Political Season in Siouxland, Northwest Iowa

28 Feb

Iowa as a state is first in the nation for caucusing and determining who runs for presidential elections. Both parties, Republicans and Democrats take their opportunity to visit personally and up close with potential candidates seriously. And dutifully those candidates pass through Siouxland. The parade has started here already this year. In 2015 the field of potential people for the Republicans was very full.

DONALD TRUMP, left, makes faces and gestures as he is introduced by local conservative SAM CLOVIS, right, prior to his addressing a gathering for a non-declared presidential campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, Saturday, May 16, 2015, at Morningside College.


U.S. Sen. TED CRUZ (R-TX) gets animated as he recalls a Homer Simpson about pork as he talks with Congress STEVE KING, (R-IA), center, and pork producer BILL TENTINGER, of Le Mars, Iowa, before speaking to a small crowd in Pierson, Iowa, Friday, June 26, 2015, at an outdoors event as he makes a campaign swing through northwest Iowa.


Republican presidential candidate and former Hewlett -Packard CEO CARLY FIORINA campaigns in a basement meeting room at Frontier Bank in Rock Rapids, Iowa, Jan. 11, 2015.

As a country founded on equality, although not always practiced, it’s wide open for anyone to run for the office of president. Most times candidates seen, even in the early days is somewhat managed, and they are traveling throughout the state on a grueling schedule.

Yawning widely as he is introduced, Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. RAND PAUL (R-KY) doesn’t hide the tiredness during late morning stop to speak to a crowd at Morningside College during a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, Wednesday July 1, 2015.


Republican presidential candidateU.S. Sen. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC) pantomimes adding an ice cream scoop as he makes a campaign stop at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor to talk with voters in Le Mars, Iowa, Friday, July 2, 2015.


Former Gov. RICK PERRYl, left talks with Carol Beckwith, center right foreground, and Mary Lou Kestner, lower right, both of Le Mars, prior to speaking to a small group in The Living Center ministry building in Le Mars, Iowa, Monday, May 18, 2015. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s this version of retail politics where local, everyday people can get up close and listen to what these folk say and get a chance to ask questions and even put them on the spot.

Republican presidential candidate Louisiana Gov. BOBBY JINDAL talks at a townhall meeting at the Sioux City, Iowa, Public Museum, Friday, July 2, 2015, as he makes a campaign swing through northwest Iowa.


Republican presidential candidate New Jersey Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE speaks to an overflowing room as he campaigns in the Blue Bunny ice cream parlor in Le Mars, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2015. Christie says the American people need to elect someone who already has executive experience.


RICK FETTERMAN, left, of Sioux City, Iowa, shows off the back of his tee shirt to Republican presidential candidate MIKE HUCKABEE which says Heaven Yeah, Hell No, as the former governor laughs prior to speaking at Minerva’s Restaurant during a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, Wednesday July 1, 2015.

A record number of Republicans ran for the office in 2015, and this time around a record number of Democrats are likely to be running. In some ways it makes for great political theatre. Seeing who goes the distance and who burns out. All are personable and sincere in their mingling with folk, and sometimes one might wonder how things turn out the way they do and how some individuals just didn’t live up to the hype of their campaign.

Republican presidential candidate U.S. Sen. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL) campaigns in the Campus Centre at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2015. Rubio missed an earlier event in Northwest Iowa because of snow conditions on the ground.


Democratic presidential candidate MARTIN O’MALLEY, center, is greeted by supporters at the home of Ben Nesselhuf and Angie Schneiderman prior to speaking to a small crowd during a campaign stop in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday June 28, 2015.


Democratic presidential candidate former Sec. of State HILLARY CLINTON waves to people in the crowd as she campaigns in the Orpheum Theatre’s lobby in Sioux City, Iowa, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016. Mrs. Clinton said drug prices need to become affordable and quit rising and costs for education reigned in.


Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. BERNIE SANDERS (D-VT) campaigns during the Denison, Iowa, Fourth of July parade, Friday, July 3, 2015, as he meets people along the parade route in the community’s downtown area.

And for folk who do not live in Iowa, while some may not consider this a great place to vacation (their loss) during the run up to the presidential campaigns of the two parties once candidates have been selected, it’s a fun way to see history being formed and what might come about and to say they had a chance to talk with a potential candidate and talk with other “regular” folk who are also checking these people out to see if they are actually worthy of their vote and to lead a nation and its people and be the face of America to the world.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Republican presidential candidate former U.S. Sen. RICK SANTORUM (R-PA), speaks to a small group of people in a meeting room at a Pizza Ranch in Sheldon, Iowa, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2015. Santorum told the those present he is the only Republican candidate who has continued to support the Renewal Fuels Standard program since its inception.


The American flag reflects in glasses as Republican presidential candidate former Gov. JEB BUSH (R-FL) speaks to a crowd at Bev’s on the River restaurant in Sioux City, Iowa, Friday, Jan. 29, 2015, in one last push to convince people to turn out and caucus for him Monday evening, Feb. 1.


Dr. BEN CARSON speaks to over 100 people at the Fruited Plain restaurant in Sioux Center, Iowa, Thursday, June 25, 2015, as he makes a campaign swing through northwest Iowa.


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