Three potential GOP candidates for president will speak to a gathering of the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see if/how they compare with the candidates who spoke to this group last year.
On March 16 of last year, three Iowa Republicans were vying for their party’s gubernatorial nomination. One of them — Terry Branstad — was a former governor. Another — Bob Vander Plaats — had campaigned extensively with former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in the run-up to the 2008 Iowa Caucuses and home schoolers had been an important part of Huckabee’s network. The third candidate — Rod Roberts — is, like Huckabee, an ordained minister.
Both Roberts and Vander Plaats spoke about faith during their remarks to the Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators. As he often did during the 2010 campaign, Vander Plaats told the crowd: “I know who I am and I know whose I am.” Roberts quoted from Genesis and the New Testament, and credited Joseph & Mary — the parents of Jesus Christ — for helping Jesus grow in stature in the same way home schooling parents help their children.
Branstad was the odd man out that day. He didn’t quote the Bible or make any reference to his own faith in the way the two other candidates had. His speech fell flat in the room.
The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators will be holding an outdoor event at noon tomorrow on the steps of the statehouse. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain and Texas Congressman Ron Paul will speak briefly there. Another event will be held indoors at a hotel down the street in the early afternoon where the three will speak as well.