Hillary Clinton campaigns with mother, daughter

"Bring your daughter to work day" started at Palmer’s Deli in Des Moines.  Hillary Clinton, her mother Dorothy Rodham and her daughter Chelsea walked into the sprawling deli mid-morning this Saturday just as flakes of snow began drifting down through the chilled air outside.  The store seats over 100 at square tables stretched out around long rows of refrigerated cases offering cheeses (some in the shape of a Christmas tree) and meats, a salad-made-to-order bar, a sandwich-made-to-order aisle and a short-order "bar" where the Clintons ordered their breakfast.

But that area where breakfast delights like French Toast await sits on the far southeast wall of the rectangular building (which used to be a Walgreen’s) — at the opposite side to the door where the entourage walked in, to be greeted by a group of small children and applause from some in the crowd. 

Clinton bent down to give an autograph to one of the children.

"I love your gingerbread pin.  Did you make that?  It’s really neat looking," Clinton told one of the kids, who replied in a high-pitched voice that I can’t make out on the tape.  "Thank you for saying hello," Clinton concluded with the kids as she moved on to shake more hands.

Chelsea was in the room by now and Julia Martinusen — an editor at Meredith — was the first to greet her.

"Good to see you out.  It’s a cold day in Iowa.  Chelsea, delighted to meet you.  I was just wondering where you’d been," Martinusen said.

"I’m happy to be here," Chelsea Clinton responded.

Chelsea’s appearance, of course, comes in the lead-up to rival Barack Obama’s big splash in the Hawkeye State as Oprah Winfrey is scheduled to headline Obama rallies in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids this afternoon.

Back to this morning, Clinton and her daughter circulated through the deli as people — many supporters — spoke to them and posed for pictures.  A tight knot of camera operators, others holding microphones dangling in the air above and reporters dashing off notes surrounded the pair.  "How ya doin’ Rosemary?" Clinton asked one women she recognized.

Chelsea Clinton got a bit separated from her mother’s media mob at one point.  A woman struck up a conversation with the former First Daughter.

"We are going to do everything we can for your mother," the woman told Chelsea.  "We are going to work as hard as we can."

"Thank you very much," Chelsea responded.

"So, you go back to New York and you work and she’ll be in good shape," the woman continued.

"I’m sure she will, but I’ll be back, too," Chelsea said before moving on to pose for a picture with young Caleb Noe, dressed in overhauls.  "Does your name begin with a C?" Chelsea asked.  Caleb responded with a loud "OHHH!" Caleb’s mother explained they’d been practicing the spelling of his name by using the tune B-I-N-G-O and inserting the letters C-A-L-E-B in the tune.  Chelsea chanted along with the song and added, "That’s cute!" at the end.

Twelve minutes after arriving in the deli the Clintons had made their way to the counter to order.  The deli’s general manager explained that the French Toast was "wonderful" and then launched into the explanation of "The Good Ol’ Iowa" which she labeled "fantastic."

"It’s an omelet served with hash browns, your choice of toast," the general manager explained.

"I’ll have the Good Ol’ Iowa," Clinton decided.  "Do you have any hot tea?" 

The answer on the tea was yes, and then Chelsea put in her order — an egg white omelet with hashbrowns.

Clinton struck up a conversation with the woman about the deli, it’s hours of operation, how long it had been at that location, then moved on to walk along the aisle of sandwich makings and past the cash register (while there was an ample supply of cookies & brownies on display, none were sold) and moved along with the media in tow as she sat down at a table with her mother to eat her breakfast.  (Chelsea had dashed off to get her grandmother’s order — they had 88-year-old Dorothy seated away from the media pack quickly after she got in the door.)

By 10:40 a.m., the trio of women had left the building.  That concludes my report of the photo op.

UPDATE:  Here’s the Radio Iowa story.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Hillary’s negative attacks on Obama are outragous and just goes to show how she will do anything and say anything to get elected no matter who she tramples in the process. I have never seen attacks so vicious against a fellow Democrat. If Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee, she will have given the Republicans tons of ammunition to use against him.
    Obama clearly has the best chance at beating McCain. Obama is Gentleman who says
    “with your help” “we” can take back this country and give it back to the American People. Obama stands for REAL change which we desperately need. Obama wants to make positive changes and he wants to SERVE the American people. She has no intentions of serving the people.. she will be like all of the other presidents we’ve had for the past 40 years.