Booker Selfies with Supporters at Smash Park
On Saturday, November 9, Cory Booker and an enthusiastic group of supporters gathered at Smash Park in West Des Moines. He greeted guests with hugs, and, of course, he took the time for a selfie with every attendee. (As someone who has selfie-ed with the Senator, his angles are very consistent. Go ahead, find an unflattering photo of him. You can’t.).
Even in Iowa, the venue wasn’t what most would expect from a political event. Smash Park is a gigantic gym filled with pickleball courts, bocce ball, ping pong, foosball, giant connect four, and a lot of beer on tap. Swaths of energetic screaming children run amuck, while their parents sit at a long table decorated with fried appetizers and local beer. Needless to say, it’s not exactly the type of facility you would expect a United States Senator and 2020 presidential candidate to walk into. And, yet…
Booker strutted into the venue in a pair of jeans and a classic navy sport coat. He exchanged hugs and rounds of cornhole with supporters. Drinks flowed, appetizers were plentiful, and everyone on or near the pickleball courts were grinning ear to ear.
The event was scheduled to begin at 8:30 PM, according to the Des Moines Register candidate tracker. If you are ever unsure of where candidates will be and when definitely give this site a look. There seems to be a presidential candidate in Des Moines every single day, and that’s not an exaggeration.
This weekend, Booker seemed to be making more than enough pit-stops around Iowa. With the launch of his new economic plan, he toured a number of small businesses around the state. On Saturday, alone, Booker did a small business tour of Noce, he sat in on a small business roundtable discussion at Ichi Bike and then stopped in for the meet-and-greet at Smash Park. On Sunday, the tour continued at Grow Harmony Farm, a wind farm in Nevada, Iowa, then went on to Torrent Brewing in Ames.
Traveling widely around Iowa isn’t uncommon among the 2020 primary candidates. At this point in the race, candidates who have struggled to gain traction so far are starting to pour their resources into Iowa, such as Senator Kamala Harris. Recent polling data from the Des Moines Register showed Booker at just 3% in Iowa, despite a rising number of endorsements from locally elected officials.