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Showing appreciation to Iowa, an industrial and farm state that is home to 3 million people, is an expected courtesy in national politics because of the state’s role in separating contenders from pretenders in each presidential race.
In early 2008, the results in the Iowa caucuses convinced many Democrats the Obama could win the Democratic nomination over former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, now Obama’s secretary of state.
Next to Clinton, Biden is widely seen as being at the front of the ranks of potential Democratic contenders in 2016.
Also in the crowd at the Iowa party was Maryland’s Democratic governor, Martin O’Malley.
He was a frequent surrogate for Obama in 2012 and is also seen by many Democrats as a potential contender for president - meaning he could be spending a lot of time with Iowans during the next three years.
Earlier, O’Malley made his way through a V.I.P. room where there were cocktails made with Templeton Rye, an Iowa spirit. He chose beer. He had three more stops to go Saturday night.
“I have campaigned in Iowa before,” O’Malley said, referring to his work on behalf of other Democratic candidates. “I have great affection for Iowa.”
This summer Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat, invited O’Malley to his annual steak fry, a traditional trek for Democrats in need of an Iowa introduction.
“It’s a long way away,” said Bob Lydick, 63, a native of Clarinda, Iowa, who was at the party. “But the (2016) campaign has already begun.”