Twas the Night Before Caucus (and All Through the State)
One last night for the candidates to make their case.
Hillary will be on Letterman tonight. She taped it in Cedar Rapids. She then went to her Des Moines campaign office to give a pep talk to staffers.
John Edwards made 11 stops today and is finishing with a big event in Des Moines with John Mellencamp -- that's where Jane and I will be.
The media has taken over this town. Sean Hannity's crew is at the bar/restaurant next door to our hotel -- he'll be broadcasting H&C from there. The Fox News people are staying at our hotel, as are the Clintons. Shep Smith got in last night. He told me Greta is here too, but I haven't seen her yet. Makes sense though.
A reporter from the Orange County Register was in the bar last night, asking around for "offbeat" stories to tell. The bartender told her about taco pizzas and the disk jockey sitting next to her offered to have one delivered to her. She said she'd pick up her own.
The drive to Cedar Rapids today to see Hillary was long -- 2 hours -- and then another hour to Coralville for the Obama event. And of course, more than 2 hours back. It's the flattest state I've ever seen. You go miles without seeing anything, maybe a scattered barnhouse -- not even any livestock -- and then you pull off the highway at the major cities and there's every chain store you can think of, from Best Buy to Dress Barn (whatever that is but it seems to be big here) to Staples and Sears. The Marriott in Coralville looked just like every other Marriott.
I've gone through three laptop batteries today. My treo battery wore out as did the videocamera and digital camera batteries. Every plug in my hotel room is now in use charging the various devices.
It's still freezing cold here. On the local news, they are interviewing new caucus goers in the skywalks. You can register to vote at the caucus door.
They are predicting a big turnout, maybe 165,000 Democrats and 95,000 Republicans. That would be huge, compared to 2004.
Also on the local news: Hillary has 5,000 volunteers on hand just to help people get to their caucus. By comparison, in 2004, John Kerry had 400.
There are 2,500 credentialed media in Des Moines -- there is heavy security at the Convention Center. They say no one gets in without a credential. I'll be there tomorrow afternoon and tomorrow night, following the results live on the big board.
I've got to go get ready for the Edwards event, I'll be back later. I did get a firewire cord so I can download my videos of Romney and Hillary to my laptop, edit them and then get them up on you tube. So much to do, so little time.
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