Political Disneyland: how the American heartland wins the presidential race

Why not just invent American cities, especially those in the heartland to attract journalists and tourists. Festivals, zombie parades, Groundhog day (this you know). But few people are as lucky as De Moines, capital of Iowa. This city was called the most unremarkable capital of the Midwest, it was even nicknamed De boring (boring — boring), but it has changed politics, writes in the blog journalist “voice of America” Yulia Yarmolenko.

Политический Диснейленд: как американская глубинка выигрывает от президентской гонки

Photo: Depositphotos

Hereinafter in the first person.

In the late 60’s the democratic party decided to improve the process of selecting a single candidate from the party in the presidential election, selection stretching on for months. Party leaders decided to make Iowa the first state where the Republican primary pass — through intricate and complex process of voting and counting of votes on the so-called Caucus meetings. The Republicans changed the rules a few years later.

After the win in Iowa gave impetus to the campaign of Jimmy Carter, whose name a year before the Caucus learned only 2% of the electorate, other politicians and interested state and strategy of the Democrat. Carter’s idea was simple: to visit as many small towns and talk to as many people in person, while other candidates did not have time to do so. This method is used now.

Iowa — when is the next US President wants to shake hands, it is desirable for every resident of the state having the right to vote, and kiss all photogenic babies. When a number of political analysts in the state of corn fields for half a year exceeds the number of farmers, when all the famous journalists of the country are changing newsroom in Washington and new York field Studio des Moines.

Two and a half thousand journalists from 30 countries came to the Caucus in des Moines this year. And how many workers campaign landed here six months before the election? Associate with this a huge number of restaurants, which appeared in the city over the past ten years. Now in des Moines has more restaurants per capita than new York! By the way, the first restaurant in which we operator went to eat in 2008, as it turned out, was the headquarters of the campaign of Barack Obama.

Des Moines in an election year is a political amusement Park. But the main attractions are the presidential candidates. A farmer on a tractor with a huge flag, “trump 2020” goes in the direction of the school? And then in the gymnasium rally at Joe Biden. A lot of people around the coffee shop on Saturday morning? This Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a latte and a croissant tells why we should vote for Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren does not have time on your meeting, but meets with supporters at a local brewery at 11 PM, just after arriving from Washington.

Tom Stayer — you know this candidate? It occurs without warning in the media center and by agreeing to a short interview, joking about the fact that the bottle of water he had vodka.

“Well, that at least someone thinks your jokes are funny,” says his press Secretary, seeing me laughing (for the species). “Yeah, says the candidate — and that person was me!”.

Des Moines — when from 80 locations, where the Caucus, I choose one randomly and there comes Elizabeth Warren to campaign to voters before the vote. And since the microphone is not working, she stands in the middle of gym and screaming into a megaphone. Warren is leaving, and the Democrats endlessly believe how many people gathered in the area of each candidate. Children throw paper airplanes, the woman on the right knits, and a few journalists who decided to wait for the final result, find out what to expect its just better sitting or lying on the polished floor of the school gym.

Already flying from the international airport des Moines (technically international as a joke by yowza), I thought how paradoxical this yoska popularity every four years. When the city turns into a Mecca for political tourists, given access to all candidates and media attention.

But in the end, politics is not interested in all, as well as the sport. And for most people probably the name of one of the candidates from the past election season, like Marco Rubio, just do not say anything, as for me the name of Peyton manning (a player in American football). So Iowa, as a lot of it would be written in the beginning of the election year, will continue to be confused with Ohio and Idaho, as the accents and letters in the names of Buttidzhichem.

It’s all fun summed up a random guy at the airport, which, despite loaded in three floors long truck television technology, I asked my girls: “In the city something’s happening?”. And she, after thinking a little: “I don’t know. Seems to be something political.”

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