Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Iowa Brings Knife and Gun to Fight for U.S. Senate

Joni Ernst has won the Iowa Republican primary to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin in the U.S. Senate. The Iraq War veteran and Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa National Guard beat out four men for the nomination, winning 56% of the vote. How did she do it?

"I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm," was the money quote in her first campaign ad:

The city folks, even in Iowa, were predictably appalled but the country folks know it's all just good clean fun. And don't think she just brought a knife to the gun fight. This was her second ad:

Her third ad took the edge off a bit, and closed the deal with the brilliant phrasing, "The church I grew up in is the church where our daughter was baptized." That third ad also mentions walking beans, and there are things you can do with a bean hook that might make for an interesting fourth ad.

I recognize the church in the third video as the Lutheran Church in the small Swedish-immigrant farming town of Stanton, Iowa, which is about 20 miles from where I grew up. Stanton is the hometown of Mrs. Olsen in the old commercials for Folgers coffee. Here Mrs. Olsen schools Batgirl on making better coffee:

I do not envy her Democratic opponent in the fall election, U.S. Congressman Bruce Braley. Joni is perfectly positioned to pummel him across Iowa on Obamacare, the VA scandal, the Bergdahl-Taliban prisoner swap and any number of other issues. If Joni starts serving Swedish ham or meatballs at her campaign rallies, it's all over.

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