Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Iowa Traffic Jam

In Iowa, one could be mistaken for thinking that we are in primary season already.

But with 12 months to go before the first vote, traffic is already slowing to a crawl, thanks to the influx of candidates, their entourage, the media and the supporters of the wide field who have expressed an interest in the Presidency.

It was Mike Huckabee's turn today. Oh, and also Sam Brownback's. On Saturday and Sunday, it was Hillary Clinton. And Tommy Thompson. Then there is local Tom Vilsack who is always campaigning.

John Edwards has been here at least 17 times in the last 2 years, and you can expect more visits in the coming weeks from Joe Biden and Bill Richardson who have been here nearly 20 times between them since the end of 2004.

And just wait for Barack Obama - could it be bigger than Clinton?

That's just some of the close to 30 candidates who are running, exploring, or actively considering a tilt for President.

Yes, it's a traffic jam.

But a necessary one for all of the candidates.

Much of the millions they spend over the next 12 months will be in Iowa, such is the power of securing an early victory, or polling well. Or so they think.

So expect more school visits, more packed public hall meetings and more meet and greets. This is politics local style.

Well, except for the heavily stage managed events, more press and photographers than the Oscars and the fact that everything you say is being beamed live around the country.