As Gen. Washington’s National Field Director, I have been extremely busy. If you’ve ever worked on any type of campaign before, you know what I’m talking about. For those who haven’t, it involves a lot of phone calls, emails, and making sure the General is sticking to his (ever growing) schedule.
When we first arrived in Iowa, one of our very first stops was to the home of Mike and Karen Schoville, two extremely nice fans of Colonial Williamsburg. They were gracious enough to open their home to Gen. Washington and invited several friends and neighbors to come speak with him.
The next day, we started bright and early with a trip to the Cory Family Farm in Elkhart. The Corys raise livestock and have a large garden by their home. Gen. Washington answered questions and met with some of the future leaders of the United States—the kids.
Next, we headed to Iowa Distilling Company in Cumming for a look at its operation. George Washington had a distillery at Mount Vernon in the later part of his life, which he and the owner chatted about during his visit. The General also sampled some of the spirits the company makes.
Next on our schedule was the Home Plate Diner in Des Moines, right by the Iowa State Fair. The diner has hosted many candidates and the General had a chance to meet with Iowans and talk about the importance of participating in the election process.
When I first arrived in Des Moines, I immediately noticed the statehouse. It’s an incredible building that can be seen from just about any spot in the city. And I couldn’t wait to see the inside when Gen. Washington met with Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad.
Gov. Branstad talked about visiting Williamsburg and how it’s a great place. That excited me. Turns out, many of the people we’d be meeting over the next day had also visited Williamsburg before and have plans to go back!
After our meeting with Gov. Branstad, we had a little time to relax before it was time for us to head to the Iowa State Fair Parade. Gen. Washington rode Blueskin in the parade followed by his Fifer and Drummer and his campaign bus. His team walked alongside the bus, passing out signs and waving to the crowds.
But as busy as that day was for us, it was nothing compared to Thursday, when we spent the day at the Iowa State Fair. Gen. Washington kicked off the Des Moines Register’s Soapbox Series and drew a huge crowd! We livestreamed the event on Periscope, but if you weren’t able to catch it, you can watch by clicking here.
The rest of the day included meeting former Arkansas Governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, former U.S. Senator from Virginia and presidential candidate Jim Webb, former Maryland Governor and presidential candidate Martin O’Malley, and Rep. Steve King (R-IA). Gen. Washington flipped pork chops with Rep. King at the Iowa Pork Producers’ tent, where most of the candidates hang out at some point during the fair.
I had a chance to have a conversation with Rep. King about Williamsburg and Jamestown, and was excited to hear he’s already visited and wants to come back to see us with his entire team. Anytime, Congressman!
After several interviews with CNN, Fox News, ABC News, and others, Gen. Washington and his team bid farewell to the Iowa State Fair, because the first POTUS was going to throw out the first pitch at the Iowa Cubs baseball game.
When Gen. Washington made his way to the mound, I was nervous! How many videos have we seen of celebrities throwing terrible first pitches? I quickly learned I had nothing to worry about, because he threw a perfect pitch right over the plate.
Don’t believe me? Click here for video. It was a perfect ending to our amazing trip to Iowa.
One thing I took away from this experience is that everyone in Iowa is so nice. We never met a single person who was unpleasant and everyone was so welcoming. I personally can’t wait to visit again!