2019年11月8日 星期五

The Daily: The Scene In Iowa

What we saw at the state's biggest political event of the year.
Author Headshot

By Monika Evstatieva

Mayor Pete Buttigieg's supporters wait for him to take the stage in Iowa last week.Maddie McGarvey for The New York Times

For Monday's episode, our producers Monika Evstatieva and Clare Toeniskoetter traveled to Iowa for the Democratic Party's biggest political event yet in the run-up to the presidential election. Monika shared her observations about the ups and downs she witnessed at the event:

Clare and I had never been to the Liberty & Justice Celebration before, but we knew it could be a big night for the Democratic candidates. Barack Obama had delivered a passionate speech there in 2007 that many say paved his way to the Oval Office. This time, though, 14 candidates were scheduled to speak. Who could possibly stand out?

One thing that struck us before we even got to Iowa: the turnout for Mayor Pete Buttigieg. As we boarded our plane at La Guardia Airport, we saw that it was packed full of people wearing blue and yellow — Buttigieg's colors — and chatting excitedly. They carried that momentum all the way to Iowa. In the early morning, hours before the event, we saw crowds of people dancing down the street with carefully choreographed moves to Buttigieg's walkout song. One woman told us she had traveled from Florida to celebrate her 75th birthday with Mayor Pete.

I'm a former music reporter, and Buttigieg's crowd reminded me of an up-and-coming artist. One woman I met told me: "I will go anywhere and I will do anything for Pete."

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren had her own big turnout at the event — and in the episode, our colleague Reid Epstein told us that Warren had given the strongest speech of any candidate that night. But it was hard to match the zealotry of Buttigieg's supporters.

There were also signs of heartbreak. In the morning, we caught up with Beto O'Rourke's supporters. "We've got lots of giant banners and lots of big signs and all kinds of exciting things that we plan to do inside," one of them told us. "It's going to be crazy."

Just not in the way they had expected. Later in the day, Clare and I got the alert on our phones: O'Rourke was dropping out of the campaign. When we looked around, we saw his signature black-and-white signs being taken down. No more flags waving, no more dancing. The packing up had started. And at the event that night, a giant American flag was spread across his section in the arena — just a token now of a candidacy not to be.

Talk to Monika on Twitter: @mevstatieva.


About that Shoney's question

A place where Michael's breakfast dreams have come true.Christian Tyler Randolph/Charleston Gazette-Mail, via Associated Press

For Wednesday's episode, Jonathan Martin told us about the national implications of the Kentucky governor's race. But the moment that caught everyone's attention had nothing to do with politics. Here's the exchange:

Jonathan Martin: So I went to this community about 40 miles south of Louisville, a pretty conservative part of the state. And it was a Shoney's, where there was a breakfast rally for Bevin, who was embarking on this multiday bus tour. And they packed this Shoney's.

Michael Barbaro: What is a Shoney's?

Jonathan: Shoney's is a reasonably priced restaurant, very popular off highways and interstates, mostly known for its breakfast, but also serves lunch and dinner as well.


The emails and tweets poured in. Did Michael really not know that Shoney's is a popular regional restaurant chain? Had he ever left the East Coast?

Here's Michael on his culinary backstory: "As a political reporter who traveled the country covering presidential candidates — and as an eager consumer of breakfast buffets — I do know what a Shoney's is. I've eaten there. But during the interview, it occurred to the producers and me that Jonathan's reference to Shoney's might be lost on many listeners who either don't live in the Midwest or South, or in the U.S. at all. So I asked the question on behalf of them, at the cost of regional credibility."

What we're listening to

Who: Eric Krupke, "Daily" producer

It's a story you've probably heard before. One night in 1964, a young woman named Kitty Genovese was stabbed to death outside of her apartment in New York City. Two weeks after the murder, The New York Times and other outlets wrote that 38 neighbors saw or heard the murder, but that no one had helped her.

What the media didn't report at the time is that Genovese was gay — and so were a lot of her neighbors. It's a fact that completely changes our understanding of the case, because the gay community at the time regularly faced harassment from police. Rather than just being an instance of 38 people letting a woman get killed, it's also a story of a community that couldn't trust the police enough to call them for help.

I'm obsessed with learning about how the narratives that shape our understanding of the world sometimes break down. And that's why I love "You're Wrong About," a podcast hosted by Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall. They take well-known stories — like the O.J. Simpson case, or that one infamous wardrobe malfunction — and explain what the media missed. Every time I listen, I'm surprised by what I learn, and I'm reminded that my own understanding of things might not match up with what really happened.

On 'The Daily' this week

Monday: At Iowa's biggest political event of the year, Democratic presidential hopefuls fought for front-runner status. We went there to find out how the candidates were trying to stand out.

Tuesday: Who's actually electable in 2020? Our producer takes us to a call center asking that question for a new poll, and Nate Cohn looks at the numbers.

Wednesday: What can the race for governor of Kentucky tell us about the politics of impeachment? Jonathan Martin looks at how a state race became a national test.

Thursday: After telling her boss she was transgender, Aimee Stephens was fired from her job. Now, she's the lead plaintiff in the biggest Supreme Court case of the year.

That's it for The Daily newsletter. See you next week.

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