You may be wondering what I look for in my political candidates as a college student. What are a candidate's policies? How do they interact with voters? How do they perform on the debate stage? What are they going to do about student loans? While I do find these questions extremely important, another farily unique question is even more important to me as a college student (or more specifically, a 21-year-old college student). When considering one candidate in particular, I found myself wondering instead, does Vivek Ramaswamy like margaritas?
On a Saturday night at Habaneros, a local Drake Neighborhood Mexican restaurant, I was enjoying a margarita while at dinner with friends. To be clear, we were all either 21 or over and could of course legally order margaritas. We walked in, said hello to some other familiar Drake students, and went to our table towards the back of the restaurant. I ordered myself a strawberry margarita and three chicken tacos. It had been an uneventful Saturday at home, filled with laundry and some homework. I honestly did not think about the Iowa Caucuses or the Presidential Election for the whole day. That unexpectedly changed.
I was not expecting to see presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy sitting in a booth towards the front of the restaurant. I was shocked when his campaign bus pulled up in front of Habaneros. I recognized the bus immediately. It was impossible to miss as the side OF THE BUS read “THIS IS OUR 1776 MOMENT, TRUTH,” and “VOTE VIVEK.”
My Iowa Caucus Project brain was activated. Vivek Ramaswamy was near and I was going to find him.
As I looked around the small restaurant I quickly spotted him. I was angry that I had not paid more attention before sitting down. Vivek was in the corner eating dinner with his family, but I had not noticed him. We were both in this restaurant for about 30 minutes and I had no idea he was there. After I spotted him, I observed him walking from table to table saying hello to other margarita fans and Mexican food fanatics. I immediately pulled out my phone and texted other students in the Iowa Caucus Project. I had unexpectedly found a presidential candidate.
After I had spotted him, he did not stick around for too long. He said hello to some tables near him, but after I had worked my way out of my chair and past my friends, he was out of the door. I quickly ran outside to see if I could snatch a picture with him. Unfortunately, he was already walking up the stairs to his bus and disappeared. I was not about to shove my way over to the bus to ask for a picture. In hindsight, maybe I should have, but he was with his family, and I did not want to interrupt. I took a picture of his bus and went back inside to tell my friends I had failed to catch Ramaswamy for a picture.
I was left with one question, however: does Vivek Ramaswamy enjoy a margarita? The answer is: maybe. I glanced at the table he had left to see if there was a margarita glass he left behind. To my disappointment, it seemed like he did not drink a margarita while he was there. Habaneros is a popular margarita spot for Drake Students who are of legal age. As a 21-year-old and a Drake Student, I was disappointed that Vivek had not experienced the delicious margaritas from Habaneros! Every day of the week there is a deal on different flavors and sizes of margaritas. On this particular Saturday, a small pitcher of any flavor was on sale. Unfortunately, no small pitchers were spotted on his table.
As the Iowa Caucuses are mere weeks away, I hope Vivek Ramaswamy spends more time in Des Moines around the Drake Neighborhood. As students start to hear about candidates visiting the area, whether or not a candidate enjoyed a Habaneros margarita is an important question to find out. For Vivek, hopefully, we find out the answer to this question by spotting him at the local Mexican restaurant once again with maybe a glass (or two) of a margarita.
Ramaswamy, if you are reading this, come back to Habaneros.