Things are finally starting to get interesting around here. One of my very favorite things about politics is the people. Old friends, chairs, former colleagues… it’s the best thing about politics. Lately, I've been hearing from some folks and been studying some things with my view in the cheap seats. Good ole Leonard Boswell. I have had my run ins with him over the years. And I gotta tell ya, he's a great guy and nice fella. It’s true. This is why he’s been so successful in all of his tough elections.
Every cycle, we’re told how Boswell is in trouble. He usually is, but that’s just because of the district make up and his voting record. Nothing new here if you been following him since he won Jim Ross Lightfoot’s seat in Congress in 1996. Cycle after cycle we are pushed to believe this hype. In 2010, this hype is real. Leonard Boswell is in trouble. Deep deep trouble. The 3rd Congressional District has been the bell weather for the past few cycles. Finally this year, no storm shelter is sturdy enough in Boswell’s case.
ENTER ZAUN – We may have the perfect candidate, Brad Zaun. Look at the stats. Well liked, hard worker… good record and experience. But the key here is he knows everyone in Polk County, all thanks to his tough State Senate race a while back. Most Central Iowa voters (code for Polk County) know his name just from the television blitz that was ran. How do you think he won the primary? Name ID. There are people in Altoona who probably think they have voted for him in the past… just because of his name ID.
POLLS – I remember everyone being so surprised Brad won with a large margin in the primary. Didn’t anyone see the first poll in that race? That huge lead he had? Why are we surprised? It is the next poll that raised eyebrows, the post primary poll that showed Zaun up 10. Sending sonic booms over on Fleur Drive. A few weeks a go… another poll was released, showing similar results. You can argue and dispute polls until you’re blue in the face... but friends, this creates the trend. Also, has the other side disputed this trend? I think I hear crickets.
BOSWELL AD – Leonard’s campaigns have always been well put together. Disciplined and steady. But I’m not seeing this or hearing this in the 2010 version. You don’t have to look further than his first radio ad released. What happened to the ad that plays every 2 years that reminds us that he used to fly helicopters in the Army? If you needed to learn anything about how well Brad Zaun is doing… it’s this ad. For the first time that I can remember, Leonard Boswell has started a re-election campaign with an attack ad. Not from the DCCC, from his pocket. What is more surprising… the ad is a complete swing and a miss.
Oh, you think I jest? The main part of the hit is that he’s against renewable fuels. And Team Boswell was sneaky enough to have audio of Zaun making a statement. Well, at least the ad was done well. But other than that it’s a swing and a miss… mostly on the issue they choose to hit.
YEAH I KNOW IT’S IOWA – Yes, renewable fuels, ethanol and all that jazz is important here. I don't believe this translates into an effective attack on Zaun. Think about it. What county dominates the 3rd? How many of these people in this county does a renewable fuels impact? The reason why this is a swing and a miss is because this issue gets lost in translation. Only in the 11 rural counties does this make an impact and the majority of these areas are good for us anyway.
I’ll argue that the ethanol, renewable fuels stuff gets a little over played here. Now before Monte Shaw starts blowing up my phone, yes this is a big deal for Iowa. You don’t have to sell it to me. My family depends on this industry. What I’m saying is… it’s a little over used and was used poorly in the first attack on his challenger. If this is the best issue they have to start with… he is in trouble.
It’s a weak hit and not characteristic of a Boswell Campaign.
WHY BRAD ZAUN IS GOING TO WIN – In all campaigns, you always have to lay out lists of strengths and weaknesses. In a good race, someone figures out how to do the things better their opponent. And usually figures out how to do things better at the very same thing their opponent is the strongest. But default, because who he is… Brad Zaun is beating Leonard Boswell at his own game.
Why does Leonard always win? People like him. It’s true. I like the guy. If you happen to catch him grocery shopping at IngerDahls, you witness it. He’s friendly and polite. Doesn’t ruffle too many feathers when he votes. He’s your Grandpa. This is why he does well all the time.
Usually, his campaign and the DCCC will create a narrative and make his opponents, bad guys. It’s true. Stop your fibbin’ sound familiar? That punk kid attorney from Des Moines… the Rich Kid with silver spoon? Remember all of these? A strategy that creates him is the nice guy and gives reasons to dislike the opponent.
Creating some argument to create Brad as a bad person or some bad label simply won’t stick. He knows everyone. People know him… and they like him. When you run into Brad Zaun, even if you disagree with him on an issue, you can’t help to just to not like the guy. He’s genuine with his answers, always energetic and will tell you what he thinks. Just a straight up fun and great guy.
By Brad, being Brad… he is beating Leonard Boswell on his own schtick. You think this is an over simplification of why Brad is winning? You can hear me now and believe me later. The only way Boswell is going to make a dent… is to be what he’s not. A jerk and a junkyard dog. This is the only move he has left. Once this happens… not only is this going to sink Boswell… the bad news is… because National Democrats will become so desperate to keep this seat.. or any seat for that matter... they will destroy a reputation of one of their own. A decent man.
Good news is… its August. It’s too late. I’m not sure why hits weren’t coming in the middle of June. This is the same reason why Culver’s apology at the fair is late. Timing is everything… good thing they must be out of batteries for their clocks over on Fleur Drive.