Krusty Konservative: Not quite ready for Prime Time

Krust Konservative Logo 2Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Iowa Statesman.


By Krusty Konservative
Dictator of the Iowa Blogosphere


In 2008, it was Fred Thompson. In 2012, it was Rick Perry. They were all wildly popular presidential candidates who just didn’t have what it took to go the distance – the Not Quite Ready for Prime Time Players.

In the 2016 race, as the field becomes more and more crowded, there are likely to be several new members joining the club. Chief among them is perhaps Dr. Ben Carson, who has done a lot of great and admirable things in his life, but you have to wonder if he really thought it out before he decided to run.

His positions – gun grabbing, mandatory vaccinations, and hiking the minimum wage – are nearly indefensible for any self-respecting conservative. If he hadn’t declared otherwise, you would think he was a populist alternative to Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But, so far, there’s at least some general interest in his campaign.

It’s his staff decisions that really make you wonder what he was thinking. Several members of the mainstream media say they still haven’t heard from his communications team, and once we hit summer and all of the candidates are touring Iowa every day, you have to wonder if he can keep the level of interest going.


Popularity Isn’t Everything

Carson’s not the only candidate who proves that popularity isn’t everything in the race to become President. Carly Fiorina wowed a lot of Iowa GOP activists with her performance at the Iowa Freedom Summit in January, but there are chinks in her armor.

For starters, her “street cred” as a successful businesswoman takes a hit when it’s pointed out that she was effectively fired from the job, and HP’s performance improved after she was gone. Then, there’s the fact she got trounced when she ran against Barbara Boxer for the Senate in California just five years ago.

And now her positions are starting to run afoul of the Christo-conservatives who make up a large portion of the grassroots activists in the Iowa GOP.

Yes, I know that is still out there. If she really wants it, it’s all hers.


More Struggles

Two other candidates are struggling to get the traction they desperately need in Iowa, and not just because they need the delegates. They’re the two most recent Iowa Caucus winners, but due to strategy and messaging, they are in danger of falling into the second tier – or worse – in Iowa.

When Ted Cruz jumped in early and quickly grabbed the Christo-conservative mantle, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee should’ve jumped in, too. According to my sources, Huckabee is struggling to find a solid leadership team.

That Santorum still isn’t in doesn’t bode well for his chances – if he’s even actually considering a campaign – at all.

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Herschel Krustofski is the pseudonym for the anonymous author of Krusty Konservative, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the Iowa blogosphere. If you have a suggestion for his contributions to The Iowa Statesman, write to him at