Rathje joins GOP primary to face Loebsack (updated)

Cedar Rapids-based businessman Steve Rathje confirmed on January 2 that he will run for Congress in Iowa’s second district. A press release posted to his Facebook page emphasizes his experience cutting waste and creating jobs as a business owner. He is scheduling appearances around the district for later this month, and his campaign website is here.

Rathje is best known as one of the Republican candidates in the 2008 U.S. Senate primary. He finished third but not far behind Christopher Reed and George Eichhorn. His website indicates that he will be running as a more conservative alternative to Mariannette Miller-Meeks, who was Congressman Dave Loebsack’s opponent in 2008 and is running again this year.

Rathje and Reed will have an uphill battle in the primary, as they will be splitting the votes of Republicans for whom Miller-Meeks isn’t right-wing enough. I doubt either of them can beat her, but Reed probably has a better chance to make the primary competitive than Rathje. Not only has Reed already announced his candidacy in IA-02 and lined up a bunch of county coordinators, he has also received quite a few wingnut endorsements: former presidential candidates Tom Tancredo and Duncan Hunter, the National 9/12 Patriots, the Minutemen Patriots and America’s Independent Party.

Any thoughts on the upcoming campaign in IA-02 are welcome in this thread. I still find it remarkable that there isn’t a social moderate running in the GOP primary in this D+7 district.

UPDATE: John Deeth took a closer look at Reed’s county chair list and noticed Johnson County supervisor candidate Lori Cardella. When I clicked on the list again, I saw that Reed’s Jefferson County chair is Stephen Burgmeier, the unsuccessful GOP candidate in last year’s special election in Iowa House district 90.

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The Other Half of The Ticket: Part 2

Continuing my series of putting odds to things, I thought I'd look at the Republician presidential race. It only seems fair to speculate on the enemy's position while we work on our own…

Again, the scenario I envision is one in which one of the current top three candidates wins the nomination: Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee. A further stipulation is that whoever wins will not pick any of the other members of the Big Three. So no Rudy/Romney tickets, folks. I had considered Huckabee a top VP candidate, but I'm taking him out of the running since he's sharpening his attacks and becoming a serious contender.

3-1 Fred Thompson The consummate good 'ol boy, Fred is the perfect southern comfort for Guliani or Romney's Yankee personalities. Plus, while Thompson's been slinging a little mud, he hasn't seemed to make any serious enemies yet. His only caveat is that Huckabee doesn't need another down-home southerner on his ticket. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney

5-1 Charlie Crist Three words. Florida. Florida. Florida. This guy might represent the single biggest “known unknown” in politics today. If he is Veeped, Florida becomes much, much, much harder for a Democrat to win. Yet, the guy is a total enigma–and refuses to tip his hat to any one candidate. Goes best with: Guliani, Romney, Huckabee

7-1 Tim Pawlenty He's the popular Governor of Minnesota and a handsome, young Republican face. He may even deliver Minnesota and put Iowa and Wisconsin in play for the Republicans. However, he has little name recognition as it stands now, and the I-35 collapse happened on his watch–a potential target. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romeny, Huckabee

7-1 Duncan Hunter Strong on immigration, tough on defense. From the sunny state of Cully-for-neea, Hunter would lend credibility to a candidate lacking on these issues. Not to name any names, *cough* Romney *cough*. Plus, “Hunter” would look really good on those signs. Still, he's going nowhere fast in his own race. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee

10-1 John Boehner He's a fresh face from a swing state. Also, he's been unfailingly loyal to the administration, and Republicans reward loyalty above all else. However, he got a little bit burned on the Foley and Abramoff scandals. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney

10-1 John McCain War hero. Experienced. Moderate. McCain certainly deserves some recognition from the party after all these years. But his “radical” immigration stance and his “weak” anti-torture stance might turn off key components of the base. Not to mention that he would be the oldest VP ever elected. Goes best with: Huckabee

20-1 John Roberts He's the squeaky clean, likeable and popular Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Going from the Court to the White House is a stretch, but it's not impossible. He just might be the out-of-the-box candidate the party needs. Of course, it is somewhat of a suicide choice. If the ticket would win, they could appoint another moderate republican to the court. If they lose, they lose the White House, the Congress, and the Supreme Court in one year. A big gamble for sure. Goes best with: Giuliani, Romney, Huckabee

1,000,000-1 Ron Paul Ron Paul would never agree to be any of these guys' VP. But if I include him, I can tag this diary “Ron Paul” and maybe someone will read it for a change.

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