Before we get too far in to this please understand that I don’t care if Vander Plaats ever endorses Branstad or not. I don’t really think it’s all that important. Contrary to popular belief, nobody is out there saying, “oh my gosh, why hasn’t Bob endorsed Terry Branstad?”
What people are worked up about is that Vander Plaats is indicating that he may run as an independent, a move that could help Governor Culver win reelection. Please, don’t confuse the two. If Bob doesn’t want to endorse or help Branstad that’s fine, just don’t do something stupid and help Culver in the process.
Bob would be well served to listen to the words of Motley Crue, another great group of political thinkers. In their song, “Just Go Away,” the Crue or maybe that should be Krue… says, “Girl, don’t go away mad, Girl, just go away, Girl, don’t go away mad, Now girl, just go away.” Replace the word “girl” with Bob and you have some sound political advice.
Now hear me out, I’m not saying that Bob can’t be involved in politics, I’m just saying he needs to give it a rest for a bit. He’s still young and has a lot to offer, but all that goes away if he and his supporters enlist for the suicide mission they have been bantering about.
Okay, lets get back to Huckabee. As some of you know, I was Huckabee before being Huckabee was kool. I pegged him as my breakout candidate on January 3rd of 2007, long before he took root in Iowa. Obviously I like the guy, and think he is a talented communicator. But it seems like some of his supporters and advisors are about to drag him into this whole Vander Plaats mess. The selfish move will do nothing to help Vander Plaats, and could end any future presidential ambitions Huckabee may have.
Hogan Gidley, the executive director or Huck PAC told Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post, “It would be disrespectful to Mr. Vander Plaats and to many of Gov. Huckabee’s friends and supporters in Iowa if he were to endorse Gov. Branstad without Mr. Vander Plaat’s having already done so.”
Look, I get the fact that the Huckabee people don’t want to piss off Vander Plaats, but let’s not forget that Huckabee has already endorsed Senator Chuck Grassley. Lets also not forget that Huckabee and Vander Plaats’ campaign manager is now employed by Grassley too.
Caring about a former candidate’s feelings shouldn’t be of concern to Gidley. What he and Huckabee need to think about is what happens if Vander Plaats run as an independent. Can Mike Huckabee back him and still leave open the idea of running for president in 2012? I don’t think so. Leaving the Republican Party now make it difficult to maintain your influence in the 2012 caucuses, which actually will take place in Iowa in 2011.
Vander Plaats needs to set his frustration with Branstad aside and look at the big picture. If he runs as an independent this fall, he will no longer be hired gun when the caucuses roll around. Such a decision would hurt him financially. Secondly, if he runs as an independent and expects every legislator who endorsed him as well as other politicians like Huckabee, he is putting them in a tough spot.
An independent run by Vander Plaats has far more consequences than meet the eye. Comment’s like the ones that Hogan Gidley show that the people the closest to Huckabee have not considered all of the ramifications that are involved with the situation.
Vander Plaats has put Huckabee in a tough position. If he does run as an independent, he is basically going to take Mike Huckabee down with him. That would be a shame.
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