Chaffetz’s Iowa Visit Fueling 2016 Speculation

Rep. Jason Chaffetz is raising eyebrows with a pre-Thanskgiving visit to Iowa to raise money for a fellow Republican.

The Daily Beast says Chaffetz traveled to Des Moines to headline a fundraiser for county recorder Chad Airhart. Naturally, Chaffetz’s visit is prompting some chatter from those nattering nabobs.

Normally, there’s only one reason why an ambitious politician travels to Iowa in late November to help out a local county official, the Iowa caucuses. After all, it’s unlikely Chaffetz was inspired by a passionate belief that it is imperative for Dallas County residents to have a Republican file the deed to their homes. 

However, the Utah Congressman seems an unlikely presidential candidate for 2016. After all, he’s still only in the House of Representives, which is a poor launching pad for a presidential bid (the last sitting congressman to be elected President was James Garfield in 1880). Plus, being only 46 years old, Chaffetz is in no hurry and should have plenty of political opportunities in the future (including a possible Senate bid in 2018 assuming Orrin Hatch, who will then be 84, decides not to seek re-election).

But, in an email to the Daily Beast, Chaffetz insisted he was simply being a loyal Republican foot soldier. He wrote “”Ho Ho Ho. Just helping out where I can.”