This week was Bob Vander Plaats turn to visit our luncheon club. I knew very little about him before his visit. I know more now, but not enough to support him yet.
It's hard for me to put my finger on exactly why I'm ambivalent about V.P. He noted Iowa's excessive government and the folly of the Iowa Values Fund, showing sufficient grasp of the obvious to merit further consideration. He didn't talk at all about the silly pron tax issue, and he didn't say anything glaringly idiotic.
The closest I can come to figuring out why I'm not yet sold on V.P. is that he lacks focus. When Ed Fallon came in last week, he spent most of his time talking about health care and campaign finance. Without coming out and exactly saying it, he gave the impression that those would be the things he would concentrate on as governer. I don't want him to do those things, but he does have a plan.
V.P. didn't have that sort of focus. He said a perfectly reasonable things on many topics, but it sounded like he was trying to tick off every item on a list. For example, he mentioned the system for Medicare payments and how he thinks Iowa is getting a bad deal - perhaps a legitimate point, but it's nothing a governor can change.
Iowa's biggist problems come from high taxes, bloated and outdated government, and lack of entrepreneurship and dynamism. Dealing with these will require a focus on tax and governmental reform -- a focus that isn't apparent with the V.P.
I could still end up voting for V.P. I'm not sure yet that I will, though.
Though he could clinch my vote by making V.P. mean something else.
UPDATE 1/21. I can't help but notice similarities between my discomfort with V.P. and that of State 29's correspondent with "Ma Judge" and "Kent Dorfman.
Nobody's perfect. Elections are always a choice between flawed alternatives. Still, I wish that I would like to see a candidate who had more in mind than climbing the next step up the ladder. I can't help but feeling these guys are all going to get into office and say, "now what?"