Open sky and snow-covered fields recently striped of their harvest stretch for miles in each direction as the Des Moines skyline appears on the horizon. The quiet and calm of the rural countryside are quickly replaced by the hustle and bustle outside the Polk County Convention Complex – Iowa’s own “Media Mecca” for the next 12 hours. The streets of downtown Des Moines are lined with satellite trucks from all the familiar media outlets as well as the not so familiar. If you’re a reporter and you cover politics, you’re probably in Iowa today
It’s not just reporters who have arrived in Des Moines in droves – look to your left or right and your bound to see any given number of star surrogates being shuffled around by campaign staff for that last frantic push that they hope will secure victory for their candidate in this all important first battle in the 2008 Presidential Election. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina was here stumping for Senator John McCain stressing the need for a Commander-in-Chief who was “reliable” on national security issues. Former Senator Jim Talent of Missouri and political correspondent Bay Buchanan, both supporters of Mitt Romney, said that immigration is a “huge” issue for the voters of Iowa.
The buzz in the spin room leaves one grasping for answers to the mysteries surrounding tonight’s unsolved political puzzle. Will Romney be able to overcome the recent surge of Huckabee with his superior ground organization in Iowa? Who will emerge in the poll position in tonight’s tightly contested Democratic Caucus? How will these outcomes impact the New Hampshire Primary?
Temperatures might only be hovering around 20 degrees outside, but temperatures inside the homes, schools and libraries of Iowa are sure to heat up as the clock strikes 7:00 p.m. tonight. The only certainty in tonight’s races is that we should have some answers to these underlying questions starting around 8:00 p.m. Iowa time.
Phil A Buster from the First Friday Podcast