(WASHINGTON) — At this point in the presidential cycle, virtually anybody even thinking about running for president has racked up frequent flier miles going back-and-forth to Iowa and New Hampshire.
Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have already made a combined 10 trips to Iowa since the last election. Democrats too — Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Martin O’Malley and Amy Klobucher, have visited. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders has made two trips each to Iowa and New Hampshire.
But the most formidable candidate of all hasn’t been to either state in ages. Hillary Clinton has not set foot in Iowa since she came in third in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 4, 2008 — 2,401 days ago.
And it appears the former Secretary of State hasn’t made a public appearance in New Hampshire since she won the 2008 New Hampshire primary — 2,397 days ago.
At least some in Iowa are starting to feel neglected. Last month, the Iowa Gazette practically begged Clinton to visit.
“We’ve watched as you have flexed your muscles on the international stage and have been impressed with your ability to connect,” the Gazette editorialized. “But as Iowans, we need to see that connection in action. Our hope, if you are really considering a 2016 run, is that you have learned from your experience and come to Iowa intent on having true conversations about what matters to our state and the fine people in it.”
Mrs. Clinton’s Hard Choices book tour has brought her all over the country, but has stayed clear of the early presidential primary states. No book signings or speeches in Iowa or New Hampshire. None in South Carolina, either.
It’s a measure of just how different a candidate Hillary Clinton will be — so formidable, such an overwhelming favorite, so thoroughly well-known — that she apparently doesn’t need to worry about laying the groundwork for a campaign in the early states.
But in urging Mrs. Clinton to visit the Hawkeye state, the Iowa Gazette sought to remind Mrs. Clinton that she also kept clear of Iowa back when she was the overwhelming frontrunner early in the 2008 presidential cycle.
“Mistakes were made — frankly, too many to list here — but chief above them all was the steadfast refusal of the Clinton campaign to honor the tradition of visiting the early states,” the Gazette editorialized, urging her to start engaging Iowa voters. “We’d suggest sooner rather than later this time.”
ABC News reached out to Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill to ask why she’s steered clear of the states to which virtually every other potential candidate has been flocking, and to see if she has any plans to visit those states any time soon, but we did not get a response.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
David Chalian, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News