Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Elephant in the Room

Congressman Steve King is definitely the elephant in the room in any Iowa state wide Republican primary discussion. As many of you know, King looked at running against Harkin this year and opted to stay in the U.S. House. We know he would have liked the fight against Harkin but with McCain as the Presidential Nominee and with Republican numbers declining, his best choice was to stay in the House. King is the Republican Party’s greatest asset and we need him working away at the liberals.

So which one is best for King and best for us? King is facing redistricting in 2012 and there is no assurance what the new district will bring. When Iowa goes to four districts, King may well represent two-thirds of Iowa from Congress. He may as well run statewide. I know eastern Iowa and the voters there will respond positively to King’s brand of politics. Any other candidate for Governor needs a primary to hone their message and political skills. King will come in to the contest already prepared and with a complete grasp of federal and state issues.

King is the rock star for the base. He is the de facto leader of the Republicans in Iowa. The biggest pro and biggest con are the same for Steve King: He is the best Congressman Iowa has, would be the best Governor Iowa can elect, and the best Senator for Iowa. He fits anywhere because of his political acumen, willingness to take the fight to our opponents, and unflinching support of all of our conservative principles. So Iowa Republicans will be divided over what role is best for him.

King’s other pros are that he’s energetic and won’t get out-campaigned by any other candidate. He’s loved by the base and is never shy about taking on a fight. He has won very comfortably three times for Congress and also won with even greater margins as an Iowa Senate candidate. King has federal and state experience and definitely has the most knowledge on the issues of any candidate. King has strong and growing name I.D. across the state and would be able to deliver with great margins the red areas of NW Iowa.

King’s cons are that he’s hated by the liberals and liberal media. He would probably have to pay for any good story in the papers. King has also made some enemies on issues which is bound to happen when you are out front on every important issue to Iowans. King’s name I.D. comes with a hitch. Some folks, mostly in eastern Iowa, only hear the the media's negative bias against King and never get past the first impression the Dem Moines Register gives them. King’s weakness since first running as a state senator was being able to raise money. He’s obviously taking care of this by working with Capitol Resources. He’s raised more money this cycle by far and he is just getting into the prime fundraising times of an election cycle.

It boils down to this - if King wants it, it’s his. I’ve rolled this around in my head for quite some time and can’t paint a picture where King doesn’t win the primary. The general on the other hand is much more difficult. We can have those conversations later though.

Once again, thank you for your comments, all of which were above the belt. I’d also like to thank QCI for the plugs!


Anonymous said...

I totally agree The KING is our best hope in 2010!. I wonder if that is why he brought on Bill Andersen because he is on State Central Committee and was Grassley's man in 2004

Anonymous said...

Speaking of staffers:

Maybe we can see a Zoolander-style "walk off" between Latham and King's political directors at GOPFest...HOT!

What do you say, Sporer?

Anonymous said...

Who are the political directors from Latham and Kings Camp?

That walk off sure would bring in the crowds. From what I remember about the last GOP fest I attended was that it lacked in attendence and enthusiasm even with Senator Frist there.

Anonymous said...

Great post Laudner

Anonymous said...

It is probably true that King would win a GOP primary for Governor. If he runs, it will be the most selfish thing he has ever done.

I’ve heard people say that we need to stop running sitting Members of Congress because they can’t win a race for governor.

While I don’t necessarily buy that argument, it is important to remember when talking about Steve King: THAT Congressman can’t win a race for Governor.

If King runs, he will keep good candidates out of the race, send the ones who do run packing, and then hand Culver his second term.

For the good of the party, and the state, he needs to stay right where he is.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:00

A lot of what you say sounds like what BVP used to say in his last run, right or wrong, it was pretty much his short lived campaign theme.

My question to you is this:

Do you think if BVP runs again, that is just as selfish as if SK runs?

I have no real horse in this race yet, but I'm leaning towards King and Whitaker. I'm just curious as to your take on that.

I just don't see where BVP is good for the Party anymore. I agreed with that post on his thread that stated when looking for new leadership, people look towards someone who's career arc is climbing (I'm paraphrasing).

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:55

I agree that BVP has used the argument about sitting Congressmen - a quick look at the Iowa Governor’s web page would seem to prove him right.

That doesn’t prove he needs to be the guy in 2010. If he runs, he has a huge hill to climb.

The list of potential candidates on this blog is impressive, and ought to get Iowa Republicans excited.

I just can’t imagine why we would want to sacrifice a force like King in the Congress. The original post was correct to point out that he has a great following in the party, but that his negatives state-wide are HUGE. His hill to climb is different, but possibly at least as big as the one facing BVP.

If BVP runs and loses, it isn't the end of the world. He’ll add a lot to the primary and rally the Huckabee conservatives to stay involved. He has already proven that he will get behind the nominee and support the party if he doesn’t get the nod.

If King runs and loses, Iowa may never recover. That’s a lot to say about one person, but it’s the condition we’re in. We NEED King to be where he is. That’s why a run for Governor would be selfish.

It’s public “service,” and if Steve King is our servant, he’ll do what’s right for us and the party.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the pro's and con's of a Steve King run. The con's are huge and that's why I'm also considering Whitaker.

Going back to my question, do you think a BVP run would be just as selfish as a King run?

Also, why wouldn't a Whitaker rally Huckabee conservatives? Why wouldn't a Pearson? Why wouldn't a Larson? Why wouldn't King rally those voters?

Truth is, we don't know if they would. Let's not give all credit for Huckabee's memorable victory to BVP. I think Huckabee the candidate had a little something to do with that :-)

Anonymous said...

Are you guys serious, we have people talking about a BVP run again???? Lets get real, I want either a proven leader like King or Larson or a fresh face like Pearson or Whitaker. But if I want 30% i will THEN look for BVP!!!

Anonymous said...

Selfish is not the word I would use for a King run for Governor. The poster who used that word obviously doesn't follow politics in Iowa. King is and always has been willing to sacrifice himself for the cause. If he believes his action will cause a political shift to the right, he will do it. It is that simple for him.

I also don't think selfish is the right word for a BVP run. I think BVP has gotten so wrapped up into becoming governor that he has lost his political judgment. It is like he has blinders on and can only see the governor’s mansion. He is actively running for governor now when we have a State House and a Presidential race going on that is less than 90 days away.

So what is the right word for a 3rd BVP run? I sure can think of some...

Anonymous said...

BVP should run for King's seat so that King can run for Senate or Governor!

Anonymous said...

I think McCain winning the Primary really set back the Iowa GOP. I dont believe that McCain is conservative enough to win Iowa against McCain and I think that all Republicans state wide will feel the pain of having a RINO at the top of ticket.
I think he will run in 2010 though, until than I'll vote for Bob Barr. The best way for Iowa to turn back to Red is for Obama to become president and fall flat on his face.