A couple months back, I sat in an Iowa pasture with 14,000 others to see Bill and Hillary.
Don’t read too much into that. It is more about me being a sucker for spectacle and possible history-in-the-making, than a Clintonista. Bill was his usual empathetic and charming self. Hillary less so.
The day’s most moving moment came from the host of the event, retiring Iowa senator Tom Harkin. In a public swansong of sorts, he told about the cherished memento that hangs on his office wall in Washington. It is a postcard his father received from President Franklin Roosevelt inviting him to come to work for the Works Progress Administration. Harkin shared how his family, which until then hadn’t been particularly promising or political, became that day staunch Democrats—so much so that their son would become a United States Senator—all because Franklin Roosevelt cared for them.
Looking at the people assembled in the pasture, I surmised that many would have told similar stories. FDR’s New Deal locked in generations of future Democrats.