Why is Trump in Iowa? Yes, there actually are Republican caucuses here on Monday night, but the fact that you might not even know that shows how little they matter, given the overwhelming Republican support for the president. Yes, Trump’s hapless GOP Never Trump opponents Bill Weld and Joe Walsh are wandering around the state somewhere, drawing a few people to this or that coffee shop while Trump fills the Knapp Center. Yes, Republican leaders are happy to see the president in their state.
But Trump’s appearance was for a higher purpose: To mess with his Democratic opponents. Just zoom in on Air Force One, stage a rally bigger than anything they could muster in their wildest dream and zoom back to Washington, having shown again that he is big and they are small.
Trump talked about many things — he spoke for 1 hour and 27 minutes. But he spent perhaps the most time on trade and the economy, touting his U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement and the recently completed first stage of his trade deal with China. Iowa farmers stuck with Trump through the tariff battles, and now both deals will improve the Iowa economy, he said over and over and over. Farmers will need bigger tractors. They’ll need bigger harvests just to deal with all the new business.