary the solutions to the challenges America faces today. In many cases it has been you who have already taken action to help solve these problems.
We saw it at the biofuels plant Hillary toured last week. Neil and Darin Rich and Don Miksch are the three founders of Riksch Biofuels, a company that not only reduces our dependence on foreign oil and protects the environment, but creates well paying jobs in rural Iowa.
Neil and Darin started the company in 2004 in an effort to help subsidize their fuel usage on their family farm. The two then worked with Don to create a full-fledged business plan that has truly become a family effort -- relatives old and young stopped by the plant the day of Hillary's visit. At 27, 25, and 21, they are three of the youngest biodiesel executives in the country.
The Rich and Miksch families share the same drive, determination, and innovation that many that Iowans have -- it is why today Iowa is a leader in renewable energy.
As President, Hillary will restore America's reputation and leadership in innovation around the world. Hillary is a battle-tested candidate with the strongest track record and the most experience.
Over the coming weeks, Hillary will continue her Four Corners of Iowa tour, talking and listening to Iowans about her vision for the country. We will let you know when Hillary comes to your area.
We'll see you on the campaign trail."
I can hardly wait for the next round of emails, featuring photos of the candidates hugging tornados and kissing cornstalks!