One of the most frequent questions I get from my loyal Krustaceans is, “are you going to endorse a gubernatorial candidate?” Up until a few days ago the answer was probably not, but after talking to campaign insiders, listening to the radio, and seeing that Bob is racking up dozen on straw poll victories, he has earned my endorsement, and I hope you will follow my lead in supporting his campaign.
I sat down with Bob at an undisclosed Pizza Ranch the other day. Bob told me, “Krusty, we need a new leader in this state, but to be able to lead we first have to win, which is why leadership matters.” I had never really thought about it that way, and it changed the way I looked at Bob’s campaign.
While I wanted to believe Bob, I asked myself, “What would a leader do, Krusty?” As I thought about it, some of the world’s best-known leaders have surrounded themselves with other leaders. Presidents have their Cabinets, Governor’s have their staff, and heck, Jesus had the 12 Disciples. I then knew what I needed to do, I need to talk to some other political insiders to see if Vander Plaats is all that he cracks up to be.
The first person I contacted was Vander Plaats’ campaign manager Eric Woolson. While I understand that Woolson is biased towards his own candidate, this is the same guy who piloted Mike Huckabee through the Iowa Caucuses. As Barbara Mandrel would say, I was for Huckabee when Huckabee wasn’t cool. I named him my breakout candidate of 2007 in early January of that year. Woolson made me look like a pretty smart guy less than a year later, so maybe endorsing Vander Plaats now would give my street cred a little boost.
Woolson told me what every campaign manager would, that his candidate has this thing in the bag. He then rolled out the campaign’s strategy for the final months of the primary campaign. There are all the things you would expect to see. A floating Cross ad, a Chuck Norris and Mike Huckabee ad, a negative attack ad on Branstad that Bob plans to debut at a press conference but then decides not too, instead he will just give it to a few reporters. The final piece of the campaign, is announcing that Steve Deace will be Bob’s Lt. Governor pick. It’s all brilliant stuff.
I couldn’t just talk to Bob’s campaign manager; I needed to talk to other politicos across the state. I contacted Dave Funk and Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ communications staffer. Oddly enough they both have a guy named Eric Woolson who spoke highly of Vander Plaats. What are the odds of that happening?
Finally, I forced myself to face the fact that Bob Vander Plaats has dominated straw polls across this state. It’s not just that he is winning 80 to 90% of them, but Bob’s winning percentage in straw polls over the last ten years is better than Bill Belichick’s winning percentage in the NFL playoffs. Not only should Bob be elected governor, he should put in the Straw Poll Hall of Fame.
There comes a time when a person needs to just stop fighting it, and embrace it. Today, I will not only embrace Bob Vander Plaats, but I endorse his campaign.
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