Monday, March 23, 2009

Bob Krause

Bob Krause in Senate Race

The Iowa Demosphere is abuzz with the news that Chuck Grassley's first opponent has emerged. But the question is still "Bob WHO?"

Even among party activists, the name Bob Krause is little-known. His party work has focused on the Veteran's Caucus which he chairs.

Krause was once a wunderkind, elected to the legislature at 23 in 1972 and running statewide for state treasurer before he was 30, in 1978. In 1982 he tried a comeback in the state Senate but lost the primary. He now lives in Fairfield but his House district was on the north central border in Kossuth, Emmet and Palo Alto counties.

So the profile fits the pattern of Grassley opponents, all of whom would have been great candidates in 1986:

  • 1992: Near-retirement legislator, eastern Iowa
  • 1998: Retired legislator (4 years out), eastern Iowa
  • 2004: Retired legislator (18 years out), eastern Iowa
  • 2010: Retired legislator (32 years out), eastern Iowa

    The good news is that Krause is getting into the race against Chuck Grassley early, earlier than we've seen in a few cycles. (Art Small's 2004 campaign was literally last minute; there were some worries that we wouldn't get ANYone.)

    By all accounts Krause is a good guy, but this is hardly an A list or even B list candidacy. Don't get me wrong; I've known Jean Lloyd-Jones, Dave Osterberg and Art Small for ages, and supported and voted for all of them. And my personal politics are more in line with someone like Osterberg than with Tom Vilsack.

    But Vilsack was the A lister here. God bless the President, but he screwed at least three Senate races (ours, Kansas and Arizona) putting the cabinet together, and shuffled the deck dramatically in the four with appointees (Colorado, Delaware, New York and his own seat in Illinois). We won't necessarily hold all those.

    Tom Vilsack was three points behind Grassley in a Kos poll a week before he was named to the cabinet. But now, instead of fighting the home front battle against newly anointed national GOP spokesman Grassley, Vilsack is hanging out with Cookie Monster. A potential Senate vote for the President's program is much more important than a low-key Cabinet spot.

    But you run the race you have, not the race you want. The A lister is gone, and the other A listers (Braley and Loebsack) are settling into the House. But there may be some B+ listers out there yet.

    Maybe Krause is the guy after all. Unknowns have won before--just ask Congressman Loebsack. But Not Chuck Grassley isn't a winning campaign any more than Not Tom Harkin was. Krause retired from the Iowa Department of Transportation, and was involved in trail issues, so he could potentially work the Obama infrastructure issues. (In the `08 caucuses, Krause endorsed Chris Dodd verrry late: December 31. With the trouble Dodd's in back home, maybe we should get him to move back to Iowa and run against Grassley..)

    Krause announces his exploratory committee on Saturday. Not many folks other than us junkies will be tuned in to this introduction. And an introduction is definitely what this guy needs. If there's some substance there, starting early helps, but if not, then you're just the next Steve Rathje.

    There's not much time left to get someone--Krause or another--up and flying. The brutal, national level triage will happen really, really soon and Iowa is dropping off the radar by the month as the handicappers accept that Grassley isn't retiring.
  • 18 comments:

    Adam said...

    Bob Krause is an incompetent boob. There's a reason he's been out of elected office for more than 20 years. I surely hope the IDP has some better folks in the pipeline so I can vote Democratic in next year's Senate election.

    Bob said...

    Mr Deeth, I think, depends too much in his analysis on the monoculture of the state legislature as a proving ground for candidates. He probably does not recognize that as chair of the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus that I have electronic access to literally thousands of veterans in Iowa, and they hear from me regularly. This is a unique state-wide base that cannot be duplicated by other candidates. Check my web site at www.krauseforiowa.com.

    Thanks!!
    Bob Krause

    Joe said...

    Wow, Adam...way to back up the ol' ad hominem attack with....well...I guess you didn't back it up. Just spewed a personal insult, nothing of substance whatsoever. Way to go...your parents must be so proud.

    Anonymous said...

    In order to beat Grassley, Krause needs to start by raising a zillion dollars. He will not get that from veterans. His response here suggests that his expectations are no more realistic than Harkin's opponent, Whatshisname. What in hell is the "monoculture of the state legislature as a proving ground for candidates"? This is important-sounding nonsense. Show me the money, Mr. Krause.

