Wednesday, June 20, 2007

You Can Take My Iowa Straw Poll . . .

. . . But you can never take my freedom!

I came to this state, put up with it's strange people and now the one thing that made it interesting -- so far -- appears to have been taken from me. Two big time candidates have ditched the August 11th Iowa straw poll. Namely, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani. Now, you probably already know about this if you keep up on the news even a little bit. After all, this was last week's headlines. I have a need to process what this means for the average Iowa politics freak (e.g. me).

I still plan to get into the straw poll. It's not in my town, but it's not that far. I was not planning to vote for McCain or Giuliani anyway. But it would have been interesting to see them debate the other candidates. Many are suggesting that this opens the door for a lesser known candidate to do well. Maybe it does. It also causes me some consternation.

So far as I can tell, the political nature of Iowa makes it an ideal location for a youngster -- such as myself -- interested in getting involved in politics. This is not to suggest I want to be anything big. It's just that Iowa has two things going for it as far as I can see: lots of cheap corn and early caucuses. I'm stuck here, I may as well enjoy it. I like popcorn, so I've got that side of it covered. I'll do my best to keep the state economy going by eating popcorn with almost every movie. On the other hand, I thought it would be fun to volunteer for a candidate (still don't know which one) and go to the straw poll. Or just go, watch and help make history by being polled there. These two candidates pulling out makes the straw poll a little less climactic. That's what bothers me.

Here I was all excited to be thinking about doing something cool. Then along came McCain and Rudy and they stole my thunder. Well, they also lost a potential vote. Not that I would have voted for them anyway. Chances are, however, that if I thought one of them did well at the straw poll event I would have at least said something about it and maybe cast an unofficial vote for them. I would never vote for either of them in a real election. But now they have lost even a "good job" from me. That is the way of things. You bother me and you won't get my pat on the back.

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