Matt Forney
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Iowa Campaign Dispatch, Day 2: How the Donald Trumped Rube-io

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After a false start with my Iowa coverage on Friday, I hit the ground running on Saturday, heading to a Donald Trump rally at Central College in Pella. I arrived there 45 minutes before the doors opened (and nearly three hours before Trump himself was to speak) and there was already a line hundreds of people strong down the block. I recorded a quick video of the crowd here:

By the time the line started moving, the crowd was at least 2,000 strong, possibly as high as 2,500-3,000. In fact, about two-thirds of the line had to be shunted into an overflow auditorium. Fortunately, I managed to make it into the main event, and I even lucked into a seat near the front.

Trump himself was late to the event (he had held another rally at Sioux Center that morning). He was introduced by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who the kindly old lady next to me said was one of the “good” senators. (Contrary to rumors, Iowa Governor Terry Branstadt was not present.) I tried streaming Grassley’s speech via Periscope, but due to a poor connection, only this portion of the video actually got recorded:

Trump showed up an hour late, but the crowd still went wild for him to a degree usually reserved for boy bands. I recorded roughly a half-hour of Trump’s speech; you can watch it below. By this point, so many people were on their smartphones that the towers were completely overloaded, keeping me from streaming any of this video out:

After the Donald was done, I was planning to hit a Ted Cruz rally hosted by Glenn Beck, but due to Trump’s tardiness, there was no way I’d be able to make the two-hour drive to Waterloo in time. Instead, I went west to nearby Indianola, where Marco Rubio was hosting a town hall at Simpson College.

The contrast between Trump’s and Rubio’s events was like dark chocolate versus a horse turd. Beyond the comparatively anemic crowd (200 people, tops), Rubio spoke exclusively in bland CPACisms as his mostly elderly audience tried their damndest not to pass out. I streamed roughly 20 minutes of Rubio’s speech before realizing I was wasting my phone’s data. You can watch what I recorded below:

Finally, I recapped the day’s events in this video:

You can read my written account of the Trump and Rubio events at Right On.

For my latest coverage of the Iowa caucuses, subscribe to my YouTube channel. Also, follow me on Twitter for live updates.

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  • FlorianUlrich

    Great stuff, Matt. Are you covering New Hampshire too?

  • Awesome! Yes, are you going to NH??