-If you’ve ever been
to a state fair, you know roughly
what to expect. -Have a good day at the fair.
-There’s livestock, rides. And the food comes on a stick. -I want ketchup. -But every four years
at the Iowa State Fair, there’s a different
sort of attraction. ♪ Oh, say, does that
star-spangled ♪ -That’s because the road
to the White House runs straight through
the Des Moines fairgrounds. -All of our veterans
who are here. -Every candidate gets 20 minutes
to make their case to voters. -Just let us thank you
for your service. -The story of this state
is the story of America. -You have a private health
insurance plan that is strong and solid
that you want to hold on to, you should be able
to hold on to that. -This year, with more
than 20 Democratic presidential hopefuls
in the mix, the media presence
and the size of the crowds have become spectacles, as well. -Watch out.
We have a baby on the left. Baby on the left, please. -I got to get there.
-Here we go. -The jungle gyms.
Okay. -But Iowans don’t just
come here to listen. They come with questions.
-Ken has a great question. His wife has Alzheimer’s. And he’s a caregiver,
and he’s not reimbursed. -And those informal exchanges can sometimes
get candidates in trouble. -Reparations for people,
my friend. We can raise taxes —
Of course they are. Everything corporations earn
ultimately goes to people. -In 2011, these comments
from Mitt Romney dogged him for the rest of his campaign. To succeed at the fair,
you have to come off as authentic and unscripted. And there are unwritten rules
to be mindful of. For starters, dress casual. Fred Thompson wore these
fancy loafers here in 2007. -Slip-up like
wearing Gucci loafers. -And he never heard
the end of it. And have fun
but maybe not too much fun. When President Obama
visited in 2012, the Secret Service shut down
the beer tent for hours. The owner later said it cost him
thousands of dollars. Never one to heed the rules, then-candidate Donald Trump
arrived by helicopter in 2015. -Does anybody want
to take a ride? -And then he refused
to go to the soapbox, but he still drew a crowd. The President hasn’t made
an appearance this year, but his name is in the air. -If you were just to flip
on the cable news, why would you think that Donald
Trump’s our president today? Why would you think that Donald
Trump won Iowa by nine points? -These candidates have already
spent months campaigning in Iowa, and the caucus
is still six months away. But what happens at the fair
can leave a lasting impression.