A line of winter storms rolled through the Midwest this past week, shutting down schools and businesses across the Omaha metro area and cancelling campaign events that had been scheduled over the weekend ahead the Iowa Caucuses.
Former United States ambassador Nikki Haley cancelled an in-person event that had been scheduled for Friday evening at Iowa Western Community College.
A few miles east, however, Vivek Ramaswamy’s meet-and-greet event at The Acres in Council Bluffs, scheduled for the exact same time, was held right on schedule.
“Our goal today was to keep all of our commitments. We had to drive a lot more slowly to do it,” Ramaswamy said.
Despite the weather, Ramaswamy’s event drew around fifty guests to the rural outskirts of Council Bluffs, including one young man who drove up from Lincoln, over an hour away. This was one of several events Ramaswamy held across the state, and it wasn’t the last one of the day — he still planned to drive to Des Moines for an event that would start in less than two hours. “We’re going to be late to that event, but my wife is covering that,” Ramaswamy said.
Donald Trump had planned a rally in Atlantic, Iowa Saturday afternoon, which was also cancelled due to weather conditions. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, held his event in Council Bluffs on Saturday morning as scheduled. “I’m a Florida boy, born and bred, and yet here I am in negative temperatures,” DeSantis said. “If people are willing to come out and hear from me, them I’m going to show up, all the way until the end of this caucus. You’re going to see me everywhere. You’ve got to earn the vote.”
DeSantis was joined on stage by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Bob Vander Plaats of The Family Leader, and Texas Congressman Chip Roy, all of whom have his endorsed his campaign. The event drew around 100 people on a chilly Saturday morning, including one campaign volunteer named April, who flew in from Washington State. “I am an ex-Democrat who got converted to being very, very conservative because of the 2020 lockdown. I want to help [DeSantis] get some independents,” she said.
Both Ramaswamy and DeSantis have been confronted at their events by people protesting climate change, which DeSantis seemed to find ironic. “If you are going to come out and try to protest global warming,” he said, “you may not want to try to do that in the middle of a blizzard.”
DeSantis will be holding another event in Council Bluffs on Monday afternoon at 2:15 PM, just hours before Iowa Caucuses meet. Temperatures are expected to drop on Monday to -20°F.