Terry Branstad is way past doubling down on playing poor me with his personal finances. The double-dipper is either tripling or quadrupling down in yesterday's protest-marred Iowa City event: "I left a job that paid twice as much as this and went unemployed for a year because I love this state and want to make a difference.” (More on the warm People's Republic greeting here.)
The difference he made, of course, was loyal service to the Republican Party; the whole raison d'etre (Tish! That's French!) for Branstad 5.0 was that he was the only guy who could beat Bob Vander Plaats in a primary, and BVP was the only guy who'd've lost to Culver in the general. So that paycut was basically a $200K a year donation to the Republican Party. Mission Accomplished.
As for BVP, he may finally have given up on the governorship, but only because his latest fantasy seems to be challenging Tom Harkin in 2014. Oh pleeeeeeeez, pleeeeeeeez... he could do even worse than Christopher "Not Tom Harkin" Reed did in 2008!
Meanwhile, Republicans really need to watch their mics. House leadership got caught in a way-too-revealing chat:
Kaufmann: Jorgenson, we’re yanking him off the bill. The hell with him. He hasn’t been doing anything.Here you are, Erik, here you are.
Lukan: He should have seen this coming.
Helland: You know what that means? It means I’m going to end up stuck with the bill?
Kaufmann: Sounds like you’re getting out of the Alaska bill.
Helland: Oh yeah, I’m getting out of it after I end up on a blog.
Lukan: The Alaska bill – what’s the Alaska bill?In fairness, give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic isn't much worse than what the House is actually passing.
Helland. I’m the dirty hatchet man for the caucus. Something nobody wants to do. Some dirty, nasty job. I’m the one who gets dropped in you know why, ’cause I’m expendable.
Kaufmann: The crazy, give-a-handgun-to-a-schizophrenic bill.
Off camera: His microphone is on.
Microphone goes dead.
This causes more trouble within the deeply divided Iowa Republican Party than with the larger electorate. Don't forget, even with all the money and all the establishment, Branstad barely cracked 50 percent against a (then) two time loser, and after he was the nominee he had to hustle just to get his party convention to approve his running mate. Kaufmann's quip is way too revealing about the cynicism and contempt that the old guard Money Republicans have for the gays and guns newcomers. With fresh district lines just weeks away, some of that dynamic may play out in primaries.