Footnotes on the 2020 Caucus is an occasional series observing some of the traditions, rituals and oddities of the Iowa presidential caucuses.
It was one of those rare moments when a candidate gets to relax during a long day on the campaign trail. Well after 11 p.m. on June 8, Sen. Cory Booker was leaving The Maker’s Loft on the Ped Mall, following a private tour of the store, when one of his campaign aides asked him a question.
“Hey, Cory,” the aide, who was talking to a woman walking her Boston Terrier, called out. “Do you want to meet a dog?”
“Yes, I do,” Booker said, enthusiastically. He really did, as you can tell from the photo above.
It’s one of my favorite photos of this year.
Throughout 2019, Little Village photographer Zak Neumann has done a remarkable job capturing the endless parade of candidates coming through Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. I’ve gone through his work, and chosen a few favorite photographs to share with readers as the year comes to an end.
The presence or absence of a candidate in the photos below should not be taken as an indication of how Zak or I (or Little Village in general) feel about that candidate. On the other hand, the photos of babies at campaign events should be taken as an indication that both Zak and I (as well as Little Village in general) enjoy seeing babies at campaign events.
In the photos below, you’ll find more dogs, more candidates, a few non-political celebrities and, as you’ve probably already guessed, babies.
But first, a quiz.
Name that candidate
Everyone pictured above was running for the 2020 Democratic nomination for president this year. All eight have either held elected office, or do so currently. All eight campaigned in Iowa City and Cedar Rapids. Without resorting to any search engine sorcery, how many can you name?
The names can be found at the bottom of this story.
Other than a sense of accomplishment, there’s no prize for correctly identifying all of the candidates. But that’s only fair, because none of the people in these photos will get the prize they wanted. All eight have dropped out of the race.
Candidates being candidates
Famous people who aren’t candidates at campaign events
Politically active babies
One campaign in three photos
When Beto O’Rourke announced his candidacy in March, many national political writers confidently predicted he would instantly become a front-runner for the Democratic nomination. That didn’t happen, but there was a good deal of excitement during his first campaign swing through Iowa.
Early campaign stories about O’Rourke invariably mentioned his interest in skateboarding. I mentioned it in Little Village‘s story on O’Rourke’s first visit to Cedar Rapids, but I had a better reason than most to do so. Zak, LV videographer Jason Smith, intern Theo Prineas and I spotted O’Rourke going into Eduskate Board Shop, prior to his scheduled campaign event. It wasn’t a media stunt — there was no media present except LV, and O’Rourke was already deep in conversation with Eduskate owner Nate Sherwood when we walked into the store.
When O’Rourke made his first campaign visit to Iowa City in April, he was still attracting large, enthusiastic crowds. But by the time he spoke at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame celebration in Cedar Rapids on June 9, O’Rourke’s chances of winning were rapidly fading. On Nov. 1, he dropped out of the race.
Three of Zak’s photos capture the arc of O’Rourke’s campaign.