This political season it seems there are new, exciting, and important changes happening even two years before the First in the Nation Iowa Political Caucuses.
First, the Iowa Republican Party has implemented a neutrality policy. Jennifer Jacobs of the des Moines Register writes, "
To ward off controversies over conflicts of interest, the Republican
Party of Iowa's leadership committee members have pledged to stay
neutral in the Iowa caucuses, party leaders said Wednesday.
member of the Republican Party of Iowa state central committee, its
officers, or its staff shall publicly endorse a U.S. presidential
candidate during the 2016 Iowa caucuses," says the pledge, signed by
Chairman Jeff Kaufmann, Co-chairman Cody Hoefert and all of the members
at a meeting on Nov. 22."
This is a very significant move intended to make the Iowa Caucuses fair and attractive to all Republican Presidential aspirants. That is crucial because "biased" caucuses discourage full participation.
Second, "No Labels,
the non-partisan group aimed at breaking up gridlock in Washington, is
advancing its effort to organize in Iowa with a plan to join the issues
discussion surrounding the 2016 presidential caucuses," writes Kathie Obradovich.
Obradovich correctly asks whether a group that pushes non-partisan and bi-partisan dialog on the big issues facing the nation can expect a highly partisan event like the Iowa Caucuses to actually be a place for none partisan discussion.
She adds, "The group is hoping to get at least one presidential candidate to sign on to a national agenda built
around goals related to a balanced federal budget, job creation and
energy security. Along the way, the group wants to foster public
discussions on how to achieve the goals. The group will hold town hall
meetings and grill presidential candidates on the issues. The national
strategic agenda would be unveiled in October 2015."
Third, I was struck by the headline "Newt Gingrich Returns to Iowa." The former Speaker of the House and 2012 Presidential candidate has indicated that he is NOT interested in running for President in 2016. However, my experience is that if pushed, invited, and encouraged to do so he will say yes in a New York , or let's say a Cedar Rapids minute!
"Gingrich said he wants to ensure that ideas for how to fight radical
Islamists and stay competitive with China and Russia are part of the
national debate in the 2016 presidential race — in both the GOP
nomination battle and with the Democrats in the general election." http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/03/newt-gingrich-return-iowa/19851859/
Stay tuned because I know that the 2016 Caucuses are going to be very interesting and in some respects different from previous events.