This week’s idiot is a special one as it encompasses the entire 2nd Congressional District. In a year that is shaping up to be 1994 Jr., Republican primary voters in the district don’t have much to choose from when selecting a candidate to face-off against a weak democrat who votes in lock step with Nancy Pelosi.
Mariannette Miller-Meeks is back again after she became the nominee in 2008. She won a primary that few believed she could against Peter Teahen. There are noticeable differences between her 2008 and 2010 campaigns. In 2008, she assembled a solid team of political operatives to advise her. With their help she was able to raise enough money to pay for really good TV and radio ads. This gave her instant credibility, and while she was the candidate from Ottumwa, she looked like a big time candidate.
This year, none of Miller-Meeks’ original team are back in the fold except for Vander Plaats campaign manager Eric Woolson. It’s a little odd that Woolson is wearing two hats and has two difficult primaries to win, but he’s just being paid to do Miller-Meeks’ communication work.
Miller-Meeks ended up losing by a much wider margin than anyone expected. Some blame the flood, others point to Obama being on the ballot, and some think she ignored her handler’s advice. This time around, Miller-Meeks has replaced the “I’m a conservative wink, wink” strategy with a much more overt “I don’t need them conservatives” mantra and it seems to be wearing thin with voters south of Iowa City. Her campaign this time around lacks excitement and money almost as much as it does professional guidance.
Miller-Meeks is an idiot for over-reacting and over-analyzing her 2008 campaign. She had some good people on board last time, people she might again need if she is to be successful.
Chris Reed joins the field this time around following a forgettable candidacy for the U.S. Senate in 2008. Reed actually won that primary by getting in late and with just enough money to buy his self some nice suits. The theme of his candidacy is “I’m more conservative than Millier-Meeks” and “Rathje is a jerk”. The first one we already know and the second is evidence that he is in this race to settle a score over the senate primary from two years ago. Chris, you won that primary. Move on. At this rate we will be seeing a Reed vs. Rathje battle for the right to be the republican nominee for Linn County recorder in 2012.
Chris Reed is an idiot for not doing more to cement himself as the alternative to Miller-Meeks.
Steve Rathje. This one is interesting. Rathje also had a forgettable involvement in the 2008 U.S. Senate primary after having been in that race for nearly 6 years and had a third place finish to show for it. Having said that, this time he raised over $60,000 and has polished his stump speech, which after 8 years of giving it should be polished.
I wouldn’t call it a war chest, more like a good wad of cash in his campaign cigar box. Although it is more than his opponents have combined and nearly 20 times what Reed has on hand. I did laugh however when team Rathje sent out a press release saying they raised another $15k. Settle down there Steve, keep them guessing.
Rathje is not in a bad position, except what else has he got going for him? Does he have a grassroots network? What about a professional experienced team of advisors and staff? Is his campaign about more than just ego? Like his opponents, the answers are no, no and no. Rathje is the frontrunner if only for his fundraising which brings me to another inconvenient point.
Rathje isn’t an idiot… yet. I’m sure he will find a way to screw up, like skipping a televised debate or something.
While the 2nd CD primary kind of reminds me of a bad reality show, I hope these candidates realize the ultimate goal isn’t winning the primary, but beating Dave Loebsack. It is not enough to win a primary for the sake of one’s ego. You must win the general election. To not have a minimum of $100,000 after the first reporting period is a clear sign it is unlikely that there will ever be that much in any of their coffers. It will take between $400-500,000 after the primary to be competitive in the general against Loebsack. And don’t fool yourselves, donors do look at past ability to raise money and will be woefully underwhelmed.
So why is it that these are the only choices for the second district to choose from? The answer is not to look at who is running, but rather who isn’t. The A-Team if you will is sitting this year out and eyeing 2012 redistricting. Republicans in the second district should have urged someone new to step up and seize this opportunity with the Democrat brand imploding.
Instead, the entire 2nd District is this week’s idiot.
One more idiot…
The San Diego Chargers – Always sucks when you let a player walk who ends up being a Super Bowl MVP. IDIOTS
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