The Iowa Way

I wonder what would happen if every state caucused? 

Sure it takes a long time; sure it’s personal. But the best part is that it asks a lot of a voter.  I think that’s what has inspired me here in Iowa.

When I vote in Los Angeles, there are signs everywhere: no electioneering beyond this point.

In Iowa, it’s the opposite. The people, the voters, try to persuade other voters to align with them.  And, the candidates are permitted, encouraged, welcomed into precincts. 

I was with Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson tonight as he went to three voting locations to get some last minute votes.

I was astonished at his access, and at mine as a reporter.  Can you imagine standing in line, waiting to vote and having the candidate get in your face, shake your hand and ask for your vote? What an amazing opportunity for a voter and a candidate to have a mini-debate and hash out an issue in real time.

I did a live report for the Fox station in LA, from a school gym while Carson was talking to a group of voters.  At that moment I truly understood what House Speaker Tip O’Neil meant when he said “all politics is local.”

I am sold on the Iowa way of voting, except in New York. New Yorkers are way too argumentative. Caucusing would take too long there and people in Queens would get into fist fights.

Thank you Iowa, for inspiring me. Yes, even a jaded journalist can believe again.