One of the odd things about being a politician or a state or local party committee in a place like Iowa or New Hampshire is that you are unusually willing and able (and just as importantly, expected) to attract lots of out-of-state speaking talent at your events. There’s usually a long list of pols who haven’t ruled out the possibility of running for president someday, and want to start building those key relationships in the early states where familiarity is a must. On the demand side of the equation, political activists in these places get pretty spoiled, and aren’t going to show up to hear the pithy thoughts of some local state legislator.
So one’s ability to draw a Big Name for an event becomes a pretty good indicator of clout. That makes me wonder if long-time Iowa social conservative poohbah Bob Vander Plaats is losing his mojo, per this news from National Review‘s Robert Costa:
Donald Trump has long resisted calls for him to run for president. But now, at age 67, he tells me he’s considering a bid….
In early August, Trump will travel to Ames, Iowa, the home of the Iowa Republican straw poll, where he’ll speak at an evangelical gathering hosted by Bob Vander Plaats, an influential power broker in the Iowa politics.
So with Paul and Bush and Ryan and Walker and Cruz and Rubio and Christie and Perry and no telling who else thinking about running for president, the best BVP can do is to bring in Trump?
Not a good sign, particularly for an “influential power broker.”