Everything Past Presidential Candidates Have Done (and Eaten!) to Court Voters at the Iowa State Fair
The only thing that outnumbers fried foods at the fair? Political candidates. And here, they’re willing to do all sorts of things – from befriending butter sculptures to scarfing down corn dogs – to win over admirers
When Cruz steps up on the state fair soapbox this year, it won't be his first time: In 2014, well before he announced his presidential run, he made a pre-campaign appearance at the Iowa State Fair. His visit wasn't all talk, though; he posed for a snap with the butter cow statue, too.
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Back when POTUS was still an Illinois senator, he made the trip to the neighboring state of Iowa to enjoy the state fair just like everyone else – with a corn dog and a cup of lemonade, of course.
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Once he had fueled up, the future President hit the go-karts with his younger daughter, Sasha.
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Sasha wasn't the only Obama girl who got a dash of exhilaration on dad's work trip: Malia joined Barack on the 'Big Ben' drop ride, and seemed to be taking the plummet in stride for a (then) 9-year-old.
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Republican hopeful McCotter stood on Iowa's version of a political platform – a bale of hay – to address voters. Sadly for him, his speech didn't manage to secure him the nomination: He ducked out of the race early after a scandal erupted over the validity of his petition signatures.
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Perry is an enthusiastic enough presidential candidate to run in both 2012 and 2016, but we bet he'd chow down on this veggie corn dog whether or not it helped his campaign.
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COUNTING BY CORN
The state fair has its own version of the Electoral College: the corn college, that is. Yup, in 2011, fairgoers of voting age got to 'vote' for their favorite Republican nominee using a kernel of corn.
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Former speaker of the house Gingrich enlisted his wife, Calista, to help grill pork for hungry Iowans (and future voters!).
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At the state fair, every food belongs on a stick. Case in point: the pork chop Romney happily nibbled during his trip.
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Republican nominee McCain surveyed the finest livestock Iowa has to offer – though he was reluctant to get in the pig pen himself.
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Graham, seeking the Democratic nomination back in 2004, hung with the pride and joy of the Iowa State Fair: the cow butter sculpture. Buddying up to the butter wasn't enough to cinch the nomination, however, and he withdrew his candidacy two months later.
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The two-term FLOTUS (and potential future POTUS) indulged her sweet tooth in 2007. For 2015, perhaps a round of deep-fried Oreos?
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He's a New Yorker at heart, but Giuliani showed he can appreciate some good old-fashioned Iowa pork – especially if it meant winning over Iowans.