Joni Ernst may not be talking to the Iowa press, but she's apparently letting style reporters from the Washington Post ride along in her RV as she travels around Iowa campaigning against Washington politics. But why not let the Washington Post style section reporter ride along with you if a tongue bath like this is on offer?
Ernst, 44, the biscuit-baking, gun-shooting, twangy, twinkly farm girl and mother whose ads emphasize her knowledge of hog castration (“Make ’em squeal, Joni!” yell her fans) puts down the itinerary and nods. Ready, she tells the driver — and a tour she feels will help determine not only an election but also the soul of Iowa is rolling again. [...]
The “Iowa way” is something that makes sense to Ernst’s supporters on this tour. Especially this leg of it, which goes through some of the state’s most rural parts: past farmhouses, grain elevators, crop dusters, and to places that value thrift, self-reliance, lack of pretension. [...]
She never means to talk that long. It’s just that she gets swept up in the moment. She’s a hugger. Hugs everybody. Likes taking pictures. Can’t resist hopping onto someone’s motorcycle for a photo, even when her staff is telling her they really, really need to go.
Seriously! It says that! Oh, she's just too nice for her own good. Can't resist hugging everyone even if it makes her late to hug the next set of people. The only time Monica Hesse's article depicts Ernst talking about any issues at all—anything besides how down-to-earth and Iowa-loving she is, really—is in paraphrase as she answers questions put to her by people at her Senate campaign stops. It is a puff piece to marvel at, just as you have to marvel at Ernst's chutzpah in campaigning around "the Iowa way" while talking to Chuck Todd
and the Washington Post
but not the Des Moines Register or the Cedar Rapids Gazette
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Joni Ernst should face some serious questions—in Iowa, the Iowa way—about why she won't talk to local newspapers and television stations but has plenty of time for the national media.