The Iowa State Fair stands to make $2500 off the 2016 contenders alone

13 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

16 presidential hopefuls head for the chal….

It is a candidate’s challenge: The Iowa State Fair opened for business in Des Moines on Thursday, and with it comes the “Candidate Soapbox,” set smack in the middle of the main concourse. Over the next nine days, 16 presidential candidates will have 20 minutes to have their say before God, country, cows, locals and journalists who hope some hapless hopeful will have a fried-food malfunction for the cameras.

This year, more than a dozen candidates for president are scheduled take their turn on the soapbox, among them Republicans Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, and Marco Rubio. But it can also result in awkward moments and ill-timed soundbites. “It’s an important thing for candidates to do,” Tom Henderson, chairman of the Democratic Party in Iowa’s Polk County, told the Associated Press. “The pitfall is that in prior years, the real news story has been hecklers, which leads to quotes the candidates have to answer for.” In Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign he said at The Des Moines Register’s soapbox: “Corporations are people, my friend.” The comment dogged Romney for the rest of his campaign. Kay Henderson, an Iowa native who has covered candidates at the fair for Radio Iowa for more than 25 years, told NPR candidates must observe the three F’s. At campaign stops in recent months, former Florida Governor Bush held hands and prayed with a flower-laden man in a top hat, Wisconsin Governor Walker embraced a sobbing homeless military veteran and former Secretary Clinton graciously accepted garlic pills from a supporter concerned for her health. “But over five months away from caucus night, top Iowa GOP strategists suggest it’s still anyone’s game. Hillary Clinton is holding a 50% to 31% lead over upstart Sanders, who is gaining ground in early-primary state New Hampshire,” CNN’s Betsy Klein writes.

Oddly enough, both Donald Trump and Hillary Rodham Clinton are scheduled to attend the fair on Saturday as well — but neither has confirmed if the soapbox is on their agenda. Trump sits down for a face-to-face interview with NBC “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd to talk about his rivals, the economy, immigration and foreign policy, the network says.

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