Many of us assumed this recording was made surreptitiously.  It must have been. There’s no way a statewide office-seeker from Iowa would knowingly demean farmers and a beloved state political figure on tape, right?  Wrong, says the Braley campaign, via the Des Moines Register:

Braley’s campaign strategists say the candidate knew he was being videotaped at the private fundraiser when he made the remark that has the political world buzzing, describing Chuck Grassley as “a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school.” They think the GOP is seriously overhyping the videotape, and that it will backfire. “I think they’re overplaying it like they overplayed Obamacare,” Jeff Link, a senior adviser for Braley’s campaign, told The Des Moines Register. “When most voters hear ‘Obamacare,’ they essentially tune it out because it’s become the proxy for negativity.”

And what do Iowans think of the man most associated with Obamacare — the other issue Republicans are “overplaying”?  From Quinnipiac’s March 2014 poll, taken before Braley’s comments went viral:

Although Team Braley shrugs off their man’s foot-in-mouth mistake in this article, their sloppy and panicked response tells a different story. Oops:

The Braley campaign misspelled a couple of basic Iowa-farm-related words –detasseling and baling – in its press release defending the U.S. Senate candidate’s street cred with farms and farmers. A sharp-eyed Des Moines Register editor noticed that the news release said: “Bruce grew up in rural Iowa and worked on Iowa farms, detassling corn and bailing hay.”

He’s one of you, Iowans. Oops, redux:

So he meant to say what he said, misspelled key farming terms in a defensive press release, then apparently just Googled “farm photo” and tossed it up online with zero due diligence. Solid rapid response, Braley campaign. Longtime observers of Iowa politics think this controversy will leave a mark, with CNN labeling Braley’s campaign “an epic mess:”

As we await Braley’s next flub, I’ll reiterate a question I asked last week. The Iowa Democrat warned his trial lawyer buddies in the clip that if Republicans take over the Senate next year, a non-lawyer (and a farmer, no less — yuck!) would be in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee. The horror.  Ah, but next in line for the chairmanship on the Democratic side is Sen. Dianne Feinstein…who never went to law school either. Is she also unqualified, Bruce? I’ll leave you with a 2009 clip that reminds us that Bruce is a real stickler for fancy credentials: