WASHINGTON – Some high-profile Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (search) and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (search) fanned out across Iowa Monday to attend the party's own caucuses and begin the process of nominating President Bush for a second term.
Bush's re-election campaign sent party leaders to several locations to motivate attendees of the caucuses, which were expected to generate little drama. As expected, Bush has no opposition in the state.
Still, state party officials say the 32 delegates that Iowa will send to this summer's Republican National Convention (search) in New York won't officially be allocated to Bush until the state party's own convention in June.
Frist, R-Tenn., was to attend the caucus in Ankeny, Iowa, while Giuliani was traveling to Cedar Rapids. Other GOP leaders in Iowa included Sen. Rick Santorum (search), R-Pa., and House Majority Leader Tom Delay of Texas.
"They are here to motivate and rally the Republicans and get them excited," said state party spokeswoman Kristin Scuderi.
A straw poll of Republican caucus attendees is typically taken during years when the nomination is contested. That won't take place this year, and attendees instead will focus on electing local party officials and representatives to county Republican conventions in March.