Gov. Reynolds Doesn’t Just Win First Debate, But Showcases Some Style

By: Alex Byrnes

In an otherwise solid profile piece of Kim Reynolds in the Des Moines Register last week, supporters of Fred Hubbell were pretty clear that they didn’t think Gov. Reynolds is smart enough to be Governor.

“Political observers and supporters of her Democratic challenger, Fred Hubbell, cede her everyday Iowan image, but cite some unknowns: Can she wonk it up on the issues?”

Well, they have their answer after last night. Not only can she “wonk it up”, she had the strength and presence to dominate him in the first debate.

It was Governor Kim Reynolds’ moment last night. Her opportunity to shine for this first gubernatorial debate and she did. Among the highlights was this Medicaid exchange highlighted by theDes Moines Register:

Hubbell, who previously has said he would return to the state-run system if elected, responded by saying that per-member costs are rising. But Reynolds said despite the criticisms, reverting back to the old Medicaid system would be costly and difficult.

“You’re just talking about everything people want to hear,”Reynolds said. “You’re not talking about how you’re going to fund the system going forward.”

The Republican Governor solidified her status as a strong candidate who can balance her policy knowhow with her powerful, authentic personality. Hubbell appeared equal parts confused, rattled, uninformed and uninspiring.

Hubbell’s strategy was to try and convince voters of something most don’t see and won’t believe: that Iowa is on the wrong track. The Iowa Fred Hubbell describes sounds like a place nobody would want to live.

Reynolds strategy appears to be highlighting Iowa’s many successes, including savings from the tax cuts she signed this year. She repeatedly hit Hubbell for wanting to raise taxes on Iowa families.

Edge to Reynolds!

Reynolds was also able to sprinkle in her accomplishments and still put forward an optimistic vision. Iowans will see this debate for what it is. A governor who loves to serve and wants to keep serving and a Democrat who will do whatever it takes to try and bring her down.

This was a big moment for Governor Reynolds, and this might give her the best boost she’s had all year, especially in a close race.