From Fried Butter to Grilled Food: The Village Fair at the Heart of American Politics

From Fried Butter to Grilled Food: The Village Fair at the Heart of American Politics

Rivers of butter, lots of corn dogs, and a dove in the depths of America. L’Iowa State Fair This is it, but also much more. It is the most important fair in the state and is held every summer in the capital, Des Moines. In 2023, it began on August 10 and will continue until the 20th. It began in the second half of the nineteenth century and became annual at the end of the century, attracting more than one million visitors every year. Including politicians. Yes because the Iowa State Fair of Americans is also one political traditions.

Each year, candidates for presidential, from the presidency to the governorship to seats in the House and Senate, wander around the gallery booths surrounded by photographers. An appointment not to be missed, a popular bath has now become a ritual. How can Iowa become the center of American politics for one week in the summer? Candidates had always visited the show, but that all changed during the 1970s as the country became a political fixture.

Kamala Harris at the show in 2016

The fair and public bath of politicians

In fact, the party primary race has begun in Iowa. It’s the first state where all the candidates are still running, so it’s a prime opportunity for everyone to break out of the crowd and try to show they’re the right person to get the job. nominations. The tour can become among the people in the show reinforces Just to stir up a campaign or confirm momentum in the polls.

Again this year is no exception and almost all of the nominees are out the Republican Party, about 18, ready for a pilgrimage to Des Moines. Allow you the opportunity to get off among the people in working class American, prove yourself one of them, reduce the distance between politics and voters. This is why almost all of the candidates, for example, immortalized themselves with a “butter cow,” a sculpture of about 300 kilograms of butter depicting an animal. But not only. The real point of contact between candidates and ordinary citizens takes place between the booths to Food street AmericanEating food.

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In fact, there are many pictures of politicians bent on biting Corn dogs (a deep-fried, breaded sausage stuck on a stick), sip a drink or nibble on some other fried butter depending on the moment. It is a sensitive but necessary political step. Hardly anyone looks flashy and authoritative while eating street food, but for many candidates, the risk is worth it.

The Iowa State Fair is also an opportunity to rediscover one of the founding myths of deep America. speeches from soap between bales of straw. These are Flash interventions, without much preparation, made on a box and made immortal by films western. Many of the candidates improvise some assemblies, where two or three sentences are recited before or after a booth party. All under the eyes of amused bystanders who do not skimp on a few jokes, some objections and even tricky questions to catch some unprepared candidates.

Another traditional fairground trail in Iowa is the trailhead reconnaissance on grains of corn. Fair attendees leave a grain of corn in a jar that matches their preferred candidate. The politicians then walk to where the cans are placed, usually voting for themselves, and then examine who has the lead in voting in the gallery.

Former Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg in 2020

political event

It seems hard to believe, but the political fates of several candidates are at stake in the Iowa show. the Washington Post He remembers, for example, the candidates’ many unhappy sentences. From democrat John Kerry who joked that it was not clear why anyone would move to Iowa, A.J Mitt Romney Who let slip how in reality multinational corporations were equal to ordinary people. Even for Joe Biden The exhibition proved dangerous. In 1987, he practically stymied his candidacy in the Democratic primary by giving a speech that later turned into a transcript of another candidate. appearance of the Ted Cruz In 2016 when it was publicly contested by the actor Elliott Pagewho was still going by the name Ellen Page at the time.

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However, there are also those who manage to brag. In the summer of 2015, Sen Bernie Sanders Improvise a speech that attracts the attention of a thousand people. Results? Six months later, she lost to Hillary Clinton by just 0.25 points. Same speech for Donald Trump. In 2015, his candidacy still seemed like a fit. The billionaire arrived at the show by helicopter, which landed not far from a baseball field. The first thing to do is go to a group of kids playing and say, “Would you like to ride a helicopter?A frivolous move that nevertheless gave him the public’s favour.

2023 Race: DeSantis Siege

Also for the 2024 election, the race will have a mandatory pass-through at the Iowa State Fair. This year is especially so for a large group of GOP candidates. In fact, among them is the former vice president of Trump Mike PenceFormer UN envoy Nikki HaleyFormer North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum Conservative Radio Presenter Larry Elder Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson African American Senator Tim Scott and technology pole Vivek Ramaswamy.

But the show was above all a long-distance duel between Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis. The decision of the former President of the Republic sparked a challenge between the two He brought with him a handful of his loyal Republican deputiesNone from Iowa, but all of fl. Smack from a distance on a ruler Sunshine condition who struggles at the polls.

For DeSantis, the stalls tour hasn’t been easy. It immediately started with a banner from a small plane that read “Be Nice, Ron,” recalling a proposal made to the governor during the 2018 campaign. Then the hardest part came during a public conversation with the state’s Republican governor Kim Reynolds.

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During the debate, De Santis would frequently interrupt with the sound of whistles and cowbells, a series of interruptions that culminated in the police driving away the protesters. climate Th noticed The New York Timeswhich DeSantis’ campaign did not expect.

It didn’t get any better when she put on her apron to cook some burgers to sell to passersby. The governor was repeatedly provoked by Trump supporters chanting, “We love Trump(We love Trump). Even the classic walk with the family in the midst of a banquet didn’t happen peacefully, with a series of surreal moments. On the one hand, some voters were yelling at him.We love you, GovernorOthersGo get them RonOn the other hand, a large group of detractors from the right and the left took turns to “fascism“to me”loser“.

For Trump, it was the show insteadAnother offerEven for the deputies who were with him. Matt GaetzBetween the various jokes, the trumpiano iron let himself go, saying: “We have better meat to eat than Ron DeSantisMeanwhile, the ex-president toured the fair, then launched on a stand for the “MAGA meal day” initiative, a campaign-financing kit that sold for $24 with a double cheeseburger, fries, and Coke. Clip from seasoned vendor, clip Painless portrays well the gap with DeSantis in the polls.

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