We expected Iowa's presidential-contending guests to commend their host governor. All spoke highly of Gov. Branstad. Some personally emphasized their admiration for "Terry."

As candidate after candidate discussed leadership strategies, we found ourselves looking for the most Branstad-ish of the bunch. Who has extensive executive experience, but didn't build a career solely around government? Who sets lofty goals and develops the personal relationships and trust to build coalitions that put ideas into action? Who has demonstrated an ability and enthusiasm for the detailed work of consensus building? Who speaks easily with regular Iowans?

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That's the lens that clarified our support of Mitt Romney. But it speaks so highly of Iowa's own governor, we felt the need to add an endorsement to today's page. In this contentious, entrenched environment, we endorse Branstad's executive leadership and work ethic that, we believe, reaches presidential caliber. 

We don't know the governor's personal aspirations. We simply see a level of public service to which our nation's next leader can aspire.