Big Stage, Small World
There’s little left to be said about the gravity of the Iowa caucus. It is, indeed, first in the nation, and a weed out point for nonviable candidates. Iowa has been the epicenter of campaign efforts and media attention in this election cycle for the better part of a year now. This gravity is just what drew me back to Des Moines to aid in the process.
The fact that this momentous occasion transpires in the state of Iowa, as opposed to a larger state like Florida or California, creates a fascinating paradigm. Campaigns target areas so specific that even neighborhoods can become battlegrounds.
I became aware of this during my first full day on the job. My organizer, Michael Paulson, and I were out canvassing when we drove past a house plastered with Cory Booker signs.
“I wonder who they’re caucusing for,” I quipped. Michael slowed down for a closer look. A crowd was assembled in the backyard, spilling over into the driveway. “Oh, Cory Booker’s actually there,” he said.
Michael parked and stayed behind while I walked up to the house. Sure enough, Sen. Cory Booker stood on a makeshift platform and addressed the people below. I listened for a few minutes before rejoining Michael to carry on canvassing. “If anything, this underscores the importance of this precinct,” he said. I concurred.
This run-in became food for thought. Right now, we are in the eye of a political hurricane. Media hype magnifies the Iowa presidential race. The rest of the country is made to view it as a political behemoth. But at the same time, it is such a small world. The Iowa caucuses revolve around everyday people with stories and connections.