Following script is a longer version of a Siouxland Public Media special report:
The Iowa Caucuses are about a week away and for the past several months the candidates have sought out the support of Siouxlanders. Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer covered many of these campaign events and found insight from a young, but informed source with aspirations of her own.
Disco lights and an occasional Disney tune set the scene for roller skating night at Girls Inc. in Sioux City, Iowa.
“I’m Maggie, I’m 10.”
A tenacious and at times, typical fifth grader.
“I like soccer, I like to sing, play guitar and do art.”
“And, I want to be the President when I grow up.”
Maggie’s mother, Trace Taylor says her daughter’s political aspirations started when Donald Trump became president in 2016.
“All she knows as a 6-year-old is that Trump is going to build a wall between us and Mexico and some of her friends are Mexican.”
“I think that’s why immigration is important to her because she attends school with people from a lot of different places with a whole lot of people who speak a lot of different languages.”
“She was worried about her friends. I think her desire comes from a really good place to be kind to people and to help people and serve people.”
Two-years ago, Girls Inc. sent Maggie and Trace to “Take Our Daughters to Congress Day" in Washington, D.C.
“That fueled my fire,” said Maggie. “I met Congresswoman Maxine. We walked about people with disabilities and the environment.”
Today, Maggie doesn’t have to go far to see the political system in action with Iowa holding the first-in-the-nation caucuses.
REPORTER: “What are the top issues for you when it comes to a candidate?”
“Gun control, immigration, women’s rights and climate change.”
Maggie’s met about a dozen of the Democratic contenders from the top top-tier including Senator Bernie Sanders and Mayor Pete Buttigieg...
“He finally came town but it was the worst snow day. I loved everything he talked about. He’s been on my list for a very, very, very long time.”
… to a few who dropped out of the race.
REPORTER: “Who do you think is the nicest?
“Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke.”
Maggie favored both men and now puts Andrew Yang at the top of her list.
“He seemed very nice, because he gave me a high five.”
Other's also piqued her interest.
“You also got a chance to meet Tulsi Gabbert? She was like one of my first favorites, and she still is.”
REPORTER: “Did you get to see Amy Kloubachar when she was here?”
“She wasn’t as outgoing as the other candidates, but I still really like her.”
But, not all of the women in the race appeal to this pint-sized pundit.
“Do you want to see Elizabeth Warren?” “No”.
When it comes to this pursuit of politics, Maggie shares the secret of securing a little of the spotlight. However, being the youngest person in the room doesn’t hurt either.
“My mom told me that if you go to the front of the best or the best or the back because you get as much time as you want.”
“Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
A couple of weeks ago, at a local diner, John Delaney spent several minutes getting to know Maggie and her parents while sharing his ideas for the country.
“I believe equal rights for everyone, including women”
“I’m learning right along with her and I hate to say that that doesn’t sound American or responsible but, I don’t have the answers and she challenges me and involved me more if she wasn’t involved,” said Trace Taylor.
REPORTER: “What do you think of former congressman John Delaney?”
“He was really, really good. He was nice to me.” I liked all of his views of everything he said.”
“Some people who weren’t Democrats were there and they weren’t the nicest to him.”
REPORTER: “I saw you at the Tom Steyer event recently. What do you think of candidate Tom Steyer.”
“I have seen the commercials, but it was interesting to hear the other things he talks about other than he says on the commercials.”
“He talked a lot about climate change, he talked a tiny bit about immigration, not all of candidates talk about immigration, which makes me happy.”
Maggie’s persistence also put her in the middle of a peaceful protest when former Secretary of State John Kerry campaigned for Joe Biden an acquaintance on her father’s side.
“When my grandpa died, he sent flowers, and, my grandma went to his inauguration.”
That’s because her father’s parents participated in politics on the other side of the state and got to know Biden.
REPORTER: “Have you had a chance to meet former Vice President Joe Biden?”
“I have and he is really good. He is a super good candidate, he was in office with Obama four years ago. He already knows what to do.”
REPORTER: “And, why do you want to be president Maggie?
“We don’t want to have other president like this one that is not made to do what this president is doing. I want to make sure in 2048 that doesn’t happen.”
Sceptics might think Trace Taylor influences her daughter’s decisions, and thoughts, but she says that’s far from the truth.
“I think we both try and give her both sides of the argument. She’s a smart kid. I think she’s wise beyond her years, people say that to me all of the time. I think that while we don’t really talk about politics at home and that might sound crazy. The people who want to help us, far out weight the people who want to squash her dreams for sure.”
“My family is very much Republicans and my husband’s, Democrats and it isn’t something we talk about at the dinner table very often."
“Is she influenced by us, maybe? But, I don’t see immigration or gun control the same way she does for does.”
“Because of what politics has become across the board, the lying, the cheating stealing, the fake news, all of it. I think a lot of adult’s question what my husband and I do with her. But, because she is coming from that idealistic place, it’s important she do it, because maybe she can change the world."
REPORTER: “Maggie does want to be president someday, but she already has presidential ties anyway."
“ I think it’s my husband’s, I’m not sure how many greats...” said Trace Taylor.
“...great, great, great, great, great. Five-greats uncle was Zachary Taylor,” said Maggie Taylor.
“So, it was fun when we were in D.C. for the take we were able to go through the Smithsonian so we went through to see some of the historic things surrounding him, ” said Trace Taylor.
“He died of like spoiled milk and I say this now maybe that’s why I am lactose intolerant.” said Maggie Taylor.
Generations later, another Taylor aspires to be in the White House as she sizes up the options for this year, between homework, hobbies, and hanging out with friends, she give this advice to the adults.
“This is the most important election so you should go out and vote.”
And, maybe someday you’ll see the name of Maggie Taylor on the ballot.
Maggie Taylor has more political plans for this summer. She was asked to join 4th Congressional Candidate Democrat J.D. Scholten as he travels the district in his RV so she can get a feel of what campaigning is really like on the road. Maggie attends afterschool and summer programs at Girls Inc. Her mom credit the organization with helping her daughter be strong, smart and bold.