    Guardian of the Chicken Coop said...

    Frankly, I am surprised with Mr. Anonymous's lack of concern and patriotism concerning veterans. Veterans fought the war, but have no money and therefore concerns expressed on their behalf should not be listened to. It is a sad commentary on some American political thought. "Other People's War" (OPW) is certainly a convenient denial that a voice concerning Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) should be discounted. If this was 1965 during the Freedom March in in Selma, Alabama, I am afraid that Mr. Anonymous would have sided with the attack dogs.

    Anonymous said...

    I have known Bob Krause for more than 30 years, since he was widely regarded as one of the outstanding young leaders of the Iowa legislature, Since then, unlike Sen, Grassley, Bob has distinguished himself in the private sector. Obviously, Adam does not know Bob Krause.

    Anonymous said...

    That is the problem with politics now days. A person needs a zillion dollars to compete. But it seems to me that it hasn't been that long ago that we elected a President on a grass-roots effort. I am not saying that Bob can do this but he is taking a step in the right direction in challenging a long time incumbent. We need change from the good old boy network on both the D and R sides. Good luck Bob

    Anonymous said...

    I think Bob should not use the Iowa Democratic Veterans Caucus as his campaign tool. Mixing the role of candidate and leader of a party caucus won't help veterans' credibility. Or call it the Krause campaign caucus.

    Military Spouses for Change said...

    Adam, let's look at the facts on a national level first. Eighty percent of veterans eligible to vote in 2004 were registered and 74percent of all eligible veterans exercised that right by actually voting. We can assume those numbers were the same or even greater in 2008.

    According to US Census reports, veterans have higher voter registration rates and higher voting rates than civilians.

    In November 2004, only 64 percent of the 197 million Americans eligible to vote in the Presidential election actually voted (although 72 percent were registered to vote). Our last Commander in Chief was elected by a majority of 126 million votes cast. Consider the following facts:

    Thirteen percent of American adults (26.4 million) are veterans. If we assume that at least half are married, then there are approximately 40 million voters intimately aware of the issues affecting veterans and their families.

    Meanwhile, there are approximately 1.4 million active duty servicemembers and 1.2 million service members in the National Guard/Reserves, for a total of 2.6 million Americans currently serving in our Armed Forces, either full or part-time. According to the Department of Defense, 53 percent of our active duty service members are married and more than half of our reservists are married. If you include these spouses, we will have an additional 4 million military voters.

    In all, the veteran and military communities are comprised of approximately 44 million Americans--almost a quarter of the overall voting population and more than a third of the total voting participation in 2004. Or more importantly, 44 million starting to feel grossly underrepresented in Congress and sick of half-hearted attempts to acknowledge their needs and sacrifices--particularly after seven years of war that reeks of Vietnam, the sequel.

    Conventional wisdom tells us that the veteran and military communities are too diverse to vote as a block or with one voice. Is that really true? After the scandals at Walter Reed, the truth coming out about soldier and veteran suicides, corrupt VA officials, dilapidated VA structures, impoverished veterans and widows, I am thinking that is becoming less true today than it was even five years ago.

    Veterans and servicemembers--AND THEIR SPOUSES and families--need to be taken more seriously than they are. The first candidate that does that and finds a way to speak a language that is common to all of them, will turn out a 100 percent registration rate and will activate a volunteering machine for his campaign.

    Bob, I wish I could be the one to do this for you!

    Military Spouses for Change said...

    Let's just look at the numbers first.

    Eighty percent of veterans eligible to vote in 2004 were registered and 74 percent of all eligible veterans exercised that right by actually voting. We can assume these numbers were the same or even higher in 2008.

    US Census figures show us that veterans register and vote at higher rates than their civilian counterparts.

    In November 2004, only 64 percent of the 197 million Americans eligible to vote in the Presidential election actually voted (although 72 percent were registered to vote). Our last Commander in Chief was elected by a majority of 126 million votes cast. Consider the following facts:

    Thirteen percent of American adults (26.4 million) are veterans. If we assume that at least half are married, then there are approximately 40 million voters intimately aware of the issues affecting veterans and their families.

