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An Iowan's Holiday Wish For All of DU (By Request) [View All]

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Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009) Donate to DU
CornField Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 12:32 PM
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An Iowan's Holiday Wish For All of DU (By Request)
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I posted this in response to another thread:
And was asked to start it as a new thread.

Subject: We (Iowans) can do all those things...

Most importantly, however, is that we actually do all those things.

There is only one candidate in the field of hopefuls that I've not had opportunity to meet face-to-face (Duncan Hunter). I've stood in front of each one, looked them in the eye, shook their hands, listened to them speak -- and I'm doing my damnedest to be sure that when I arrive on caucus night that I'm standing in the corner of the person who is most likely to stand in America's corner for the next four years.

I know there is a great deal of Iowa envy here on DU - probably a fair bit of hatred as well - but we really are doing our best. Our state parties, as well as New Hampshire's state parties, are currently the only ones in the nation that are prepared and able to host these contests. This can be readily seen by what's happened in both South Carolina and Nevada. Those states are doing their best, but simply do not have the infrastructure or organization in place to do what Iowa and New Hampshire have grown so good at doing.

This is not to say that I believe that "always and forever" Iowa and New Hampshire are the only states who can do this. Other states can and should be invited to participate, but to do so effectively, it's going to take time and commitment from the other states, their parties and their residents -- something that, unfortunately, we've not seen from So. Carolina and Nevada.

Some will argue that it is time for national, rotating primaries. Others will argue that it is time for a completely national primary. The only thing those two options will decide is who has the most money and, in lieu of Iowans or others meeting candidates one-on-one and asking questions, it will only be those who live in states with the largest populations who have any sort of access.

There must always be, then, 4-5 small states who go early in the calendar otherwise it is the whole of our nation that loses. Without Iowa and New Hampshire no one would have the opportunity to see more than the morning talk shows and marketing firms allow. As all of the presidential candidates will tell you, Iowa and New Hampshire by means of their seriousness and sincerity have earned this place at the top of the calendar.

I've seen candidates at their best and at their worst. I've seen them speak to crowds of thousands and to small groups of 10 or 20 people. I've watched them interact with each other and with my neighbors. I can tell you who genuinely likes people and who is full of him or herself. I can tell you who squeezed my hand and looked me dead in the eye and who spent time gazing over my shoulder to see if there wasn't someone more important in the room. That's important and I wish that every single American could have the opportunities that I've had and will have in the coming weeks.

I wish...

... that you'd have opportunity to walk into a room with Hillary Clinton and be shocked, as I was, about how short and small she really is; that you could see her truly amazing blue eyes and feel the warmth of being next to her. (To do so, you understand immediately that those who call her a cold fish are full of crap.)

... that you could speak with Joe Biden and have him pull you close like you are sharing a secret; that you could feel his intensity when he talks about the war (with full understanding this his son will soon be traveling there).

... that you could watch Chris Dodd speak about his father and the Nuremberg trials; that you could see his eyes dance when he tells a joke or light up when his daughters and wife are near; that you could see him angry when he discusses how one president prompted him to join the Peace Corps while the current prompted us to all go shopping.

... that you could sit across the table from Barack Obama and watch him as he listens to a question that you know he's heard at least 100 times already; that you could see him be nervous before he walks out at an event; and the spark he cannot hide when Michelle is with him.

... that you could watch Dennis Kucinich work a room and expand his five foot frame into an eight-foot mass when he talks with fire about impeachment, truly universal health care and defending the Constitution; that you could glimpse first hand the love between him and Elizabeth.

... that you could watch John Edwards when he stands back and lets Elizabeth take the microphone; that you could see him laughing with people he's now known for what must seem like forever; and how he is always late, because he cannot bear to not take time with people at each of his events and listen to them personally.

... that you could watch as Richardson knows he's going to smile, but he's trying not to do so; that you could see the pride in his eyes as he discusses the accomplishments he's spearheaded in New Mexico; and how he laughed when he ran the bases at the Field of Dreams.

... and also that you could shake hands with Mike Gravel and understand what a warm and gentle man he truly is; that his eyes spark fire when he talks about Vietnam, the current war in Iraq and the place where our country stands today.

I wish all of you -- no matter where you live -- could walk beside me for a day and have the access that I have. As much as I wish it, I also hope each of you understands that whether it be me or you, we have to ensure that there are always Americans who have this opportunity -- that it is vital to the process and vital to our nation.

Finally, if you ever do make it to Iowa, know that I'll push the cat from the couch for you.
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