Politics is a small, strange world. Politics is also a relationship business. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Sure, there are other professions in which that is the case, but politics is the ultimate networking game.
How else can you explain that the guy rumored to be the next Executive Director of the Republican Party of Iowa was recently fired from the Republican National Committee for sticking his nose where it didn’t belong? Well, if the chatter coming from a few members of the State Central Committee is correct, then the former Deputy Political Director at the RNC, Jim Anderson, is about to take over the reins at the Republican Party of Iowa.
As Deputy Political Director at the RNC, Anderson served under Gentry Collins who is the RNC’s Political Director. Collins, who worked for Romney before becoming a Regional Campaign Manager for McCain’s general election campaign, hired Anderson to run the Victory program here in Iowa. I’m told that Anderson didn’t like to travel outside of Polk County much and lacked motivation. The one thing I’m told he was good at is trashing the house he stayed in.
Anyway, Collins brought Anderson with him to the RNC, but Anderson was canned when he inserted himself into a personnel issue at the RNC. As I said earlier, politics is all about relationships, and when you pick the wrong side, sometimes you get burned. Anderson also has the gift of gab and was a member of the downtown drinking gang during his previous time here in Iowa. Apparently he runs his mouth a little bit after a having a few drinks and ends up sharing a little too much information. People like me kind of enjoy this, but I think you can all understand why that might be a problem.
It’s probably a safe bet that Collins was looking out for his buddy and found him another gig in Iowa. I’m also told that Strawn and Anderson became buddies while Strawn was working for Congressman Mike Rogers and Anderson worked for the Department of Commerce. Rogers serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee.
On one hand, you can understand why Strawn might reach out to a friend who has experience in operating a voter turnout program in Iowa. One the other hand, since it’s not a presidential year, you have to wonder if the RNC will be dumping a lot of financial resources into the state to fund such a program. In off year elections, it’s typically been the gubernatorial nominee who runs the turnout program for Republicans.
Still, one has to wonder why Strawn would give the keys to RPI who just got fired from the RNC. If Anderson, in his new position, does need to work with RNC, isn’t that going to be a bit awkward since they just fired him? Making matters worse, I’ve had a hard time finding someone that has something nice to say about him. Most of the comments I’ve received about him are not things I would feel comfortable publishing in this article. And, for me, that’s saying something.
Strawn’s selection of Anderson will not become final until Saturday when the State Central Committee votes on his selection. Very rarely does the State Central Committee opt not to confirm a chairman’s pick for Executive Director. Still, anything can happen. My sources on the committee tell me that they would have preferred promoting someone from within the building, but those people where not ever in contention.
Let’s just hope Anderson doesn’t trash the party like he trashed the house he stayed in the last time he lived in the state.
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