Politico has noticed that there has been a lack of women in statewide office for the past 20 years. A name is presented as someone who could resolve this situation. So what name first pops into your head? If you guessed U.S. Senate candidate Joni Ernst you would be absolutely right. However, Politico mentioned her as an afterthought buried deep into their article written by Dave Price.
The female being promoted by Price as the savior to this situation is Hillary Clinton who might be running in the Iowa primary for presidential nomination, not statewide office. Price takes the example of Bonnie Campbell who was attorney general of Iowa 20 years ago to launch into a paean to Hillary before getting around to briefly mentioning the actual female candidate for statewide office many paragraphs in towards the end of the article, Can Hillary Overcome Iowa’s Woman Problem?
Twenty years after Campbell’s failed bid, no Iowa woman has yet been elected governor. Or to Congress. Or won an Iowa Caucus. None.
Flash forward to late 2013. That’s when Campbell started having serious conversations with friends. “People kept coming up to me and said Hillary has to run,” Campbell says.
Campbell will often say “Hillary” or “Bill.” And she isn’t name-dropping. She is on a first-name basis with both Clintons. They have known each other for more than 20 years. President Clinton hired her during his first term to head the Justice’s Department’s Violence Against Women Office. They stayed in touch after he left office. The Clintons called years later to check in on her as Campbell’s husband, Ed, was dying of cancer.
Campbell became determined to help Hillary Clinton do what she herself couldn’t do during that run for governor: win in Iowa. They thought they could do it in 2008. With Campbell serving as the campaign’s Midwest co-chair, Clinton, the only female presidential candidate for her party that year, finished with an impressive 737 delegates. (That was nearly 30 percent of the total. But Clinton’s presence in the race helped attract nearly 240,000 Democratic caucus-goers, which more than doubled the 2004 turnout.)
...Enter “Ready for Hillary.” Campbell is one of its proudest volunteers. No fancy title, she says: “If they want me to go somewhere and talk to somebody, I do it.”
Ready for Hillary is a political action committee, unlike one anyone here can recall ever seeing, with one mission: “Organization, organization, organization,” says Campbell.
“It’s really the group that’s goal is to set the table for a hopeful ... slash ... eventual ... Clinton campaign,” says Derek Eadon, a Des Moines Democratic political consultant.
Like everyone else in the political world, Eadon thinks Clinton will run for president. She just hasn’t announced it yet. Eadon admits, “I usually use ‘if’ and ‘when’ interchangeably.”
Eadon, like Campbell, claims no special insider knowledge—it is just a matter of time in his mind. Until Clinton does announce, Eadon will get Iowa ready for her. He serves as Ready for Hillary’s Midwest regional director, but Iowa is his primary focus. He is one of only two paid staff, and there is no official Ready for Hillary office. So they work out of his political consulting business in Des Moines’ trendy East Village.
Price's Hillary paean goes on and on and on until many paragraphs later the actual female candidate for statewide office is briefly mentioned towards the end:
So is Ready for Hillary. Eadon says the group has given $30,000 to the Iowa Democratic Party for campaign efforts. The group’s volunteers are phone-banking, emailing and door-knocking for Iowa Democratic candidates statewide—including U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley who is in a battle for his political life, locked in a tougher-than-expected slugfest with previously little-known State Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from southwest Iowa.
Braley was Harkin’s personal choice to replace him. Clinton praised them both during her remarks at the Steak Fry. And she also took at shot at Ernst, who opposes abortion rights. Clinton said to the crowd, Iowans have “a chance to elect a senator who knows that women should be able to make our own health care decisions.”
And yet Dave Price somehow misses the irony of the fact that Hillary is helping to defeat the one female candidate for statewide office in Iowa.