Winter elements including snow blasts which dumped as many as ten inches in some parts of Iowa did not deter Democratic presidential candidate Martin O’Malley from traveling to Tama, Iowa, nor did it prevent Kenneth, the lone attendee at the planned O’Malley event, from showing up on Monday.
The two held a brief chat and posed for a picture.
Part of a four-day trip to the state, O’Malley met earlier with slightly larger crowds who braved inclement weather to greet the former Maryland governor in Iowa Falls and Webster City.
In Tama, Kenneth (last name withheld), praised Mr. O’Malley for his daring in face of a snowstorm which forced GOP candidates Marco Rubio and Chris Christie to cancel planned events.
“I give you a lot of credit for coming out here. I’m glad you took the time,” said Kenneth.
Expressing reservations with Senator Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, Kenneth told O’Malley:
“I don’t think Sanders would be easily electable. So don’t underestimate the fact that Iowa will turn out differently. I think it will turn out differently than what the polls are showing. Jimmy Carter would not have been president if it weren’t for Iowa.”
Despite Kenneth’s willingness to meet O’Malley, he remains among the uncommitted voters in Iowa.
Appreciating Kenneth’s skepticism and his refusal to commit easily, O’Malley commented on his brief conversation with the solitary voter:
“I was glad he took the time to come out in the snow to see me. We almost canceled that last event but we were out there anyway, so we plowed through.”
It is likely Mr. O’Malley earned Kenneth’s vote.
O’Malley made the best of an unpleasant situation and acquitted himself as a retail politician. One may hypothesize the former Maryland governor persisted in light of sagging poll numbers.
While O’Malley is unlikely to earn the nomination, he is a politician who understands such symbolic acts are essential in cultivating voters, earning their trust, which is in many ways as important as policy making, decision making and leadership.
[Politico] [Photo courtesy ABC News]