Sept. 14 will mark the prodigious return of Hillary Rodham Clinton to Iowa. It will be her first visit when she left the crucial presidential battleground as a third-place loser to Barack Obama there in 2008.
Clinton with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, is set to take the stage at the 37th Harkin Steak Fry, an event hosted by retiring Iowa Democratic Sen.
She will be announcing whether she’s running again for presidency in 2015.
Her remarks on Sunday will be under granular precision for any signal towards a second trial for the White House in 2016.
Former President Clinton has previously appeared at the steak fry four times and is scheduled to speak after Mrs. Clinton at the closure of the program. Mrs. Clinton appeared at her last steak fry in 2007.
After leaving her post she spent time promoting her memoir, Hard Choices, and attended speaking engagements to raise money for the Clinton Foundation.
Clinton’s spokesman, Nick Merrill said the former first lady is “looking forward to campaigning for her Democratic friends and colleagues” to “help raise money for important races in Iowa.”mer first lady is “looking forward to campaigning for her Democratic friends and colleagues” to “help raise money for important races in Iowa.”
Harkin said he is clueless about Clinton’s political plans at this point, but commented,“I’ll support Hillary for anything she wants to do. She’s that good a friend and that great a leader.”
Some 5,000 people are expected to be there, including more than 200 journalists from around the world.
A CNN/ORC poll of registered Iowa voters suggested that if the caucuses were held today she’d garner 53% of the vote. The poll was out on Friday. Vice President Joe Biden was at 15%, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren scored 7%, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has 5%, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo 3%, the second last position was attained by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley 2% and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick 1% came last.
“The thing that Iowans are going to expect is a presidential candidate who can sit down in their living rooms, talk the talk,” Iowa GOP chairman Jeff Kaufmann said. “I don’t think Mrs. Clinton fits the bill … unless there’s been some kind of born again experience in her ability to interact with the common Iowan.”
Jeff Link, a longtime Democratic strategist and Harkin adviser who was unaligned in 2008 commented,“She ran a really aggressive campaign in 2008. She just sort of ran into a buzz saw with Obama, who ran a campaign like [one] never seen before in Iowa.”
“Barack Obama was a phenomenon. He just was. I’ll give him credit, he worked hard in Iowa, but so did she,” Harkin commented after been asked if Clinton would do things differently in Iowa if she runs in 2016. “I don’t think she ran a bad campaign at all. I just think Obama was on a roll.”
The proceeds will aid Democratic candidates and a political institute in Harkin’s name at Des Moines’ Drake University.