Running for Office, or Running in Place
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It's one of the biggest fictions in politics these days...the exploratory campaign. That's where someone who you know if going to run for office says they are setting up an exploratory effort...not declaring a candidacy, mind you...but exploring one.

There are some good reasons for it. For one, it allows money to be raised and spent in a less formal way. For another, it allows a candidate to make multiple announcements...I'm thinking of running...now I'm officially exploring a run...and then I'm declaring my candidacy; triple the announcements, triple the news coverage.

And sometimes, although rarely, someone truly is not certain if they are going to run and need a minimal infrastructure to allow true exploration.

But if anyone thinks Kim Reynolds isn't running for governor...please think again.

And if anyone thinks Ron Corbett isn't running for governor...please think again.

The jockeying for position started earlier this spring when Corbett said he was exploring a run, and combined that with an aggressive book tour. Reynolds had to wait until she moved into the governor's chair to look like a candidate, despite knowing for months that the incumbent was leaving the job. But she certainly made up for lost time, with multiple trips across the state with her presumptive running mate in tow.

Corbett is set to make an announcement in Cedar Rapids Tuesday, and I cannot imagine he's planning a big public event to say he's not in the race. So Reynolds decided to try to one up him by officially announcing she's still not officially announcing. A news release indicated she has a staff and a website, and even though she said the final decision will not come until later this year, a tweet saying you are looking forward to serving for years to come takes a lot of the mystery out of it.

Corbett will still be the first to announce on the GOP side...but the Reynolds move is designed to remind anyone who looks toward Tuesday in Cedar Rapids that she's not uncertain, just playing the game. But I think we've all know who the players on that side were going to be for a while.

I'm still looking forward to seeing how the president plays it Wednesday night, when presumably he's going to want to introduce the current governor and the mayor of the host city at his rally. Bet it doesn't lead to a joint stage appearance.

And that's the Iowa Politics report for Friday, June 16, on twitter and instagram at iowapolitics. Listen to today's segment here:

  • @iowapolitics
    Jeff Stein is a national award-winning broadcaster, with 35 years of experience in Iowa radio and television. He has covered every Iowa presidential caucus since 1980, and has been a featured political analyst on the Fox News Channel, PBS News Hour, and various television and radio stations in Iowa. He also produces and hosts the syndicated "Iowa Almanac" daily feature, and the weekly public affairs program, "The IowaWatch Connection".

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