The Gist

The Lesson of Iowa’s Chaos

Caucuses led to a muddled result that was bad for all involved.

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A daily afternoon show about news, culture, and whatever else you’ll be discussing with friends and family tonight.

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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, the Iowa caucuses was created to disenfranchise babysitters.

In the interview, Mike talks with NPR’s Steve Inskeep about his new book, Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War. They discuss the ways in which the Frémonts navigated their world, and the modern currents found in their story.

In the spiel, the Iowa caucuses were a mess.

Email us at thegist@slate.com

Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Priscilla Alabi.

DES MOINES, IOWA - FEBRUARY 03:  Supporters of Democratic presidential candidates former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) prepare to caucus for them in the gymnasium at Roosevelt High School February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa is the first contest in the 2020 presidential nominating process with the candidates then moving on to New Hampshire. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
DES MOINES, IOWA - FEBRUARY 03: Supporters of Democratic presidential candidates former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) prepare to caucus for them in the gymnasium at Roosevelt High School February 03, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. Iowa is the first contest in the 2020 presidential nominating process with the candidates then moving on to New Hampshire. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images