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November 11th, 2012

Kevin’s Korner: Post-Election Depression; Winners and Losers

Greetings and welcome to Kevin’s Korner. Confucius say, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall.”

We definitely fell on Tuesday. On the local, state and national level, Republicans were routed. Thankfully, there were a few who emerged victorious on our side. Here’s a look at the real winners and losers from last week.


Congressman Steve King: The conservative congressman withstood $5 million worth of negative attacks and emerged with a 9 point victory. How? By being honest, straight-forward and staying true to conservatism … King is a rare breed, both as a person and a politician. This country needs a lot more Steve Kings.

Congressman Tom Latham: Finally, someone overcame Leonard Boswell’s smear tactics. Latham assembled a good team, ran a strong campaign and sent Gollum Boswell into the fiery abyss.

Democrats: It’s time we faced the facts. The Dems kicked our butts. Period. That, and no other reason, is why we lost so handily on Tuesday. They out-organized Republicans on almost every level. The big difference between the Iowa Democrat Party and RPI is, IDP worked as one cohesive unit with the Obama campaign and every Dem on the ticket.

Hurricane Sandy: Like George W. Bush’s drunk driving arrest in 2000 to the Bin Laden tape in ’04, October surprises can impact elections in a major way. Sandy helped Obama win. There’s no doubt. Much more on Sandy coming up…

Marco Rubio: Meet the frontrunner for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. The 2016 Iowa Caucus cycle begins next Saturday, when Rubio headlines Governor Branstad’s annual birthday bash.

The GOP bench: Take some solace in knowing that we have a very strong bench of promising, young stars in our party who could someday ascend to the Oval Office. Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Bob McDonnell, Ken Cuccinelli, Kelly Ayotte, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee and more comprise a very strong group of potential presidential candidates … Several members of that group are under 50 … Take heart, Republicans. The future is bright.

Mike Gronstal: He’s back and still has the power to block every Iowa legislative bill that’s not liberal enough for him.

Gay Marriage: Like it or not, same-sex marriage is here to stay. Voters in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota approved it, Iowans kept Justice Wiggins and there’s no chance we will get to vote on the issue for at least two years. Maybe ever. This is a losing battle.

Chris Hagenow: It was only by 22 votes, but the Windsor Heights Republican stays in the Iowa House for another term. No matter the margin, a win is a win, and since we lost seven seats in the House, we needed this one. His opponent, self-proclaimed moderate Susan Judkins, will probably ask for a recount. And she will lose.

Charles Schneider: The West Des Moines City Councilman emerged from a strong field of candidates to claim the GOP nomination for Senate District 22. We lost a good senator with the passing of Pat Ward. I believe Schneider will win the special election on December 11 and will serve capably in the Iowa Senate.

Bill Dix: After his failed coup of 2011, the Shell Rock native is likely to get another chance at leading the Iowa Senate Republicans. More on that in a bit…

Political junkies in Iowa: You thought we were bombarded with candidates this time? Every Republican and Democrat with presidential aspirations will be begging for your vote over the next 3½ years in the lead-up to the Iowa Caucus. And every media outlet in the world will descend on our state. It’s going to be a madhouse.


Chris Christie: There’s a big reason I did not include him on the GOP 2016 bench. While Mr. Nanny Mike Bloomberg told President Obama to take his dog and pony show elsewhere in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Chris Christie disgracefully embraced Obama and his campaign photo-op … After four years of failing to reach across the aisle, Obama was finally able to appear bipartisan, thanks to the Chris Christie lovefest … Christie has campaigned here for Governor Branstad, Congressman King and others, but he will not be greeted nearly as warmly by Iowa conservatives on his next visit. And he can forget about running in the 2016 Iowa Caucus.

Christie Vilsack: My clandestine, ubiquitous informants tell me Carpetbagger Christie was spotted moving out of her Ames apartment just two days after her resounding loss to Steve King … Back to D.C., eh? … You ran a disgraceful sham of a campaign, pretending to be a moderate and claiming you weren’t a “partisan fighter”, but attacked King every chance you got … Sure you’re not partisan, Christie … Just as I predicted you would vacate the Fourth District quicker than you can say, “I don’t know what the prebate is”, I predict you’re back working at the abortion mill by the end of the month.

Leonard Boswell and his overpaid, immature staff: Ol’ Gollum finally fell into the chasm of Mount Doom. Unable to smear Tom Latham, as he had so many others, Boswell was forced to run on his own liberal record and comments, which included supporting an increase in the federal gas tax and raising taxes on the middle class … That, combined with a staff of crybabies who had a meltdown when someone dared to ask Leonard a question about his record, and both Iowa and D.C. are better off without this crew representing us.

Chris Matthews: Mr. Tingles was so giddy about Obama’s victory on Election Night, he actually said, on-the-air, “I’m so glad we had that storm last week.” … Yes, really … Because it helped Obama get reelected … Hey Chris, why don’t you tell Glenda Moore, whose two and four-year old sons were ripped from her arms and swept away by the storm, how glad you are … 120 people are dead and thousands are suffering …  Unfathomable idiocy, the hallmark of MSDNC.

Jerry Behn: The Iowa Senate Republican leader is a nice guy and he delivered some good speeches, but failed in his ultimate goal, which was reclaiming the majority. Behn did not do a good job raising money and we’re paying the price for it … The Senate Republicans convene their caucus on Wednesday and it is highly likely that Behn’s days as their leader will end.

