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 to play soccer, sing, play guitar and do art.”
“And, I want to be the President when I grow up.”
“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.”
Maggie’s mother, Trace Taylor says her daughter’s political aspirations started when Donald Trump became president in 2016.
"This made me think this is an important thing that I need to step in and do it," said Maggie.
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.
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, womens' 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...
“It was the worst snow day."
… 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 gave me a really cool high five.”
Others 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?”
"Yes, I did. 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.
TRACE: “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.
“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.”
However, being the youngest person in the room doesn’t hurt either.
JOHN DELANEY: “So, 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.
JOHN DELANEY: “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 involves me more if she wasn’t involved,” said Trace Taylor.
“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.
“He is a super good , 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 presidents in my opinion 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.
“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."
"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.
“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 has 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.