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The definition of the word mull.
Mullings by Rich Galen
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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Campaigning in Iowa - I

Rich Galen

Thursday August 15, 2019

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  • Iowa has a special place in the hearts of many - most - political types.

  • There are the Iowa Caucuses, of course. Those occur at the end of seemingly endless months of walkabouts in small towns in the rain, rallies at the base of silos at corn farms in the summer heat, and the never-ending meetings with Iowans in small cafes in the dead of winter.

  • There are the late night staff meetings with pizza and beer in the lobby of the motel with the outside entrances to the rooms, to go over the next day's schedule, to dissect the latest poll numbers, and/or to shake your collective heads over something the candidate said during the 15-hour day.

  • You don't need poll numbers to know how you are doing. The size of the press corps following you around tells all.

  • Joe Biden's campaign or Elizabeth Warren's - any of the big four or five - will need a press advance team whose job it is to make certain reporters know where the campaign is going, when it is going there, and how long it will stay there.

  • The advance people will set up a press area in the coffee shop which (a) give press access to the adoring faces of the local Iowans and (b) helps convince the local Iowans that your candidate is worthy of their adoration. CNN is there. Fox is there. MSNBC is there. This must be a big time campaign.

  • In my day, you knew who were the TV reporters and who were the print. TV reporters were going to do a standup outside "Pat's Dew-Drop-Inn." The writers would write and dressed accordingly.

  • Also, the travelling press was overwhelmingly male.

  • Now, the writers are often contributors to the cable nets and, so, look and dress that part; and, there are at least as many women on the tour as men.

  • If the campaign is running out of gas - or never had enough to start with - the number of reporters can fit into a rented Yugo and, in the 2020, they represent news organizations that end with the words "dot-com" that you may or may not have heard of.

  • It is a slog and if you, like me, have done it more than once you just roll your eyes when you read about 25-year-old Major League Baseball players making multi-millions of dollars whining about "The Grind" of a 162-game season.

  • There is no Players' Association for young advance people standing at an unmarked crossroads in a snowstorm waiting for the campaign bus to pull up so it (and the candidate) can be led down the right road to the correct farm to hold a 45-minute "listening session" to hear the same complaints heard the day before at a different farm and the day before that.

  • I love Iowans. As a former Iowa boss Tom Stoner (candidate for U.S. Senate in 1980) used to say, "They put seeds into the ground and then hope and pray that there will be just enough rain, just enough warmth, just enough sun so that 60-100 days later, Iowa corn is ready to be harvested.

    SIDEBAR

    During that 1980 campaign, I was young and cocky, having come from being the press secretary in a Congressional office on Capitol Hill. I marveled at the miles and miles of corn stalks lining roads as straight as arrows, over land as flat as a billiard table.

    I wondered aloud when roadside stands selling corn (which I had seen along corn farms in Maryland) would start popping up.

    The silence in the car was that suffocating variety that says, "You blithering idiot. That's all field corn, not sweet corn. It's for feeding animals, making ethanol, and things like that."

    Served me right.

    END SIDEBAR

  • For Iowa farmers it is always too wet, too dry, too hot, too cool, too many rules they have to follow, but not enough rules to protect them.

  • Then the corn is ready for harvest and all is well.

  • At the fulcrum of all that is the Iowa State Fair which has an ethic and rhythm all of its own and woe to the campaign that doesn't take the Fair foolishness, seriously enough.

  • More about that, later.

  • Another actual car discussion:
    Me: "Are those soybean fields?"

    Everyone Else: "No. Sorghum."

    Me: "You've been waiting for me to ask that, haven't you?"

    Everyone Else: -- smug --

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring Page today: Links to the Iowa Corn Growers web page, to a discussion of just how flat Iowa is, and to the Wikipedia entry for sorghum.

    The Mullfoto is another in the excellent series of interesting license plates.

