Iowa finally in the spotlight
President Barack Obama boards Air Force One prior to departure from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, June 28, 2011. Obama is traveling to speak on the economy in Bettendorf, Iowa.
June 28th, 2011
12:45 PM ET
12 years ago

Iowa finally in the spotlight

Bettendorf, Iowa (CNN)- President Obama visits a factory in Bettendorf. Sarah Palin attends a movie premiere in Pella. Iowans will go to bed with their political bellies full on this day.

A couple of months ago, those bellies were growling. Iowa's notoriously impatient political class was complaining loudly that candidates in the 2012 field were giving this crucial early voting state the cold shoulder.

Even the state's Republican governor was warning the candidates better get out here. And many of the GOP contenders have done just that. Now it's the President's turn.

Both the White House and the President's reelection campaign insist Obama's trip to an Alcoa factory just off the Mississippi River is strictly an official visit.

In a conference call with reporters, an administration official cautioned the President is "going to really focus his visit on growth of manufacturing."

But Iowa is clearly not far from the President's mind. After all, this is where Mr. Obama pulled off his upset win in the 2008 Iowa Caucuses in what later became a bruising nomination battle against Hillary Clinton.

"Iowa is clearly a special place for the president," added Jen Psaki, Deputy White House Communications Director on the conference call. "He spent a significant amount of time there and really got to know many people across the state very well when he was running."

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Iowa GOP Chairman Matt Strawn said Obama's visit to the Alcoa Davenport Works Factory in Bettendorf is calculated.

"It certainly is suspicious. I think there's a famous saying that no politician comes to Iowa by accident," Straw said in an RNC conference call with reporters.

"Almost all of his visits are political," Priebus added.

The White House will let the pictures from the Alcoa factory visit do much of the political talking for the President. For its backdrop, the administration has chosen a plant that is hiring workers in a state that enjoys a low six percent unemployment rate.

Iowa will likely be a key midwestern battleground in the upcoming general election. Mr. Obama won the state by nine points in 2008. But President Bush barely eeked out a victory Iowa in his reelection bid in 2004.

The President is sharing a crowded political stage in Iowa. Later in the evening, Sarah Palin will attend the premiere of a movie that was made to "reintroduce" the former Alaska Governor to voters.

Steve Bannon, the director of the pro-Palin film "The Undefeated," told CNN the picture is aimed at destroying what he calls the "Caribou Barbie" image of the 2008 Vice Presidential candidate.

"It's not to reinvent Sarah Palin. Governor Palin, you know, handles her own media," Bannon told CNN.

"The story I thought was what I call 'hiding in plain daylight', hiding in plain sight was the story of her stewardship as Governor and I don't think she'd ever been introduced to the nation correctly."

Of course, Palin is not the only Republican visiting Iowa this week.

On Monday, Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann laid into the President's economic record as she launched her campaign near her birthplace in Waterloo, Iowa.

"We cannot afford four more years of Barack Obama," Bachmann told the crowd.

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Sarah Palin
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. S. In California - Obama 2012

    Personally, I'll keep my eye on the president. The others REALLY aren't important.

    June 28, 2011 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  2. The Other Michael in Houston

    Of course President Obama's visit is political, why else would he waste his time in SLO-Iowa! And great , just great, another middle aged guy who has the hots for that unattractive woman Sarah is trying to convince us that she is not the air headed bafoon quitter that we KNOW she is. Wah tis it with you people? Sarah is not even good looking. She looks like that girl that at 2:30 am when all the hot chicks have left the bar, your beer googles convince you to go home with. I don't get it!

    June 28, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  3. Sniffit


    June 28, 2011 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  4. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America

    "W cannot afford four more years of Greedy Old Pig partisanship."

    There, Michele, FIFY.

    June 28, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "Evolution is not fact. It is a theory, with strong evidential support for short term characteristic changes and weak evidential support for long term species changes."

    I can't help it. Do you even know anything about allopatric or sympatric speciation? Darwin's finches? There is, in fact, overwhelming evidence in support of long term speciation and ample flexibility in evolutionary science for how it occurs. Your statement was a blatant falsehood. Take a biology class.

    June 28, 2011 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    Rep. Bachman fails to realize is that while President might be the one driving the car out of the ditch, it ws George Bush who chose this dangerous deficit filled road that we are on. Rep. Bachman also fails to realize that most Americans already know this, and that Republicans are ensuring that we stay on this current path.

    In other words, the more Republicans claim Obama's policies are a failure, the more they point at their own failed ideology because Republicans have not compromised on any other course of actions.

    June 28, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  7. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    I certainly hope the taxpayers aren't paying for Obama's campaign visit to Iowa. He's wasted enough of our money already. This is salt in the wound.

    June 28, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. SecedingfromTexas

    And we will all have a "belly full" after non-stop Palin and her "I'm so Wonderful" movie tomorrow.

    June 28, 2011 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Bob

    We cannot even afford 1 more year of Barack Obama's destruction coalition.

    June 28, 2011 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  10. gt

    one thing is for sure ... we cant have four more years like the last four....get the banks lending and convert to natural gas..

    June 28, 2011 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    "Almost all of his visits are political," Priebus added.

    Wow what a profound statement! Aren't all of you "politicians", making everything you do while on the clock "political"?

    June 28, 2011 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. John K.

    Who the hell cares about Iowa or New Hampshire? They are small states who are given far too much clout in the presidential selection process.

    June 28, 2011 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  13. diridi

    Education, Energy, Manufacturing, infrastructure, public transportation....only rescue this nation...just know....we need more energy efficient vehicle...Iran is playing drama because they are already hurting Oil....o.k, know this truth, act...good luck, buddy....Obama2012

    June 28, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. A Kickin' Donkey

    I'd like the RPP (Republican Partisan Politicians) to explain to me why the President's "job-killing" healthcare bill, and "burdensome regulations" are not strangling empolyment in Iowa with 6% unempolyment?

    This points out the illogical in the attacks against the President. If you make products that the market needs and desires, jobs are created. For some reason, places like this plant are able to do that.

    June 28, 2011 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |