November 16, 2019, 5:19

The Note: Iowa gatherings appeal to Democrats’ myths and realities

The Note: Iowa gatherings appeal to Democrats’ myths and realities

The TAKE with Rick Klein

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It marks one of the most anticipated moments in a campaign where there’s often been little anticipation to go around.

A wide-open race in Iowa awaits the Democratic primary field Friday night and through the weekend. The action starts with concerts, rallies and marches around the Liberty and Justice Celebration — formerly the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner — where some 13,000 Democrats will see the candidates speak and show off their organizing work to date.

Win Mcnamee/Getty Images

Democratic presidential hopefuls speak during the fourth Democratic primary debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, Oct. 15, 2019.

It may be impossible for any of them to compete with the mythology around the event where then-Sen. Barack Obama famously declared, “This is our moment,” and soon proved that to be true.

But that won’t stop them from trying.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s campaign is making the parallel explicit, billing it as “that same moment for Pete, and for America.” Others, including Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, are looking for Obama-style breakthroughs of their own.

Former Vice President Joe Biden saw the Obama magic for himself in the room in 2007, as a rival for the nomination. Twelve years and a few political lifetimes later, he has to show that the moment hasn’t passed him by, while Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders will seek to outdo each other.

One year out from Election Day, and with a first impeachment vote now done, there may be a certain comfort level for Democrats in reviving a storied Iowa tradition.

At the same time, the weekend’s arrival is a reminder that the crush of major news events hasn’t slowed down the calendar.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

President Donald Trump’s approval rating among Republicans is at a career low. According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll out on Friday he’s at 74% — that’s down from 87% in July.

Still, considering that the House on Thursday passed new parameters to guide an investigation into whether the president should be impeached over potentially conditioning U.S. support for an ally on a political investigation, a 74% approval rating within his party could be seen as quite high.

Jeffrey Mcwhorter/AP, FILE

President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Oct. 17, 2019, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

Big picture: Americans remain deeply split on the idea of impeaching Trump and removing him from office at this point.

With near identical numbers, Americans divided 49% to 47% on whether or not Congress should impeach Trump and remove him from office. Interestingly, 47% of independents support impeachment and removal.

Democrats are hoping that this next public phase of the investigation will tip the scales.

The TIP with Zohreen Shah

A day before the Liberty and Justice dinner in Des Moines, Iowa, bright campaign signs from presidential candidates covered the lawns near the Wells Fargo Arena. Though the campaigns are frequently trying to outdo each other with visual spectacles, there was no mark of the candidate who figuratively declared that she was moving to Iowa and pouring every resource into the state. Sen. Kamala Harris’ aides indicated that they were moving away from that type of visibility and would instead be knocking on doors Friday — making contact with voters a key priority in a campaign that’s making drastic changes in an attempt to boost her numbers in Iowa.

Mark Makela/Getty Images, FILE

Democratic Presidential candidate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA, speaks during a town hall at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Oct. 28, 2019.

Harris announced this week that she’d be slashing staff and making pay cuts in an effort to deploy more resources to the Hawkeye State. But while she’s trying to move ahead, her team is still knee-deep in restructuring and adjusting to a leaner campaign. During a gaggle with reporters on Thursday, Harris was herself unaware of how many staffers were losing their jobs and couldn’t estimate, instead deflecting to her campaign manager.

What the campaign does know is they want a seven-figure media campaign in the weeks leading up to the caucus. But it’s not just money they hope to have more of; it’s also time.

“If people were to talk to me 24 hours a day, I would do it! So I am always concerned I don’t have enough time,” Harris told reporters.


With its 232-196 party line vote, the House sanctioned an already fast-moving impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. Here’s what will happen next.

Friday morning’s episode features ABC News Senior Congressional correspondent Mary Bruce, who tells us what’s next now that the House has voted to move the impeachment inquiry into a new phase. Then, ABC News Chief Global Affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz checks in from the Turkish-Syrian border to give us the latest on the conflict between the two countries.


