Having been defeated in his bid for re-election for Iowa House minority leader, Christopher Rants has to be scratching his head wondering what to pursue next. I can’t see him just sitting there in the House while not in a leadership position. I do know he’s aggressively trying to be the de facto leader of ramping up Republican campaigning in Iowa, particularly early voting, but I just don’t see how that gets Rants what he wants.
Back in August I purposely left Rants off my list. Not because I didn’t think he’d thought about running but because I didn’t think he had a chance of winning and would see that before making his decision. Now that he’s not minority leader he has less to lose.
Rants is very good at many of the things he does. He doesn’t necessarily care about policy as much as he cares about who has the power – especially if the who is Rants himself. He isn’t known by conservatives as a good right winger and isn’t known by moderates as a great compromiser. He’s basically stuck somewhere in between and has only identified himself as the former Speaker of the House.
Rants can obviously raise money for a cause. I don’t know how well he can raise money for himself and we won’t know until he tries to do it. Rants won’t get the same great volunteer style, grassroots campaign as a Latham, King, or Whitaker but he would have very good paid staff.
I don’t know what Rants would run on. I’m betting he would focus mostly on fiscal issues since he has a fairly good grasp on the Iowa budget. If a credible social conservative were to get in the race, Rants won’t be able to win over the wingers.
A Christopher Rants for Governor campaign seems more and more likely everyday but I just don’t see how it gets off the ground. I know his career isn’t over but his loss to Paulsen definitely can’t help his odds on being the next governor of this great state.