According to an NBC News political reporter, the Trump campaign is sending eighty surrogates to Iowa next week to campaign for the President’s reelection during the state’s caucuses. Among the list of individuals shared by NBC News is North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum. It makes one wonder what message Burgum will be delivering to Iowans.
Burgum will likely be tasked with telling Iowan Republicans to stay the course with Donald Trump as their candidate. Though other candidates are vying for the Republican Presidential endorsement, none are expected to gain ground. Favorable polling for Trump within the GOP is sky-high. The Republican Party is the party of Donald Trump. According to the Trump campaign, this exercise is to send a signal to Democratic hopefuls.
The Trump campaign is deploying 80 surrogates to Iowa a week from today, including:
Acting CoS Mulvaney
Commerce Sec. Ross
HHS Sec. Azar
Education Sec. DeVos
HUD Sec. Ben Carson
House Minority Leader McCarthy
Former Energy Sec. Perry
Former Acting AG Whitaker pic.twitter.com/xtpZlJEFtI
— Monica Alba (@albamonica) January 27, 2020
The report of Burgum’s Iowa trip comes less than twenty-four hours after reports surfaced he was spotted attending an exclusive gathering hosted by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Bezos is a frequent target of Donald Trump’s tweets and deemed a coastal elite. A spokesman for Burgum said the trip “was an opportunity to build relationships and promote North Dakota with people at the highest levels of government and business.”
There are a few questions worth pondering. What message does Burgum bring from North Dakota to Iowa on behalf of Trump? Is it a pitch about trade? What is Burgum getting out of the trip politically? Angling for a cabinet position or just out of loyalty to President Trump? Is this the first step in fulfilling the rumors heard around North Dakota that Burgum has political ambitions beyond Governor and outside the borders of ND? Lastly, are these surrogates being compensated by the campaign? If so, is that allowed in Iowa?
Doug Burgum is up for re-election himself in 2020. His defeat of Wayne Stenehjem shocked a lot of people in 2016 and shows he has the money and infrastructure to be a political juggernaut in ND. With the lack of a serious contender, let alone any contender, on the Democratic-NPL side, it easily frees him up to expand his brand beyond North Dakota’s borders and work on other candidate’s behalf. In the first month of the 2020 election cycle, he is clearly taking advantage of the opportunity.