Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Four Candidates at July 17 Iowa Dems Event

The 2016 Democratic caucus cycle now has its first official multi-candidate "cattle call" event.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O'Malley and the not yet officially announced Jim Webb will all attend the Iowa Democratic Party's Hall of Fame event Friday night, July 17 in Cedar Rapids.

The Hall of Fame is a traditional multi-candidate event in caucus years. In 2007, five of the six leading candidates (Obama the exception) attended.

Unless something else is announced sooner, the event is likely to be Clinton's first Iowa event that's not by invitation only. UPDATE: Something was. It's not a totally wide-open event; it's a party fundraiser with tickets starting at $50. And speech time tends to be tightly regulated so Q and A sessions are extremely unlikely.

But the event will go a long way toward calming the core party activists who are paying attention seven months before the caucuses, and who've grumbled about not being able to see the frontrunner in person.

Republicans have seen several multi-candidate events over the last few months, most recently Joni Ernst's Roast and Ride last Saturday, and all have drawn major media attention.

Democratic Party officials have been hinting that the Hall of Fame would have "major" guests for several days; IDP chair Andy McGuire almost said as much at our county central committee meeting on Thursday.

An IDP spokesman said the other announced candidate, Lincoln Chafee, has been invited and is welcome to attend. I have no reason to believe he won't; my bet is party officials didn't want to wait on his final answer before announcing they'd landed the other four fish. UPDATE June 15: Yep, I was right. Chafee now on board, adding milliliters of excitement.

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