Large Crowd Gathers for Buttigieg Event in Rural Iowa
WINTERSET, Iowa – This Buttigieg event was my first of its kind and quite an interesting experience. We arrived as soon as the Black Lives Matter protest was wrapping up. This led to some shaken Pete volunteers explaining what had just happened and how the protests had been following the former mayor across Iowa. After some quick googling we found out we had missed the opportunity to the question them even more about the Mayor’s issues with the African American community involving the firing of the first black police chief of his city. Little did we know, this was only the first thing Buttigieg would be citified for that day.
Despite arriving fairly early, we were sad to find we hadn’t gotten to Winterset quick enough to have secured seats relegating us to the standing crowd. We were lucky enough to get a good standing spot so that we could see fairly well but weren’t optimistic about our chances of standing less than an hour. After a few short interviews and conversations with some of the many reporters in the crowd, the event surprisingly started right on time.
Even though the start time was right on the hour, we had a speaker out over fifteen minutes before Buttigieg was scheduled to speak. The younger representative for Buttigieg was quick and fairly well-spoken to boot. After his short story about why he thought that we should be involved and a little bit of getting the crowd hyped up, there was no downtime until the former mayor was coming out to address the modest crowd before him. It is important to note that the crowd at some point had gotten much larger and all of the space that had been empty behind us had steadily been growing to the point that they no longer had space in the hall. While I was very surprised to see such a large crowd at all, it was even more so that the hall was filled in such a small town as Winterset Iowa.
Then, Buttigieg started his short stump speech; emphasis on short. He was talking about 15 minutes total and went straight into 15 minutes of questions. Definitely a huge wakeup from the status quo of candidates showing up explosively late, talking for over 30 minutes about every single one of the policy platforms that come to mind, and finishing with another 45 minutes of questions.
While it is sometimes nice to hear more about the candidates’ views, the shorter speech segment was appreciated. We even got the splash of controversy as one questioner referenced the controversy of campaign finance that Buttigieg was more than ready to answer after the fiasco at the debate. In all, I was very happy to have heard Buttigieg, got a picture with him, and got out in under 45 minutes. Certainly, the other candidates from the coasts could take a play out of his book in common courtesy.