‘The Office’ Star Brian Baumgartner Crashes Iowa City Bar, Leaves $69 Tip

Brian Baumgartner — aka Kevin Malone from “The Office” — was the life of the party at an Iowa bar this week, throwing back shots with college kids and leaving a meaningful tip.  We got these pics of Brian crashing country night at Bo-James bar in…

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‘DWTS’ Stars Involved In Multi-Car Pileup In Iowa, Officials Confirm Nobody Was Hurt

Officials say a bus carrying the touring cast and crew of “Dancing with the Stars” was involved in a massive pileup during a snow storm in central Iowa, but no one on the bus was seriously hurt.


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In Iowa, Hillary Shows She’s Learned Something About Running While Female

This post originally appeared on The Cut.
By Rebecca Traister

For all those Democrats who fretted for the past year about the probability of a listless primary, and for any who (inanely) predicted a “coronation” for Hillary Clinton (I mean, just as a point of fact, in the U.S. we don’t hand out president crowns, and especially not to women), Monday night put every fear to rest. Democrats could not have asked for a more riveting nail-biter. As of this writing, it’s still not clear whether Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton “won,” and I gather, after eleventy hours of listening to polling analysis, that it may not be clear for another eleventy hours.

That’s pretty thrilling. Democrats have two candidates about whom voters feel passionate. The win/tie is tremendous for Sanders, the long-shot challenger from the left. But it’s also pretty great for Clinton, who could have decisively lost Iowa but hung on, and who also became the first Clinton (and the first woman ever) not to have outright lost the state.

Clinton’s approach tonight — her ballsy power-play move of stepping over Republican winner Ted Cruz’s victory speech, and her happy-warrior tone — showed a marked contrast from her 2008 loss in Iowa, a night when she came in nine points behind Barack Obama and one point behind John Edwards. Back then, her concession was dismal, wan, practically consumptive. Eight years later, she was energetic, brassy, and seemed to show she’s learning something about navigating the choppy waters of running for president while female.

The key thing she did in her “sigh of relief” speech on Monday was right her flailing message about health-care reform, which in recent days had gone off the rails for her in a very familiar way.

She was firm and positive in her framing of her goal: “I know that we can finish the job of universal health-care coverage for every man, woman, and child!” she shouted affirmatively and warmly, in sharp contrast to the sharper tone she’d deployed in recent days, culminating in a YouTube clip that was swiftly dubbed by her critics “Hillary’s Mean Scream.” In it, Clinton had bellowed about how “people who have health emergencies can’t wait for us to have some theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass!”

Clinton, who has in one way or another spent decades of her career pushing for universal health-care reform, was expressing her obvious lack of patience for a candidate whose idea of starting from scratch, rather than building on the reforms of the flawed but hard-won Affordable Care Act, strikes her as pie-in-the-sky.

But in failing to present an upbeat take on her disagreement with Sanders, Clinton had sounded like a scold, the disciplinarian, the mean mommy, the pragmatic downer — all versions of a feminized role that she and many, many women have long found it incredibly difficult to escape.

Recall the days following the 2008 Iowa caucus, when the media took advantage of Clinton’s defeat to let loose with their resentment and animosity toward her. That was when conservative Marc Rudov told Fox News that Clinton lost because “When Barack Obama speaks, men hear ‘Take off for the future!’ When Hillary Clinton speaks, men hear ‘Take out the garbage!'” It was in the days after Iowa that Clinton infamously got asked about how voters believed her to be “the most experienced and the most electable” candidate but “are hesitating on the likability issue.” In late January, columnist Mike Barnicle told a laughing all-male panel on Morning Joe that Clinton’s challenge was that she looks “like everyone’s first wife standing outside of probate court.”

What was true in ’08 remains true this year. From her entrance into the campaign, Clinton has been tagged as unlikable, as the practical buzzkill, the boring one with the wonky facts and figures and experience who’s going to show up and tell you that your big plans are impossible, but that she’s thought of some smaller and more doable fixes. Meanwhile, Sanders, who entered the race shouting righteously and correctly about a system that’s broken, has, as his campaign has strengthened, become the unlikely vehicle of idealistic hopes and dreams for America — Free college! Free health care! A $ 15 minimum wage! The breakup of the big banks!

