Joe Biden Surrogates Highlight Iowa’s Electoral Responsibility
On Wednesday, Jan. 8, Joe Biden’s presidential campaign hosted a surrogate event at the Adel Family Fun Center in Adel, Iowa. With a population of just under 4,400, the town produced a turnout of caucus-goers that nearly rivaled the number of reporters and Biden staffers in attendance. The result was a cozy midday rally with a handful of speakers on the docket: two out-of-state state legislators, former Iowa governor and current Iowa legend Tom Vilsack, and former Secretary of State and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, all traversing the state to stump for Joe Biden.
While the former Vice President was not in attendance, the handful of surrogates addressing the crowd underscored a sense of urgency trailing American politics today. They called on the Iowan audience to be the first voters in this cycle to find an experienced and formidable Democratic candidate in Joe Biden.
Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta highlighted this, pointing out that Iowans “know how to sift through” candidate options and shoulder the task of picking a president for the nation. The ensuing speeches continued to laud Iowa for its heartland values and for taking on this unique electoral responsibility by extensively vetting the available candidates.
Kerry told the attendees that he remembers fondly his own campaign for the presidency when he would travel Iowa and see attendees taking notes on his speeches, comparing them with notes from speeches given by other candidates. Iowans take their role seriously and they do the appropriate research, knowing the weight of casting the first votes.
After reminding Iowans of their discipline and responsibility, Kerry sized up the current political situation through the lens of the current president. He urged Iowans to make the right choice between an unstable president and a stable, experienced candidate. The number one qualification of Joe Biden, according to the speakers, is his ability to get to work on day one fixing Trump’s mess.
“America has lost its fairness. And it’s lost even the ability to sometimes be able to determine what the baseline of truth is. And in a democracy, if you can’t tell what the truth is, folks, it’s really hard to build a consensus around issues. It’s hard to lead a nation,” Kerry said.
An employee working that particular shift at the Family Fun Center chose his wardrobe appropriately, wearing a shirt printed with the phrase “build bridges, not walls”. He grew up in the Midwest and has lived in many of its larger cities, but has lived and worked in Adel for long enough to see many presidential candidates pass through his bowling alley, including Hillary Clinton and Cory Booker.
As Biden’s Iowa numbers show a weakness for a frontrunner, the campaign hopes that small events and high-powered surrogates can turn Biden’s fortunes around.