So, there’s a wee bit of attention being paid to the Hawkeye state right now. Tonight’s the caucus, and suddenly a flyover state is the center of the known world.
I agree that the Iowa caucus is a rather bass-ackwards way to get our presidential election off and running. It seems crazy to give one small, specific group of voters such early and important power in choosing our candidates.
Let’s give some love to the Hawkeyes.
They’ve had to put up with campaign bullshit for a year. My parents got their first campaign call January 3, 2007, from Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney, who will never, ever, ever get my mother’s vote for the simple reason that his people called her on January 3, 2007.
Everywhere you go, there are signs and workers and advertisements. Iowans aren’t dumb. The state has the best public education system in the nation. But they are annoyed.
Two days after Christmas, I sat in a coffee shop with my mom and my BFF. We’d just gotten five inches of snow, and BFF noted that there was a guy walking down the middle of the main street through town. Evidently, the unshoveled sidewalks were not to his liking.
Lo and behold, the middle-of-the-street guy came into the coffee shop, reeking of “Not From Here” and that intense, preppy look all the student government guys had in college. You know – the guys who never did anything fun because they knew they wanted to run for office one day.
Not long after, a tour bus pulled up and Fred Thompson got off. He was channeling his best Ronald Reagan. I was just pleased to see he had the good sense to be wearing a hat.
The people in the coffee shop were weary. The AP video guy couldn’t coerce anyone to throw him a bone by way of a sound bite. I don’t know if anyone talked to Thompson – we left. It seemed the decisions had already been made.
And so tonight, people will leave their homes to congregate in school cafeterias, community centers and libraries. Instead of filing an anonymous vote at a time convenient to them, they will stand up and publicly announce their preferences at a set time.
Appreciate this: the wind chill in Des Moines is currently 19 degrees. By the time the caucuses start promptly at 7, it will have been dark for almost three hours. And there’s really no such thing as clear roads in wintry Iowa.
So, let’s give some props to the folks who have waded through the crap and still manage to get out and take a stand tonight. Bully for you.