Former Governor Terry Branstad continues to flirt with the idea of mounting a political comeback by running for governor again. The most recent round of chatter surrounding Branstad stems from an article that Tom Beaumont wrote in the Des Moines Register. In that article, Branstad sounds more and more like a guy who is running for Governor.
Branstad told Beaumont. “I’m not ruling it out, because I care deeply about the state, and I have real concerns about the direction things are going.” That’s a lot different from Branstad’s stock answer of “I’m focusing on my job as President of Des Moines University, but I never say never.”
Beaumont’s article also states that Branstand has been accepting invitations to speak at county Republican events, another indication of how serious Branstad is about mounting a comeback. The Branstad chatter isn’t confined to only Iowa either. The Washington Post reports today that national Republicans have begun to recruit Branstad heavily.
The speculation surrounding Branstad has cast a huge shadow over the rest of the Republican gubernatorial field. From all indications, the major Republican donors are sitting tight until they know if Branstad is going to run or not. With those donors on the sidelines, it makes it more difficult for some of the current gubernatorial candidates to get their campaigns off the ground.
While one could only speculate on how a Branstad candidacy would impact the current field, I think it’s safe to say that some candidates would get out of the race and either return to their current positions or seek a different office. That said, there is probably one candidate who is in it for the long haul, Bob Vander Plaats.
On a different note, does anyone else find it odd that the Des Moines Register failed to mention TheIowaRepublican.com poll that shows that Branstad would kill Culver in a head-to-head match-up? Instead they site Doug Gross’ poll that just showed that more than 50% would like a candidate like Branstad. Meanwhile all the other media outlets have cited the TIR poll as the trigger for all the Branstad speculation.
Seems to me that the Register hates TIR as much as some of us at TIR hate the Register. Maybe the Register should have conducted their own poll. But I guess they would need the financial resources to do that…
So what say you? Should we bring back the mustache?
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