Just Another July 4th in Iowa
The leading presidential candidates spent their 4th of July mingling with potential Iowa caucus-goers. They paraded through small towns across the state. They at holiday food, sweated and posed for pictures next to the iconic pickup truck or local mayor. Nobody said running for president was easy.
Warm weather, watermelon, parades, and politicians. July 4th is important, Marion County Democratic party chairwoman Phyllis Weeks told the Des Moines Register while waiting for candidate Chris Dodd’s arrival at an elementary school, “because this is Iowa, this is what people love about Iowa, this depicts it better than anything else. Families are together, friends are together. This is an apple-pie day."
It was a typical Iowa holiday during election season. Residents of Clear Lake, in northern Iowa, cheered as the newly premiered “Mitt Mobile" blasted the Boston rock anthem “Dirty Water" in the town parade. (“Along with lovers, fuggers, and thieves — aw, but they're cool people. Well I love that dirty water. Oh, Boston, you're my home.")
A sketch of the "Mitt Mobile" as pictured on the Five Brothers Romney Blog.
The Mitt Mobile (a bus/mobile home) was driven by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s son; the former Massachusetts governor and his wife working the crowd a few yards ahead of the red, white and blue road yacht.) Romney marched in an impressive three parades in two days. Yet even though he was in the heartland of America, his city loyalties were exposed as he eagerly shook hands with supporters wearing Red Sox gear.
Is that supposed to be a painting of farmers on the end of the bus?
At the same parade in Clear Lake, Hillary Clinton walked with former president Bill Clinton. The pair clearly upstaged Romney, who was relegated to the back of the parade. KTTC reporter Chris Hrapsky wrote that the Clintons “garnered the most snapshots, the most attention, the most applause" from the crowd of 60,000. (Although two women in the crowd thought it was game show host Bob Barker, not the former president, marching in the parade, according to the New York Times.) Afterwards, the Clintons joined their staff for shakes at a dairy bar in Nashua before continuing on to Des Moines.
Barack Obama skipped the parades to continue his two-day speaking tour of rural Iowa. In Oskaloosa and Pella, Obama was met by crowds of several hundred supporters. Obama positioned himself as the candidate of the future and of change. “I admire Bill Clinton, I think he did a lot of fine things as president and he's a terrific political strategist," Obama said. “What we're more interested in is in looking forward, not looking backward. I think the American people feel the same way."
Scott Cochran, a Clear Lake resident, admired the fact that the Clintons attended his town’s parade. "Bush comes to town, and they got him sequestered," Cochran said. “You can't even get close to him. Bill and Hillary walk down Main Street and they're kissing babies and shaking hands. They're real people and we've got to get them back in the White House."
William Ekwall, who saw Romney in the Waukee parade, told reporters, “I wouldn’t think Iowa would mean so much but it’s nice that we do."