The National and Chris Cornell Open for Obama at Iowa Rally

Campaign event draws huge crowd in swing state

The National warm up the crowd before President Barack Obama's arrival at Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa. Credit: Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post

The National and Chris Cornell kicked off a campaign rally for President Barack Obama on Saturday afternoon outside Des Moines, the Times-Delphic reports. A crowd of 10,000 people had gathered for the free outdoor event at Urbandale's Living History Farms, where the president was due to speak.

In a tweet announcing their appearance earlier in the week, the National declared themselves "Proud to support @BarackObama again in 2012." Now veterans on the Obama campaign trail, the band had played at a Cincinnati rally for the candidate in 2008 as well as at a speech the President gave in Madison, Wisconsin, before the 2010 mid-term election. Their five-song set at the Iowa event ended with "Mr. November," a hit whose title had appeared on a t-shirt that the band sold to benefit the Obama campaign in 2008.

After a few speeches, Chris Cornell took the stage with a set that mixed Audioslave and Temple of the Dog songs with a number of apt covers, including "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Understanding" and "Imagine."

The Des Moines rally was Obama's second appearance in the swing state in one week, followed shortly by a third event in Sioux City later the same evening.

"I think that we have a lot of support from a lot of industries and that includes music," a spokesperson for the campaign told the Times-Delphic. "This event in itself shows how much the President cares about Iowa and the bands are just a part of it."