WASHINGTON — Maryland Rep. John Delaney, D-Potomac, will travel to Iowa Thursday to press his case in his long-shot bid to become president in 2020.
He also will hit Hawkeye State television viewers with a million-dollar ad buy on Super Bowl Sunday.
It is part of what his campaign says is a million-dollar ad campaign in a four-week long push featuring multiple commercials, all airing in various cities of Iowa.
“I’ve announced, I’m in early, and I want to start introducing myself to the voters,” Delaney told Capital News Service Wednesday.
The preliminary ad, titled “Dirty Word,” highlights Delaney’s interest in tackling issues with his Republican colleagues: “(Bipartisan) might be a dirty word in Washington, but it seems to be awfully refreshing right here in Iowa,” the ad says.
This will be Delaney’s sixth trip to Iowa, according to his campaign. press release. He’ll spend two days making stops in Tipton, Dubuque, Welton, Elkader, Manchester, Maquoketa and Davenport to meet Iowans and raise funds.
“It’s a chance to get some recognition and to be seen,” said David Yepsen, a veteran Iowa journalist and current Iowa Public Television host. “For someone who is as unknown and obscure as he is, he’s got to do it… I call these trips a ‘deal me in’ trip. If this were a game of cards, he’d be asking the dealer for a hand.”
Delaney first announced his campaign on July 28 with an opinion article in The Washington Post and a campaign video titled “Why I’m Running.” His highlighted goals included reforming health care and reducing obstacles for small businesses and start-ups.
“When I ran for Congress, I said back then: let’s stand up for workers instead of big companies and big banks,” he said. “Let’s invest in our country and its people.”
Delaney is the first major Democrat to declare candidacy for the next presidential election. Although early, he is not the first candidate to run an ad campaign: President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign launched last May with an ad commemorating his first 100 days in office.
Yepsen noted the importance of Delaney gaining name recognition, which is both necessary for the success of his campaign and an added bonus to running fairly early in his career. Delaney, 54, could still potentially run a second or third time, or else use this campaign stint later on as leverage to advance into a cabinet position or a higher rank in the private sector, Yepsen said.
“He’s got a lot to overcome,” Yepsen said. “House members are not seen on the same stature as senators. Right now he’s unknown, but at this stage in 1976, so was Jimmy Carter.”
“I don’t get too dismissive of people who start early and show up,” the journalist added. “The odds are against them, but running for president is a time-consuming business and it’s won by risk-takers. Nobody hands you the presidency.”