DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — As Hillary Rodham Clinton walked among the booths of funnel cakes and corn dogs at the Iowa State Fair, trailed by a massive pack of media and onlookers, Donald Trump’s helicopter circled the fairgrounds in the air above.
That’s as close as Clinton and Trump’s massive entourages came at the state fair, a rite of passage for any presidential candidate. The respective Democratic and Republican front-runners each drew large crowds of gawkers as Clinton sampled a pork chop on a stick and Trump gave rides to children on his helicopter emblazoned with his famous last name.
“Nice to be here!” Clinton said as she started an hourlong stroll across the fairgrounds. Former Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, who endorsed her this week and wore a straw hat to shade him from the blazing sun, accompanied her. Everywhere Clinton walked, large crowds followed her to get a photograph, a handshake or a quick hello.
Trump later made a grand entrance, landing his helicopter in athletic fields about a mile away and offering rides to children before he came onto the grounds. Almost immediately Trump was crushed by massive crowds seeking photos, handshakes and yelling encouragement. The pandemonium followed him around for roughly an hour — and during a stop for a pork chop on a stick.
“This is beyond what I expected. This is amazing,” Trump said. “It’s been a day of love.”