AJ Spiker Can Take A PunchSubmitted by GingerTaylor on Mon, 01/28/2013 - 20:28
I am home and processing all that has gone on, but wanted to share my experience with AJ Spiker, Chair of the Iowa Republican Party and former Ron Paul staffer, during our time in Charlotte.
I didn't know Spiker, but like many of you, was a bit disappointed when I heard that he had written letter supporting Priebus. It was before my Maine Committeeman Mark Willis had entered the race, but still... I was deprived of my delegation seat in Tampa by that guy.
So after the first day at the winter meeting we returned to the house we were staying in (our Liberty crew from ME, TX, NV and TN) and started pouring the wine. Shortly thereafter, fellow Mainer Eric Brakey came back and brought a friend. He plopped down next to me and introduced himself. AJ Spiker.
The gang filtered in and after a while, the conversation turned to Spiker's letter supporting Priebus. It began when one of the young women in our crew turned to AJ and said, "That letter that you wrote hurt my heart." Mr. Spiker dropped his head in shame.
So people started firing questions at him, and he answered very graciously, but the conversation got so confusing that we finally pulled up the letter, went through it line by line, and made him justify every sentence. AND HE DID! I think we even went through the letter twice actually. The whole conversation went on for probably an hour.
The dude took a pummeling, at one point someone at the table yelled, "AJ Spiker, you have less integrity than an Enron lobbyist!" To peals of laughter, including Spiker's.
In the end we all agreed to disagree on how to be a Liberty person on the inside of the Republican party (really not an easy task), and not everyone agreed with his rationale on his support letter for Priebus, but in the end, we all did respect him.
He did not lash back, or run away. And although I was sure we would never see him again after the hazing we put him through, he came back to Chez Liberty every night.
My overall impression... he is a good guy. Lots of humility. A real person. I really like what I have seen of his character. And I think that being on the inside of the GOP is making him die a little on the inside. It was clear that the political machinations were wearing him down a bit.
So props to AJ Spiker... the man can take a punch.