I only made it to two of my usual three 4th of July parades this year. A scheduling change meant we had to split into two teams. I was on the Hills team and thus missed Oxford.
But the whole team was in Coralville, and a big team it was. I attempted a new form of journalism by live tweeting from within the parade itself, and at least a few parade goers got the joke and noted the beret.
I did take a couple breaks from livetweeting to break out the good camera and get video of the whole unit. By tradition (with 2007 the lone exception) all the presidential campaigns stay within the all-encompassing Johnson County Democrats unit. We had a small Loebsack buffer zone (the congressman was elsewhere) between Team Bernie and Team Hillary.
No Ashton Kutcher sightings like I had in 2013 (STILL, I regret to say, the highest traffic day in Deeth Blog history). But for some reason that I can't figure out, Nick Johnson riding his bike, which I thought only the locals would care about, seems to have gone over big in Bernie World.
The Bernie contingent was much smaller than the Hillarettes, who made up about half the total Democratic unit and almost all of the noise, what with Sue Dvorsky leading the cheers and all. But objectivity forces me to note that a lot of fellows, interns and staffers are based around here, and lead local Sanders supporter Rod Sullivan was focused today on his own re-election next year.
Speaking of Hillary and parades.
As an occasional journalist, who'll be wearing the beret to cover Clinton on Tuesday here in Iowa City, I can't endorse keeping the press in a mobile roped off area inside a parade.
But I completely understand it.
Pro tip: The public hates press even more than it hates politicians, and feels they have as much - no, MORE - claim on a candidate's time. And nothing Hillary does short of a Claude Rains mea culpa exit scene (with the press casting itself as Jimmy Stewart) will ever make them happy anyway.
So from her point of view, why bother? If an in the parade rope line means that many more people get handshakes and selfies, that they spend all year bragging about to everyone they know, but some reporters who don't like her don't like her just a little more, it's a net win for her.
Especially when the reaction is this over the top.
Attn: Joni Ernst.Why not cattle prods and branding? De-nutting for the male reporters? ID tags stapled to ears. https://t.co/iafmVXvk2c— Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) July 4, 2015
But back here in the People's Republic, which nevertheless has plenty of Republicans, I noticed no GOP presidential candidate presence except a couple Fiorina shirts with the county party's unit. And the live-tweeting from within the parade unit worked well, but I don't recommend it unless you have people with you that you trust for horse warnings.