Hillary Clinton’s Iowa Balancing Act Starts Off Well (with Video)

Hillary Clinton hoped to “start small” with her inaugural Iowa trip for her 2016 campaign, but that didn’t stop excited crowds from swarming her during two “off-the-record” drop-bys in Mt. Vernon and the Iowa Statehouse. Clinton briefly stopped at a coffee shop in the small college town of Mt. Vernon on Tuesday to chat with a few local activists. But word of the unannounced stop traveled quickly on social media, and Clinton was soon swamped by fans and onlookers who ran down the main street to catch a glimpse. When she arrived to the Capitol for a closed-door meeting with […]

Meet the Iowans Who Were At Clinton’s First 2016 Campaign Stop

Ah, to live in Iowa. Two days after announcing her 2016 presidential bid, Hillary Clinton drove straight to Iowa to meet with small groups of voters to kick off a different type of campaign. Her advisers hope the focus on smaller events where Clinton can have real conversations will dispel concerns over her 2008 campaign and allow her to receive input from individual voters. Her first publicly scheduled event was a roundtable discussion at Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, but she first dropped by a coffee shop in the picturesque river town of LeClaire, Iowa for an even smaller meeting […]

Jim Webb Criticizes Influence of Money in Politics During Iowa Swing

Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb displayed his military-like efficiency during an Iowa swing at the end of last week, marching through an impressive and diverse number of events throughout the state from Thursday through Sunday. Among other events, he met with Democrats in Council Bluffs, spoke at the Polk County Democrats’ fundraiser, toured a veterans museum and factory in Waterloo and an ethanol plant in Mason City, visited a Vietnamese community event back in Des Moines, and headlined a fundraiser for Democrats in Mason City. It was his first Iowa expedition this year, having done a three-day tour back in […]

Hillary’s 2.0 Launch Hits All The Right Notes

For months we’ve heard time and again from the national press and many Iowa activists about how Hillary Clinton has an “Iowa Problem” and will likely run a presumptive campaign. They’ve said she’s arrogant for delaying an all-but-certain campaign so long. They’ve suggested she hates Iowa and might snub her nose at the caucus state that upended her campaign last time. Well on Sunday she became the first Democrat to officially declare a presidential campaign. And the first stop on her campaign tour? Iowa. Small town Iowa, in fact, for two low-key message events. Just saying. Her introductory video announcing […]

Sunday Grab Bag: SNL’s New Hillary, GOP Has More Fun, and RIP Bart

Good morning readers! As always, a lot happened in the political world this week. Enjoy our Sunday Grab Bag of shorter takes on a number of Iowa and national political topics: Buckle Up, Hillary, SNL is Back Finally, are Saturday Night Live political sketches going to be funny again? Last night’s certainly was, with the exceptional Kate McKinnon portraying Hillary Clinton once again for a skit where Clinton prepares her announcement video. McKinnon could soon be a breakout star here, because she actually understands that you’re not supposed to mimic the politician perfectly, you’re supposed to make them into a […]

Could O’Malley Really Do It? 5 Things He Needs to Win Iowa

Martin O’Malley returned to central Iowa this week for multiple events and meetings to test out his potential presidential bid, all the while a reported Hillary Clinton weekend launch looms with new imminence. When Clinton announces on Sunday it will suck up all the oxygen in the news media for weeks. She’ll probably raise more money in the first week she declares than O’Malley could hope to raise in months. And yet he persists. Plenty of potential presidential candidates haven’t even dipped their toe in the water before peering into the pond and getting scared off by Clinton’s visage staring […]

15 Loyal Democrats You Want on Your Side in the Iowa Caucus

As the race for the White House begins to heat up on the Democratic side, politically-engaged Iowans’ phones will soon start ringing with calls from potential presidential candidates. Which people are contacted and swayed will go a long way in determining how well each candidate’s Iowa organization develops. Well-known names are nice to put on a press release, but an Iowa Caucus victory is won precinct-by-precinct through the blood, sweat and tears of well-connected local activists who campaign tirelessly for their candidate. Starting Line takes a look today at 15 loyal Iowa Democrats who presidential candidates would love to have […]

Former SNL Actor Gary Kroeger Enters Iowa’s 1st District Race

Gary Kroeger made it official last night: he is a candidate for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District, set to face Monica Vernon, Ravi Patel and possibly Swati Dandekar for the Democratic nomination. He announced his campaign to a crowd of supporters in Cedar Falls last night. Kroeger is looking to position himself as the most progressive option in the race. “I am an unapologetic, lifelong progressive and a proud lifelong Democrat,” the father of two sons said in a release. “Many recognize the need for a new kind of leader in Washington yet rely on the same pool and the same […]

Issue Group Watch: NextGen to Press GOPers on Climate Change

Calling whomever is elected President in 2016 the “last best shot to avoid a climate disaster for our children,” top strategists from NextGen Climate Action laid out plans to actively engage early in the presidential primary campaign. On a Monday conference call with reporters they announced the environmental issues they see as crucial to America’s future and pledged to press Republican presidential candidates on many of their views on science. Specifically, they rolled out their “Hot Seat,” an over-arching campaign to hold Republican candidates accountable for their positions in the primary and engage voters in early voting states. NextGen says […]

Young Leaders Profile: Natasha Newcomb

A life of political advocacy and being a single mother to a gifted child has well-prepared Natasha Newcomb in her new plan to run for Des Moines School Board. She is a candidate for School Board District 3, campaigning for the election in September. Starting Line enjoys highlighting younger Democrats running for office or who might be future leaders, and Newcomb promises to be an important voice in central Iowa and the local education system. Being a Single Mother and Campaigner Newcomb grew up in Minnesota for most of her childhood, she and her brother raised by a single mother. […]