I promised I was going to post this Wednesday night, but I was attending a function (above) and I turned in a little early for bed.
Now that things are simmering down from Tuesday, the picture gets a little clearer post-election. Des Moines Report, an outstanding aggregator of local news, information, and links, commented to me that it’s tough to get a read on the Tea Party in Iowa because unlike other states, we were not aware of any “tea party” candidates campaigning here in Iowa.
That is a great question and I mentioned it in the post-election (Wednesday’s) entry about it. In the eyes of this blogger, the Tea Party movement, for some reason, was not a major factor or a presence in the Iowa general elections. Not as much as many anticipated like in Alaska, Kentucky, and across the nation. Why was that? Was it because Iowans are still comfortable with re-electing incumbents? Did Iowans stuck to their core principles and rejected the extremist views of the Tea Party?
Or was it that the Tea Party didn’t bother making inroads to Iowa?
Nevertheless, Iowans prefer incumbents, despite having a somewhat hypocritical view of “career politicians.” Roxanne Conlin supporters use the “career politician” card against Chuck Grassley. It backfired. Brad Zaun supporters did the same toward Leonard Boswell. It didn’t go so well.
As much as we detest their longevity, Grassley, Harkin, Boswell, and an up-and-comer like Bruce Braley are in very important committees and positions in Congress that, directly or indirectly, fund projects, grants, or whatever need there is here in Iowa. Voters face a dilemma: send someone new and green behind the ears “to change Washington” or keep a veteran who knows where the “dead bodies” are at (know who to contact, where to get information, and deliver the goods for their constituents)?
To hear a Democrat or a Republican voter complain about how long an opponent has been in office doesn’t hold water most of the times.
Isn’t Attorney General Tom Miller a “career politician”? State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald? County Supervisors Angela Connolly and Tom Hockensmith? If they are doing their jobs and keeping a low profile for the most part, we will vote for them to continue serving us.
To conclude, the Tea Party faction had little to no influence in the Iowa elections. It was the same old standby of being comfortable with incumbents that made the 2010 elections possible.