Iowa always seems to lift President Barack Obama's spirits, even on a January day like Wednesday, when it's 20 degrees, and the motorcade route is crusted with ice, and critics along the route wave posters with jabs like "Golf Course Closed Due to Weather."
That's because this state still has a sort of magical status for Obama, the familiar place where his victory in the 2008 caucuses set him on the path to the presidency. On his last visit to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls area, in 2012, he sipped a Bud Light at a bar and talked to locals. On Wednesday, he came back to Cedar Falls to promote its broadband access. But he laughed as he told the audience that "the mayor said he brought a Bud Light with him for me. He’s trying to sneak it around the Secret Service."
"These folks in Washington can’t handle the cold," Obama said. "We know how to handle cold in the Midwest."
He recalled the caucuses seven years ago. "Obviously a lot has changed. I’m much grayer," he said.
Obama also said the U.S. is blessed with the greatest resource in the world. “Not corn," he chided the Iowa audience, but "the pluck and the ingenuity” of the American people.