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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

John Deeth Blog: Hamburg Inn's Coffee Bean Caucus is OK Online, But It's Better With That Breakfast Smell

Excerpted from this post at John Deeth Blog
Visits from two former presidents and one fictitious one, and a little creative self-promotion, have turned an old fashioned diner on Iowa City's north side into one of the ritual stops on the caucus campaign trail. And this year the Hamburg Inn's Coffee Bean Caucus -- where diners vote for their favorite candidate by dropping coffee beans into labeled jars -- has expanded onto the Internet. ... it was in 2003 that the Hamburg Inn really cemented its reputation as a must-stop for caucus candidates. That March, former President Bill Clinton visited while in Iowa City for a University lecture. The Clinton table is two booths down from the Reagan table. The other presidential candidate named Clinton has not yet visited. ... While the first Coffee Bean Caucus was a publicity smash, its track record as a predictor is 0 for 1 -- Dean won the beans but John Kerry carried Johnson County and the state on caucus night. So far this year, both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have mentioned their Hamburg Inn visits in their local speeches.

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