Donald Trump did not win the Iowa Caucus, but as he makes the pitch to New Hampshire voters, Rachel Greenberg of Volta Insider reports from inside his final rally at a hotel in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
It looks like President Obama has gotten the podcast bug. Last fall he spoke with podcaster, Marc Maron and now Politico’s Glenn Thrush sat down with Barack Obama in the latest episode of his Off Message podcast. Obama spoke candidly for the first time about the coming presidential election, even weighing in on the fight between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, and reflected on his own experience campaigning in Iowa in 2008.
Thrush asked, “Do you see any elements of what you were able to accomplish in what Sanders is doing?”
Obama responded, “Well, there’s no doubt that Bernie has tapped into a running thread in Democratic politics that says: Why are we still constrained by the terms of the debate that were set by Ronald Reagan 30 years ago?”
He went on to suggest Sanders will be put under spotlight if he wins any of the early contests. “I think that if Bernie won Iowa or won New Hampshire, then you guys are going to do your jobs and, you know, you’re going to dig into his proposals and how much they cost and what does it mean, and, you know, how does his tax policy work and he’s subjected, then, to a rigor that hasn’t happened yet.” He went on to say, “Bernie is somebody who —although I don’t know as well because he wasn’t, obviously, in my administration, has the virtue of saying exactly what he believes, and great authenticity, great passion, and is fearless. His attitude is, ‘I got nothing to lose.’”
Speaking about the Democratic frontrunner Obama said, “I think Hillary came in with the — both privilege and burden of being perceived as the frontrunner. ”
“I’ve gotten to know Hillary really well, and she is a good, smart, tough person who cares deeply about this country, and she has been in the public eye for a long time and in a culture in which new is always better. And, you know, you’re always looking at the bright, shiny object that people don’t, haven’t seen before. That’s a disadvantage to her.”
Obama reflected on his days campaigning in Iowa. According to the President, “The caucus process in Iowa was, for me, the most satisfying political period of my career, just in terms of campaigning and politics. And the reason was that it vindicated — in my mind, at least — my view of what politics should be.”
You can listen to Glenn Thrush’s Off Message podcast here.
Microsoft has teamed up with Internology to create a series of innovative new apps that will assist Iowa’s 1,784 precincts in speedily reporting results on Caucus day. These apps, which are available on Apple, Android, and Microsoft platforms, will help precincts speed up and simplify reporting of caucus results, which have been criticized for being slow and inaccurate in previous Caucuses. Another set of apps specifically designed for each party will allow party leaders to independently verify results as they are reported. In the old system of results reporting, precincts used automated phone systems that required users to dial in results to party headquarters. As a backup, paper ballots were sent by mail. That system has created numerous reporting errors in past Caucuses, since individual precincts had no unified results verification system.
Microsoft’s new applications allow both Democrats and Republicans to report their results securely and accurately, according to each party’s unique Caucus rules. Another app will allow reporters and the general public to view results precinct-by-precinct as they come in. Anomalous results are flagged by Microsoft’s app and are sent to the respective party’s chairman to review. A variety of other safety measures are in place to ensure that each precinct reviews and reports their results as accurately as possible. Paper ballots will still be used as a safety-net, though it takes up to two days for those ballots to be counted and verified. Party leaders have maintained that accuracy will supersede timeliness, and no results will be reported until they have been fully implemented, even if that means no winners will be announced on the day of the Caucus.
Training workshops for precinct captains is already underway, with Microsoft sending their experts to each precinct to ensure the technology will be fully implemented on February 1st. Microsoft will not disclose the cost to make and manage the app and the results, however they made clear that neither the parties nor the state of Iowa funded the project.