Monthly Archives: January 2008

Political Stuff – The Iowa Caucus

January 2nd, 2007, the phone rings. And ring, and rings, and rings. Political staffers and recorded messages bombard us with political advertising. I tell my wife, only one more day, and the madness will be over. It is in these final hours before the caucus that we bemoan Iowa's first in the nation status.

January 3rd, 2007, a half hour before caucus, my wife is getting the diaper bag ready and I start prepping little man. The final hour is nigh!

January 3rd, 2007, 10 minutes before caucus, we walk 1/2 block to the local junior high school, site of our caucus. The streets are lined with the cars of caucus goers. I should have pulled my car off the street and into my driveway to make room for one more car. Too late now, it's caucus time.

January 3rd, 2007, 1/2 hour after caucus was supposed to start, we finally get through the loooong line of caucus goers. Joe Biden's niece, Casey, talks to everyone in the line. Everyone is excited to caucus but bummed out by the line. I carry little man half the time and lament wearing my coat.

January 3rd, 2007, 1 hour after caucus was supposed to start, the line is cleared, and everyone is ready for action. We are stuffed to capacity (or likely above capacity) in a Junior High cafeteria. The heat is stifling and now I lament wearing a sweater. Little man dutifully plays with the trucks we brought him. Casey is pumping up the Biden people. Some German guys are taking pictures of caucus goers. My family supports John Edwards, but we invade the Biden people's area because they have so many empty seats. Casey is sitting at the same table as us, pumping up the few Biden folks and running their strategy.

January 3rd, 2007, 1 and 1/2 hours after caucus was supposed to start, the counting of caucus goers goes FUBAR. Everyone counts off one-at-a-time. Edwards does well, enough for 1 delegate. All we need are a few more and he can get 2. Obama and Hillary do about the same. Richardson, Dodd, and Biden do not make the cut. No one supports Kucinich (publicy).

January 3rd, 2007, 2 hours after caucus was supposed to start, Richardson and Dodd are eviscerated. They split their people between Edwards and Obama. Biden is down to a final stand of 10 people. Casey gives a great yet futile speech for support. Edwards and Obama are nearly tied with 2 and a 1/2 delegates each. Hillary doesn't quite make it to two delegates.

January 3rd, 2007, 2 and 1/4 hours after caucus was supposed to start, it comes down to a coin toss. The large haired man in charge of the caucus reads the arcane rule that if two candidates are split for support below 0.5 for the extra delegate, it shall be decided by coin toss. The coin is tossed and Edwards wins it! All cheers in the Edwards zone and then everyone starts putting on their coats. Out goes a call to stay put, there is still the boring business of picking the actual delegates and other stuff no one cares about.

January 3rd, 2007, 2 and 1/2 hours after caucus was supposed to start, my wife and sneak out the back door with little man nearly asleep in my arms. We quietly creep outside with another early leaver and then hussle the 1/2 block home. I felt bad for Casey. Despite her efforts, her uncle had almost no support in my community. I felt great for me and Edwards!

January 3rd, 2007, 11 pm., with all precincts reporting, Obama is announced the winner. Edwards was second, which is better than third, sorry Hillary. Casey's uncle drops out of the race. Kucinich vows to win even less support in the New Hampshire primary than support he didn't have in the Iowa caucus.

January 4th, 2007, no phone calls. Ahh, the serenity of the quiet. The newspaper has a picture of a defeated Biden with his niece Casey right behind him. This reminds that this presidential candidacy thing is about real people. I'm not supporting the idea of something or the notion of something, I'm supporting an actual person who may lead my country.

Huzaa to Democracy!

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