Tonight’s debate was in Iowa, because in just three weeks they will cast the first vote
in the Democratic primary. Just like they do
in every presidential election. And if you want to know
what it feels like to be number one, well, our own
Jordan Klepper went on the road to find out. ♪ ♪ (amplified heartbeat) Last weekend I went
to beautiful, balmy Iowa to see how they feel about
kicking off primary season. I cannot be more excited
to be in the center -of the universe right now.
-Center of the universe? -Right here. Des Moines, Iowa!
-Des Moines, Iowa, baby1 -Let’s get this caucus goin’!
-Boom! It’s (bleep) caucus time. Yeah! It’s (bleep)
caucus time, baby! The excitement
for the Iowa caucus is like no other primary event. And that’s for one reason:
access to the candidates. Andrew Yang came to my house.
He was in my front yard. He shook my babies
and kissed my hands. -He was awesome! -Was it
because he liked your babies, or was he just testing
if they were robots? I was supporting Joe Biden. I got a Christmas card
from him and Jill. -Oh, well, that’s nice.
-I got one from Tom Steyer, too. -Oh. I didn’t get one from him.
-Oh, yeah, -well, you just don’t count.
-Well. -Steyer’s… You hooked up with Booker
over spring break? Congrats. It seems like any jackass can get up close and personal
with the candidates. How have you… how have you
enjoyed your time here in Idaho? Uh, oh, um,
maybe you’re new at this, -but we are in Iowa.
-What did I say? -You said Idaho.
-I said I… I’ve been a lot of places. I was still learning and had
one very important question. Why is Iowa first? Oh, God, I don’t know. Uh, we’re not really sure why,
and I think a lot of other people
are thinking the same thing. But, um, just ’cause we
always have been, maybe, or…? -Is that a good enough reason?
-Not really. Why do you guys get to be first? Because it’s written
into our Constitution. It’s, like,
oh, I-I said it, right? Yes, exactly. Just because you called shotgun
on democracy doesn’t mean
you get to sit up front. It gets…
it is what it is, man. All right, I needed some real
Iowa background and a beer, so I sat down with local
columnist Lyz Lenz. How did Iowa become first? It happened in 1972
because of paperwork. And then in 1976,
Jimmy Carter came in, won the caucuses, and showed
that if you came to Iowa you could grab the attention
of the nation. So it was basically thanks
to Jimmy Carter that Iowa became a “thing.” Yeah, so those-those
poor little peanut farmers who one day dreamed
of being president, they were like:
Now there’s a place I can go, a place where there are farmers,
but they’re different me– they farm corn–
maybe I should be president. -And soy.
-You can do soy as well. Yeah. I mean,
it’s very… varied. It’s very diverse here. That’s what I’ve noticed. No. It’s actually not diverse. -And that’s the problem.
-What’s the problem? Uh, with the caucuses–
we’re not diverse. In fact,
Iowa is over 90% white. So Julián Castro,
Mike Bloomberg, and even the famously hostile
USA Today say that Iowa doesn’t reflect
the country’s demographics. Just look at these whiteys who qualified
for tonight’s debate. I’m sure the rational folks
of Iowa would agree. There’s been some criticism of
Iowa going first in the nation. I think they’re crazy. You understand that there’s
a diversity issue. Right, but we’re not giving up
first place, just so you know. -That’s American as (bleep).
-Isn’t it, though? You know, Iowa isn’t known
for its diversity, but I really contend
that Iowa’s very diverse. I like to think
that Iowa has a good… we represent the whole country,
we’re a melting pot. It’s-it’s… it’s 90% white. -Right.
-But it’s… but the ten percent
that’s not white -is a hundred percent not white.
-It is. Iowa isn’t
the most diverse place. Absolutely. -Rural could be a minority?
-Could be. That’s a real hot Iowa take. You’re gonna hear people say
we’re all white, we’re old… -I would never say that.
-Well, you probably do, you just didn’t tell me,
’cause you’re being respectful. Okay, I did,
but it was two minutes ago, -and I’ve forgotten it.
-(laughs) We try to be diverse. And, uh, actually, Perry, Iowa, like, has a huge
Hispanic-Latino population. -Like, where we are now…
-You can see it in there, right? -Yeah, you… well…
-Well, not in… Certainly, but… they-they… not in the,
maybe not in the people. -In theory, it’s definitely…
-In theory, yes. In theory. In practicality
and reality, no. -Right. -But theoretically, a
hundred percent. It’s almost… -it’s practically 50-50.
-Yeah. Okay, look, Iowa is
actually really engaged, and they take this seriously. But they’ve had the opportunity
of being first for over 40 years. And they’re rational people,
so I’ll ask one more time. Wouldn’t our country benefit
from kicking off primary season with a state that’s
a bit more representative? Okay, please
don’t go there with me. -I’m not even…
-You don’t want to go there? -No, I will. I’ll go there
with you. -You want to go there? -I’ll go there with you.
-Go there with me? If you are… if you…
if you are a… a state -Uh-huh.
-that has civil discourse and is compassionate
and open-minded, obviously, we are diverse
in our heart and by nature. And I’m not doing that
’cause I’m all white privilege. I’m saying that
’cause it’s real. Well, but diverse in your heart is kind of
a white privilege-y thing… -It is a white privilege-y
thing, too, but… -Yeah. we think and we discuss and
we say, “Well, wait a minute. Is that best for all of us?” I would say that civil discourse
here in Idaho is alive and well. -Okay, except we are in Iowa.
-Did I… What… -I keep doing that.
-Yeah. I… Yeah. -What did I say?
-Yeah. And we are in Ida… Iowa. Iowa Iowa. Whatever.
At least I’m not in Ohio. (cheering, applause) Jordan Klepper, everybody!