She chitchatted about coffee house culture, ordered a chai drink and expressed empathy about the long, grueling winter. In the first road trip of her 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton attempted Tuesday to woo Iowa, where she made small talk at a small-town coffeehouse outside Cedar Rapids and joked that she was going to "drink my way across Iowa."
At the Jones Street Java House, she ordered a chai, a latte and a glass of water with lemon, the Associated Press reported. This is "quite a surprise," said one patron, the Wall Street Journal reported. Clinton then headed to a roundtable discussion with students and teachers at a community college in Monticello.
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) April 14, 2015
With its first-in-the-nation caucuses that can make or break presidential candidacies, Iowa is crucial for any White House contender. Clinton's latest bid to win over Iowa voters comes after she announced her second run for president on Sunday in an online video. Iowa is particularly important to Clinton this time around after she finished in third place behind Barack Obama and John Edwards during her 2008 campaign.
— Ed Zeman (@ezridersos) April 14, 2015
Clinton hadn't spent much time in Iowa since. She returned only twice, including to attend now-retired Sen. Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry last year, where she declared, “I’m ba-ack!”
Clinton's "everyday Americans" road trip from New York to Iowa also stopped at a Pittsburgh hotel and a Chipotle restaurant outside Toledo, Ohio, on Monday. Clinton and a small staff were traveling in a black GMC van. In 2007, Clinton traveled across Iowa by air in the so-called "Hill-a-Copter."
Chris Learn, a 19-year-old student at Pennsylvania State University at Altoona, told CNN he ran into Clinton at a Pilot gas station. She said hello and asked him questions. "I knew it was her immediately," Learn said. "I just saw her and I was like, there's no way that's her!"
Below are more photos of Clinton's first campaign tour from Twitter:
— georgefayner (@georgefayner) April 14, 2015
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) April 14, 2015