I wrote about thrice-failed gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats and his group, The FAMiLY LEADER. They had demanded that each presidential candidate sign off on their "Marriage Vow" by August 1st or else forfeit The FAMiLY LEADER's coveted endorsement. BVP's "Marriage Vow" demanded many things of the candidates: opposition to gay families, refraining from extramarital affairs, advocating the complete ban of all pornography, opposition to DADT's repeal, opposition to government spending, promotion of religious liberty, and rejection of Sharia Islam. The "Marriage Vow" also encouraged married hets to rut like crazy and give birth to lots and lots of babies.
Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum nearly tripped over each other in their attempt to sign off on BVP's "Marriage Vow" first. Then people began reading the "Marriage Vows" footnotes and read troubling stuff like the promotion of ex-gay treatment and the observation that the black children of slaves were better off than many black children today because those past kids were more likely to live with their moms and dads than the black kids of today. The FAMiLY LEADER eventually amended their "Family Vow" to exclude the references to slave kids and apologized for causing others' negative feelings.
Since then, Mitt Romney has rejected the "Marriage Vow". So has Newt Gingerich and Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty and Herman Cain. Gary Johnson refused to sign and called the "Marriage Vow" offensive. Fred Karger also refused to sign and commented on the "Marriage Vow": "That thing was a painful read". In other words, the "Marriage Vow" fell flat and everyone is running away as fast as they can from Iowa's Kingmaker.
Don't get me wrong. Everyone listed above opposes marriage equality and gay families, with the sole exception of perennial GOP black sheep Fred Karger. But BVP is obviously not attracting the commitment that he seeks from the GOP's national presidential wannabes. They will use him to speak to Iowa's social conservatives, but by and large they refuse to sign off on his pledge in order to potentially seek his endorsement.
BVP was supposed to be the 2012 presidential Kingmaker. After three failed campaigns to become Iowa's Republican gubernatorial candidate, he managed to rally slightly more than half of Iowa's voters in an anti-retention campaign against Iowa's Supreme Court. Since then, he's been courting the presidential candidates and demanding the resignation of the rest of Iowa's Supreme Court. Iowa's media keeps running to BVP for his opinion because he waved the flag against Iowa's Supreme Court. He is the go-to guy. He is the Kingmaker.
So it's not surprising that he came up with the "Marriage Vow" that didn't just call from candidates to attack gay families and our marriages, but also single parents and divorcees and Muslims and unmarried couples and those who've sacrifices to serve in our military. He could have and should have stuck to The FAMiLY LEADER's main target (i.e., married gays and lesbians). Instead, BVP created a politically damaging manifesto. In short, he held out his crown of endorsement for everyone to see and ended up showing everyone that it's badly tarnished and not really worth the effort.