New Year's Eve in Des Moines
It's beyond cold here -- and I say that as someone who's used to the cold. The wind is very strong and there's humidity making for the kind of cold that chills you to the bone.
It's 7 degrees out with a wind chill factor of minus 15 to 25. It will not get out of the single digits tomorrow. By Wednesday, the temperature will climb a bit and by caucus day, while it will still be cold, it's not expected to deter people from coming out since snow is not expected.
Where were your candidates tonight? Joe Biden was on the local news extolling his family members including his 90 year old mother, who are here with him in Iowa. His wife, daughter, two sons who are attorneys (one is AG of Delaware) have been coming out every weekend to campaign for him. He still thinks the race is wide open. Since he doesn't have a real shot of winning, it makes me wonder what he's really running for. I'd guess Secretary of State.
John Edwards is spending the evening with family.
Last night, Hillary and Bill stayed at the hotel that Jane and I are staying. I assume they are still here but I haven't seen them. It's not a big hotel. At 9:45 pm, everyone's invited to a Hillary event at 4th & Locust. Jane says it's an outdoor concert with Big Head Todd and the Monsters. Outdoor? I don't think so. But in case there's also an inside party, we may head down there just before midnight. Bill and Hillary will both be there.
Former Time reporter Matt Cooper is headlining a standup comedy show at our hotel at 9:00. We will try to make that. But, we're headed to dinner at 8 with some other folks and it's cutting it close.
The local tv news is filled with campaign commercials. In the past 45 minutes, I've seen several by Biden, a few by Richardson and Huckabee, two by Obama and one each by Dodd and Hillary. Richardson's is in black and white - no color -- is that to save money? The first Obama ad focused on change in Washington and the second touted his health care plan. Hillary's was the one where she doesn't speak and images flow instead.
The town doesn't seem packed yet. If we make it to the Clinton event, I'll report on how many people braved the freezing cold to stand out and listen to Big Head Todd.
The local news just promo'd the 10 pm news saying some candidates may be leaving town before the caucuses. Unfortunately, I have to leave now and won't be here to get the scoop. I'll update later.
Have a great night everyone, and if you are in a warm locale, thank your lucky stars.
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