daughter stumps for dad
Iowa Presidential Politics.com
Iowans may spot
her elegantly walking down local streets, well dressed, clutching
her designer handbag and never forgetting the smile. She brings
with her one message: Vote for my Dad.
Over the past
month, Gwen Graham Logan -- Florida Senator Bob Graham's eldest
daughter of four -- was stumping for her father in Iowa City, one
of her many stops around the state during his campaign.
to meet as many people in Iowa as I can," said Logan, 40, who
lives in Tallahassee, Fla. with her husband, Mark, and three children.
"The most helpful way to help dad is to connect people with
needs to happen quickly. Iowa's Jan. 19 caucuses are approaching
and Graham is already being described as the leader of the second
tier of candidates. On Thursday, false rumors were spreading saying
that he planned to drop out of the race.
Like a seasoned
politician, Logan listens, quizzes and hugs along the way. This
was evident as she took a tour of the Iowa City/Johnson County Senior
Center two weeks ago, asking questions about the facility, wondering
about the enrollment at nearby University of Iowa and inviting residents
out for coffee.
expect a lot of personal attention from the candidates," said
Graham's Iowa director Jessica VandenBerg. "The caucus-goers
in Iowa appreciate Senator Graham’s commitment to his family."
can often help the candidate extend the reach of his or her campaign
and allow it to reach more voters, said University of Iowa political
science professor Peverill Squire, a well-known expert on the state's
candidates find that having their families in the public eye helps
soften and humanize their public images," said Squire. "And
because they have families it makes it easier for many in the public
to identify with them."
Louise Young of Iowa City said she was excited to see Logan in town
this week. The two met at the Senior Center and Young later met
her for coffee.
is the first time I've met her," said Young. "I hope to
see her again in the future."
if her father was facing an uphill battle with being far behind
in the polls, Logan quickly responded, citing that in 1975, Jimmy
Carter was only at 1% in Iowa polls.
is nothing new for Logan. She still can picture driving around Florida
in a RV when she was 13 years old and her dad was running for governor.
he was running for the senate I wasn't involved on this level,"
she said. "Now, I want to be independent and speak on his behalf."
circumstances voters are not looking to family members to explain
the campaign's stance on social national issues, Squire said. Instead,
the family may offer the voters a small chance to gain insight into
who the candidate is as a person, he said.
But when questions
about foreign policy and the budget are thrown at this mom, Logan
says she isn't feeling the heat because she's confident that she
knows his issues and stances. If there's ever doubt about something
she's asked, Logan said she will never answer for her father.
other candidate's family members aren't as prevalent in the state
yet. Last month, Chrissy Gephardt, daughter of Sen. Dick Gephardt
(D-Mo.) talked to Iowa City residents at a local restaurant.
and the nation's first caucus, at least one member of the Sen. Graham's
family will permanently be working Iowa voters, Logan said.
daughter, what I can do best is convey a feeling about my dad that
only I can convey," Logan said. "I can offer people personal
Sara Faiwell at email@example.com