I’m an old lefty, in my fourth decade of supporting progressive democratic issues and candidates. Though I’ve never lived in Iowa, I’ve been on the ground there following the presidential candidates in the caucuses since 1996 and campaigned for Howard Dean, Barack Obama, and Bernie Sanders… There’s always an Iowa road map in my car even though I don’t need it much by now, and one bank of presets on the radio is set to Iowa stations. I recently gave up my CD level party officer position so I could concentrate on writing my blog for rural progressives, Blue Out Here. I live in a town of 39 in rural southwest Minnesota, so my “beat” naturally includes rural and all too red northwest Iowa. Just about any time the presidential candidates appear north of Sioux City and west of Mason City I’m there, including the rural forum in Storm Lake a few months back where Elizabeth Warren was the only top tier candidate to appear.
Much of my passion is for electing down ballot democratic candidates, and I’ve seen how a strong top o’ the ballot candidate’s coattails can help elect democrats all up and down the ballot, and all too often I’ve seen how a weak top o’ the ballot candidate can lose us yet another election in rural districts. Political bloggers tent to be honestly partial to their favorite candidates, and with the DNC less than a year away it was time for me to pick a candidate.
My first criteria was that the candidate is a progressive, Elizabeth Warren clearly ticks that box. Second, the candidate had to have a strong rural platform supporting family farmers, here’s Elizabeth’s. Third, that platform has to be followed up with a proven commitment to rural issues… Only 20% of Iowa’s population lives in predominately rural areas, but Elizabeth has made over half her Iowa campaign appearances there, a higher proportion than any other top tier candidate. Finally, to win a candidate has to be authentic… As the crowds at her events exceeded the capacity of the venue, Elizabeth would go outside in the cold to speak to everyone, and take questions too. And instead of scurrying off after delivering a stump speech to private audiences with big donors and big media, Elizabeth stays to answer more questions and even pose for 100+ selfies with fans!
For these reasons I heartily endorse our best and strongest candidate for progressives and rural America, Elizabeth Warren!