Ep80: Caucus Changes, Midwest Field, And Cory Booker Interview

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by former Lt. Governor Patty Judge to talk about proposed changes to the Iowa Caucus, the recent candidates visits, and how the field of Midwest candidates is shaping up. And we interview Senator Cory Booker during his first trip to Iowa.

Comparing The Democrats’ Iowa Caucus Event Styles

It’s a little under a year out from the Iowa Caucus, and presidential candidates are already inundating the state to make their pitch to local activists. What’s particularly fascinating from these initial visits is that the Democrats’ campaigning and event styles are just as diverse as the field itself. You can already start to see hints of how each candidate’s strategy in the caucus will play out by how they structure their first trips. Starting Line thought it would be helpful to compile all our brief observations on the candidates’ approaches into one piece. With a field this large, unless […]

Cory Booker’s Unity Message Will Test Whether Twitter Is Wrong

For a man who drew national fame in part because of his clever use of social media while mayor of Newark, Cory Booker’s message for his 2020 bid most certainly does not match the mood of today’s political Twitter. In his first journey to Iowa after his presidential campaign announcement, Booker stuck to an optimistic and aspirational homily, inviting the audience to join him in a fight to make America a more loving and caring place again. It’s the philosophy of public service that has driven Booker’s entire life, from his years trying to mentor gang members while living in […]

The Other Way That Pete Buttigieg Stood Out In Iowa

Even in an incredibly crowded 2020 field, there’s plenty of ways that Pete Buttigieg, mayor of a mid-sized Midwestern city, stands out: he’s young, gay, and an Afghanistan War veteran. But his first appearances in Iowa after his presidential campaign announcement were noteworthy in a much more simple way: how bluntly and honestly he answered questions. The South Bend, Indiana mayor kicked off his well-attended events in Ames and Grinnell on Friday with a very short stump speech (possibly too short, actually, for this early in the race for a little-known contender) before diving right into questions. The party activist […]

Ep79: Early Relationship Building In The Iowa Caucus

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast host Pat Rynard is joined by Representative Jennifer Konfrst to talk early relationship building and outreach from the presidential candidates, as well what’s happening at the Statehouse this week.

Ep78: We’re Back! David Yepsen Caucus Talk & Sherrod Brown Interview

The Iowa Starting Line Podcast is back! Pat Rynard sits down with Iowa Press Moderator David Yepsen to discuss the early stages of the Iowa Caucus, and we interview Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown during his first big trip out to Iowa.

Steve King Brings Some Friends To The State Of The Union

Congressman Steve King announced that he would bring one half of the far-right YouTube star duo Diamond And Silk to the State Of The Union as his honored guest. Each member of Congress gets one ticket to give out to the balcony seats for the President’s address on Tuesday evening. In a tweet, King said that Lynette Hardaway (the Diamond of Diamond of Silk) won a coin flip to get the seat, but that both women would join him at a congressional event the next day. Iowa’s Democratic members of Congress are all bringing Iowans; King’s guest is from North […]

Push 2020 Dems On Their Rural Plan, Vilsack And Caucus Group Urges

Don’t let Democrats running for president get through the Iowa Caucus without developing a real message for rural America, Tom Vilsack and a rural-focused issue group is suggesting to Democratic leaders in the state. “Every one of us should be taking this mantra to every single one of these candidates,” Vilsack encouraged a group of about 30 Democratic legislators and party leaders and staff at a reception last week. The organization Focus On Rural America hosted the group as part of their efforts to press the 2020 field about how they’ll talk to – and win – rural Midwestern voters. […]

Cory Booker Expands Iowa Team Ahead Of Visit

Senator Cory Booker is beefing up his caucus operation in advance of his first trip to Iowa as an official presidential candidate. He’s secured several additional experienced Iowa operatives to his team, and the previously-announced staff now have official job titles. Perhaps most notably, they’re already hiring regional field organizers a year out from the Iowa Caucus. That signals both a strong investment in competing in the caucus in general, and that Booker could have an extensive field operation up and running before most others. Michael Frosolone, who led the Iowa House Democrats’ efforts the past two cycles and picked […]

Love, Reparations, And Fighting Back: A Marianne Williamson Iowa Tour

She’s the presidential candidate that you may not have heard about, but millions of others outside the usual political circles have. Marianne Williamson, who has over 2.6 million Twitter followers, a collection of best-selling books, and frequent guest appearances on shows like Oprah’s, crisscrossed Iowa this week as part of her official White House run kick-off tour. The author of many spiritual and self-help books like A Return To Love, Williamson knows her candidacy doesn’t follow the traditional route, but in a wide-open year like 2020, that’s not deterring anyone. “I know there will be 1,736 people who will be […]