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May 31st, 2013

Random Thoughts and Observations

It’s difficult to take Jack Hatch seriously. I didn’t attend Jack Hatch’s press conference this week announcing that he may announce that he’s running for governor, but I did watch this brief video.

Nice backdrop for a press conference Jack.

A huge mirror, a couch, eccentric flowers, and some strange artwork doesn’t convey much of a message to voters.  TV cameramen don’t like campaign signs and banners with too much white on them, but Sen. Hatch found the one thing that is even worse, a mirror.

It’s also hard to take Hatch seriously considering that he told a Democrat colleague that leadership was treating them like “[N words], like master and slaves.”  That’s what Iowa needs, a governor who likes to throw the N word around.

Remember this TIR Duffy Cartoon?

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Matt Schultz made the right decision.  Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz joined every other prominent Iowa Republican in taking a pass on running for the open U.S. Senate seat.  Schultz has a young family and will have plenty of opportunities to run for higher office in the future.  I understand how tempting it must have been to run for the seat after so many had taken a pass, but by waiting, Schultz will be better prepared for the next opportunity that comes his way.  He has a bight future, and going all-in on the U.S. Senate race would have been a risky move.

At least Matt Whitaker wants to run for the U.S. Senate.  Almost a month has passed since Whitaker told Simon Conway that he will formally announce his candidacy in June.  That month has been a bumpy ride for the former Iowa Hawkeye football player and U.S. Attorney.

I think Kathie Obradovich nailed it when she suggested Whitaker had an “identity crisis.”  Whitaker told Obradovich that he didn’t think it was necessary to repeal Obamacare and then did a quick reversal when he began to take heat from activists for it.  He also told Conway that he views himself as a Rand Paul/Ted Cruz kind of Senator, and then at the Polk County GOP dinner a week ago, he made a statement that we need leaders who will go to Washington to reform it, not just grandstand by filibustering on an issue.

Whitaker’s all over the place and would be well served to stop trying to appeal to whatever audience he is speaking to.

Where is Joni Ernst?  Is it just me, or did all the buzz surrounding Ernst’s candidacy stop as soon as the legislative session came to a close?  That’s not a good sign for her.

Whitaker, Ernst & Young LLC.  The potential Republican field of candidates sounds like a law firm or an accounting firm.

Paulsen is serious about running for Congress.  He called to tell me so.  More on that in the weeks ahead.

Media Bias?  So when a Democrat State Senator says he might run for governor, he gets his name in the headline, but when the Republican Speaker of the House says he might run for congress he gets a generic “GOP lawmaker” headline. 

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I’m really sorry I missed Governor Branstad singing about education reform.

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TIR had a good week.  Let’s see, we broke the news on David Young resigning as Senator Grassley’s Chief of Staff so he could run for the Senate himself.  Then we followed that up with the exclusive news that Matt Schultz would not be running for the Senate.   The Paulsen for Congress stuff has been floating out there for a while, but the Register was asleep on that story as well.  All told, the Register hasn’t broken ANY Republican U.S. Senate news this year.  Simon Conway has.  NBC News has.  TIR has.  Tom Latham and Bill Northey just emailed or tweeted their decisions, so news has broken there.  It’s really amazing.

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Oh, and to cap it all off, I won the trivia contest on MSNBC’s Daily Rundown on Wednesday morning.  The question was, “When was the last time a U.S. Senator from Iowa chose not to seek re-election?”  Norm Sterzenbach, the former Executive Director of the Iowa Democratic Party (and a good guy) guessed 1960.  My answer was 1974, when Harold Hughes retired. I was right, which is kinda funny, since Hughes was Democrat.


Enjoy the weekend.


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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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