Hillary Clinton stirred up speculation Sunday on whether she will make another run at the presidency, making her first foray into Iowa since she lost the presidential caucuses there in 2008, coming in a disappointing third. Clinton, with former President Bill Clinton in tow, attended retiring Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry on a soggy hot-air balloon field near Des Moines.
“I’m back,” the former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady told some 10,000 Democrats in attendance. “It’s true. I am thinking about it.” (She never defined “it,” the Los Angeles Times noted). “But for today, that is not why I’m here. I’m here for steak.”
On a more political note, Clinton urged voters to elect Democrats come November and reminded, “We Democrats are for raising the minimum wage, equal pay, making college affordable, growing the economy to benefit everyone.”
The appearance was Clinton’s biggest political outing since she retired as the nation’s top diplomat. The event, which was supposed to laud Harkin’s 40 years in Washington, turned into a Clinton rally with signs and T-shirts reading “Ready” festooning the area, the Times said.
Politico reported Clinton made a number of references to her coming role as grandmother and there has been speculation she could pass up a run at the White House in favor of that role.
Sunday’s appearance was significant since the Iowa caucuses are the first significant test of the presidential election season. Clinton’s 2008 showing was a major blow from which her campaign never really recovered, eventually conceding the Democratic nod to Barack Obama. The next Iowa caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 5, 2016.