The Iowa Democratic Party's Freedom and Justice Festival – renamed the former Jefferson-Jackson Dinner – once helped launch the then-Sen. Barack Obama outpaced Hillary Clinton in the Iowa Democratic cause in 2008.
Now, 12 years later, candidates are looking for their own breakthrough moment. On Friday, Massachusetts sisters Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Butigig showed why he was constantly rising to the ballot box, attracting the most supporters and presenting the clearest arguments of the night.
Butigig offered an optimistic vision of America after Trump. He said he "saw in the dust of a war zone Americans who have nothing in common but the banners on our shoulders to learn to trust each other with their lives" and "seen in the ruins of factories, my city answers those, who said we were a dying community, rising together to build a better future. "
Meanwhile, Warren was the most aggressive in taking on other Democrats ̵
" I am not running a consultants-led campaign with some vague ideas that are designed not to They insulted anyone, "she said.
Friday also brought a dose of reality to candidates who vote in the low single digits. Few in attendance actually stayed to hear from them, emphasizing the reality that with such a crowded democratic field, voters are eager to refute
Here are seven ways to celebrate freedom and justice:
Deploying organizational muscle
With more than 13,000 tickets sold, Friday night was the biggest democratic event of the year
This meant that candidates didn't just have to give stirring speeches – they needed
Warren rolled into Des Moines, accompanied by a giant inflatable gold retriever. It was her dog Bailey's nod and came with two pennies of his collar – a reference to Warren's proposed 2% wealth tax.
There was no doubt inside the arena that – like Polk Fry County steak six weeks earlier – Warren and Butigigig had bought the most tickets and had the most fearsome supporters.
During their speeches, Buttigig's supporters wave a light thunder.
California Senator Kamala Harris, who danced in the arena, also had a huge entertainment venue.
New Jersey Saints faithful Corey Booker brought a giant light – up letters that spell out words like "Rise" that echo the themes of Booker's campaign.
Former Vice President Joe Biden had less but still voice support.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders did not lead supporters of the Freedom and Justice Day, following the recent tradition of his campaign to organize an alternative event – this time, March to End Corporate Greed, early Friday night. But Sanders, the only candidate to use the podium, arrived with an olive branch, saying his campaign donated $ 20,000 to the Iowa Democratic Party.
The focus remains on Trump …
Nothing warms up a crowd of thousands of Democrats more than aggressively hit President Donald Trump, and almost every candidate on stage has used his platform to do just that.
Biden stated that he would beat the president "like a drum" and that Trump "knows" because he spent "a lot of money to make sure I wasn't" the nominee.
"You hate a little oxygen and it goes out from under the rocks," Biden said. "Well, he inhaled oxygen in hatred."
Butigig called Trump the "chief divider", arguing that the White House offers "you can look at the news and feel that your blood pressure is less than through the roof."
"This country cannot afford another four years for Donald Trump, we will not recognize him if he is re-elected." said Butigi before adding that pit need "to go to a military parade to see what a convoy looks like. Because I was driving one to Afghanistan at the time when this president was on season seven of the apprentice."
Sanders called Trump a man "who doesn't understand the rule of law or our constitution. "
Trump is "a person who will soon be imprisoned," he said.
These lines were clearly satisfied people, earning courteous applause from the attendees present in support of other candidates and stormy cheers from their respective supporters.
… But some Democrats are focusing on their opponents
The comments that received more attention, however, were the riskier lines the Democrats took on, some of whom shared the scene just minutes away.
Warren was most direct in criticizing his rivals, telling the audience that some "felt that running some obscure campaign around the edges was somehow safe, but if the best we could promise is business as usual after Donald Trump, then the democrats will lose. "
Warren then pulled off insidiously candidates like Biden, Butigig, and others who propose more incremental change.
" We win when we come up with solutions big enough to touch the problems that are in people's lives . Fear and complacency do not win elections. Hope and courage win elections, "she said, adding:" I do not run a consultant-led campaign with some vague ideas designed to offend no one. I run a lifelong campaign to fight for working families. "
" This is a time of crisis. And media practitioners, Washington insiders, even some of our own party don't want to admit it. They believe that running some obscure campaign around the edges is somehow safe, "she said.
But Warren, who has risen to the status of front-runner in recent months, has also been criticized indirectly. 19659002] Harris emphasized her career as a prosecutor and then used that experience to strike Warren with a subtle tone. "
" I've only had one client throughout my life and these are people. Unlike others, I've never represented a corporation, "said Harris, a nod to Warren's previous job representing a corporation tions.
