August 14, 2015

Hillary Clinton Under Fire For Skipping Iowa State Fair Soapbox

Hillary Clinton will tour the Iowa State Fair on Saturday and undoubtedly take the obligatory photo op with the butter cow, but – unlike during her 2007 campaign – she will not participate in the fair’s most beloved political tradition – the political soapbox. The New York Times reports:

On Saturday, she will join a dozen other presidential candidates at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, where the menu includes apple pie on a stick, deep fried nacho balls and pumpkin spice funnel cake.

It’s not all fun and games. At the steak fry last September, Mrs. Clinton (who took the podium with a prolonged “Iowa, I’m baaaaaack!”) struggled to connect on the kind of grass-roots retail level that is critical in the early nominating state.

On Saturday, she will not speak on the “soapbox” at the fair grounds where most candidates will deliver remarks, but will instead visit booths to talk directly to Iowans, her campaign said. Mrs. Clinton’s decision not to jump on the soapbox and its bipartisan crowd, which Mr. O’Malley embraced on Thursday evening and Mr. Sanders will address on Saturday, has drawn some criticism from opposing campaigns that say she is avoiding the tough venue.

Why would Clinton to pass up the opportunity to make her case to Iowa voters when she’s losing ground to Bernie Sanders in the Hawkeye State – not to mention losing altogether to him in New Hampshire.

Ducking questions in favor of scripted and stage-managed events is hardly a new trend for Clinton. Her campaign’s mishandling (or in some cases, manhandling) of the press has become legendary, and Clinton is basically the only Democrat in favor of the DNC’s bare-bones debate schedule.

But we may have a hunch why Clinton is especially eager to avoid answering questions at the moment:

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