A good crowd turned out last Saturday (13 October) at the Iowa State Fairgrounds for the second annual Governor Kim Reynold’s Harvest Festival. Attendees stoked up on pulled pork, mac & cheese, baked beans, and pie. No stronger drink than apple cider was available, but everyone was still riding high from watching the pummeling of Fred Hubbell in the gubernatorial debate on the previous Wednesday evening.
Acting Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg emceed the event once the speeches began. The first and perhaps most spirited speech was given by Jeff Kaufmann, Chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa, who castigated Hubbell for failing to release even a summary of his tax returns, after promising to release them in full, and for not knowing the name or title of Linda Upmeyer, the Speaker of the Iowa House of Representatives; he also recalled the deer-in-the-headlights look of Hubbell in the now legendary first gubernatorial debate. Lt. Gov. Gregg in his own remarks likewise emphasized the experience of Gov. Reynolds, stressing that the governor deals only with the top problems.
Gov. Reynolds in her speech stated that it was an honor to serve as the 43rd Governor of Iowa; she introduced herself as the daughter of a factory worker and farmer, and said that she understood from her own experience the challenges faced by everyday Iowans. She criticized Hubbell for constantly tearing down our state, and contrasted herself with him by pointing out that his solution for every problem is more government involvement, higher taxes and higher spending.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley spoke briefly but forcefully. He stated that Iowa is “on a roll” and asked why anyone would want to make changes; he also asked why Iowans should elect a gubernatorial candidate who wants to raise taxes, and who wants to increase education spending when we are already spending more than ever before. He gave Iowans an additional reason to support Gov. Reynolds, pointing out that the governor would be entrusted with appointing a U.S. Senator should a vacancy occur in either seat, and that he would not want a Democrat governor to appoint a Democrat senator. He even furnished Republican and conservative voters with a rallying cry: “I hope for the next 23 days the battle cry of our campaigns, all of our campaigns, including the re-election of Kim Reynolds, is ‘Remember Kavanaugh!”
The final speaker of the evening was Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary. She described Iowa as her “second-favorite state,” mentioned that she met her husband in Iowa, recalled doing “the full Grassley” (visiting all 99 counties) while working on the presidential campaign of her father, and claimed that she had visited every Casey’s and Pizza Ranch in the state. She congratulated Sen. Grassley for “single-handedly” securing the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, precipitating a standing ovation for our senior senator, and complimented Gov. Reynolds on the budget surplus.
Sarah also told the story of visiting Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, as a young girl, and called the museum complex a reminder of “what happens when good people do nothing.” Telling such a story, and drawing such a conclusion, in the context of a political campaign might seem like overblown rhetoric to some, but after watching Democrat senators jettison the presumption of innocence during the Kavanaugh hearings, and seeing the left employ character assassination and encourage mob violence to block his appointment, the comparison does not seem out of place—least of all in Iowa, where the Democrat candidate for governor routinely refers to abortion as “healthcare,” and his wife can be seen cavorting in a T-shirt promoting Planned Parenthood.
Several polls suggest that the behavior of the Democrats during the confirmation process—and afterward, since they are now threatening to impeach Justice Kavanaugh—is erasing the enthusiasm gap between the parties, and that there is a “Kavanaugh effect” which will greatly benefit Republican candidates on Nov. 6th.