Mark Sanford is Doing the Adam Emmenecker Challenge of Politics
WEST DES MOINES– The “Adam Emmenecker Challenge” is famed lore in Iowa food culture. The challenge gets its name from former Drake University basketball player Adam Emmenecker, and its rules are straightforward: you have fifteen minutes to eat a compilation of Emmenecker’s favorite meats (stuffed inside two buns) surrounded by a ring of french fries weighing one pound. Needless to say, the challenge is incredibly difficult to accomplish, and can only be found at your local Iowa Jethro’s BBQ.
Although finishing the “Adam Emmenecker Challenge” may appear to be the most long-shot challenge one would find at a Jethro’s, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford would beg to differ. On Friday, October 18th, Sanford walked into a Jethro’s in West Des Moines to give the pitch to locals as to why he, instead of President Donald Trump, should be the Republican nominee for president in 2020.
Of course, Sanford himself acknowledged that his chance of success is close to none, but that did not deter some interested Republicans from listening to what he had to say. Sanford addressed a room of about 20 people as to why fiscal responsibility is an agenda that is being abandoned by the Republican and Democratic parties. Sanford pointed to three things in particular that he thinks to need to be reduced: the federal debt, deficit, and spending. At one point during Sanford’s speech, a young child cried and ran towards Sanford before being retrieved by a parent; Sanford quipped that the child had just as strong an opinion on fiscal responsibility as he did. When Sanford finished speaking, he stayed for over an hour to eat dinner and talk individually with those present.
One interested student at Iowa State University made the trip from Ames, Iowa, to see Sanford. Jacob Schrader, who is originally from Sioux Center, Iowa, does not approve of President Trump, and would rather see the Republican party promote what Sanford stands for. Schrader said that he thinks that most Republicans do not care about fiscal responsibility anymore; furthermore, because he saw Sanford as a long-shot candidate, Schrader believed him to be honest when describing his policy positions.
When asked on who he plans to caucus for, Schrader said Sanford — and moments later, Sanford sat down in the same seat where Schrader was eating his mozzarella sticks. Schrader jokingly warned Sanford not to eat any; when asked if Sanford would still receive his vote if he took any of his mozzarella sticks, Schrader laughed and responded affirmatively. Perhaps for Sanford, this is the type of commitment that could kick-start his long-shot challenge to President Trump in Iowa.