December 31, 2007

Presidential Candidates Come To Town

I've been watching a lot of C-SPAN this week and following their C-SPAN Campaign Network with program schedules and archived multimedia content. It's been great watching the candidates make their case to Iowans and seeing them interact with supporters following their stump speeches. C-SPAN keeps their cameras rolling and mics hot for several minutes following most events which can be somewhat revealing. I like it.

I've been really impressed listening to Joe Biden articulate his positions (and understanding) of major issues, especially foreign policy issues related to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel/Palestine, China, Mexico and others. I heard him speak at UNI a few weeks ago, and his values and positions about education (early childhood to college) are terrific too--refreshingly commonsensical, informed, and proactive. Here is his personal appeal to Iowa voters to support him Thursday night.

On Monday, we took Lucy to see Hillary Clinton at UNI's performing arts center. She was having a good time until the crowd started cheering when Hillary and Chelsey appeared (we thought she'd be okay since she seemed to enjoy another event with people cheering a few months ago).

Once the crowd got loud, Magda and I took turns entertaining Lucy in the back hallway. Hillary was good in person. She makes a strong case for her qualifications and she demonstrates a very thorough understanding of both international and domestic issues. She definitely has substance.

Here are some more pictures from the Hillary Clinton event with former governor Tom Vilsack. Check-out the guy wearing the "I miss Bill" t-shirt. That's Iowa State Senator Jeff Danielson who is actually supporting Chris Dodd for president.

Chris Dodd was at Steamboat Gardens tonight. The firefighters in attendance are pretty pumped up and vocal. Senator Dodd mingled with the crowd for quite a while after his speech. He took the time to shake about everybody's hand, including mine.

The bar atmosphere isn't quite as polished as the Hillary event was Monday, but I love the fact that presidential candidates appear in small town hangouts like Steamboat (locally famous for their tenderloins) and there is a candidate coming to my town nearly everyday this week! I'm planning to see President Clinton and Obama Wednesday and Biden Thurs morning (caucus day). Senator Edwards will be on a 36-hour tour of Iowa during the last couple of days leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, but it looks like the closest he'll get is Cedar Rapids.

The Iowa Democratic Party created the web site which will go live Thursday night. The site displays quite well on my mobile phone browser, so I'm eager to see how quickly they post results. I'll definitely be blogging and sending Twitter updates from my caucus location this Thursday night. Meanwhile, the blog4president feed is a great way to follow recent news about all the republican and democratic candidates running for president in 2008.

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