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New Year, Same Her: Hillary Clinton’s First Des Moines Rally of 2016

Posted: January 6, 2016 | By: Evan Guest Tagged: From the Campaign Trail

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The phrase “New Year, New Me” resurfaces around the time of Dec. 31 every year. At the Hillary Clinton In Des Moines event that was held at the State Historical Museum, this was not the case.

Hillary Clinton has maintained her messaging strategy throughout her presidential campaign and this event was no different. Clinton explained her platform on major issues to the Iowans in attendance. She covered many topics including Alzheimer’s, college affordability, women’s rights, gun control and the economy.

Former Iowa Governor and current United States Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, introduced Clinton at the event. This helped her relate to Iowa voters because Vilsack is such an influential character in the state. Clinton’s use of Vilsack was a strategic move that sent the right message.

Clinton said, “I want you to think about January 20th, [2017], when we will have a new president. And that new president will walk into the Oval Office and inherit the challenges and the opportunities that will be left by President Obama and it matters if that President is a Republican or a Democrat.” She continues, “We are moving forward, there is so much at stake during this election”

One surprising talking point that Clinton covered in detail was the issue of Alzheimer’s. She said, “I’ve laid out plans for prevention and maybe even a cure for Alzheimer’s.” She continues by mentioning many other leading causes of death are treatable with modern medicine, but Alzheimer’s is different. Clinton told the story of a widow in Fairfield, Iowa, who mentioned her husband’s passing from the disease.  “I want us to really tackle this disease because too many people and too many families will be affected otherwise and there are too many other issues that I’ve heard about here in Iowa: mental health and substance abuse,” Clinton said.

“Now, I want to defend the Affordable Care Act and I want to improve it. I want to get out-of-pocket costs down and I want to get prescription drug costs down.” Clinton said, continuing her discussion of health care, highlighting her support of the Affordable Care Act.

These messages would not be as effective if it were not for the constituencies in Iowa. While at the event, conducting interviews was an easy task because once we took our journalistic notebooks out, people asked us to be interviewed.

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One example is Mary, from Clive, Iowa. Mary explained to us that she has been caucusing for a countless number of years and gave insight on what to expect. She said, “Iowa natives who have been around the caucuses their entire lives are very fond and passionate about the way it works and for being such an important part of the presidential election.”

Rod Simmons of Des Moines, Iowa, said, “I’m going to caucus but I really do like Bernie and if she’s willing to take Bernie as Vice President, yes I will [caucus for her] because if they don’t get those two voting blocs together, they will not make it.” He continued, “I’ve never done a caucus before. I’m going to be there [to caucus] for one or the other I believe, certainly won’t be for the Republicans I tell ya.”

Clinton delivered her stump speech continuing the message that she’s a strong candidate with strong values, giving a Mammoth of a rally. While it may be a new year, it’s evident that Iowans will be seeing the same Clinton as before.

 

Evan is a Sophomore Marketing and Strategic Political Communications Major at Drake University.

This article was accompanied by Nicole Dohm, Nick Frandsen, Madison Holmes and Lauren Stanton.