Archive for April 27, 2009
Obama Wins Iowa! His First 100 Days
by Paul Harris
Paul Harris of The UK Guardian's Observer, was in Iowa last week covering President Obama's first 100 days as seen through the eyes of Iowans. His article ran in Sunday's Observer. Blog for Iowa got a mention! So it is definitely a must read…
Iowa, the State that made Obama, gives its verdict on him
It was in Iowa that Barack Obama won his first, stunning victory over Hillary Clinton to take a huge step towards the Democratic nomination and the White House. Last week, he returned to the rural, mainly white state to unveil his plan for a greener America – and found that many Iowans like what he has done, but fear for their future
Since then, Iowa has featured strongly in Obama's team – several key members of his government hail from the state – and Obama has held an equally special place in the state's political folklore. “Obama's political life as president was essentially born here. He really is a president from Iowa,” said [Douglas] Burns [reporter for the Carroll Daily Times Herald].
Obama's popularity in Iowa – which he turned from red to blue by beating the Republican candidate, John McCain – grew during his campaign, when tens of thousands flocked to hear his soaring rhetoric of hope and change. Now Obama has been president for almost 100 days and the cold, hard realities of governing a deeply troubled superpower have set in. Iowa, like any other state in the United States, is hurting.
After almost 100 days of Obama, America seems more open to a period of progressive politics – and, perhaps, Democratic domination – than any time in a generation. That can be seen in Iowa, too. The state recently legalised gay marriage, suddenly putting this slice of middle America far ahead of more traditionally liberal states such as California or New York.
That leads some Democrats in the state to say that Iowa's famous bellwether status is now firmly blue and likely to stay that way. “In my mind, we are a blue state,” said Trish Nelson, a psychotherapist in Iowa City, who helps run the progressive website Blog for Iowa. Certainly for Nelson, Obama's first 100 days have lived up to her dreams. “He is the president that we thought he was going to be,” she said.
Others are a little more sanguine, reflecting a national mood of fear about the future. As an icy wind blasted down Walnut Street last week, groups of workers gathered outside, smoking cigarettes. Vicky Adams was one, huddled in a doorway, trying to keep warm. “It's so far, so good,” she said of Obama's start. In times of almost unimaginable economic crisis, such a verdict is probably the best that many could have hoped for.
(click here to read the entire article including more stuff about Iowa and quotes from Iowans)