But all the hurdles that rose in 2008 remain in this state that starts the presidential balloting: the dynastic overtones of a Clinton candidacy; lingering fatigue from the serial melodramas of Bill Clinton’s administration; a Democratic base that leans decidedly left; and an abiding suspicion of Hillary Clinton’s business and Wall Street ties.
“I see Hillary as a corporatist Democrat, and that tends not to, in my opinion, serve the interests of the general population,” said Bob Babcock, 61, one of about 250 party faithful who recently braved a cold, snowy night to attend Scott County’s annual Democratic fundraising dinner.
Above all, there is firm resistance to any notion that Clinton deserves Democrats’ support: for coming in second to Obama in the 2008 nominating fight, for faithfully serving him as secretary of State, for offering the tantalizing prospect of once again making history, this time by installing the first woman in the Oval Office.
“Iowans haven’t really changed between 2008 and today,” said Janet Petersen, a state senator from Des Moines who attended an Iowa kickoff last month by the pro-Clinton group Ready for Hillary, but remains far from committed. “They still want to engage in a conversation … and get to know the candidates for president.