Team Hillary has landed a big fish in Iowa as former Iowa Democratic Party chair Sue Dvorsky has taken on a state-level leadership role in the campaign.
"I'm going to do what I do best, which is talking to my Democratic neighbors," said Dvorsky, whose role has not yet been defined by a formal title. "Because of my work at the state party. activists know me and trust me."
Dvorsky and her husband, state Sen. Bob Dvorsky, were key early backers of Barack Obama in the spring of 2007. Sue chaired the state party from the summer of 2010 through the 2012 election.
"Rebuilding the party is the most important thing," said Dvorsky of Iowa Democrats, still reeling after last year's losses. "My first ask is, who's caucusing. My second ask is to caucus for Hillary."
"this is a different kind of campaign," Dvorsky said in comparing Clinton's 2008 caucus run to today. "There is an absolute commitment to a field campaign. We're actually running an old fashioned primary."
Republicans, in contrast, have a nomination contest that's been redefined in a post-Citizens United world by unrestrained campaign money. That has led directly to the unprecedented size of the Republican field, said Dvorsky.
"By eliminating the need to fundraise, the Republican nomination process drags out longer," said Dvorsky. "All they need is one billionaire to artificially boost candidates who don't have ideas," she said, citing Sheldon Adelson's support of Newt Gingrich in 2012 even after he had done poorly in Iowa and New Hampshire as an example.
"Democrats can't unilaterally disarm" in the money race, she said. "That's like bringing a sword to a gun fight."
I promised Sue I'd work this in.
"Sure they (the Republicans) have a candidate announcing every 36 hours because a little niche isn't represented yet," said Dvorsky. "And maybe you CAN run into one in a Hy-Vee. But would you WANT to? Their vision is No, Hell No, and We Hate Hillary Clinton."
"Their whole platform is what they are going to take away, and they're in a dive to the bottom," she said of the GOP field.
Democrats, in contrast, "can engage each other with ideas," said Dvorsky.
Dvorsky's endorsement and role started to trickle out yesterday, overshadowed by Jon Ernst's Roast and Ride, as she made an appearance at a meeting of Democrats in West Branch, just a few miles from her home in Coralville.
Dvorsky said she plans to make much of her effort in eastern Iowa but she plans to travel the whole state in support of Clinton. As Iowans, "we get to, and have to, begin before everyone else."
"I'm excited to be able to make history a second time," she added.