Welcome to the brand new Iowa political news site, Iowa Starting Line! I (Pat Rynard) am very happy you’re here and I hope you’ll join us on a daily basis to find news on the Iowa Caucus and Iowa politics.
What will you find here? Iowa is about to take center stage as the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates descend upon us once more, eager to win over the caucus-goers that could catapult their campaign to the front of the pack. I hope to give readers an Iowan’s and insider’s perspective on what’s really happening on the ground. Which candidates are building real, substantive grass-roots campaigns, and which are just playing for the cameras?
Now, I am a Democrat. Sure, I’ll approach some stories from a Democrat’s perspective. But those who know me well know I’m not some blind, partisan hack when it comes to my opinions. Quite the opposite. I’ll call out bad Democrats and ones that make lousy decisions (I would have had a field day if I’d started this in 2014!). And I’ll approach Republican presidential candidates from a more analytical standpoint, and may even praise those whose campaigns impress.
This will also be a full-time project for me. Expect consistent, quality content on a daily basis. My current plan is to have two posts a day Monday-Thursday, one Friday and Sunday, and one on Saturday only if news warrants (we’ll see how long that plan lasts). I’m particularly looking forward to doing series of posts on topics like an Iowa travel guide, an Iowa issue primer, How to Win ____ County, and a series on younger Democrats that are rising stars at the city and county level who don’t otherwise get any attention.
For all the strategies and post ideas I have, however, what I really want to accomplish is to give readers a sense of just how fun the Iowa Caucus is. There really is no where else in the country where you can meet candidates for the most powerful office in the world on a regular basis and have a real, substantive conversation with them. And it’s not just meeting them. You walk into an Iowa campaign office to volunteer and you can end up working next to some of the best political strategists in the country. Drive down a street in downtown Des Moines in the month before the caucus and there’s a satellite TV truck on every corner. It’s exciting. It’s fun. But most of all, in a time where big money and poll-tested messaging holds a depressingly strong grip on our politics, during the Iowa Caucus it feels like what Democracy should: an honest conversation between candidates and a well-informed populace.
The website is almost where I want it to be – WordPress has proven difficult to work with, but I’m getting the hang of it, so please forgive me if things are a little screwy this first week. On mobile devices the posts show up uneven, but you can still get to all the content just fine. A big thank you to friends who helped me get it to this point.