Update: Iowa Christian Coalition Chairman Bobbie Gobel has been fired by the Christian Coalition of America. However, the flamboyant Gobel is refusing to step down.
Iowa politics buffs will recall that Gobel made news last week by charging the Steve Forbes campaign with offering to hire people from her temporary employment agency to vote in this month's Ames straw poll. The Forbes campaign rushed to deny the charge, and the national headquarters of the Christian Coalition immediately repudiated Gobel.
And repudiated. And repudiated. By week's end the national organization had replaced her with her predecessor, longtime Iowa political activist Ione Dilley.
Gobel took time away from the shambles to chat with the Des Moines Register. In a profile published Sunday, she denied that she was forced to leave one Des Moines church because of a moral lapse. She was merely praying for a fellow parishioner and "I embraced him, and they thought I was putting my large breast in his face. I had not fallen from the Lord."
The national coalition may have been worried that Gobel is inappropriately taking sides against Forbes. But Gobel said culling through candidates is her calling. "As a Christian, God allows me to be a fruit inspector."
And, though she exults in her face time with candidates -- of a recent lunch with Elizabeth Dole, Gobel said, "She just wanted a little more Bobbie" -- her service to the Christian Coalition is not a matter of ego.
"This is not a Bobbie thing," she told the Register. "This is a God thing. I'm not here to make a name for myself. I've already done that."
Dole Fund-Raiser: Fine Wines for Wall Street Women
Separating political donors from their money is not so easy these days if your name happens to be something other than George W. Bush. One way is to serve a sampling of fine wines on Manhattan's tony Upper East Side and invite some of Wall Street's leading female executives.
Such is the fare for an "elaborate wine tasting" fund-raiser for Elizabeth Dole on Sept. 22 at the home of Jason Ader, a 30-year-old managing director at the investment banking firm Bear, Stearns & Co., and his wife Lori, a professional fund-raiser who will be hosting her first presidential event.
The event will be co-sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers executive Adam Brecht. He says he expects 75 or more Wall Street women to turn out, many paying $1,000. "We've been talking it up both in town and out at the Hamptons," Brecht said. The hosts decided to upgrade it from an average cocktail reception to a wine-tasting event featuring "rare wines from France, Spain, and some excellent American labels," according to an e-mailed invitation.
The Dole campaign sees women, and especially Wall Street women, as a largely untapped resource. The campaign has raised $1.4 million from women, 43 percent of its total. "Many of these women have shunned politics in the past," Dole spokesman Ari Fleischer said of the Wall Streeters. "Many of them will be registering to vote for the first time and registering Republican."
Researcher Ben White contributed to this report.