A Day Free Of Classes Means A Day For The Iowa Caucuses
DES MOINES — At the end of each semester, Drake University cancels classes on the Friday before finals week to provide students with an extra day for study. However, for a politically-engaged student like myself, this Friday is not a day off from the 2020 Iowa caucuses. Instead of sleeping into the late morning and going to the library to prepare for finals, I found myself eagerly awaiting to kick off a morning of politics.
The first item on the agenda was listening to Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. Lightfoot was coming to Iowa primarily to participate in a forum with some of the Democratic presidential candidates; however, Lightfoot stopped by Drake University beforehand to have a town hall-style forum. In the audience were Drake students who (like me) took the opportunity that canceled classes provided to see the mayor of the third-largest city by population in the United States. Lightfoot talked about her background in politics and her priorities as mayor and expressed her firm commitment to equity and inclusion. Furthermore, she advised the audience to not let others define who they are. I think this event shows that the Iowa caucuses draw not only the presidential candidates but also prominent public officials from across the country.
After Mayor Lightfoot gave her concluding remarks and left, I put on my winter jacket and walked a couple of blocks to Mars Cafe. It was at the coffee shop that former Maryland Congressman John Delaney was present in an event held with the American Cancer Society. I noticed right away a large vehicle that was parked outside the cafe: it was the John Delaney bus!
Once inside, I looked to my right and saw a table with about twenty people listening to the former Maryland Congressman himself. It was interesting to me to note how other people were in the cafe going about their ordinary coffee shop activities, and right nearby happened to be a presidential candidate! As someone who is experiencing the Iowa caucuses for the first time, I find it funny to reflect on how normal it feels now to see presidential candidates after being in the state for almost a year of campaigning. I thought that the scene spoke volumes of the access Iowans have to important political figures. I waited until Representative Delaney was done speaking, and before he left, I asked him if I could get a photo with him. This concluded my agenda for a fun morning of politics!