February 12, 1996 |
They've been barraged by millions of dollars of vicious ads, witnessed countless personal attacks. Now, Iowans get to respond to the presidential candidates who have been wooing them and bashing one another as voters head to churches, schools and meeting halls to participate in caucuses tonight. While even his rivals concede that Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole is the odds-on favorite to win the Republican skirmish, several candidates have been jockeying for the second-place slot in a seemingly tight Republican race that marks the first crucial political test of the election year.
February 9, 1996 |
"Morning, my friends!" Patrick J. Buchanan belted out a hearty greeting with his usual pugnacious gusto, slicing like a stiletto through a crowd of admirers in a small farm town. It was only a couple hours past sunup, but the sweet taste of victory had put a spring in his step. And no wonder. Buchanan, the avatar of family values and America First, is making all kinds of mischief in the Republican race. After a surprise victory in the Louisiana caucuses Tuesday night, and a first-place finish in an Alaska straw poll several weeks back, Buchanan is now on the verge of becoming the conservative alternative to Bob Dole and Steve Forbes - by vanquishing Phil Gramm, the lavishly financed rival who had always assumed he would win big in the Bayou.
January 21, 1996 |
Bill Higdon is a native Iowan, a minister and the president of Graceland College, whose bucolic, rolling campus here near the Missouri line is serenely salted with frost. In such a setting from such a man, one does not expect what used to be, well, heresy around these parts. "I wouldn't fight the Civil War all over again to be first," he said, smiling. "I really don't care. " He is talking about the Iowa caucuses, the first testing ground of presidential candidates. He is saying that maybe being first isn't all it's cracked up to be. And he isn't saying that alone.
September 17, 1993 |
They come from Davenport, Des Moines, Sioux City and the little farm towns all over the state. They even come from Madison County, the home of those now- famous bridges. Half a dozen Saturdays each autumn, Iowa's football fans converge on this pretty, little college town, hard by the banks of the Iowa River. They come, dressed in black and gold, to scream for their beloved University of Iowa Hawkeyes. They come to Kinnick Stadium, which looks for all the world like a mammoth outdoor version of the Palestra.
May 18, 1993 |
A while ago, I wrote a column libeling old age, suggesting that there is more to it than meets the eye, and most of it bad. I did this, as I recall, in response to a poll that found Iowans "optimistic" about old age. I felt this told more about Iowans than it did about old age. I might have been wrong. The column was passed on to a decorated veteran of life's wars and he in turn offered his own ruminations on growing old. In a letter to a mutual friend he wrote: "There is much cause for optimism in old age. "As one a decade or more beyond his vibrant fifties, I can survey the world with a wry sense of satisfaction, knowing I will not have to live long in a world created by yuppies . . . "Physically I am blessed beyond what nature has a right to demand from one who has not overlooked one contaminant to undermine my health.
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.
June 10, 1992 |
The politicians who plied one of Iowa's twin riverboat-gambling ladies with lavish gifts of public monies, only to be spurned in favor of Mississippi, have decided to sue the Diamond Lady to return the gifts. In a dispute with implications for proposed riverboat gambling in Philadelphia, the City of Bettendorf expects to file suit today in Iowa District Court to recover $426,000 in subsidies it gave to one of Bettendorf's richest families to get the Diamond Lady casino boat to dock there.
May 21, 1992 |
On a day when Iowan Steve Knight survived a grueling mini-tournament, winning the right to participate in today's Olympic freestyle-wrestling trials, his thoughts were focused upon his father. Three years ago, Gene Knight suffered a stroke that left him without any short-term memory. Until yesterday at the Palestra, he had not seen his son wrestle in person since the 1988 NCAA tournament. "I owe so much to my father," said Knight, who lives and trains at Team Foxcatcher, based in Newtown Square.
February 2, 1992 |
Once upon a time, in a struggling town where the land is poor and the skies are fickle, Judy Bierkamp was besieged by suitors - ambitious men itching for glory, angling for a meal. They wooed her, they stroked her, they said they'd remember her when. Jesse Jackson rocked in her chair. Dick Gephardt slept in her guest room. Reubin Askew, the Florida governor, raided her icebox. And Michael Dukakis . . . well, let Bierkamp tell that story. It happened four winters ago, back when Iowans were masters of the political universe, playing host to 10 Democratic candidates and 3,000 reporters.
September 17, 1991
Well, to some tastes, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin's snorting, pawing charge into the presidential race over the weekend, smacked of the sort of cornpone, prairie populism that won't get the Democrats any closer to the White House then they've been in who knows how many years. Frankly, though, we like the way this guy talks: straight, gutsy, passionate, angry. That's not to say we're a ballot in "the Harkin box," as he calls it. Not by a long shot. But we're sick and tired of the wishy-washy, tippy-toeing, don't-stand-for-something, 'fraidie-cat Democrats who've turned their party into pablum, not a choice (to adapt one of his phrases)