DES MOINES, Iowa–It is difficult to find a Republican thinking about running for president who hasn’t already been to Iowa or who is making plans to come soon. But that hasn’t been the case with Democrats, as potential candidates have largely stayed away with Hillary Clinton’s candidacy looming.
But three Democrats, and one who caucuses with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, have confirmed plans to come to the Hawkeye State. Vice President Joe Biden leads the group. He is scheduled to hold events Thursday at Drake University and Des Moines Area Community College to talk about the administration’s economic policies. Biden’s trip is considered an “official” one as he is representing the Obama administration, as opposed to a purely political one for Biden to gauge his support in the state for a 2016 run.
Retiring Drake President David Maxwell said in the statement welcoming Biden, “This is a wonderful chance for our students, faculty, and staff to hear from and interact with the Vice President.”
Next up on the visitor list is Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a Socialist-Independent who would have to change to Democrat to compete in the caucuses. Iowa only holds Democrat and Republican caucuses.
Sanders headlines the 35th anniversary celebration of the Iowa Citizen Action Network February 20th. ICAN is a progressive social change organization. Executive Director Sue Dinsdale said on Channel 13’s The Insiders, “We believe in uniting people around progressive issues and values…Senator Sanders fits right it.”
Soup’s on for Sanders, too, on his Iowa trip. On February 21st, he is scheduled to speak at the Story County Democrats Soup Supper.
Polk County Democrats plan a potential 2016 two-fer in April. Monday, the party announced former Virginia Senator Jim Webb will join former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley at the 4th Annual Spring Dinner April 10th. Polk County Chair Tom Henderson said of Webb’s addition to the lineup, “He’s a former Senator who has a distinguished background in matters of national defense and we look forward to hearing his views on the future course of our nation.”
Henderson said about O’Malley last week, “He is one of the bright stars in the Democratic Party, and it will be wonderful to hear his insights on our nation’s future course.”
Monday O’Malley tweeted that he got hurt over the weekend.
Clinton has no announced Iowa visits scheduled.