    Meanwhile, there are approximately 1.4 million active duty servicemembers and 1.2 million service members in the National Guard/Reserves, for a total of 2.6 million Americans currently serving in our Armed Forces, either full or part-time. According to the Department of Defense, 53 percent of our active duty service members are married and more than half of our reservists are married. If you include these spouses, we will have an additional 4 million voters sensitive to the needs of our veterans, wounded warriors, and military families.

    In all, the veteran and military communities are comprised of approximately 44 million Americans--almost a quarter of the overall voting population and more than a third of the total voting participation in 2004.

    Conventional wisdom tells us that the veteran and military communities are too diverse to vote as a block or with one voice. Is that really true?

    Maybe it was five years ago, but we are seven years into a foreign policy nightmare and five years into Vietnam dejavu. There is a common ground and there are common concerns among these 44 (or higher now) voters. We have seen the dilapidation of medical facilities both for active duty and veterans, we have seen the inadequate care of our wounded warriors, we have seen skyrocketing homelessness and suicide rates, we have seen impoverished veterans and, worst yet, widows and widowers.

    These voters are getting sick of being under-represented in Congress. They are getting tired of civilians who fail to recognize their real needs and their even MORE real sacrifices that led to those needs.

    There are veteran candidates who can tap into these votes. I think Bob is one of those candidates. I know Bob. Bob is a uniter and a leader. And I wish I could be someone who could help him bring these veterans under their shared umbrella because they are more alike than unalike. Republicans in particular are terrified that they will someday figure that out.

    Military Spouses for Change said...

    Mr. Show Me The Money:

    Obama showed us all, that small donations by big numbers can create big money.

    You do the math.

    Carissa Picard, Esq.
    Blue Star Wife

    Sharon the Veteran said...

    Grassley thinks veterans on food stamps already have enough money. Grassley sends our veterans off to wars that confuse America's moral compass. We Vietnam-era vets want to make sure that deployments are justified so we have no more nasty homecomings. Not all of us are poor and we've fought like hell to keep what we have out of the hands of DC politicians like Grassley, who according to anonymous, already has a zillion $$. Bob will appeal to more than just veterans; whatever he's been doing for 20 years is really none of Adam's business, either. Do you think Obama got elected on his past? Bob will be looking to the future of all Iowans.

    b co nam vet 71 said...

    adam i am sorry you are working from limited knowledge.bob krause is the real deal.maybe you make the same mistakes over and over and in attempt to help your self.bob krause however does the right things right for others.he is in touch.take a minute and think. you may learn and than maybe not.i'll look for you at the next parade of coarse you will be seated as the flag passes easy to spot

    R S Whitman said...

    Bob Krause will be a good candidate for us to support in the coming election for U.S. Senate.
    I have known Bob since 1966 and have worked with him at the Iowa department of transportation. He is honest, articulate and would do an outstanding job of representing the State Iowa.

    theoracle18 said...

    Though anonymous speaks the obvious- Krause needs to raise zillions to beat Grassley. The thought begs to be asked - Can he see around corners???? Can he see and know the trends, mood of the people of Iowa, conversations at the dinner or local store, the sign of the times??? Check out www.krauseforiowa.com. and learn something new.

    ArmyHawkvet said...

    Why be "anonymous"? Show thy face, O man. Bob Krause is a great candidate over Grassley for Congress since Bob knows the issues vaterans face, including the impending closure of the Knoxville VAMC, while Grassley doesn't give a damn. Veterans issues aren't the only items of importance for Congress to address, and I believe if facts are pursued, Bob has great general knowledge of a number of important issues we should be taking seriously. Vote for Bob Krause.

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with Adam that Bob Krause is incompetent. I have worked with Mr. Krause and found him extremely unprofessional, unorganized, and all around unable to complete even the simplest of tasks. Mr. Krause has been riding his 'fame' of being in the Iowa Legislature 30 years ago, but has done nothing in that time period to continue to build his worth. Great, he is a veteran. I thank him for his service, but big deal. There are many veterans in this country, it doesn't make him special or worthy of a vote! Even as a democrat, I'll still be voting for Grassley unless the democrats can counter with a candidate able to do the job better and bring home the money.

    Anonymous said...

    I'm glad someone has the backbone to offer an alternative, even at the risk of personal attacks and against the odds. David did that with Goliath.
    Ed