Big news this morning: Today I'm announcing my candidacy for the U.S. Senate.
I made the decision yesterday as my critique of the two Democrats currently challenging Chuck Grassley - Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause - went mini-viral, which by my standards means a couple of retweets, getting quoted in the Register, and a mention in the .Gif Shop. (I'm no Zach Wahls in terms of viral.)
My pet theory, which I give about a one in five chance, is that at the last minute Grassley, despite what I think are good intentions now, drops out of the race at the last possible moment and subs in his grandson, State Rep. Pat Grassley.
That one in five chance is too big to take. And the two current candidates aren't the kind of guys who will step aside for a stronger candidate if the situation changes. Fiegen is still complaining on the stump that the "big money" people recruited Roxanne Conlin when he had already called dibs.
For a long time I've wondered: who can fill this weird niche: strong enough to run a decent race for an open seat against a relatively untested legacy candidate, yet prepared to run a credible but certainly losing campaign against the most popular incumbent in the state?
Then it hit me. Conventional tactics will not work. We need a sort of Gonzo campaign. And if the goal is not to win, then why not me?
So how will the John Deeth for Senate candidacy affect me, Al Franken? Not at all. Because Not only am I not going to join him in the Senate, I'm not even going to be on the November ballot.
Yes, that's my one campaign promise as an official U.S. Senate candidate: I will not be a candidate. Let me flesh that out.
The filing deadlines for the Democrats and Republicans are on the same date - March 18, 2016. If the Democratic field is locked in as Fiegen and Krause, and at 4:59 PAT Grassley files instead of Chuck, then the Democrats will go into November with either Fiegen or Krause.
But if the Democratic field against Pat Grassley is Fiegen, Krause, and Deeth?
Then vote for me. Because my campaign promise is I will drop out of the race as soon as I win the primary. Tom Fiegen and Bob Krause won't do that, they'll just go "yay, I'm gonna be a senator!" and count on their FEET and their hundreds of dollars of campaign funds to see them to victory. (I can match that with my change jar.)
When I win and resign the nomination, the Democratic state convention can nominate a REAL candidate who can actually run and win, which I sure as hell can't. All the Republicans have to do for oppo research is go to the right column of this page and start reading the archives.
If as I expect CHUCK Grassley runs, then I will consult my advisers, which at this point is my Magic 8 Ball, and make a decision. I may drop out of the primary and let Tom and Bob battle for the low stakes.
Or I may stay in, follow through with the convention scenario, and let the party pick a real candidate.
But for now, my beret is in the ring. Start sending me money.