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With Masala Chai And A Caramel Latte, Clinton's Campaign Begins

Hillary Clinton's first campaign stop was at Jones St. Java House in Le Claire, Iowa.
Hillary Clinton's first campaign stop was at Jones St. Java House in Le Claire, Iowa.

Hillary Clinton was expected to start her presidential campaign small after Sunday's announcement, and that's exactly what she did Tuesday.

After a much talked about road trip, including a stealth stop at Chipotle, Clinton and her team landed in Iowa and held her first campaign event.

The former secretary of state visited Jones St. Java House in Le Claire, Iowa, where the signature latte is a "Jones'n 4 Java," featuring chocolate and salted caramel. Clinton ordered a masala chai tea, a caramel latte and water, then sat down to chat with a small group.

Clinton meets with supporters in Le Claire, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Charlie Neibergall / AP
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Clinton meets with supporters in Le Claire, Iowa, on Tuesday.

While it may look like she's chatting with random patrons, the guest list was not everyday people who just so happened to be there. Most of her conversation was out of earshot (and even mic shot) from the press, but a campaign aide tells NPR's Tamara Keith, who is traveling with Clinton, that the candidate met with a mother who works for Planned Parenthood, a Democratic activist from a local college and a mayor.

NPR's Keith also got a look at Clinton's campaign van. It's nicknamed "Scooby," but doesn't look much like the colorful "Mystery Machine" from the Scooby Doo cartoons. In reality, it's a large, plain black Chevy. Still, it's a far cry from the flashy buses of past campaigns.

Clinton's campaign van is nicknamed "Scooby."
Tamara Keith / NPR
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Clinton's campaign van is nicknamed "Scooby."

Clinton could be heard making small talk about her road trip in the van.

"In my driving from New York to here, the first sign, the first sign I saw of spring was in Illinois," she said. "Right before I crossed the bridge I saw some daffodils. It made me so happy. And then, I got across the river, I saw tulips, and daffodils and flowery trees, and bushes. We've had no sign of spring, so it was very exciting."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.