Joni Ernst is staking out an interesting — but not unprecedented — tactic in her campaign for the U.S. Senate in Iowa.
The Republican is forgoing interviews with major Iowa newspaper editorial boards. Media observers in the Hawkeye State are wondering whether she’s afraid of being questioned by the editorial boards. She’s canceling interview appointments left and right.
Her opponent, Democrat Bruce Braley, is meeting with them, hoping — I can assume — to gather up newspaper endorsements.
Do you remember when Gov.Rick Perry kissed off newspaper endorsements in 2010 when he was running for re-election in Texas? He stiffed newspaper editorial boards all over the state. He was quite clear: I don’t need no stinkin’ editorial endorsements; I’m going to “talk directly” to Texans.
Texas newspaper editors and publishers took the snub personally, with most of them endorsing his Democratic opponent, former Houston Mayor Bill White. The paper where I worked at the time, the Amarillo Globe-News, followed suit. We backed White and when we did, you’d have thought Planet Earth had just spun off its axis. The reaction from our deeply Republican readers in the heart of the Texas Panhandle was ferocious.
Not to fear, Perry’s handlers reckoned — correctly, I should add.
The governor was re-elected handily four years ago with a 13 percent victory over White.
I figure, though, that Perry knows Texas voters as well as any politician who’s ever held public office.
Does Joni Ernst know Iowans as well? We’ll find out in about 12 days.