Presidential contenders of all stripes are getting ready to hit the Iowa State Fair, and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is no exception.
As she prepares to visit the ultimate site for campaign photo-ops, Mrs. Clinton earned the endorsement a key Iowa Democrat, Tom Harkin. The former US senator wrote in an editorial in the Des Moines Register on Thursday that the former secretary of State "has devoted her career to championing the needs of children" and has been a "tireless advocate for women and families."
But the support of local politicians is no guarantee that Clinton will steal the show in Iowa, where a handful of presidential hopefuls will climb on the central soapbox, aiming to woo the throngs of supporters.
“The Iowa State Fair is something of a right of passage for presidential candidates, featuring plenty of ‘down-home’ photo-ops, a chance to share a pork chop on a stick with voters, and a bit of practice fielding the inevitable hecklers,” The Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday. “The event can strip away formalities and reveal a more authentic and light-hearted side of the 2016 hopefuls. But it can also result in awkward moments and ill-timed soundbites.”
And Iowa is especially important for Clinton as she campaigns to win the home of the first presidential caucuses.
“Clinton is pouring staff and resources into Iowa's caucuses to fend off a strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has drawn large crowds in the state and around the country, and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, who is planning a major push into the state,” the Associated Press reported.
Most of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Clinton, will address Democrats at Friday night's annual Wing Ding fundraiser. Clinton plans to hit the Iowa fair on Saturday, though she has not formally announced any plans to climb atop the soapbox.
GOP Presidential candidates Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio are also expected to speak at the fair, as are Democrats Sen. Bernie Sanders (D) of Vermont and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.