CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (CNN) - Iowa may stretch over 300 miles border to border, but presidential candidates are bound to cross paths when so many of them are there at the same time.
That's what happened Wednesday morning at the Clear Lake 4th of July parade, where GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton appeared on separate floats.
The two candidates met briefly, shaking hands and talking before the start of the parade.
A Romney spokesman tells CNN the former Massachusetts governor, his wife Ann, and son Josh approached the New York Democrat and former President Clinton.
Described as a "very gracious" meeting, the White House hopefuls wished each other a happy 4th of July, and Romney wished Clinton good luck in the campaign.
The two also discussed Josh Romney's plan to visit all 99 counties in Iowa in a Winnebago.
– CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson
Clear Lake is also famous for something else: it was the site of the last concert by Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper before they were killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake. They played at the Surf Ballroom, which thankfully survived a date with the wrecking ball some years ago and has now been restored. I saw it in 1994 before the restoration – just as it was the night Buddy played there on that fateful night.
I am trying to decide: Does Hillary look like a banana or a canary?
I think this chance meeting was a positive for both candidates. For Romney, he is viewed as a co-front runner for his party's nominee (as of July 4). And, for, Sen. Clinton, it positions her as somebody who is at the level of Romney (clearly the most intelligent 2008 presidential candidate), and one who is the unabashed leader in Iowa.
Great article - thank you!
Greg Smith & Associates
Eagle (Boise), Idaho
He should have asked her what really happened to Ron Brown and Vince Foster.