Hillary and the Golden Road

Hillary PrideThe energy and excitement of Hillary Clinton’s Iowa organizers is very high. On a scale of 1-10, it’s a 16.

In May I met with Clinton campaign organizer Janice Rottenberg at the North Dodge Hy-Vee in Iowa City. She was busy on a conference call when I arrived ten minutes early.

Her handshake was firm, her voice confident, her manner enthusiastic. Rottenberg is an experienced political activist who demonstrated ownership in the Clinton campaign. From past campaigns I recognize one or two others like her in Clinton 2016. Between those I know personally and those I know through social media, they are sunlight diamonds who put on their wings to engage in politics. They seem to like the work very much.

If people like Rottenberg are the face of the Clinton campaign, Hillary will be hard to beat in the Iowa caucuses. They represent the polar opposite of what Iowa Democrats had become, bringing a positive, youthful energy to what otherwise have been desultory meetings among aging party operatives. They bring the party with them, and in doing so have the potential to elevate the Iowa Democratic Party.

If one doesn’t know where Hillary Clinton stands on an issue, the problem is likely with that person. For goodness sake, she has been around so long, and everywhere in the media. She has been part of the public conversation on a wide range of issues since the 1996 publication of her book, It Takes a Village.

That may be the flaw in the Clinton campaign: people feel they know her too well. In Iowa we like to survey the whole field before caucusing for someone, and while we know Hillary, we are also curious about the others.

It was with some regret I told Janice that Hillary was my second choice. I’m confident she entered that in a database soon afterward, probably before she left Hy-Vee.

As I returned to my car to drive the nine miles home, I thought about how my views on political campaigns had changed, and about the Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion).

Hey hey, hey, come right away,
Come and join the party every day;
Hey hey, hey, come right away,
Come and join the party every day.

~ Written for Blog for Iowa

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