  • President Donald Trump holds a rally at 7 p.m. (CDT) in Tupelo, Mississippi, on Friday.
  • Vice President Mike Pence travels to Kentucky, participates in two meet-and-greet events and delivers remarks at a “Get Out The Vote” rally at 3:50 p.m.
  • Tom Steyer leads a student roundtable at 12:30 p.m. (CDT) in Indianola, Iowa, on Friday. Later, he attends campaign events in Knoxville, Ottumwa, Burlington and Fairfield, Iowa, throughout the weekend.
  • Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Tom Steyer, Andrew Yang, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., former Vice President Joe Biden, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, D-Texas, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. hold campaign events preceding Iowa Democratic Party’s “Liberty and Justice” Celebration, beginning at 12:30 p.m. (CDT) in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday.
  • Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez delivers speaks to reporters at 5:30 p.m. (CDT) in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday. On Saturday, he attends a “Kick Off Woodbridge Canvass” at 10:30 a.m. in Woodbridge, Virginia. Later, he participates in a “Kick Off Manassas Canvass” at noon in Manassas, Virginia.
  • Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Biden, Booker, Bullock, Buttigieg, Castro, Delaney, Harris, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders, Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Yang deliver remarks at the “Liberty and Justice Celebration” beginning at 6:30 p.m. (CDT) on Friday.
  • Sanders hosts the “People’s Celebration Watch Party” at 7 p.m. (CDT) in Des Moines, Iowa. He then attends campaign events in Iowa and Minnesota throughout the weekend.
  • Yang hosts an after party for the Iowa Democratic Party’s “Liberty and Justice Celebration” at 11 p.m. (CDT) in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday. He then attends campaign events in Iowa City, Marshalltown and Nevada, Iowa, throughout the weekend.
  • Bennet, Biden, Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Delaney, Harris Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders, Sestak, Steyer and Yang deliver remarks at the NAACP Economic Freedom Town Hall beginning at 9 a.m. (CDT) in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday.
  • Buttigieg, Booker, Klobuchar, O’Rourke and Yang speak at the “Accessibility For All” presidential candidate forum beginning at 10 a.m. (CDT) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday.
  • Biden, Castro, Harris, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders and Warren deliver remarks at a fish fry beginning at 11:30 a.m. (CDT) in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Saturday.
  • Warren holds a town hall at 11:45 a.m. (CDT) in Vinton, Iowa, on Saturday. She then participates in town halls in Davenport, Muscatine and Dubuque, Iowa, throughout the weekend.
  • Castro joins a “Caucus-A-Thon” at noon in Des Moines, Iowa. He then attends campaign events in Indianola and Des Moines, Iowa, throughout the weekend.
  • Bennet attends a town hall at 1 p.m. in Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. Later, he attends campaign events in Iowa throughout the weekend.
  • Klobuchar attends a fundraiser for Iowa state Rep. Andy McKean at 5 p.m. in Wyoming, Iowa, on Saturday.
  • O’Rourke attends campaign events in Cedar Falls, West Branch, Cedar Rapids, Muscatine and Burlington, Iowa, throughout the weekend.
  • Booker attends campaign events in Iowa throughout the weekend.
  • Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, former Rep. John Delaney, D-Md., and Marianne Williamson deliver remarks at the “Problem Solver Convention” beginning at noon in Manchester, New Hampshire, on Sunday.
  • Sunday on “This Week”: George Stephanopoulos goes on-on-one with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and House Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., on the impeachment inquiry. Plus, 2020 Presidential Candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg, comes exclusively to “This Week” Sunday. And the Powerhouse Roundtable discusses all the week’s politics, with former New Jersey Governor and ABC News Contributor Chris Christie, former Chicago Mayor and ABC News Contributor Rahm Emanuel, Axios National Political Reporter Alexi McCammond, and Associated Press Washington Bureau Chief Julie Pace.
  • The Note is a daily ABC News feature that highlights the key political moments of the day ahead. Please check back Monday for the latest.


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