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May 5th, 2009

Vander Plaats hits the Big Apple to be a Guest on Huckabee

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Written by: Craig Robinson
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78599744JS059_HUCKABEE_CAMPOne of the great things about the Iowa Caucuses is the simple fact that Iowans get to meet, interact, and become friends with all different sorts of people. While working for Steve Forbes in 1999, I was able to meet numerous interesting people. You got to know some better than others, but in the end, you learn a little something from everyone with which you come in contact.

On the other hand, when you are the Political Director of the Republican Party during the caucuses, you don’t make friends with anybody. That’s not to say you still don’t get the opportunity to meet interesting people. I’ll never forget my 26 minutes behind the stage at the Lincoln Dinner with John McCain while Tommy Thompson spoke. To say it was awkward would be an understatement. Thompson was only supposed to speak for nine minutes.

This past weekend, we were able to see how one friendship that was created during the 2008 Iowa Caucuses could have an impact on the 2010 gubernatorial race. Bob Vander Plaats was a guest on Mike Huckabee’s show on the Fox News Network this past weekend.

Vander Plaats was on Huckabee to talk about the recent Iowa Supreme Court decision that allowed for same-sex couples to get married in our state. Vander Plaats used his appearance to continue to push Governor Culver to sign an executive order that would stay same-sex marriage until the people of Iowa have an opportunity to vote on an amendment to the Iowa Constitution. Huckabee also invited Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Governor Culver, and representatives from Lambda Legal to appear on his show. They all declined.

Huckabee introduced Vander Plaats as a “political activist from Iowa” who is leading a bi-partisan effort that is focused on allowing the people of Iowa to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage. Huckabee backed up Vander Plaats’ claim that Governor Culver could have stood up to the courts instead of allowing the judicial branch of government usurp the power of the legislature.

When introducing Vander Plaats, Huckabee explained to the audience that he and Bob were long-time friends, and that Vander Plaats had been his campaign chairman for his Iowa caucus campaign. Huckabee also said that the reason he invited Vander Plaats to be on his show is because he trusts Bob, knows him, and knows what motivates Bob to be a part of this. Not a bad endorsement from the guy who won the Iowa Caucuses just over a year ago. Huckabee also added that there is a good chance that Bob might run for Governor. Vander Plaats has yet to formally announce his campaign.

Vander Plaats told The Iowa Republican that Huckabee emailed him, along with Eric Woolson, Huckabee’s former campaign manager who now handles the media for Vander Plaats, a week ago about appearing on his show. Vander Plaats and his wife Darla flew to New York on Friday and taped the show on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Vander Plaats said that, while in town, he and Darla caught the show “Jersey Boys” and went out for dinner. Before heading back to Iowa, Vander Plaats took a run through Central Park.

Mike Huckabee is scheduled to be back in Iowa next month to speak at the Iowa Association of Business and Industry conference in Okoboji. Huckabee will also headline a fundraiser for Vander Plaats’ campaign at the Majestic Pavilion at Arnold’s Park while he is in the state.

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.

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