Iowa’s Republican leadership blasted Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin on Tuesday for hiring a senior adviser who has mocked the state’s caucus and its voters, and called on Mr. Walker to fire her.
Jeff Kaufmann, the state Republican chairman, said Mr. Walker, who leads in polls of Iowa Republicans, should dismiss Liz Mair, who was hired by Mr. Walker’s political action committee to lead online communications for his likely 2016 campaign.
“It’s obvious she doesn’t have a clue what Iowa’s all about,” Mr. Kaufmann said. “I find her to be shallow and ignorant,” he added, “and I’ll tell you, if I was Governor Walker, I’d send her her walking papers.”
Ms. Mair, who directed online strategy for the Republican National Committee in 2008 and for Mr. Walker’s 2012 recall election, is known for strongly worded Twitter messages often laced with profanities. But it was a series of swipes she took at Iowa’s Republican voters and at the caucus that infuriated party officials.
Others besides Ms. Mair have complained that the caucus holds disproportionate sway over the presidential nominating process, but generally in less pungent terms.
During a forum for 2016 hopefuls in Iowa in January, where Mr. Walker gave a breakout speech, Ms. Mair tweeted, “In other news, I see Iowa is once again embarrassing itself, and the GOP, this morning. Thanks, guys.”
A minute later, she wrote, “The sooner we remove Iowa’s frontrunning status, the better off American politics and policy will be.”
Full disclosure, I know, like and have professionally conspired with Liz Mair in the past.
She’s also 100% correct. I wrote as much last night, before I ever learned of this kerfluffle.
It is bad enough that two states with a combined population of less than five million dictate the tenor of the primary season that seeks to choose the next leader of the free world. That really does have to change.
It is ridiculous, however, for Iowa Republicans to think they can dictate the makeup of a presidential primary front-runner’s staff merely because they had their feelings hurt. The state should be eternally grateful that it has strong-armed an artificial market for its farmers to sell corn in exchange for the quadrennial caucus favors.
In my dream world, Walker would reply, “I’ll employ whomever I choose and sell your own damned corn!”
And then he’d fire Iowa.