Blog for Iowa attended Beto O’Rourke’s event yesterday at the Tipton City Park. It was a cold, wet day. The event started at noon. Many were wearing winter coats. The little park shelter was full of what looked like mostly retired people sprinkled with middle-aged folks. Not unusual for a weekday event held during the day time when most people are at work.
Inspiration came from the local person who gave the introduction, sorry I did not get her name. A member of the Cedar County Democrats, she spoke eloquently of why she recently became active in politics.
Beto, wearing a Tipton Tigers ball cap that looked perfectly natural on him, and casually dressed, gave a very brief opening statement and immediately began taking questions from the attendees.
First off was a woman – sorry, didn’t get her name – but she was wearing a Moms Demand Action shirt. She had recently become active in politics because a member of her family has been affected twice by gun violence. and she was inspired to volunteer for Beto because of his position on common sense gun controls. She told me she has never caucused before.
I wasn’t taking notes but some questions from the audience were about the problem of the lack of child care (43% fewer child care providers in Iowa); immigration, foreign policy, our polarized politics, why wasn’t Beto running for senate in Texas. I got the last question. I asked what he would do as president to repair our broken media system and if he would support a return to the Fairness Doctrine.
I got the impression that he really was there more to listen than to expound upon his ideas. This is something that politicians frequently say, but don’t really mean.
Beto was personable and likable. When he speaks to you he looks you straight in the eyes, almost making you want to look away. He seemed to genuinely be listening and taking in what people were saying. I liked that he didn’t always have an answer ready. He thanked everyone who asked a question and told them it was a great question.
There were commit-to-caucus cards available. A staffer asked me on the way out if I would sign one. I haven’t settled on a candidate yet. But I hope Beto O’Rourke does well.