Campaign

Candidates weighing using private jets to get to Iowa

Several senators running for president are reportedly mulling using private jets to campaign in Iowa as they try to balance their White House bids with the ongoing impeachment trial in Washington.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are both thought to be considering chartering flights to Iowa after Saturday's impeachment proceedings wrap up, while Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has also not made her travel plans clear, The Associated Press reported.

The three senators are facing a unique dilemma in the leadup to the Feb. 3 caucuses in Iowa as the impeachment trial keeps them tied to Washington six days a week, leaving little time to campaign in early states.

Private flights could pose risks for Sanders and Warren, the AP noted, as the two leading progressives have railed against privileges afforded to the elite and eschewed contacts with high-dollar donors.

The two senators have also touted themselves as advocates for intensified efforts to combat climate change, while the use of private jets has been criticized as environmentally unfriendly.

"This is the problem of presenting your purity above your practicality," Democratic strategist Chris Lippincott, who has not endorsed any of the 2020 primary candidates, told the AP. "When we think about certain candidates who talk a lot about the environment ... you're going to hold them to a different standard."

"I understand it," he added, "but the reality is, there's a big risk of being perceived as being an ideologue and not a problem-solver."

Several campaigns have used private charters during the 2020 race, including former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Sanders's campaign announced last year that it would provide carbon offsets in the form of donations to environmental groups as an effort to alleviate the environmental effects of extra emissions. Other campaigns have also since said they would try to offset their emissions in some form.

All three senators' campaigns have stops in Iowa Saturday just hours after impeachment proceedings are expected to end for the day in the Senate. The trial will resume Monday.

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