DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa Democrats were hoping Monday that they left a lasting impression on activists over the weekend. The weekend provided two big opportunities to stand in front of the curious.
"It was a phenomenal opportunity. I got to introduce myself to hundreds of thousands more islands and probably never heard me speak," said Andrew Yang, the New York entrepreneur and presidential candidate.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee, another candidate, figures that Iowans are only now paying attention, since it's nearly eight months until the Iowa Caucuses. He said, "I think you were starting to see people begin, just being in, to focus on this potential. And I’m excited because there is a great well open minds. Democrats are looking for in a candidate that they think create a vision of defeating climate change. I have a vision of how to do that."
The idea is to find a way to stand out, said U.S. Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio. "You create a buzz within a couple of days. That’s how you get a fire going," he said.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris, California, said she finds campaigning in the state a mutual benefit. "I have benefited from the conversations and from listening to Iowans as much as I talk."
Former U.S. Representative Beto O'Rourke, who narrowly lost a U.S. Senate race in Texas to Republican Ted Cruz, said he is talking to Iowans about the need to find a candidate, like himself, who can win over Republicans, too. "It’s going to take that kind of movement to defeat Donald Trump in 2020. It’s going to take that kind of movement to bring the country together again in 2021," he said.
California author Marianne Williamson who recently temporarily moved to Des Moines said she warns Iowans of where the country has gone in the wrong direction. She said, "Where we have deviated from our deep democratic principles, where we are not performing as our government of the people by the people and for the people. We are performing as a government of the few of the people buy a few of the people for a few other people."