Many thanks went around to local organizers, including Clinton County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jean Pardee.
Part of the ceremony honored HOF inductees Doug Yegge and Donald and Marcia Flory. A bulk of the rest praised recent party accomplishments and discussed work left to be done.
Loebsack attended on the heels of Friday’s Des Moines Register article that reported his race against Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks is “safe.”
“This will be the third time this person runs against me,” Loebsack said. “I’m not so tired of it because we have less than six months. I’m going to get out there and work tirelessly, every single day.”
Loebsack called his opponent a “Tea Party candidate” similar to 2012 Vice President candidate Paul Ryan. This elicited boos from the left-wing charged audience.
Hatch, meanwhile, reported poll gains he’s made on incumbent Gov. Terry Branstad. With elections just six months away, Hatch said afterward this won’t be his last stop in Clinton County with plans for a stronger push in Eastern Iowa.
“I’ve been to (Clinton County) a couple of times,” he said. “It’s one I want to work very hard in, in an area we have to win. We’re not going to give anything up to the opposition. We’re going to take every county on the Mississippi (River) from Allamakee down to Lee County.”
After dinner, the attention turned to Sanders, where Iowans received a taste of the Senator’s impassioned New England intonation. His message criticized “billionaire Republicans” who are trying to “buy” the 2014 campaigns.
“Sadly, much of politics today is largely controlled by big-money interests, and that situation is getting worse,” Sanders said. “And as I think you all know, what is good for big money is not good for the middle class and working families in our country. Further, in terms of educating and organizing the American people for political change, corporately owned media and their political gossip and five-second soundbites are not going to work.”
By Sanders’ conclusion, the Goose Lake crowd chanted, “Run, Bernie, Run.” However, those chants are premature, according to the senator.
“It’s very early in the stage,” he said. “We have a very important election in November. I’m going to do everything I can to make sure Republicans don’t gain control of the Senate.
“That’s the election we’ve got to focus on right now; 2016 is a bit away.”