Hillary Clinton will make her first trip back to Iowa since her 2008 presidential campaign when she headlines and closes out Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-IA) Steak Fry event next month. Bill Clinton will join her at the event.
“This year’s Steak Fry–my last–just might promise to be the best ever,” Harkin, who will retire after this term, writes in the invite for the 37th annual. “So come on out and have some steak or chicken, a beverage, and visit with me and my special guests. See you on September 14, it’s going to be a good time!”
Then-Sen. Barack Obama wowed Iowans at Harkin’s 2006 Steak Fry event, which may have convinced him to plunge into the presidential contest. That first impression and Obama’s 2007 speech at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner that stirred liberal and anti-war activists likely started his march toward the White House. Last year, Harkin had Julian Castro and Vice President Joe Biden at the event, and Castro, who has also recently met with the Clintons, ginned up more buzz among the attendees than Biden.
The invite states:
First held on a farm in Madison County, the Harkin Steak Fry has become a signature political event here in our state.
What started out nearly 40 years ago as a handful of interested Iowans sitting around on hay bales, discussing politics, has grown to be kind of an iconic gathering. Over the years, we’ve had President (then-Senator) Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Joe Biden, Vice President Al Gore, Senators Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) and Paul Wellstone, as well as all the major Democratic presidential candidates in 2003 and 2007, among many other luminaries.
Clinton aides reportedly mulled bypassing Iowa during the ’08 campaign, and the event signals she may pay more attention to the state ahead of a potential 2016 campaign.