Not to Brag, but John Delaney Bought Me Dinner
PANORA, Iowa – Democratic hopeful John Delaney hosted an event at the Owl’s Nest Bar and Grill on Jan. 21. This event was an hour west of Drake’s campus and when I arrived at the event with two other classmates, we signed in and were greeted by members of Delaney’s staff who asked if we were planning on caucusing for Delaney. We shared with the staff that we were undecided, but we were looking forward to meeting Delaney after seeing him at the Brown and Black Forum the day before. John Delaney greeted us after we signed into the event and he asked us where we were from and thanked us for coming to his event.
After shaking his hand and introducing myself, I shared with Delaney that I went to Drake University and saw him at the Brown and Black Forum. With excitement, he asked what we thought of the forum and I told him I appreciated how critical the moderators were of each candidate. Delaney said he enjoyed the forum and had fun answering questions. Delaney then moved to another part of the room to greet new people as they entered the event.
My friends and I found a table to sit at which we introduced ourselves to a local reporter for a radio show for Guthrie County. The state director for Delaney’s campaign then sat at the table and began talking to us about our experience leading up to the caucus and how we found out about the event. He shared with us that throughout the campaign he lived in Davenport but has recently moved to Des Moines for the two weeks leading up to the caucus. I asked him about his experience as state director and he said he has really enjoyed working for a small campaign because it provides the opportunity to work closely with the candidate and travel across Iowa with Delaney to events. Originally from New York, the state director shared that he has enjoyed living in Iowa and loves the city of Des Moines. When it was time to order dinner, the state director said the bill would be on one tab and the campaign would cover it. So major shoutout to the Delaney campaign for paying for my chicken nuggets and sweet potato fries.
Delaney then shared his back story and what led him to run for office. He said that his time as a representative for Maryland taught him that public service “shouldn’t be about you, it should be about the lives of the people you serve”. Delaney then answered questions from the audience during which he spent nearly ten minutes explaining how social security works to an audience member.
After the event, I had the chance to ask him a question about women’s reproductive rights. He said one goal he had to ensure the reproductive rights of women across the country would be to make Roe v. Wade the law of the land.
Overall, my experience at Delaney’s event was positive. I saw him previously at the We the People Forum and Brown and Black Forum and I was not impressed by his interviews. Small events like this are the essence of retail politics that give Iowans the opportunity to sit and have meals with candidates. Small events don’t bring in major press coverage for campaigns, but it acts to humanize presidential candidates.