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GOLIS: Why I'm not giving Iowa a try

  • Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. campaigns at Sneakers Eatery and Pub in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Friday, Dec. 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

NOT IN DES MOINES

Four years ago today, we walked down the hall from our hotel room in Ames, Iowa, and heard the governor of Iowa introduce the next president of United States.

OK, Hillary Clinton didn't win the White House. But the introduction didn't seem crazy. Clinton, the front runner, was still four days from losing the Iowa caucuses to an upstart Illinois senator named Barack Obama.

We left the Clinton event and drove a few blocks to Iowa State University where Elizabeth Edwards was introducing another Democratic presidential candidate, her husband, the former North Carolina senator John Edwards. (We didn't know then that she was dying of cancer, and he was concealing his affair with a campaign videographer.)

For political junkies, Iowa is hog heaven. As one Iowan told me, you can't throw a snowball without hitting a candidate.

One couple managed to have their 7-week-old son photographed with nine candidates for president, one future president, one former president (Bill Clinton) and one president's daughter (Chelsea Clinton).

At Democratic Caucus 53, at Des Moines' Thomas Jefferson High School, the chairman asked how many experienced a face-to-face conversation with a candidate. More than half raised their hands.

In a few days, we saw up close Democrats Clinton, Obama and Edwards and Republicans Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney. We also attended both Democratic and Republican caucuses.

We went on a whim.

"It would be fun to be there," my wife said.


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