Media and Politics at the Fair

Fair | Clip
Aug 14, 2023 | 3 min

The Iowa State Fair continues to have a place in the national spotlight. Media from around the world visit to show what the fair has to offer.


[Brooke Kohlsdorf] Every four years a presidential race lands here at the Iowa State Fair. We caught up with some of the national and international media who came to see what it's all about. 

[Nora Savosnick] I am a photojournalist from a Swedish newspaper and we are here to cover the Iowa State Fair.

[Brooke] Is this your first time at the fair?

[Nora] It is my first time at the fair and also my first time in Iowa.

[Brooke] What are your thoughts or observations so far?

[Nora] So many things to do, as much as politics. We were here until late last night. My thoughts? Great diversity. The food is great. The people are great. Yeah.

[David Smith] It's terrific. It's my first day ever at the Iowa State Fair and it's a lot of fun. I see why people say it's all about food. There is plenty of that. It's my kind of food. It's a hot day and you can see I'm overdressed. It's not hard to spot the first timer. For a lot of our readers in Europe and Australia and elsewhere, it's quirky and eccentric. The rest of the world watches this, fascinated. Iowa and the Iowa State Fair plays a huge role in deciding who will be the most powerful person in the world and of the Commander in Chief of the most awesome military in the world. For a while this is the center of the universe.

[Lisa Desjardins] I think what I want is a fried pickle dog with ham and spicy cream cheese.

[Server 5] Okay.

[Lisa] There is nothing like this that I cover. Everyone says it's the Super Bowl or this or that. It's not even worth comparing, because the Iowa State Fair with the history and the importance - it's really good. And also just the sheer diversity, fun, delicious and a wacky stuff that happens at this fair, so it's special. It's a lot like covering Congress in that you are constantly running around. You're much better off with comfortable shoes. You have to be ready for things to change immediately and people who seem nice might not always be nice but people who may seem mean are generally nice. In that way it's like Congress, but it's a lot more laid-back.

[David] I do think it's important. It's good that the presidency, at least partly, depends on this retail politics and one-on-one interactions. Candidates being able to hold a conversation and look voters in the eye and talk about that which matters. That's part of the power of Iowa. Many Iowans take politics extremely serious and are very knowledgeable. They know the drill in a way that your average citizen does not.