This is part two of the Reveille's LSU in Iowa recap. Over 25 University students travelled across Iowa to political rallies and town halls for the 15 Democratic presidential candidates.
The small hotel ballroom bustled with LSU students all morning and into the afternoon. The students heard from David Yepsen, prominent Des Moines political reporter, Sydney Ember, a New York Times reporter covering the Iowa caucus, and two Buttigieg organizers for the Des Moines area.
After many conversations about the caucus and the unique way Iowans regard the presidential race, the group drove to Ankeny to hear Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar interviewed by David Yepsen.
The interview was held in the small auditorium of an Iowa community college, and LSU students made up more than half of the attendees. Yepsen fired many rounds of questions at Klobuchar about her policies and plans for the presidency. The night ended with a group selfie and another “Geaux Tigers.”
The group spent another morning in the hotel ballroom learning about and discussing the Iowa caucuses.
That night, students caravanned to a coffee shop in Perry for an Andrew Yang town hall. Snow began to fall as students waited on the sidewalk for admittance. Inside, the small coffee shop was filled with members of the “Yang Gang,” curious locals and cold LSU students.
The entrepreneur railed against Amazon for paying no corporate taxes and decades of politicians for allowing the U.S. to fall behind China in the tech race. Yang also touted his plan for universal basic income.
“We have confused economic value with human value in this country,” Yang said.
The event ended with pictures, signed books and a “Geaux Tigers” from Yang, and then a snowball fight back at the hotel.
Compared to other days on the trip, the seventh day was largely open. Many students used the free time to canvas for Sen. Cory Booker, write stories for the Manship News Service or recover from a cold.
Former Vice President Joe Biden capped off the sleepy Saturday. The LSU group headed to McKinley Elementary School in Des Moines, where students had the opportunity to meet Biden. After being shuffled into a classroom to meet the former vice president, students waited over 90 minutes for Biden. University professor Bob Mann used the wait to read the children’s book “Pete the Cat” to the group.
Biden showed and posed for pictures with the students, before giving a “Geaux Tigers.”
The group split up on day eight to experience different parts of Iowa. One group stayed in Des Moines and attended a panel discussion of political scientists about the Iowa caucus and current race. Another group traveled to Davenport to attend a rally for Sen. Elizabeth Warren and another Biden event.
The Iowa of the Tiger trip concluded with a morning tour of the Des Moines Register office downtown. Students saw part of the newsroom and sat in on the morning editorial meeting for an inside look on how the Iowa newspaper operates and covers the caucus every four years.