--END --


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July 2019

8/15/19 - Campaigning in Iowa - I
8/12/19 - Jeffrey Epstein is Deead
8/08/19 - It's Not All Trump's Fault
8/05/19 - Running with Trump
8/01/19 - The Democrats' Debate II


July 2019

7/29/19 - The Debate Effect
7/25/19 - The Mueller Hearings
7/22/19 - A Brief History of Technology
7/18/19 - Tranquility Base Here
7/15/19 - The Socialist Envelope
7/11/19 - Acosta
7/8/19 - Good Vibrations
7/4/19 - Happy Birthday, America
7/1/19 - Busy Times


June 2019

6/28/19 - The Democrats' Debate II
6/27/19 - Debates: High-Risk, Low-Reward
6/24/19 - Democrats' Dismay
6/20/19 - Crocodile Tears
6/17/19 - Deter, Safeguard, or Defend
6/10/19 - Military Service Fantasies
6/6/19 - Overlord
6/3/19 - California Dreamin'


May 2019

5/30/19 - Mueller Speaks
5/27/19 - Memorial Day - 2019
5/23/19 - A Clowder of Cats
5/20/19 - Spahn & Sain and Pray for Rain
5/16/19 - Then There Were 23
5/13/19 - Biden Widens His Lead
5/9/19 - That "I" Word Again
5/2/19 - Dems One - Barr None


April 2019

4/29/19 - Devotion to Socialism or Wanting to Win
4/25/19 - Requests, Demands, & Subpoenas
4/22/19 - Get Off the Impeachment Train
4/18/19 - Hung Jury
4/15/19 - Senior Citizenship
4/11/19 - Dis-Barred
4/8/19 - Kirstjen Nielsen: You're Fired
4/1/19 - April ... Ah, You Know


March 2019

3/28/19 - Opening Day 2019
3/25/19 - That's Over. Nothing's Changed.
3/21/19 - Why?
3/18/19 - Those Iowa Caucuses
3/14/19 - Cheating
3/11/19 - Democrats and Socialism
3/7/19 - Gone Fishing
3/4/19 - Just Walk Away, Don J.


February 2019

2/28/19 - Michael Cohen Speaks
2/25/19 - Managing Expectations
2/21/19 - The Mueller Report (1)
2/18/19 - Presidents I have Known
2/14/19 - Enough, Already, with the Wall
2/11/19 - Gals-Gals-Gals
2/6/19 - SOTU - 2019
2/4/19 - Blackface


January 2019

1/31/19 - Disrupter
1/28/19 - It Ain't Over
1/24/19 - Polling the Shutdown
1/21/19 - The Shutdown Offer
1/17/19 - The Fixer Fixed the Polls
1/14/19 - Pelosi Can't Afford a Wall
1/9/19 - Nine Minutes
1/7/19 - Relevance
1/3/19 - Shutdown


December 2018

12/27/18 - Trump in Iraq - 90 Points
12/24/18 - Christmas 2018 - Six Words
12/20/18 - The "I" Word - II
12/17/18 - The Nay-C-A
12/13/18 - The "I" Word
12/10/18 - Close, but No Cigar
12/6/18 - A State Funeral
12/3/18 - H.W.


November 2018

11/29/18 - The Election of 2018 is Over
11/22/18 - Thanksgiving 2018 - Rainbow Shiny
11/19/18 - January 3
11/16/18 - I was Right, This Time
11/12/18 - The War to End All ...
11/08/18 - Elections? What Elections.
11/05/18 - And ... Down the Stretch They Come
11/01/18 - Steve King


October 2018

10/29/18 - On Being Jewish
10/25/18 - Simultaneous Bombs
10/22/18 - Permanent Final Week
10/18/18 - Oil Without Saudi
10/15/18 - 45750
10/8/18 - Moderates?
10/4/18 - That Blue Tsunami
10/2/18 - End Game
10/1/18 - The 2018 Subscription Drive


September 2018

9/28/18 - The Kavanaugh/Ford Hearing
9/24/18 - Supreme Court
9/20/18 - Razor's Edge
9/17/18 - Statute of Limitations
9/13/18 - A Poll Dump
9/10/18 - Whodunit?
9/6/18 - Senate Judiciary Hearings
9/3/18 - Back to School - 2018


August 2018

8/30/18 - Monkey Around
8/27/18 - We Make History
8/23/18 - The I-Word
8/20/18 - Zero Shades of Grey
8/16/18 - 82 Days & Counting
8/13/18 - Stiffing a SCIF
8/9/18 - Ohio-12
8/6/18 - A Tweet Storm
8/2/18 - Audiences, Crowds, and Mobs


July 2018

7/30/18 - Good Numbers, Bad Numbers
7/26/18 - Putin isn't Coming
7/23/18 - Trump's Brove Affairs
7/19/18 - The ServPro President
7/16/18 - CNN is Not an Enemy of the People
7/12/18 - America's Resting Face
7/9/18 - SCOTUS Pick
7/4/18 - Happy Birthday, America
7/2/18 - Ghostbusters


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