Both Marianne’s Event and Campaign Lasted Too Long
DES MOINES, Iowa— The event was at Franklin Junior High school and while we knew that it was certain we would get to see presidential candidate Marianne Willison at the event, anything else that we would see or do was totally unknown. We arrived at the intermediate school on Thursday, Jan. 9, around 6:30, about half an hour before the event started to ensure that we could get good seats for the forum. This was our first mistake, assuming a Williamson event would be heavily attended. While I need to admit that I am no fan of Williamson, its self-evident she wasn’t making the impact she wanted considering she dropped out the following day.
My friend and I attended the event together and the strange experiences began as soon as we arrived. Just as we left our car and started walking up to the door, we saw a lady neither of us recognized tell us she was just trying to find something out of her car before the event. We both responded with a “good luck” and walked off before we considered we had possibly just had our first experience with the presidential candidate we had come to see in a middle school parking lot.
While we wouldn’t find that out until later when we finally saw Williamson on stage speaking, we put our interaction inside as we walked into the school. The first thing we noticed when we came in was the state of the building: run-down, empty, and mostly out of date. Nobody around us really knew where to go and were stranded in the entryway until someone walked past and gave us directions. It was at that time that we realized there was also a mock caucus going on. After a few minutes of quiet debate over whether we should skip the event altogether and go to the caucus, we reluctantly agreed we had come too far to turn back now.
After we had located the room the event would take place in, we were fairly surprised when someone sat down at a piano in the corner. While that did seem to be fairly in the realm of possibility for a Williamson event, what really threw us was when he started singing some jazz/soul combination. After a little while, he was joined by some other women and the two took part in a duet until we got started. Truly a tell for what sort of things we should have been expecting.
A moderator then came onstage and told us about tonight’s line up that also included an Iowa senatorial candidate and former Governor Bill Weld from Massachusetts who is running for president on the Republican ticket. The Senate candidate, Kimberly Graham, is a progressive candidate not supported by the mainstream party but was received well by the crowd. The Bill Weld forum itself was very interesting as it included in-depth discussions on the headline, religious faith, despite Governor Weld trying his best to avoid faith-based questions from the three pastors on the forum.
The main event, partly due to the mystery surrounding Williamson, was someone of a letdown. Williamson proved to be even more evasive on the questions being asked to her than Governor Weld was despite being open about her faith and its effect on her campaign. She did talk sporadically about policy but largely came off as lecturing the audience and rambling. Just to clarify again, it is true I don’t support this candidate I believe these are still fair criticisms as her answers truly were in the range of fifteen minutes, we timed them, and rarely addressed the question, as one questioner drew attention to. In all, Williamson’s last campaign event was similar to her campaign as a whole, it lasted much longer than it needed to.