Reflections on meeting potential presidents

Published 9:29 am Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I have not always been the type of person to get all wrapped up in national politics, but I have to admit there’s a sense of excitement I have had when I have been able to cover a presidential candidate and even a president once who came to our area.

In my time at the Tribune, I have seen President Barack Obama — once before he was president in Mason City and once since in Cannon Falls. I have seen several others including John McCain and Sarah Palin during the Republican National Convention in 2008 in St. Paul. On Saturday, I got the chance to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in Kensett.

Whether I agreed with the candidates was beside the point.

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I think it’s simply fun and refreshing as a journalist in little, old small-town USA to see a person of such national significance in our own backyard. It helps that we’re so close to Iowa, and it awesome for the little town of Kensett to have this exposure.

It’s also fun to see people excited and passionate about our country in both the audience and on stage. It fosters a renewed sense of appreciation for our country.

Not to mention, you can tell a lot about a candidate by seeing him or her in person and taking note of how they interact and speak to other people.

Call me crazy, but I have kept all the press passes from those types of events over the years. I think it will be fun to look back in a few decades and remember these experiences. Not everyone can say they have had a White House press pass.

Don’t ask me who I plan to vote for next year. I don’t know.

We have a long way to go to Nov. 8, 2016, but I’d would hope people — myself included — will take the time to review the potential candidates and then practice their civic duty and vote.


Sarah Stultz is the Tribune’s managing editor. Her column appears every Tuesday.