Monday, January 26, 2009

BVP: Retrofit or Restoration

Politics can be a tough business, but it is especially true for anyone who has ever put their name on the ballot. Thick skin and resolve are important attributes for any candidate, but especially true for a candidate making their 2nd or third attempt at running office.

The question that looms large for them is simple, what’s different this time around the block. For some candidates it can easily answered, but many candidates struggle and can never find a way to answer such a simple question.

Iowa’s political grave yard is littered with the carcasses of failed two and three time candidates. In fact, I can only think of one time in which a 2nd time candidate was successful, Jim Leach in 1976. In 1974 Leach lost to Ed Mezvinsky 56% to 46% but bounced back in 76 and won 52% to 58%. Leach’s victory didn’t set a precedent, and if victory probably has more to do with the unique campaign he waged, than just being a better campaigner. People will also tell you that his marriage to Deba between campaigns had major impact as well.

Here at how some 2 time candidates have done in Iowa.

In 1980 Chuck Grassley defeated Stephen Rapp 50.8% to 49.2%
In the 1982 rematch Grassley won 56% to 44%

In 1980 T. Cooper Evans defeated Lynn Cutler 51% to 48 %
In the 1982 rematch Evens won 55% to 45%

In 1986 Neal Smith defeated Robert Lockard 61% to 39%
In the 1988 rematch Smith won Lockard 68% to 32%

In 1992 Jim Nussle defeated Dave Nagle 50% to 49%
In the 1994 rematch Nussle won 56% to 43%

In 1994 Jim Ross Lightfoot defeated Elaine Baxter 49% to 47%
In the 1996 rematch Lightfoot won 58% to 41%

In 2002 Leonard Boswell defeated Stan Thompson 53% to 45%
In the 2004 rematch Boswell won 55% to 45%

In 2004 King defeated Joyce Schulte 63% to 37%
In the 2006 rematch and 59-37 in 06

Now I understand that Vander Plaats has never been the gubernatorial nominee, but I think the list above clearly shows how difficult it is to be a two or three time candidate. After listening to Vander Plaats this morning on WHO radio, he didn’t say anything new or different from his previous campaigns, which leads me to think he is simply a restoration candidate.

A restoration candidate is one that restores themselves to their original condition after years of wear and tear. The Bob Vander Plaats on the radio sounded just like the one from 2002, just a little better known. For Vander Plaats to be successful he needs to retrofit his campaign with new ideas and new proposals. A lot is different from early 2001 when he first started running for office, and I’m still waiting to see what changes he has made.

I think Vander Plaats has a steep hill to climb. While being the first candidate in the race has its advantages, it can also be difficult to keep a level of excitement for your campaign. I think the jury will be out on Vander Plaats till other candidates emerge. There is no doubt that he can run a campaign against a sitting congressman or someone with a record, but how would he fare against someone who isn’t an elected official? Time will tell.


  1. Krusty - Tim Albrecht(gross operative) plans to compete with you with a blog called "" Who does Tim work for now? He was with Rants, then with Romney. What now? Who now? For whom will this new blog be a front? With BVP announcing, can Doug Gross's candidate be far behind?

  2. Kompete? With Krusty? Really?

    Look, I’ve been around the block a couple of times. There have been plenty of blogs that have tried to take away my world championship belt. They have all failed. In a way I’m like Hulk Hogan, you might think that I’m too old to either stay on top, or that when I retired you thought it was for good, but I always come back to reclaim my title.

    As for the BeanWalker, my sources tell me it’s not meant to kompete with Krusty. I guess we will see. As for Albrecht he is working for the American Future Fund.

  3. I wonder if this is possible with Krusty's blog. How about the issues that divide our parties and what we want our governor to do rather than to start right off the bat with the junior high slambook approach again. Right off the bat you start out negatively. Why do you do that, Krusty? Why not talk about what BVP is doing right or will do right rather than trash talk him all the time?

    Find out about is energy plan. Find out about his better economy for Iowa. Find out what he's running on rather than the fact that he was run before.

    You can do far better than you are doing Krusty. Tim Albrecht may just show you how. I hope his is a serious blog and not this junior high stuff.

  4. Thats not a slam, thats a serious question that he has to answer and its also a fair one. What is different from 2002 and 2006?

  5. Krusty, I think your list has more to do with Iowans loving their incumbents (especially at the federal level) than second-time candidates. A more accurate example would be second or third time candidates who competed in a primary versus another first, second or third time candidate.

