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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Iowa Insider: Iowa's Toughest Crowds are at the State Fair

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Insider

The Iowa State Fair showcases a slice of Americana smack dab in the
Heartland. Presidential candidates might think the folks at the fair
would be in a friendly mood to meet them. They could be wrong. It
might be the toll of the August heat, but some of the most
cringe-inducing cases of heckling I've ever witnessed occurred right
on the fair's Grand Concourse. And yet the fair is an almost mandatory
campaign stop and proving ground for presidential wannabes, who can
grab a microphone and try out their stump speech in front a discerning
audience perched on hay bales. The 11-day event, running this year
from Aug. 9-19, also feeds the media with the unscripted campaign
moments they crave. The fair is where I saw reporters and camera guys
push to get a better position to chronicle Joe Lieberman sinking his
teeth into a kosher deep-fried Twinkie. That same year, I saw a cranky
Emma Claire Edwards pull her father away from his avail with
reporters.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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