Arguably the most important Republican presidential endorsement to precede the 2016 Iowa Caucuses will come from Bob Vander Plaats, who failed on three occasions to become governor of Iowa.

And over here in the ‘nobody cares’ pile is Terry Branstad, Iowa’s current Republican head of state and the soon-to-be longest-serving governor in the history of this nation. How a man with that kind of stature can have zero impact on presidential politics is a solid lesson in pyrrhic victories.

The reason for such a counter-intuitive reality is simple. It’s a matter of having convictions versus pursuing positions. Vander Plaats is a man of principle, who has repeatedly demonstrated he has no interest in simply having a seat at the table.

Not only did Vander Plaats endorse the two previous winners of the Iowa Caucuses when nobody thought they had a chance to win – Huckabee in 2008 and Santorum in 2012. He also led the historic effort to get three Iowa Supreme Court judges removed from office after they pretended to have the authority to redefine marriage.

That’s the kind of conviction and track record many of the candidates in a crowded 2016 Republican presidential field would love to have in their corner. They’ll have to dig deep for it, though. As president of The Family Leader, Vander Plaats’ primary mission is Christ-centered public policy – not courting slappies and RINO-bots.

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