By Kyle Munson. President Barack Obama’s impact on what is arguably the Iowa State Fair’s most storied watering hole has become a morning-after mini-debate over the breakfast bacon thanks to a tweet from Sen. Chuck Grassley, as well as fairgrounds chatter.
Obama’s fair stop Monday evening required shutdown of the popular Bud Tent, the heart of fairgrounds nightlife at the intersection of E. 33rd Street and Grand Avenue. Fairgoers eager to greet the president were ushered inside, screened and scanned by the Secret Service and penned in by yellow caution tape. The entire production required at least two hours, and the president’s sleek black coach bus pulled away from the Bud Tent by 8:30 p.m.
On one hand, [the Bud Tent owner Mike] Cunningham, 39, appreciated the historical significance of Obama’s visit: His great-grandfather, Lloyd Cunningham, was secretary of the fair board from 1942 to 1962 and was on hand to greet then-President Dwight Eisenhower when Ike visited the centennial fair in 1954 with Iowa’s own President Herbert Hoover in tow. (That was the first of four visits by sitting presidents, followed by Gerald Ford in 1975, George W. Bush in 2002 and Obama on Monday.)
On the other hand, the small business owner side of Cunningham fumes that the president “put a damper on what I’m trying to do here.” His Bud Tent was shut down at the most lucrative time of day, with a popular rock cover band, Hairball, about to perform at the Susan B. Knapp Amphitheater next door with legions of thirsty fans.
“I was in a position to make a campaign donation against my will,” said Cunningham, a Republican. Read more from this story HERE.
And here’s the video of Obama splurging on ten beers to pass around to the dozens of folk (except the Romney supporter) surrounding him at the fair: