In just one month, Iowans caucus in the first major test in the Democratic presidential primary. We check in with what’s happening on the ground.
Rachel Stassen-Berger, politics editor for the Des Moines Register. (@RachelSB)
From The Reading List
Cedar Rapids Gazette: "Joe Biden pushes public option as affordable, practical health care in Iowa visit" — "Joe Biden admits his health care plan, which calls for building on the best of the Affordable Care Act, will cost a lot of money — $750 billion over 10 years.
"'But it doesn’t cost $30 trillion — trillion,' the Democratic presidential candidate and former vice president said Friday in Williamsburg.
"It also has the advantage of being implemented much sooner than the four- to 10-year transitions other candidates talk about.
"'People need hope. They need security. They need certainty now, and I think we can get it done,' Biden said after speaking to more than 100 people at the Williamsburg middle school.
"Like many in Biden’s audience, Lois Berry of Williamsburg was concerned about health care. She hasn’t decided who she will caucus for Feb. 3."
Des Moines Register: "Bernie Sanders pledges to create government based on 'love and compassion'" — "Keenan McCollum sat against a wall on New Year’s Eve, catching a breeze from the downtown Des Moines Skywalk, while a thousand people mingled and partied in eyeshot.
"McCollum, 27, of Beaverdale, wasn’t complaining. The energy, and that many like-minded supporters of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, was exactly what drew him to the Des Moines Marriott Downtown. The enthusiasm just happened to come with a noticeable uptick in the temperature.
"'I told myself I was going to make at least one (campaign) event before the end of the year, and here we are,' he said, as his father, an undecided likely caucusgoer, sat next to him.
"At its peak, 'Bernie’s Big New Year’s Bash' had 1,300 people filling a hotel ballroom, about 300 more than showed for his 2015 New Year's Eve celebration, according to campaign staff. Attendees sang along to a cover of 'Come Together' as performed by The New Power Generation, Prince’s longtime backing band. They stopped for pictures at a photo booth set up by the campaign."
Des Moines Register: "Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker rings in the 'noon' year in Iowa" — "Like many people ringing in 2020, Sen. Cory Booker found himself in a crowded room shouting out a countdown on New Year’s Eve.
"It was about 12 hours too early.
"The New Jersey senator and Democratic presidential hopeful celebrated Noon Year’s Eve — a kid-friendly way to count down the seconds until 12 p.m. on New Year’s Eve — at the home of Iowa Rep. Heather Matson, who has endorsed Booker.
"After answering questions from the 150 people who filled Matson's house, Booker stood with a group of children and counted down the 10 seconds until noon. Then the children finally got to deploy their noisemakers.
"As for his New Year’s Eve plans in Iowa? Nothing too crazy.
"'I’m going to celebrate a little bit with a lot of staff, and I’m going to get some sleep,' he told reporters."
This program aired on January 2, 2020.