I’ll be really honest, I don’t really know what to make out of all this talk about Terry Branstad running for governor. I understand the attraction. Iowa Republicans are desperate for a victory, and like so many times before, many of them would be more than willing to just back someone who they can believe will win.
But didn’t we think Jim Ross Lightfoot was going to win? His own campaign did. Remember his campaign slogan: Iowa need Governor Lightfoot? It’s never a good idea to claim the title you are campaigning for before you win the contest. Jim Nussle was supposed to win as well, and it sure looked like that was going to happen until Labor Day. So I’m sorry if I’m a little hesitant to buy in to this mind set.
The one thing that scares me about Branstad running again is the Fred Thompson factor. Remember in the summer of 2007 when the thought of Thompson captivated the political talking-heads. Then Fred came on to the political scene and stunk up the place? Yeah, that’s what I’m worried about.
Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t think Branstad could ever be as bad of a candidate as Fred Thompson was, but I do think that he might have a hard time living up to people’s expectations. Branstad is a skilled politician, but what if he has some difficult days on the campaign trail?
Another problem for a potential Branstad campaign is Doug Gross. There is no way you could convince me that he would not be involved. We know he’s out there looking for a candidate. We know he polled on his former boss, but didn’t release the details. And we also know that he is desperate to find a candidate. Yet, how can Doug Gross help Branstad in what looks to be hotly contested primary fight when he has spent almost two entire years campaigning against the base of the party?
I’ll have a little more on the Republican gubernatorial race later this week.
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