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THE LID: Fried Lid on a Stick

US President Barack Obama (C) gets a beer and a pork chop as he visits the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, on August 13, 2012 during an unannounced stop on his three-day campaign bus tour. AFP PHOTO/Jim WATSONJIM WATSON/AFP/GettyImages JIM WATSON / AFP - Getty Images

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos…. It’s Iowa State Fair time! Also known as the East Coast Political Reporter Caloric Stimulus Program! Yes, that fried Oreo’s going straight to your hips, guys.

’16 AT 30 THOUSAND

Rick Perry scarfing down a corn dog. Mitt Romney telling protesters that corporations “are people, too, my friend.” Barack Obama driving a bumper car. Fred Thompson’s loafers.

In our world of scripted political events, overflow rooms, background conference calls and carefully crafted tweets, the Iowa State Fair remains one of the most unpredictable and uncontrolled environments in presidential politics. There are crushes of reporters (at least the ones who haven’t succumbed to a fried butter coma) and bipartisan audiences unafraid to engage in some old-fashioned heckling, which means that there’s always at least a few very memorable moments during these things. And Saturday could be particularly chaotic, with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton slated to attend the fair. By the way, preparations for the state fair yielded perhaps our favorite two sentences in media advisory history: “At 1:00pm Mr. Trump will proceed into the fair for meet and greet. He will be seeing the butter cow.” Buckle up, it’s going to be a wild weekend.

When Did the Iowa State Fair Become Such a Big Deal? 2:24

POPPING ON NBC POLITICS

  • From NBC’s Kristen Welker: “Vice President Joe Biden is spending part of his South Carolina vacation calling close friends to discuss a potential 2016 run, a longtime Democratic operative and a source close to Biden who had an extensive phone call with him this week confirmed to NBC News.”
  • NBC’s Jordan Frasier reports that Jeb Bush was interrupted by “Black Lives Matter’ activists last night in Las Vegas.
  • Msnbc.com’s Irin Carmon reports that Ben Carson is defending himself against charges of hypocrisy after a doctor pointed out that he has used fetal tissue in his his research.
  • And First Read has dubbed them “The Outsider’s Club.” Here’s what the four candidates getting August bumps all have in common.

CAMPAIGN QUICK READS

HUCKABEE: He told the Washington Post that he’s open to the idea of tariffs on China.

SANDERS: National Journal has a great look at how his popularity is a double-edged sword, as progressives push to benefit from his spotlight.

TRUMP: His organization has proactively bought thousands of web addresses, many of which would be unflattering to The Donald, Business Insider found.

NBC Entertainment Chair Bob Greenblatt said Trump is “absolutely not” returning to “The Apprentice.”

FOR THE RECORD…

“It actually looks very nice, like part of Manhattan, like Midtown.”

  • Ben Carson during a visit to Harlem on Wednesday.

TOMORROW’S SKED

The Iowa State Fair festivities continue with remarks by Jeb Bush, who also holds a press gaggle in the morning with Iowa senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst.

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chafee appear at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding.

Donald Trump holds a rally in the evening in Hampton, New Hampshire.