It's CAUCUS NIGHT!!!!
I arrived at my caucus site to find a HUUUUUUUUUGE crowd! I knew turnout would be large but I had no idea it would be THAT large. I found my way to the sign-in tables, where I was not found on the list of already registered voters (I am), and then found my way to the line for people who needed to register (instruction I was given even though I was showing them my registration card). Annoying disorganization! The strange thing is - this is the SAME thing that happened to me during the last caucus! Finally, after re-registering to vote, I was able to find my way through the crowd to the Bill Richardson camp. Just eyeballing it I knew it was going to be tough to gain viability.
We waited for about 30 more minutes so everyone could sign in and find their appropriate candidate area...then an introduction of Joe Biden's daughter who gave a brief speech (cool), then a brief overview of the rules and then a head count in each camp. Bill Richardson's group (which I was in) had roughly 41 people in it (compared to 100+ in the Obama & Edwards groups). Then it was reported that we needed 65 to remain viable. The effort began to recruit more people. I started with the Kucinich group (seemed logical, right? I mean, come on....you have THREE people in your group...come on over!). But soon it seems we lost support and after the second head count it was announced that my candidate (remember...I AGONIZED over my caucus decision and FINALLY decided on Richardson)....was not viable. WAAAAAAGH. So now I had a decision to make. Who would be my plan B? I could stand behind Edwards....I could stand behind Hillary....I could stand by Obama. But here it was...the decision was before me.
Unfortunately because of the ridiculously large turnout, there was not space for much political debate. I had hoped to hear intelligent argument as to why I should choose Edwards, Hillary or Obama. Hillary's camp did a pretty decent job of this - Obama won on enthusiasm mixed with intelligence and Edwards peeps....sorry...didn't do a good job at my caucus site.
So...my plan B decision? OBAMA! And then the chanting began. O-Bam-A! O-Bam-A! O-Bam-A! What a wonderful process to be a part of. I'm proud to be an Iowa democrat. So there you go, nation.....what we decided here in Iowa didn't narrow the playing field much....but it did begin an enthusiasm for the process that I pray continues as each state holds its own primary.(I'm also praying for an Obama/Richardson ticket ..... because I still think Bill Richardson is a wonderful choice).