A big Texan in the small Iowa: Beto O’rourke is in the countryside

Un grand Texan dans le petit Iowa: Beto O'Rourke est en campagne

Winter clings on the vast plains of Iowa, where the Texan Beto O’rourke has come to promise on Friday, the second day of his campaign for the us presidential election of 2020, better days to a rural population especially curious to see who lies really behind the media phenomenon.

As the lead guitarist of punk that he was in another life, before you imagine to set up a day to the White House, the middle-aged democrat to the silhouette slender has to wait its audience, and hotly piled into a cafe in Mount Pleasant.

The only “celebrities” that usually stop in this town of 8,500 inhabitants in the south-east of the Iowa, surrounded to the horizon by fields of corn and soybeans, are those invited to the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, a large, annual agricultural fair.

The county of Henry in which it is located had voted for Donald Trump in 2016, but the trade war launched in all directions by the president, and tariffs impeding their exports, have been disappointed in the farmers. But not only that.

Robert Morrison has lost his job as a machinist in January when Siemens closed its Burlington plant to relocate in the Czech Republic and India. “A dirty trick”, he laments. “It is very unfair”.

Then, he hopes that Beto O’rourke would “do its best to keep our jobs” in the country. “He has the charisma, he is positive, his message goes well. I think it would make a good president”.

– “Breath of fresh air” –

The democrat of 46 years, defeated by a narrow margin in November by Ted Cruz in Texas in the race for the Senate –a relative performance in a State that is traditionally conservative– has surprised Friday cameras, many to follow him in the beginning of the campaign, arriving by the back of the cafĂ© Central Park in Mount Pleasant.

Entered in artist, Robert O’rourke, who prefers long-to call himself by his nickname, “Beto”, was then taken of the height of the rolled up sleeves of his non-removable blue shirt and started his big arm movements, sources of teasing, the day before, Donald Trump.

Standing on the counter, feet in the middle of the cookies, it was drawn in ten minutes, after having had a thought for the victims of the bombing in New Zealand, the broad lines of its policy.

Universal health coverage, reform of the justice system, the fight against climate change… Beto O’rourke, closer to the center than many of the other declared candidates in the democratic primary, wants to “pull the country together”, beyond the cleavages that are tearing apart today.

Cap “Beto 2020” in front of him, Ted Bowling, a native of Texas as the young candidate, is confident that the board can bring a “breath of fresh air” on the american political scene.

“Things have been stagnating for two and a half years and I think Beto did hear a different voice”, judge this retired school teacher of 62 years old, who had voted for Hillary Clinton during the democratic primary of 2016.

Garrick Dodson, 17-year-old is not yet old enough to vote, but it will be when Iowa will give in February 2020 the kick-off of the democratic primary. And his choice will probably rather more on the seventy-year-old Bernie Sanders.

“I was curious to see Beto O’rourke, it is an interesting candidate (…) It reminds me a lot of Obama,” says the young man. “But I think it could be more to the left. This is not the most progressive of all (the democrats) that we have today.”

Retired, 85 years old, Rachel Beatty, dapper in his plaid shirt, has been seduced by the “enthusiasm” of the beautiful Beto. “But there are so many good candidates,” said she, after having consulted the application Instagram from your mobile phone.

There follows the Texan, is particularly active on social networks? “Certainly not, it’s just the only way today to communicate with my granddaughter”.