The 2016 presidential buzz may be all about Hillary Clinton, but she won’t be the first Democrat to step foot in the Hawkeye State this election cycle.
That honor belongs to Sen. Amy Klobuchar of neighboring Minnesota, who is set to headline the North Iowa Wing Ding fundraiser in Clear Lake on Friday evening.
Clinton won’t be far from the minds of dinner-goers, though. She’s set to receive the group’s Beacon Award for her accomplishments within the Democratic Party.
Klobuchar is one of a handful of Democrats mentioned as other possible presidential candidates if the former first lady doesn’t make another bid for the White House in 2016.
Minnesota’s senior senator is downplaying her interest in a national campaign, though. She told Minnesota Public Radio that her talk at the event just across the state line was simply a coincidence.
“It simply means I was invited to a wingding, and I think anything in Iowa makes a wingding out of a wingding, and that is all it is,” Klobuchar told MPR.
Clinton won’t even be the second potential hopeful to visit the crucial first caucus state. Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean will return Wednesday to the site of his infamous “Dean Scream” following his disappointing finish in the 2004 caucuses, the New York Times reported. Dean will speak at the Iowa Federation of Labor convention in Altoona, talking about his group, Democracy for America, and their efforts to elect more Democrats to state legislatures.
For Democrats, Clinton still remains the undisputed frontrunner for the nomination. She’s consistently led national public polling, and the political action committee Ready For Hillary, pushing her to run, has been staffing up.
While the former first lady thrust herself back into the national political conversation this week with sharp criticism of North Carolina’s controversial new voter ID laws, her family is also facing renewed scrutiny over the Clinton Foundation.
But Clinton may not even be the third candidate to make it to Iowa, where she finished a disappointing third in the 2008 caucuses. Vice President Joe Biden, who’s made no secret that he might be interested in another presidential run, will be the keynote speaker at Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry on September 15, a crucial stop on any presidential hopeful’s agenda.