His vision of revolution, as Bryce Covert wrote in Monday’s New York Times, differs significantly from Clinton’s approach, which Covert described accurately as “pragmatism incarnate.” Critics argue that his promises have no chance of coming to fruition, but their soaring scale — and the righteous ideals to which they speak — make him a candidate it is infinitely easier to feel emotionally inspired by. Clinton’s realism may in fact be one of the reasons that her supporters believe that she’d make a more prepared and effective commander-in-chief than Sanders — something that in fact provokes rational excitement, especially by those thrilled at the idea of an experienced, capable, hard-assed Democratic woman president. But hers is not an easy pose to pull off, if you’re trying to win the hearts of America. In fact, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported tonight that many young voters in Iowa had told her that their decision between Clinton and Sanders had come down to head versus heart, respectively.

That hurts, and it falls into a very old, very well-worn gendered pattern, in which women — understanding that making promises they cannot back up will not get them taken seriously and that they must prove themselves extra-competent in order to be understood as basically competent — become the nose-to-the-grindstone wonks, easily compared to know-it-all bores like Tracy Flick and Hermione Granger. They’re the wet blankets, the ones all too acquainted with the limitations imposed by the world, and all too eager to explain their various ideas for working around them. Men, and especially white men, whose claims to public or political power are more easily understood, are permitted a slightly looser approach.

There’s been some talk about how a female candidate could never be as scruffy as Bernie Sanders, as uncombed and unkempt. A woman could never be as grumpy as Bernie, as left-leaning as Bernie, as uncooperative with party machinery as Bernie. And that stuff is true enough. But the bigger truth is that what Bernie does, to great acclaim, that Hillary Clinton could never do is make big promises of institutional overthrow, tug on our imaginative heartstrings by laying out a future that might not be grounded in reality, and urge a revolution.

Here is a truth about America: No one likes a woman who yells loudly about revolution.

And no, it’s not just this woman. This is a paradigm; it’s why Mom is the disciplinarian and Dad is the fun guy, why women remain the brains and organizational workhorses behind social movements while men get to be the gut-ripping orators, why so many women still manage campaigns and so many men are still candidates.

So here we are! On our way to New Hampshire, a state that inspiring Bernie Sanders is overwhelmingly favored to win. But for one of the first times, in her speech in Iowa, I saw Clinton work effectively to turn the pragmatic ship around, to take what she wants to say — that Sanders’s soaring promises are empty but her more modest proposals might come to pass — and make it sound almost exciting.

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Trump Woos Kids With Helicopter Rides At Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa — The main concourse at the Iowa State Fairgrounds on a weekend is always a spectacle with thousands of attendees, but this Saturday Iowans shifted their focus to the skies, where Donald Trump’s helicopter circled overhead.

“Is that Donald Trump’s helicopter?” asked one woman as she stood in line to purchase tickets to the fair for herself and her three children.

“Yes, you can see it says Trump on it,” replied another. 

Trump made a grand entrance in a parking lot more than a mile from the fairgrounds, landing his $ 7 million Sikorsky S-76 helicopter and taking questions from reporters before offering up free rides to youngsters.

“We started with smaller venues, but the crowds have gotten bigger and bigger,” he said, responding to a question about his plans on campaigning in living rooms and at house parties — the strategy most candidates utilize in Iowa.

The business-mogul-turned-GOP-presidential-hopeful brushed aside a few questions about specific policy stances. 

“I don’t think the people care, I think the press do,” Trump said. “I’ve been getting politicians to pass whatever I wanted all of my life. Big New York City zoning deals are probably tougher than most of the things I’d be dealing with, with foreign countries.”

After nearly 15 minutes of questions, Trump told the children standing behind him — who were holding signs and clad in Trump apparel — it was time for a helicopter ride, drawing cheers. Among them stood 10-year-old Shay Doyle, a fifth-grader from Waverly who is one of Trump’s biggest fans.

“You can go to the fair and ride the Tilt-a-Whirl or ride on Trump’s private helicopter,” Tana Goertz, Trump’s Iowa state co-chair, told The Huffington Post. “These kids will never forget this experience.”

As The Donald headed into the fairgrounds, swarms of media and adoring fans surrounded his golf cart, making it difficult for the GOP hopeful to navigate through. Trump spent about an hour at the fair, skipping a scheduled visit to the infamous 600-pound butter cow because the crowds proved to be a security risk. Instead, he snacked on part of a pork chop at the Iowa Pork Producers’ tent, shaking hands and taking selfies.

“It’s a political tsunami, everywhere he goes,” Goertz said.

