October 8th, 2009

Initial Thoughts on Candidate Branstad – Off to a Rough Start

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Written by: Krusty Konservative

terryAs I was leaving my office at the world headquarters last night, I was able to catch a few minutes of Steve Deace’s radio show. Deace was telling his listeners about how he predicted that Branstad would run a couple months ago. Deace is telling the truth. He did predict this would happen a few months ago, but I thought I’d remind people that it was yours truly who first brought up the idea that Branstad was the apple in Doug Gross’ eye. I first started to write about on May 4th.

It’s not the first time I’ve been ahead of the curve. While Steve Deace was busy doing weekly interviews with John Cox, I stuck my neck out in January of 2007 and declared Mike Huckabee as my breakout candidate of the year. Not a bad track record that I’ve established. Now, if I could just do a better job of predicting election results…

I just thought someone needed to give Mr. Deace a hard time. No malice is intended my friend. I just feel the need to throw down on occasion.

In terms of Branstad as a candidate, I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’ll examine the impact I think he will have on the race next week, but here are some of my initial thoughts.

Anyone who thinks that this guy is old and has been out of the game too long, doesn’t know Branstad. If Branstad is old and washed up at 63, does that mean Congressman King (60) and Congressman Latham’s (61) days are numbered? I sure hope not. If you want an example of being too old, it’s Leonard Boswell who is 75. Boswell is hard to understand and doesn’t even interact with his constituents. Both Senators Grassley (76) and Harkin (69) are getting up there in years, but both seem relatively young, however, both experience senior moments on occasion. Anyways, old in politics is Boswell, not Branstad.

In terms of being out of the game too long, that’s probably a bonus for Branstad, not a hindrance. Sure, Branstad’s been out of office for a number of years, but he has kept his finger on the pulse of what is going on in the state better than most. What I often times think is overlooked is that Branstad’s position at DMU has allowed him to keep in constant contact with donors across the state. In fact, Branstad’s donor base has probably increased since leaving office.

The problem I have with Branstad’s candidacy isn’t the candidate, it’s the people behind the scenes, specifically Doug Gross and Dave Roederer. Both have been involved in politics forever, and both are intelligent people. The problem is, they both bring Branstad unnecessary headaches.

Gross has made it his mission to put the social conservative in their place within the Republican Party. Doug doesn’t want to put them in a little room. He wants them stuffed in the freezer. Gross has also been on the wrong side of eminent domain issues. Roederer chaired Bush’s 2004 Iowa campaign and did the same for McCain in 2008. Like Gross, he too has advocated that the Republican Party needs to stop talking about social issues. Instead of being against property rights like Gross, he led the Project Destiny campaign in Dallas, Polk, and Warren counties. Project Destiny was a scheme to raise the sales tax in order to give Principal Financial Group a huge break on their property taxes.

Here is the problem for Team Branstad. If this race is about Terry Branstad and his record (the good and the bad), I think he wins. If this race is about Doug Gross, Dave Roederer, and the rest of the crew, he loses. Thus far, Team Branstad wants it to be about everyone but Branstad. Why else would you leak a story to the Des Moines Register that focuses not on the candidate, but everyone who was behind it? Talk about a stupid move.

About the Author

Krusty Konservative
Herschel Krustofski is the pseudonym for the anonymous author of Krusty Konservative, a blog which focuses on Iowa Politics. Created in February of 2006, Krusty Konservative is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the Iowa blogosphere. Since its conception, Krusty Konservative has never shied from tackling controversial issues, and providing insight to the inner workings of Republican politics in Iowa.

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