Barry Piatt

Barry Piatt

Barry Piatt has had a front row seat for state and national government and politics for over 50 years, working first as a political reporter in Iowa, and later as a senior advisor for members of the U.S. House and Senate and candidates for U.S. president. His blog, Barry Piatt on Politics: -Behind the Curtain, is on Substack.


Iowa caucuses will be first test of GOP’s standards after Trump indictment

By: - June 13, 2023

The latest round of indictments against Donald Trump — 37 federal indictments, including 31 for violating the federal Espionage Act — has implications for the 2024 Iowa Republican Caucuses. They will now do a lot more than simply pick a winner in the first official contest as the party begins its presidential nominating process. They […]


Don’t let Iowa’s remarkable connection to Abraham Lincoln’s family fade

By: - May 21, 2023

My father grew up in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. He was very proud of that. I vividly remember the day back in the early 1960s when we were driving there to visit family, and he told me something about his hometown I literally could not believe. It was the summer between my third and fourth grade years. […]


How it ends for defeated or retiring members of Congress

By: - January 3, 2023

Most Iowans are familiar with the balloons, buttons, and hoopla parts of political campaigns. Some wonder, however, what happens when a campaign ends in defeat — especially when the defeated candidate is an incumbent, with offices and staff — and with legislative and other work that still needs to be done. How does all that […]


Who says we can’t say ‘Merry Christmas?’

By: - December 22, 2022

You’ve seen the memes on social media and heard the loud complaints, usually coming from the same partisans. It even showed up on Saturday Night Live’s cold open this past weekend – the tired, old, and false claim that “they,” whoever “they” are, but the implication is always that it’s the “libs” and Democrats who are responsible for […]


Not much will change if Iowa stands its ground on caucuses

By: - December 3, 2022

Word came Thursday that President Biden was trying to take Iowa out of its first-in-the-nation starting position for the presidential nominating process for Democrats. Turns out he’s not a big fan of caucuses in general either. Update:  The Democratic National Committee’s rules and bylaws panel on Friday voted in favor of Biden’s recommendation to start […]


A lesson from RFK for a young journalist

By: - November 23, 2022

Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, would have been the 97th birthday of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. He was born on this date in 1925. It is astonishing to think of Kennedy being 97. Two of his defining characteristics were his youth and vigor. How is it possible he’d now be 97? It’s even more astonishing […]