You can see just about everything at the Iowa State Fair and yesterday for the first time in the 2016 Presidential season Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton and GOP leader Donald Trump were together, sort of, on the fairgrounds at the same time.
Sure there were other Democrats and Republicans at the fair as well but really everyone wanted to see and be seen by Clinton and Trump, two people who most likely would not have been there had it not been a political must for anyone wanting to win in Iowa.
So there was Clinton walking among the fair goers, shaking hands, taking pictures and even eating yummy fried fair food. Clinton came to Iowa to prove that she can connect with everyday people and do some much needed retail campaigning where she was with the people, talking and listening.
But during a two-day sweep through the Hawkeye State this weekend, Clinton is showing she’s learned her lesson — and that she’s really trying to put that problem behind her.
There were no rope lines keeping people out like there were during a July 4 parade in New Hampshire just a few weeks ago. Clinton separated herself off from reporters and the people causing the press to criticize for not wanting to connect with voters.
But at the fair, crowds totally swarmed her and her escort, former Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who just endorsed Clinton this week. The scrum following Clinton was so densely packed that followers at times had to take one-inch baby steps to move, bumping shoulders with people next to them — if they could move at all.
Clinton didn’t take a turn on the soapbox. Politicians, including GOP candidate Jeb Bush just a day earlier, will often jump up on the stage to take questions from Iowans. And on Saturday, just hours after Clinton left, her most threatening Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders got up there to rail against corporate American greed.
The crowds for Sanders during his soapbox speech were even larger than the one that followed Clinton, and the fact that she didn’t speak was not lost on the other candidates. But goal one for team Clinton was accomplished and that was to start the warm and fuzzy – get close to the voters connection. Conversations on policy will come later in Iowa, but this weekend was about retail politics.
Meanwhile, Trump was on site giving rides to kids in his helicopter and walking around the grounds greeting fans and blasting his opponents. He was greeted immediately by constituents who stood beside him as he fielded questions from reporters.
“I’m turning down so much money,” Trump said at a press conference kicking off his weekend trip to Iowa to visit the State Fair, with his black helicopter emblazoned with “Trump” and children standing in the background.
Trump touted turning down a $5 million donation offer this week before saying he would spend $1 billion on his 2016 Republican presidential bid “if I had to.”
“Nobody else would do the job that I will do,” Trump said, mentioning jobs, the military, care for veterans and the “catastrophe” of ObamaCare, which he said he would get of and replace it with something better.”
Trump’s highly anticipated appearance at the Iowa State Fair, including a throng of media and huge crowds. This week he opened his first campaign office week and remained at the top in Hawkeye State polling.
Iowa State Fair goes got the star treatment from Clinton and Trump which at the end of the day is all they wanted.