February 5, 1988 |
"I've never seen a crowd this big here," Diane Shinn said of the approximately 1,000 students and faculty gathered to hear Sen. Paul Simon at the University of Iowa student union. "Of course, they're not clapping much," she added. "They're not excited, but they're here. " This is Simon's problem. The crowds are there. And they are paying attention. But it is not at all clear that Simon and his com fortable-as-an- old-shoe candidacy have the power to turn all the attention into a victory in the crucial precinct caucuses Monday.
January 18, 2004 |
Larry Fruhling is a veteran reporter and writer living in Bellevue, Iowa. It's getting a little stressful here in Iowa, which, at this moment, is the absolute, dead-on center of the universe. Take a recent Tuesday night, when my wife, Bernie, was glued to the television set, watching her beloved Iowa basketball team. The Hawkeyes were pulling even with Purdue. This was the Big 10 Conference opener. Purdue was nationally ranked. Iowa hadn't been playing very well all season.
February 2, 1987 |
The image most city dwellers have of Iowa was captured by painter Grant Wood, who lived about 25 miles from the University of Iowa campus here. Wood's most famous work is "American Gothic," which presents a stoic farmer, holding a pitchfork, standing beside his stoic wife. In Iowa, flesh-and-blood American Gothics dot the wintry landscape. The farmer and his wife in Wood's painting are not smiling, and today there is little in the economic forecast to uplift Iowans' spirits. The farm belt is in trouble.
January 20, 2000 |
Anyone who thinks Iowa is a throwback to the good old days of grassroots presidential politicking, a place where candidates spend all their time wooing hayseeds in bib overalls, needs a reality check. Just turn on the tube this week, especially at sunup and sundown, and behold Madison Avenue crossed with Pennsylvania Avenue - a veritable cornucopia of self-salesmanship that threatens to crowd out the makers of Tylenol and Toyota, Friskies and Folgers. This state is not supposed to be like New York or California, where candidates try to seduce far-flung voters with saturation ad campaigns.
February 7, 1988 |
A few months ago, "Babbitt beats Hart and Jackson in Iowa" might have sounded like a bona fide headline. After all, Gary Hart and Jesse Jackson both led in national polls of Democrats during part of 1987. But tomorrow, former Gov. Bruce Babbitt of Arizona can beat both of these 1984 retreads yet finish with them in the bottom half of the six Democrats who have been campaigning in Iowa. If Babbitt does finish fourth, the journalists (myself included) who admire his gimmick of talking honestly about the deficit will have a tough time putting a positive spin on it. Even though the news media are renowned for putting winning images on such runners-up as Hart in Iowa in 1984 and George McGovern in New Hampshire in 1972, it's hard to picture a straight-faced reporter touting someone's "surprisingly strong" fourth-place finish.
January 21, 2004
Voters in the Iowa caucuses certainly didn't sort out which Democratic candidate will challenge President Bush in November. In fact, they left things more confused. But they did deliver a refreshing slap in the face to negative tactics. While former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean and Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri were clenched in mortal combat, Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina glided past them on the wings of positive messages to finish 1-2 Monday night.
July 31, 2011 |
DES MOINES, Iowa - The star of the show, Gov. Christie, spoke without a hint he was following a script. The supporting cast, including a prospective first lady, a deep-pocketed brother, and two teenage children, learned where to stand on the stage. The three acts, from the speech to the news conference to the fund-raiser, were choreographed with exactness. The setting Monday was Iowa, which holds the first vote in the nation for president. Christie, in town for an education speech, stole some headlines from the presidential contenders as he repeated that he wasn't a Republican candidate.
July 20, 1992 |
GREATEST LOVE OF ALL Grammy Award-winning singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown managed to get married this weekend without the usual news media snooping. Their secret? Balloons - large ones floating high above Houston's mansion in Mendham, N.J., where the wedding took place Saturday. Apparently the balloons kept away helicopters and other airborne paparazzi. About 150 family and friends witnessed the wedding, and 600 were to attend a reception under a large tent on the grounds, Houston's spokeswoman said.
May 22, 1987 |
It is spring in Iowa, a year and a half before the next presidential election, and already the ground is thick with candidates. You can hardly walk into a small-town coffee shop without bumping into one, or at least running across his spoor. Is Jesse Jackson coming in the next plane? Joe Biden is leaving on this one. In a high school in Indianola, Sen. Paul Simon announces his willingness to accept leadership of the Free World, while nearby, Alexander Haig pets a pig. George Bush flies over and waves.
February 9, 1988 |
It is at least time - if not long overdue - for the people to have their say, and this is as good a place as one could find for them to start picking a president. Were it left to me, this is not how we would do it. I would happily go back to the kind of nominating system we had in 1960, the first campaign I covered. We had a few primaries - really only a half-dozen of any consequence - spaced far enough apart so the voters could learn a good deal about the candidates. The parties used those primaries to test the campaigning skills of the presidential aspirants.