Hillary Clinton is going back to Iowa for the first time in six years.
The former secretary of state will headline Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry in Indianola next month, making her first visit to the state since 2008.
“Democrats in Iowa are going to come out to show their affection and thanks for Bill and Hillary for all that they’ve done,” Harkin told ABC News in an interview today. “And they’re also going to be anxious to let Hillary and Bill know that they have a lot of friends in Iowa.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton will be on hand for Harkin’s final steak fry, a representative for the couple confirmed. It’s a long-standing tradition that launched a young Barack Obama back in the fall of 2006. This year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 14.
Hillary Clinton’s decision to headline the steak fry, which “might promise to be the best ever,” could be seen as a swift political move for the former New York senator as she continues to mull a second run for president.
“Are Democrats going to be excited to see Hillary? Yes,” Harkin said. “Are they going to be excited to see Bill? Yes.”
It is also a way for the Clintons to take a prominent role in the upcoming midterms election, which Harkin alluded to in a statement announcing the event.
“That’s why I couldn’t be happier than to share this special day with two such close friends. They have contributed so much good, inspiring leadership to this country for many years, and I am sure they will continue to do so in the years ahead,” Harkin said.
The former presidential candidate has not stepped foot in Iowa since she came in third in the Iowa caucuses Jan. 4, 2008: 2,420 days ago. And when she skipped the state during her nationwide book tour this summer, some in Iowa started to feel neglected.
The Gazette, an Iowa newspaper, practically begged Mrs. Clinton to visit last month.
“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.”
The Des Moines Register was first to report the news of Hillary Clinton’s upcoming Iowa appearance today. It has been confirmed to ABC News by a top Iowa Democrat with long ties to Harkin, who plans to retire next year at the end of his fifth term.
Harkin, like most Democrats, assumes Clinton intends to run for president. But he said she made no commitments or revealed any secret announcements.
“I don’t know when she would decide,” Harkin said. “I assume it’s all part of a process.”