Monday, August 17, 2015

Trump, Clinton create chaos at Iowa State Fair, but avoid Des Moines Register Soapbox

The top two presidential candidates—Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton—created chaos at the Iowa State Fair this weekend, mingling with the locals as they vied for all-important rural votes in a swing state, Philip Rucker and Jenna Johnson report for The Washington Post: "The road to the White House leads from the life-size cow carved from 600 pounds of butter here at the Iowa State Fair to the stand selling $7 grilled pork chops on a stick." (Associated Press photo by Charlie Neibergall: Clinton buying a pork chop at the fair)

Trump "stepped out of his helicopter like a Palm Beach mogul, sporting a navy blazer and breezy cream slacks, a red cap with his 'Make America Great Again' slogan, French cuffs and buffed white dress shoes, which would be challenged moments later when the Trump entourage walked through a pile of horse dung," Rucker and Johnson write. "A political Willy Wonka, Trump offered rides in his helicopter, which landed at a nearby baseball field, to randomly selected handfuls of Iowa children. Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, acknowledged, “You know we don’t do subtle."

Rucker and Johnson note that Clinton "stood at the fence of a dirty paddock to meet a shorthorn cow named Maggie. (She paid no attention to the shiny black Rolls-Royce parked a few yards away.) She expressed amazement at a Monopoly-themed butter statue. She bit into a greasy pork chop and sipped from a jumbo cup of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Walking through the Agriculture Building—past showcases of the thickest carrots, roundest beets and biggest heads of iceberg lettuce—Clinton made her way to the famed butter cow. She smiled and waved, waved and smiled."

"Both Trump and Clinton opted out of appearing at the Des Moines Register Soapbox, a state fair rite of passage for presidential aspirants, who each get 20 minutes to address fairgoers—and often get mercilessly heckled," Rucker and Johnson write. "Trump said he skipped the soapbox because of his feud with the Register. The newspaper, he said Saturday, was 'not relevant.'" (Reuters photo by Jim Young: Trump arriving by helicopter)

Not to be outdone by his own performance, Trump made more news this weekend, "calling for mass deportation of illegal immigrants and nationwide use of the E-Verify system to check the legal status of workers," Philip Brasher reports for Agri-Pulse."Both policies, were they to be attempted, could have far-reaching implications for agriculture, which relies heavily on immigrant labor in fruit, vegetable, meat and dairy production."

"Trump, who also called for tripling the number of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officers, posted a broad outline of his immigration policy on his web site this weekend," Brasher writes. "He told the host of NBC's Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, that the mass deportation of immigrants, including entire families, was essential." (Read more)

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