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June 1st, 2011

Iowa Donors Strike Out – They Should Have Traveled to Austin Instead of Trenton

By Craig Robinson

A group of influential Republican businessmen flew to New Jersey yesterday afternoon in an attempt to convince Governor Chris Christie to run for president. The group, which included mostly Republican donors, became smitten with Christie after he keynoted a fundraising event for Governor Branstad’s campaign last fall.

The courting of Christie is nothing new, but this is the first time a group of people from Iowa or any other state has actually sat down with Christie to encourage him to run.  Christie’s willingness to confront difficult budget issues head on has made him a star within the Republican Party.

Christie has taken hard line in reducing spending in New Jersey.  He’s halted a $9 billion train tunnel project between New York and New Jersey.  He’s also confronted the teachers’ union and other public employee unions, which are confrontations that most elected officials try to avoid.

Even though Christie’s star shines bright, many don’t believe he will actually run for president in 2012. has learned that a recent attempt by Congressmen Steve King to meet with Governor Christie was denied.  Apparently Christie is interested in running for president, but would rather run in 2016 instead of against an incumbent Democrat in 2012.

If Christie is successful in reforming his state and gets re-elected in 2013, he will be a clear front-runner for the Republican nomination in 2016.  If this group of donors is serious about finding a candidate to join the race who could go toe-to-toe with President Obama, they should have traveled south to the Governor’s mansion in Austin, Texan, instead of heading to Trenton, New Jersey.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is coming off an impressive re-election campaign in which he not only was re-elected, but also withstood a primary challenge by U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, whom he defeated by over 20 points.  Unlike Christie, Perry has shown interest in running in 2012.  More importantly, a Perry candidacy would fill a gaping hole in the Republican presidential field.

The current field of Republican candidates includes a businessman who’s never held elected office (Herman Cain), two members of the U.S. House of Representatives (Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul), a former U.S. Senator  (Rick Santorum), and two former Governors from blue states (Pawlenty and Romney).  What the field lacks is a conservative governor from a red state, and Perry fits that profile perfectly.

While it seems unlikely that Governor Christie will join the 2012 field, he actually reiterated that he would not run in 2012 after dining with the Iowa crew, there is a good chance that another high profile candidate will join the race.  Maybe instead of candidates needing to be convinced by outsiders, some other qualified candidate will just recognize that America can’t withstand another four more years of President Obama and decide to run on his or her own.

If my history serves me correctly, Madison, Jefferson, Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan didn’t need to be convinced to run for president.  Instead, they knew what needed to be done and stepped up to the plate.  That’s what the current crop of candidates have done, and that’s what we should expect of any additional candidates who join the race.

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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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