Politics

2020 Iowa book club invited Democratic presidential candidates to Iowa to discuss biographies and meet with members

Iowa’s “2020 Book Club” focuses on Democratic candidates

A book club has been formed in Iowa ahead of the state’s caucus next year, one solely focused on reading the memoirs, biographies and policy-centered publications of the 2020 presidential candidates. CBSN’s Elaine Quijano of “Red & Blue” spoke with club founder Andrea Phillips on Thursday. Phillips is also an Iowa Democratic Party official and organizer and the vice-chair of the party.

“I thought, well I’m going to read all the book’s anyway, why don’t I just put it out on Facebook and see if I can find a dozen or so people to join me and we’ll call it a book club,” Phillips told CBSN.

The “2020 Book Club” was created Feb. 24, 2019, almost a year before the Democratic Iowa Caucus is held Feb. 3, 2020. Its official Facebook page has 743 members listed.

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Andrea Phillips, founder of Iowa’s “2020 Book Club,” seen with 2020 presidential candidate Julián Castro.

“2020 Book Club”


The book club has become a community forum for voters in Iowa to discuss issues and personalities of candidates and also speak with the candidates themselves. New Jersey senator and presidential candidate Cory Booker was invited to the club’s inaugural meeting in March. All of the book’s authors are invited to Iowa to speak with members of the club after they finish reading each candidate’s book.

Some of the titles include Bernie Sanders‘ “Where We Go From Here,” Pete Buttigieg‘s “The Shortest Way Home,” Andrew Yang‘s “The War on Normal People,” Elizabeth Warren‘s “A Fighting Chance,” and Kamala Harris‘ “The Truths We Hold.”

“It’s great to have a book club conversation because in a book the candidate has enough time to decide what they want to focus on about themselves and what type of image they want to project,” Phillips said. “And so the conversations are a little bit more intimate, a little bit more about the candidate as a person, their background and the influences that influenced their policy decisions today and in the future.”


Watch more of Elaine Quijano’s interview with Andrea Phillips in the video player at the top of the page.


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