Framing the Caucuses – Republican-style

Democratic Caucus Goer

I re-read Jennifer Jacobs’ 50 most wanted Democrats article twice and have to say I disagree with her framing.

In the first place, the Republican caucuses are a place where only registered Republicans who show up get to vote, not “where each Iowan gets one vote,” as Jacobs asserts.

Second, I know very few Iowa Democrats who jumped on board some presidential hopeful’s campaign because they were able to associate with people on this list. For example, when Dave Loebsack co-hosted Evan Bayh at Jim Hayes’ home in Iowa City, a crowd gathered, but to say it helped Bayh during his 2008 presidential bid, other than to help him decide to bow out, would be optimistic and self serving. Who would even say that besides someone like Jacobs?

Third, the selection of political activists for the list also serves Jacobs’ point of view. These are folks with whom she presumably has a relationship, and depends upon to present a “balanced” view of Democratic politics. Her view is anything but balanced, and stroking this group only builds her relationship with them, rather than saying anything about how Democrats select candidates.

Finally, this group more represents the problem with the Iowa Democratic Party than a leverage point for presidential hopefuls to gain support. If this list is our set of leadership, we are doomed to defeat as long as they are around. Jacobs clearly gets that wrong. What’s needed is a new, more diverse and much younger set of faces.

If we recall Dunbar’s number, Jacobs has limits on cognitive recognition, and setting fifty Democrats may be a reasonable limit for that part of the political spectrum, at least in her world.

A couple of points:

Is Roxanne Conlin not able to gather a crowd or raise money for Dems? Everyone who believes that, stand on your head.

Jerry Crawford? Really?

Zach Wahls? Besides a flash of celebrity, what does he add?

This sentence about Sarah Benzing is a killer. “Although the latest campaign she managed, Bruce Braley’s, was branded the worst U.S. Senate campaign in the country, Benzing has a good track record.”

I don’t seek to run people down, and know many people on this list. I’m just sayin’. Jacobs is trying to frame who we are as Democrats. If we sit by and let that happen, we had better get used to Republicans running the state.

~ Written for Blog for Iowa

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