AJ Spiker: Remember RPI’s press release a few months back, with Spiker boasting about how he’s the first Iowa GOP chairman in six years to preside over a party that leads Democrats in registration? Well, that lead of 21,000 evaporated quicker than you can say, “Mitt Romney has my full support” … Spiker wants to take the credit when things are going good, that means he has to accept responsibility when things go bad. And things went bad on Tuesday. Spiker presided over a party that got its ass kicked by a significant margin … I would call for his resignation, but with the make-up of this central committee, I fear they could saddle us with someone much, much worse…

The GOP State Central Committee: They voted to waste $70,000 by giving every GOP legislative candidate on the ballot a $500-$1,000 donation … One prominent SCC member said this decision showed “no intellectual firepower” … Instead of focusing on winning the senate by helping candidates in close races with sizable donations, senate candidates who couldn’t even surpass 35% of the vote and never had a chance got the same amount as incumbents like Merlin Bartz and Shawn Hamerlinck … A complete waste. But hey, as long as all the Ron Paul backers on the ballot got some seed money, that’s all that matters.

Reince Priebus: Just like Spiker, Chairman Priebus presided over an abysmal performance by Republicans. Two years after historic gains in the U.S. House, we moved backwards … Priebus is also about as exciting a speaker as Tim Pawlenty. His jokes aren’t nearly as corny, though.

The Pottawattamie County GOP central committee: For some reason, they endorsed Colonel Al Ringgenberg a year before the Republican primary. That was an ill-advised move. The central committee should have stayed out of it and let the voters pick the winner. There were other interested candidates who did not run because the Pott GOP cleared the field for Colonel Al … A contested primary would have produced the best person and made him/her a better candidate … Ringgenberg worked hard and ran a good campaign, but he lost by 10% … I’ve said it before, but it obviously bears repeating: Central committees should remain neutral during primaries.

Bob Vander Plaats: Another election failure for BVP, even though his name wasn’t on the ballot this time. As I pointed out above, it is time to face the facts that fighting against gay marriage is a losing battle. It’s here to stay … Don’t worry, though. Like the killer in a horror movie, BVP will return for yet another sequel, in some form or fashion. Bank on it.

The Romney campaign: From the spokespeople who gave us classics like “etch-a-sketch”, to their campaign ads which were inferior to Obama’s, to their untested voter turnout app which failed mightily on Election Day, the Romney campaign blew it … In fact, the candidate overachieved his campaign by winning the first debate handily and drawing huge, enthusiastic crowds in the final weeks … The Romney campaign got beat organizationally and Republican candidates across the country suffered because of it.

Anyone who voted third party, write-in or didn’t vote: Some of the self-righteous, self-proclaimed “true conservatives” have sore arms because they’ve been patting themselves on the back all week after not voting for Mitt Romney … Congrats, guys. Feel proud. You just helped our most liberal president ever get reelected. You also insured you, your kids and your grandkids will be forced to deal with Obamacare, more regulation, more abortion, more government handouts, more debt, and more deficit. Great job, geniuses … Jesus Christ wasn’t on the ballot this year. You had two choices, and for all of Romney’s faults, he is miles and miles better than Obama on practically every issue.

Paulistinians: They’re still convinced Ron Paul would have beaten Obama. Even though he could not win a single state in the GOP primary. And no, getting the most delegates five in states does not mean he won … Reality waved bye-bye to the Paulistinians long ago.

The Romney/Ryan ticket: Mitt wasn’t my first, second or third choice, but I thought he did a pretty good job as a candidate in the general election, for the most part … Paul Ryan brought some energy to the ticket, but he made no impact in terms of winning, including his home state of Wisconsin … I like Ryan, but Florida Senator Marco Rubio would have been a better choice. At least he would have helped win Florida and likely helped make gains with the Hispanic population.

Karl Rove: The mastermind behind the 2000 and 2004 George W. Bush victories has lost his mojo and even his grip on reality. When Fox News called Ohio for Obama on Election Night, Rove disputed the call live on-the-air … His PAC also sunk $300 million into elections and emerged with very few victories. Rove failed big time.

General Petraeus: Why was the director of the CIA being investigated by the FBI for an extra-marital affair? Very odd … And isn’t it convenient that Petraeus was scheduled to testify before Congress about the Benghazi disaster this week? Hmmm…

Those saying we should abandon conservatism: Whenever Republicans lose, all the naysayers say its time to abandon conservative principles and become more like Democrats. Then we come back in two years stronger than before, like in 2010 … We have to stand up for the principles we believe in, but we have got to learn how to deliver our message better (see Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock for lessons in abject failure in this department) … It is time for Republicans to define who we are and stop letting the media and the Democrats (same thing) do it for us. But we have to do it intelligently … Our pro-life values and stances on fiscal conservatism are the correct ones. We show people that by winning hearts and minds.

All of us: Those who don’t want this country to turn into a welfare state lost. Those who care about massive debt and deficits being passed on to our children and grandchildren lost. Those who care more about America’s energy independence than sage grout habitats lost. God help us.

The Hawkeyes: Purdue? Four in a row? Really? Ouch.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for dropping by. Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for

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