Monday, January 07, 2008

The Phone Hasn't Rung Once This week

Photo credit, Gregory Williams, the Jimi Hendrix of the camera, somewhere in Providence Rhode Island.

Iowa's kind of like Cinderella.

We're back to being pumpkins and it'll remain that way for the next four years.

During the quadrennial presidential campaigns we get to feel we're important and that our opinions matter, but for the most part the folks who campaign here don't have a clue as to who we are, what we do, and what we think about if we think about anything at all.

I mean, don't get me wrong, the attention is nice and we like it but Hollywood this ain't. We have other things to worry about, and there are local matters to attend to in the movable feast that is the Iowa Legislature, just now settling into their chairs in the state house to deliberate over whether we should or should not have a state mollusc. (If we do, it'd be the razor clam or the freshwater mussel. Where do you think all those mother of pearl buttons on grandma's dress came from?)

See, we're sorta uncomfortable with the hustle and bright lights, just as if we were suddenly whisked to the academy awards and it was us in the camera heading in for the festivities. We'd rather be at a hog roast or a fire department chili supper., truth be told

Like I say, we always (well, me, anyway and one other guy) have the feeling that folks from out of town are a little clueless about us. I did a little campaign work with the Kerry campaign in 2003 until I figured out that what they wanted was bodies with fingers that could punch telephones more or less around the clock and that the brain could be safely checked along with the hat and coat. I forked over an elegantly crafted document on what we call the hog lot controversy, which was kind of like the man who went to Birmingham and never was heard from again.

It's no controversy, though. I heard this from an expert on the subject who, because of his work for the USDA shall remain nameless. And I have been here long enough to vouch for the truth of the matter. Pigs stink, but they make money. There's no getting around it, and it is a matter of what you do to reconcile this that determines where your policy takes you. That's what I said.

The other fellow I was talking about was on the radio today and he related a story which you can retrieve easily enough. It seems that the Clinton campaign went out and shelled out for 600 snow shovels to help people shovel out and get to the polls in case there was a snowstorm or something. He said of the Clinton campaign "They're totally clueless about Iowa. If you live in Iowa you already have a snowshovel. I have three of them."

It's true. I looked around this morning and I have two of them and a junkyard snowblower that is good for hanging my coveralls on in the garage when they need an airing. What with global warming I haven't used it in a year or more.


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