Gongol.com Archives: June 2021

Brian Gongol

June 30, 2021

Iowa Out of time

We sometimes say that a place is "stuck in the past" if it doesn't make any effort to accommodate the progress of the present. But something else is going on outside of Stuart, Iowa, where a billboard along Interstate 80 is still advertising Tulsi Gabbard's campaign for President in 2020. ■ The election is entirely over. There is no recount, no overturning coming. Yet the ad is still in place. Either somebody got the most incredible rental deal of all time for that billboard -- or the salesperson has incomparable skills of persuasion. Maybe they're trying to get ahead on the 2024 cycle. ■ Living in Iowa is like being in a land outside of time when it comes to politics. The campaigns of the past follow us like ghosts everywhere we go, and the campaigns of the future show begin the day the last votes are counted. Tom Cotton is already here doing push-ups with Chuck Grassley. Nikki Haley just gambled on a trip to Nevada...Iowa. Mike Pence is coming next month. The campaign season literally never ends in Iowa. ■ Some people may be seen jealous of that until they realize what it's really like to live through it. But if New Yorkers thought their mayoral race was a long haul, they wouldn't want to trade. It ain't pretty. So, while other states may want to leapfrog Iowa and New Hampshire in the Presidential primary cycle, they should be careful what they wish for. Living outside of political time means living in a Mobius strip of campaign seasons. There's no getting out.

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