Thursday, January 03, 2008

What A Ride

What A Ride

Unless there's an unprecedented upset and Duncan Hunter and Mike Gravel win the Iowa caucuses tonight, I've seen the next president speak. And unless it's Rudy Giuliani, I've spoken to her or him in person, however briefly.

I've been interviewed live on C-SPAN, Googled by campaigns, shown up on the front page of one of the home town papers, had my headwear praised by Bill Richardson and Chris Dodd, and had hundreds of people a day pay attention to my opinion on the whole thing.

And even more incredibly, I've gotten paid to do it.

Every single American should have the opportunity I've had. Maybe the Iowa caucuses are unfair. But I sincerely believe that this archaic, in-person process is truly more democratic and valid than getting to know the candidates thirty seconds at a time.

I don't have a good answer to the impossible question of dividing the finite time of the candidates by 300 million, or a good reason as to why I and my neighbors should have way too much of that share.

All I can say to reassure those of you in the 48 non-spoiled states is: I am truly grateful, and I think I speak for all politically active Iowans on both sides of the aisle, for the rare and special opportunity I have had. I have taken this responsibility seriously and done my best to use my platform to try share with those of you who aren't as lucky what it's really like to be in the middle of it all.

At midnight tonight I turn into a pumpkin. And maybe this is the last go around for Iowa as we knew it. But damn, what a ride. Thanks for sharing it with me.

Yesterday I got a few Google hits on "John Deeth endorsement." I'm flattered that anyone would care, but I'm not singling anyone out.

First of all, my support is the kiss of death. Here's my track record since voting age: Gary Hart, Jesse Jackson, Tom Harkin, Bill Bradley and Howard Dean. The only time I caucused for the winner was the Bill Clinton re-elect. I almost caucused for Joe Lieberman last time, just to assure his doom, but he didn't need my help.

Maybe I haven't always made this clear in what I hope has constructive criticism of the campaigns on this site, but having heard and met all the Democratic candidates, I sincerely like them all, personally and politically. If I woke up tomorrow morning and any of them were in the White House, instead of the present occupant, I'd be amazed at what a better world it would be.

I'm chipping in on the Iowa Independent coverage tonight and I'll post what I can here, but since I'm chairing my own caucus (for the first time since `96) that's the priority. I'll be at the Iowa City library so I'll have wifi.

Here's the story of my precinct: Iowa City 10 was a 5 delegate precinct in 2004, we're up to 7 this time. (That's a combination of good Dem turnout and an expanded county convention -- we have one extremely small rural precinct that drives our county's math. Our convention has to be over 320 delegates for Lincoln Township to round up to one delegate).

2004 results: Dean 2, Kerry 1, Edwards 1, Kucinich viable at 1. Attendance was 205.

Geographically it runs from near downtown to part of the south side. No dorms but some students. We voted 71% for Kerry in November `04; 73% Culver in `06. (By Johnson County standards, that's only a little bit above average - Iowa City 21 was 84% for Chet.)

See you at 6:30.

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