The Storm Lake Times: Kander wants to talk to rural Iowa

Performers never want to follow acts involving dogs or kids on stage. Add to the list Jason Kander, who I had to follow last Monday at the National Farmers Union 116th annual convention in Kansas City.

Kander enthralled the crowd for an hour and had them reaching for their pitchforks.

He was there to talk about his organization, Let America Vote, that targets disenfranchisement like voter ID and gerrymandering. Interesting that Iowa and New Hampshire are among seven states targeted for action. His speech was full-throated for letting every citizen vote unimpeded. But it also had all the sounds of a presidential stump speech.

“We want to save small towns and save rural America. It’s a big part of the progressive movement,” boomed Kander, 36, former Missouri Secretary of State to a standing ovation. The lid nearly blew off the place when he demanded country-of-origin labeling.

He decried corporations and government conspiring to hollow out small towns.

“We want our kids to find success in the communities where they were raised. It’s killing rural communities. Our children say, ‘I want to go home but I can’t afford to because I have $100,000 in debt and the wages aren’t high enough.’”

You should have seen the stream of people follow him out of the banquet hall wanting to touch the cloak. There is a definite sense of electricity.

I caught up to him and asked if he is running for President. He knew my name already, which tells me that he is familiar with Iowa.

“It makes me think about it,” he said of the reception from the farmers.

But right now he is fighting for the right to vote. All his energy is with Let America Vote, whose advisors include former Obama strategist Dan Pfeiffer, speechwriter Jon Favreau and press secretary Josh Earnest. That’s a murderer’s row that Joe Biden certainly would covet.

Read the whole article here »