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Presidential Hopefuls Ham It Up At Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As Hillary Rodham Clinton walked among the booths of funnel cakes and corn dogs at the Iowa State Fair, trailed by a massive pack of media and onlookers, Donald Trump’s helicopter circled the fairgrounds in the air above.

That’s as close as Clinton and Trump’s massive entourages came at the state fair, a rite of passage for any presidential candidate. The respective Democratic and Republican front-runners each drew large crowds of gawkers as Clinton sampled a pork chop on a stick and Trump gave rides to children on his helicopter emblazoned with his famous last name.

“Nice to be here!” Clinton said as she started an hourlong stroll across the fairgrounds. Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who endorsed her this week and wore a straw hat to shade him from the blazing sun, accompanied her. Everywhere Clinton walked, large crowds followed her to get a photograph, a handshake or a quick hello.

Trump later made a grand entrance, landing his helicopter in athletic fields about a mile away and offering rides to children before he came onto the grounds. Almost immediately Trump was crushed by massive crowds seeking photos, handshakes and yelling encouragement. The pandemonium followed him around for roughly an hour — and during a stop for a pork chop on a stick.

“This is beyond what I expected. This is amazing,” Trump said. “It’s been a day of love.”

 

 Both Trump and Clinton avoided getting up on The Des Moines Register’s “soapbox,” a place where candidates can deliver remarks and take questions from fairgoers. A candidate can be cheered or jeered, depending on the mood of the crowd and whether supporters or opponents are on hand. In 2011 Republican candidate Mitt Romney declared from the soapbox that “corporations are people, my friend,” a line that dogged the former private equity executive.

The front-runners weren’t the only ones seeking Iowans’ support. Vermont Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has become Clinton’s chief rival and has drawn tens of thousands to his rallies, pitched his policies to counter economic inequality from the soapbox. Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, another Democrat, told voters from the soapbox that the main justification for the Iraq War was “all a hoax.” Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a Republican, donned a red embroidered apron to flip pork burgers over sizzling grills.

When a helicopter flew overhead during Sanders’ speech, he was quick with a joke. “There’s Donald Trump. What can we do?” Sanders said. “I apologize. We left the helicopter at home.”

 

The state fair typically draws around 90,000 people daily during its 11-day run every summer, giving presidential candidates the perfect opportunity to meet potential supporters for Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses.

In the Agriculture Building, Clinton walked past plates of carrots, beets and large cabbages and peered at a pair of the fair’s famous butter statues — a cow and a tribute to the board game Monopoly. As she walked around the building, children sat on their parents’ shoulders, and people cheered from the rafters above the expo.

When the pack reached Grand Avenue, the fair’s main drag, Trump’s helicopter buzzed overhead as Clinton walked past stands selling funnel cakes, corn brats and lemonade.

“There’s Trump!” shouted one man.

Before wrapping up her visit, Clinton sampled a pork chop on a stick and a lemonade. Minutes later, she boarded a black SUV and was whisked away.

Trump took questions from reporters before he came to the fairgrounds and aimed barbs at fellow candidates while touting his place atop the Republican polls. He said he was rejecting campaign contributions and was prepared to spend up to $ 1 billion on his campaign.

Trump has been criticized for not detailing his policy positions, but on Saturday he said he would soon release a policy paper on immigration.

“You are going to love me in terms of immigration and illegal immigration. We’re building a wall. Nobody is going through my wall. Trump builds walls, I build walls. We’re building a wall. It’s going to be strong, it’s going to be solid, it’s going to be policed,” he said.

He added: “We’re going to have a big door for people to come in legally. We’re going to have a big, beautiful door for people to come in legally.”

Trump also said that, so far, he has not made any political missteps.

“Every time somebody said I made a mistake, they do the polls and my numbers go up,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve made any mistakes. I’m sure I will at some point. But so far you have to say, hasn’t worked out badly, right?”

During his time at the fair, Trump inched through the main concourse. “We’re going to straighten out this mess,” he called out to the crowd at one point. People pushed aggressively to reach out to Trump. At one point, a man yelled, “Biggest crowd ever is for you!”

After sampling a pork chop on a stick, Trump hopped on a golf cart and was driven away. People chased him on foot cheering.

 

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‘Comeback Kids’ give Iowa State Big 12 title

The No. 13 Cyclones rallied from a 17-point second-half hole to beat No. 9 Kansas 70-66 in the Big 12 tournament championship Saturday night.
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