  6. As for what he's doing wrong...

    How about this from Radio Iowa

    Democratic Governor Chet Culver has made it clear he'll seek re-election in 2010. Vander Plaats says Culver's fiscal record will be difficult to explain to Iowans. "They see a governor who's expanded state government by over $900 million in just two years and now we have an economic downturn and it seems like everybody's in crisis and his best idea yet, which he just took off the table, was to sell the state lottery," Vander Plaats says.

    If Bob supports selling the Lottery, I have a big problem with him.

  7. Thanks for the plug, 12:54. It can be viewed at Please visit and sign up for email updates!

    Krusty's sources are korrect - It's not a blog, and I have no intention of competing with Krusty. And who could, really? I'm just looking to have some fun with the project.

    And "Gross operative" is incorrect. I worked for the second-place finisher in 2002, Steve Sukup.

    Tim Albrecht

  8. Bob wants to sell the lottery. Maybe Mike Wells can buy that with his governor.

  9. Krusty, thanks for the election history recap and I must say damn you are old. :)

    As for some of the anonymous comments, don't you folks think its a little early to start hating on BVP or anyone else in 2010 for that matter? Keep it to the issues if you can.

    And Krusty, why is it so hard to login with our google accounts now?

  10. Peace Through StrengthJanuary 26, 2009 at 1:27 PM

    Bob's not going to go far with GOPers if he Chet's idea of selling the lottery to a bunch of his campaign contributors his "best idea"..

    And Krusty's right..BVP is going to have to answer the "question"..what is different now from his 02 and 06 campaigns?

  11. wtf is going on here? BVP was saying that is a TERRIBLE idea, and yet that terrible idea was Culver's best. He wasn't supporting selling the lottery. People need to quit being so quick to jump on the hate train.

  12. Tom Harkin and Berkley Bedell both won in `74 after losing in `72

  13. Anon..Go look at what Radio Iowa quoted BVP as saying..

    He DIRECTLY said Chet's idea to sell the lottery to his supporters was his "best idea yet".

  14. Thanks John, I didn't go back that far.

  15. Anon 1:44 - Are you kidding me? You are too smart by half. BVP did say it was Chester's "best idea yet," and that fact is further proof he needs to go. He didn't agree with Chet - he was pointing out that Governor Buzz Lightbeer is short on braincells.

    Honestly, do we have to start the circular firing squad already?

  16. In June of '10 you will be saying, "BVP 10, do you need a staffer since you won the primary?"

  17. 2:00 -- you say Culver is short on braincells?

    BVP DIRECTLY said Chet's idea to sell the lottery to his supporters was his "best idea yet."

    Does he mean Culvers cutting spending was worse than selling the lottery?

  18. I just got an e-mail from the teamvp10, Not much quality there. At the bottom it give the name of the person that sent it "Matt Rochester". They also have a form with missing icons. I looks like is was scanned onto a pc and e-mailed. They are also using "icontact" which captures all data and sells to telemarketers-very classy!

  19. Perhaps BVP was being sarcastic, and sarcasm doesn't come across well in writing. Either way, I don't really care.

    I think the point here is that BVP needs to be able to articulate why he is the best GOP candidate this cycle when he was unable to win the last two primaries.

    I like Bob, but he needs to be able to answer that basic question. It's not at all an attack. It's just the question that's on the mind of a lot of voters.

  20. see krusty - tell me how this hasn't turned into the junior slambook it always has been. emphasis on hasbeen.

  21. Anon 2:33
    The expectations for BVP are much higher than ever before. He has run twice we all know his problems:
    He appeals to 1/3 of the party
    He lacks real governing experience
    He can't raise money
    He buckles under pressure
    He has a weak leadership team
    He has little appeal east of I-35

    These are not slams this is reality, maybe your head is in the clouds but when put up against Chet-not-Stupid he cannot appeal to working class people. He is seen as purtitan.

    We really need to see something new and different about him that can have appeal till then we wait for the right candidate to run.

  22. I actually believe he has more appeal east of I-35. Those of us in western Iowa are sick of him.

  23. Bill Northey for Governor!

  24. I miss Chet not Stupid. What a great website.

  25. Hey KRUSTY, you made the POLITICO.COM page!!!

  26. We don't intend to "compete" with Krusty either, but we definately feel Bob is a great candidate. Feel free to see our take...

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