With his scheduled visit to an ethanol plant in Emmetsburg, Iowa on Tuesday, did Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signal his interest in running for President in 2016? Probably not.
While Nixon has long been considered a potential Democratic candidate if Hillary Clinton decides not to run, the two-term governor’s visit to Iowa seems to be driven entirely by local political concerns. Nixon is visiting Project Liberty, a brand new ethanol plant that processes cellulosic ethanol, which is made from the waste parts of corn like the husk and the cob. In contrast, traditional ethanol is made from the actual corn kernels.
Poet, the company which operates the plant, has several plants in Missouri and Nixon is apparently going to promote the new process and encourage similar plants to be built in his home state. The trip is his only stop in the Hawkeye State and the event is closed to the public, meaning that Nixon will not to get to meet any potential caucusgoers.
Iowa has witnessed a dearth of visits from Democratic hopefuls this cycle, with only Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders making appearences so far. The limited nature of this trip means that the Missouri governor, who has mentioned the need for a 2016 Democratic candidate from the heartland in the past, can’t be added to this list.
But, then again, no politician visits Iowa by accident.