Harris' High Pressure Moment
Harris had a very bad week.  In the face of polls and the monetary crisis, the Harris campaign announced this week that the California Democrat is releasing staff at its Baltimore headquarters and nearly closing its campaign in New Hampshire to fund a strategy that plagues it. campaign in Iowa.
Harris took the stage here in Des Moines with more pressure than almost all of her speeches to date.
"This is a moment when we must be ready to fight for the best of our country," Harris "This is a moment when we must fight for the country we love, the rule of law, about our system of justice and about our democracy itself. "
While thematically similar to the one it provides to the campaign. every day, her speech about Frida y was more direct and pointed than her usual stump address.
The speech also could not have come at a more important moment for the senator. Friday night's Celebrity of Freedom and Justice audience was – the biggest audience for Ivans Harris to turn between now and the cacao.
Harris tried to take advantage of the battles in the Senate that initially helped propel her campaign.
Being a United States Senator "meant taking Jeff Cecie, taking Bill Bar, taking on Brett Cavanaugh," says Harris, mentioning much of the Trump administration's endorsement of struggling where it plays a central role. "And Iowa, today I stand before you, for the people fully prepared to take on Donald Trump."
The experience of Andrew Yang
Andrew Yang, who never ran for office before launching his bid for Democratic president in 2020 joked during his speech that he was "almost a politician."
But this is actually no longer true.
The animation cause of an entrepreneurial campaign is its "dividend for freedom" – a proposal to combat threat automation creates jobs, giving every American a universal basic income of $ 1,000 a month.
On Friday, Jan did what experienced politicians do: He told human stories. His campaign is running his own pilot program, and Ian talks about three people who are already receiving $ 1,000 a month. A man bought a guitar and was happier playing the show for the first time in a long time. A woman paid for car repairs. A 68-year-old woman goes back to school. It was a deft touch for someone who, at the start of his candidacy, often seemed out of place among other Democratic presidential hopes.
The evening was a perfect window into what became the experience of Andrew Yang: Without fail, supporters of other candidates leave Democratic events who say that although they do not vote for it, they like to hear from Yang. Iowa's Democratic glare, donors and staff sitting around the stage watching Yang's legend follow in the stands, sticking to him through every word of intricate call and response.
"I'm running for president because, like so many of you in this room, I'm a parent and I'm a patriot," Jan said. "I have seen the future that is ahead for our children and is not something I am ready to accept."
The Exit of Beto
The most disappointed participants on Friday night were those who were there – in some cases after traveling around the country – in support of Beto Rourke.
The former Texas congressman announced his departure from the race in 2020 hours before the Feast of Freedom and Justice began. The news left fans gathered just outside the Wales Fargo Rally Arena before the final meeting. Organizers quickly pulled out and stacked the black and white "Betto, mixed with other candidates" signboards in downtown Des Moines.
Rourke spoke to those supporters, and then Iowa Democratic Party chairman Troy Price told the crowd in the arena that the former MP would not speak on Friday night.
He did, however, receive some shouting from other candidates – first Harris, then Sanders.
"I want to thank my good friend Beto ; Roorkee for helping to put an end to the horrifying level of the gun violence we see in this country, "Sanders said.
Ian told reporters that he was sad to see O 'Roorke disappear because El Pasoan" is someone I was really happy to spend time with. your. "
The weak second half
The 13 Democratic candidates who spoke on Friday were split into two halves: The seven best voters who spoke first followed an intermission, in which several Democratic Iowa state officials took the stage and then the six lower-level candidates closed the night.
This setup was bad news for the last six Democrats.
More than half the crowd – those who were there to hear from Butigi, Warren, Biden, San jersey, Harris, or Tom Steyer – heading to the exits in the interracial area. (Ian's supporters mostly stayed around.)
Booker and Minnesota, sister Amy Klobuchar suffered the most.
Unlike the longest shots in the firing line. , both run campaigns with talented staff and organizational skills, both polling with low single digits, but in recent weeks there have been limited signs of inertia. Both delivered strong speeches that were heard personally by far fewer people than the top candidates.
Practically no one has stayed for the past two speakers of the night, former Maryland reporter John Delaney and Montana Governor Steve Bullock. Waiting staff were pulling table covers while Delaney was still talking. The announcer lost her seat before Bullock spoke, mistakenly telling the crowd, "please welcome Senator Corey Booker to the stage," instead of introducing the Montana governor.
The most memorable part of Klobuchar's speech was the constant faint roar of the horn
"I think it's a Viking horn," she said. "You will anger all Packer fans."