Still two for the price of one?
After being dubbed the “comeback couple” (a reference to Bill Clinton’s “comeback kid” moniker after his better-than-expected New Hampshire finish during his 1992 presidential campaign) by Sen. Tom Harkin at his final Steak Fry on Sunday, Bill and Hillary Clinton took their road show to Iowa, the state that humbled Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions in 2008.
This was Hillary Clinton’s first trip to Iowa since then and she opened her speech by yelling, “Hello, Iowa. I’m Back!” And ended it by saying “let’s not let another seven years go by.”
Clinton is reportedly doing yoga to prepare for a possible presidential run, and she addressed the speculation head-on.
“Of course, there’s that thing,” she said. “Well, it is true. I am thinking about it, but for today that is not why I’m here. I’m here for the steak.”
Hillary Clinton spoke about being Secretary of State. She mentioned the great times she had eating yak meat in Mongolia but did not mention Benghazi. Turning to domestic issues, Hillary Clinton said Iowans had a choice between the “guardians of gridlock” and “the champions of shared opportunity and shared prosperity” in the midterm elections. And she rattled off liberal talking points about equal pay for equal work and growing the economy to benefit everyone. She accused Republicans, without any evidence, of not caring about those issues.
Hillary Clinton referenced her 2008 defeat to Obama in the caucuses and said she and Obama went “from rivals to partners to friends.” She jokingly wondered “whatever became of him” and spoke about her future grandchild, who will likely be mentioned plenty of times on the stump should Hillary run. She said “Bill and I are on constant grandchild watch” and shecalls “Chelsea every five minutes to make sure that things are going alright.”
“When the big moment comes, you can bet that I will drop everything to be there in a flash, so I’m telling you now, if you see us sprinting off the stage, that’s why,” Hillary said.
She also said she loves presidential campaigns, but noted that they only come every four years. She urged Democrats to turn out for elections because, “When we show up we win.”
Democrats in recent years have shamelessly played the “war on women” card and the race card to gin up their base, but Bill Clinton, who spoke after his wife, conceded that, “We are less racist, sexist, and homophobic than we’ve ever been.” He said the biggest problem the country faces is extreme partisanship and pressed for more compromise.
He then blasted the Koch Brothers for financing “black-bag operations” in states and said they, along with the GOP, don’t want voters to think.
“A lot of these republicans spent all their time dissing the president and dumping on the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,” Bill Clinton said. “If you listen to them, half the time they are not even running against their opponents. They are trying to get you to check your brain at the door, start foaming at the mouth, push some hot button. The last thing they want you to do is think.”
Harkin, the host whom the Clinton honored, said that Hillary Clinton’s “fingerprints are all over” Obamacare and called the Clintons the “comeback couple.”
After the event, the cautious Hillary tried to move past the rope line as quickly as possible, dodging questions about amnesty and any other hot-button issues. Her advisers even reminded her that the C-SPAN mics were on. But she did stop to sign some autographs and take selfies. Her husband straggled behind the pack, signing autographs, glad-handing, and even debating the Middle East peace process with attendees as aides tried to scurry the reluctant Bill Clinton along. The more things change, the more they seem to stay the same with the Clintons.