DES MOINES, Iowa—Before he retired in 2013 after 33 years at The Associated Press, Mike Glover was a legend in Iowa journalism. His aw-shucks demeanor and access to Iowa’s front pages endeared Glover to political candidates and operatives of all stripes. He played it straight—hard-hitting and objective, like they do at the AP.
Three years into his life’s second act, Glover plans to do something Monday that he’s never done before. He’s going to caucus.
Glover is a Democrat. One of his post-retirement hobbies is writing for The Iowa Daily Democrat, an online news source for liberals.
“I’m not going to be for Martin O’Malley. He’s out of it,” Glover told me over lunch at the Drake Diner, near Drake University, where he lectures for the journalism program. “The race is between [Hillary] Clinton and [Bernie] Sanders, and I probably won’t know who I’ll caucus for until I show up Monday night.”
Glover’s thought process is instructive for understanding why the Democratic presidential race is so fluid and unpredictable. Before I delve into his conflicting mind-set, a disclosure: Glover is a friend of mine.
We worked together at the AP for years, and Glover has been my first stop on every trip to Iowa since the mid-90s. Until he retired, Glover compartmentalized his personal political views. I suspected he was a Democrat, if for no other reason than most journalists lean left, but he didn’t tilt his coverage. Even privately in our favorite bars, Mike was ruthlessly objective.