Five Brothers Special Edition(From left to right: Not Serving, Not Serving,
Not Serving, Tagg, Not Serving)

Why wait for Sunday?

Tagg explains why DadMitt won in Iowa:

A lot of people have written their stories about the straw poll victory we enjoyed at Ames. Having seen the effort and the triumph from the inside, I thought I’d share a few of my own thoughts and photos.

1. Why do you think that Governor Romney won?

He won for two reasons.

Neither of which involves $5 million.

First, my Dad is the best candidate in the race. But the fact is that as the people in Iowa have gotten to know my Dad, they have liked him and his message.

…and his $5 million.

He has traveled extensively across Iowa (over 200 events total) and answered hundreds of questions in dozens and dozens of townhalls open to the public and the media. And he has risen from about 5% in Iowa to 28% and first place in the polls in only a few months.

By spending $4.9 million more than Mike Huckabee.

2. Without some of the other top tier candidates there, does this qualify as a win?

Yes. As my Dad has said, if the other guys thought they could have won or even done well, they would have been there. Which makes the win all that more extraordinary. Do you know how hard it is to motivate voters to hop on a bus on a Saturday morning and drive several hours each way so they can wait around for hours more in 100 degree sticky heat, all for the privilege of voting for a candidate who has everyone says is a shoe-in to win?

We offered barbeque sandwiches to folks there, which was the least we could do for our supporters who braved temperatures reaching 100 degrees. And do you think that holds a candle to what they could have had a few miles down the road at the state fair? Fried twinkies, fried snicker bars, pork chops on a stick, fried Oreos… Yes, I tried them all and heavenly doesn’t begin to describe them. And you think offering them a bus ride and a pulled pork sandwich is what got them to Ames?

Well let’s see…DadMitt paid the $35 voting fee, paid for the bus, and gave them free lunch for the day, and according to reports people voted and then left not even sticking around to watch the finish. Leaving plenty of time to spend the evening clogging their arteries with “heavenly” goods, so I’m gonna have to vote ‘yes’ on the pulled-pork/Ames question.

This will help with my Dad’s name ID. He was the number one blogged about muggle…

What the fu…

the last few days, beaten only by Harry Potter.

Oh. An off-hand cultural reference for the common touch. Subtle. Nice . Proving that the Romney boys are just like any other young man in Ameri-

Wait a minute.

Mitt Romney has been asked before on the campaign trail if his sons have served in the military, and he usually has dispatched the question easily enough.

But an awkward response last week in Iowa, in which Mr. Romney said in part that “one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping to get me elected,” forced him several days later to say he misspoke and injected a discordant note into his otherwise triumphant few days after he won the state’s Republican straw poll.

It has also threatened to put a chink in what has been widely viewed as a major asset in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination: his crowded family portrait, which includes five successful adult sons who have been a prominent part of his campaign.


Some have questioned the fairness of impugning Mr. Romney for his sons’ choices. It is also unclear why Mr. Romney’s children have drawn scrutiny and not those of others, like Rudolph W. Giuliani, who has a son at Duke University.

“Is it a fair question?” said Stewart Peay, the husband of Mr. Romney’s niece, who went to Iraq with the Utah National Guard. “In the world of the all-volunteer army, I don’t know if it is or not.”

But Mr. Peay said that while in Iraq he had wrestled with what difference it might have made if President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney had family members in harm’s way.

“I think it’s unfortunate sometimes that we don’t have a broader group of people in the military,” he said, “but that’s a result of an all-volunteer military.”


Politicians should try to envision whether they believe in a war enough that they would send their own children, said Nancy Lessin, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, an antiwar group made up of more than 3,600 military families.

“If this war is so important, why is it O.K. for you to support our loved ones fighting it but not send your own sons?” said Ms. Lessin, whose stepson joined the Marines after college and went to Iraq.

The fact that Mr. Romney’s sons have not served is not necessarily surprising, she said, because the military tends to be dominated by those from less well-to-do backgrounds.

“There is the economic, or the opportunity, draft,” Ms. Lessin said.


Fair or not, it is likely that the issue will continue to dog Mr. Romney. He got the question again later in the week at the Iowa State Fair, this time from a man holding a photograph of his son in a soldier’s uniform.

“None of your sons are in the military?” the man asked.

Mr. Romney said they were not.

“Are they going to go over to Iraq?” the man asked.

“No, they are not,” Mr. Romney said.

“Who is going to do his job?” the man said.

“We have a volunteer army,” Mr. Romney said. “That’s the reason.”

Now I’m no political consultant, but I’m guessing that making the Five Brothers a centerpiece of a campaign while families in small towns are burying their sons and daughters is like sharing Taggs baby pictures at the funeral.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....