Live from Clear Lake: Dems on parade

Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Yesterday Dave attended the appearance of the Democratic candidates at the party’s Wing Ding fundraiser in Clear Lake, Iowa. Above the break below Dave reports on the appearance of Madam Hillary, below the break on the appearances of Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley:

DaveBegley I was deep undercover as I wore my Carleton College shirt and put a “I’m Ready Hillary” sticker on my car. I felt like Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now far behind enemy lines.

Clear Lake, Iowa is a cross between Detroit Lakes, Minnesota and Lake Okoboji, Iowa: a resort town. The crowd at the event was split between people who were teenagers the day Buddy Holly died and college kids. The college kids conducted a weird football-like pep rally outside the Surf Ballroom. I saw one misguided young man wearing a Dartmouth 2019 T-shirt.

Carly Fiorina appeared for a photo op at a cafe about six blocks from the Surf Ballroom. Her presence in Clear Lake suggested her readiness to throw down on Hillary. Hillary, in a fashion, answered the question Carly has posed: What did you accomplish as Secretary of State? (See below.)

The highlight of the event was a smooth jazz band from Des Moines called Worldport.

My Creighton classmate Dr. Andy McGuire opened the show. Glad to see her wearing a Bluejay blue jacket. She asserted that the GOP divides the country. It is a 50/50 country so that is really a tautology.

Hillary was the main show. I was impressed with her act. She was all amped up. She gave the best presentation and her speech was composed well. She started by asserting that the wingding dinner was comparable to Harkin’s steak fry. She did not have what we plebeians ate. It was horrible. Exaggeration is a form of lying so she was true to form.

She then made a joke of sorts. Hillary said that she had a Snapchat conversation the other day and was glad to see it disappear automatically. Big laughs. Is the FBI laughing?

In answer to Carly’s question, Hillary claimed that as Secretary of State she fought for women and girls around the world. Vague and amorphous pap. Her other main achievement at State was “crippling sanctions” that brought Iran to the table and she made the promise that Iran would NEVER get a nuke. How reassuring.

Clinton then pivoted and acknowledged that there were “good people on the other side” who opposed the Iran deal and that she supported Israel. Talking out of both sides of her mouth there.

Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley all addressed student debt and college costs. No explanation of the “pay for” other than they want the student demographic to vote for them.

In a bizarre move, Hillary noted that the GOP debaters did not address college costs or equal pay for woman. Hard to bring up the topic when the question wasn’t put to a single Republican.

She attacked Trump’s hair and Rubio on abortion. Not a word on the Planned Parenthood videos.

Clinton had a clever line about playing the gender card. “Deal me in.” “The GOP is not playing with a full deck.” Yuck, yuck.

Clinton again claimed she was cleared by Congress on Bengazhi and that she has turned over her server. She asserted that the server matter is all partisan politics. She must be confident that David Kendall got the hard drive wiped clean.

She ended by telling Iowans that she would be the first woman president. The crowd gave her a standing O upon learning that news.

* * * * *

Hillary got the biggest ovations, but Bernie and Marty were not far behind. Only Bernie had notes. Clinton and O’Malley used the teleprompter. The Des Moines Register said there were 2,100 in attendance and I believe it. The emcee said people from 19 states attended.

The most remarkable thing to me was how similar Bernie and Marty were on substance. I guess there is no difference today between the Democrat Party and the American Socialist party.

I won’t repeat Bernie’s points from his stump speech in Council Bluffs, but he was able to cut it down to 20 minutes. He started out by noting his big crowds and all the small donations (350,000) he has received. He later asserted he would not allow a Super PAC to help him. All three Dems had a fixation on campaign finance reform and Citizens United. That pesky First Amendment!

Lots of class warfare talk from Bernie and he now claims he is running a Revolution and income inequality is THE issue of our time. Paging V.I. Lenin.

Bernie never directly attacked Hillary other than to say that he did not vote for the Iraq war. He got giant cheers for single-payer health care and against Keystone XL.

One thing that both Bernie and Marty emphasized was comprehensive immigration reform. The Iowans in the room cheered and were oblivious to the fact that illegal aliens are taking their jobs and suppressing their wages. What’s the matter with Iowa?

O’Malley made one good point. He asked the audience if they anticipated that their kids and grandkids would have better lives than they did. Few raised their hands. But the Jesuit-educated O’Mallley didn’t ask which party would be mostly responsible for that gloomy future.

Marty claimed he had great success as Mayor of Baltimore. The inmates ran the city jail during his term and some people say he set the conditions for the 200 murders in Charm City this year. No great achievments there.

Dem candidates against Senator Grassley and Representative King were introduced. King is much hated and there was a skit with a guy marrying his lawnmower. You had to be there.

One Senate candidate said Grassley was “a target rich environment” and another claimed that Roundup herbicide causes non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

There was lots of talk of “Iowa values.” Considering that Robert Ray and Terry Branstad have essentially been Iowa’s Governors for life, the crowd in Clear Lake was not really in touch with reality.