His future in flux, Edwards touts change but turns traditional

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 10:30 p.m. — There’s very little that’s new about a John Edwards rally.On stage at the Val Air Ballroom, the former North Carolina Senator hits the same chords he does all across Iowa — respect for the working man, a fight against special interests and a restoration of decency in Washington. […]

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It’s ‘Biden or Bust’ for Coleman ’05

CLIVE, Iowa, 2:46 PM – Sarah Coleman ’05 is a long way from home. The buildings are shorter, there’s hardly any traffic on the streets and the next door neighbor used to be Tom Tancredo’s campaign. This is no D.C. and this is no Brooklyn. This is Clive.

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Down to the wire: Obama and Yohannes Abraham ’07

DES MOINES, Iowa, 10:42 AM — The Obama campaign is counting down the hours to the caucus. Thirty-two, to be exact, according to a sign that hangs a few feet in front of the desk of Yohannes Abraham ’07, one of Obama’s Polk County Field Organizers. The energy in the room is palpable, and Abraham’s […]

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College Republicans president predicts youth vote will be decisive

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 9:56 a.m. — “These teams in the WAC conference, you get one team like Boise beating Utah and all of a sudden they’re like, ‘Let us play for a national championship.’ Then you put a team like Hawaii up against Georgia, you say, ‘Here you go, try playing a BCS against […]

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In West Des Moines, Huckabee offers up faith, classic rock

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 9:08 p.m. — Underneath a deck of gaudy turquoise and hot-pink stage lights at the Val Air Ballroom in West Des Moines, Mike Huckabee seems strangely out of place. His is a candidacy that never should have made it this far. As the adage goes, politics does not favor the decent. […]

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Bill Clinton woos voters with reminiscence about 1990s

AMANA, Iowa, 4:26 p.m. — Bill Clinton is 26 minutes late. He was supposed to arrive in Amana at 4 o’clock to address a crowd of bundled-up Iowans at this small outpost 10 miles off I-80. So now we’re sitting in this corrugated metal structure that gets a degree colder every time someone opens the […]

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Students for Rudy co-chair touts ’50-state’ strategy

IOWA CITY, Iowa, 1:17 p.m. — “This is how we keep the volunteers in line,” Students for Rudy Giuliani National Co-Chair Jimmy Centers jokes as he fires a foam disk across the room. “Don’t take pictures of this.” Centers heads up one of a small handful of Republican presidential campaign offices east of Des Moines […]

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Edwards counting on rural counties in countdown to caucuses

IOWA CITY, Iowa, 11:33 a.m. — Mike Juntunen didn’t go home for Christmas. No, the 26-year-old University of Iowa freshman was busy spreading his own version of holiday cheer — the message of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards. Juntunen is co-president of the University of Iowa Hawkeyes for John Edwards, which is responsible in […]

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“O”-mentum or no-mentum?

IOWA CITY, Iowa, 9:34 AM – The buzz across Iowa this morning is the new Des Moines Register poll released last night. Matt is on Barack Obama’s text message mailing list, so when the results of the poll were released, we found out that the Illinois Senator had pulled ahead to a 32-25-24 lead over […]

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Bobby Gravitz ’05 and the Gitmo Room

DES MOINES, Iowa, 7:37 PM – “This is the main planning room,” Bobby Gravitz ’05 tells me as he sweeps his arm across a field of cubicles, half-eaten pizzas and young volunteers hunched over telephones. “Over on this side are most of the statewide directorial staff and over there is most of our Polk County […]

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At Obama’s Iowa HQ, a ‘swamp’ is born

DES MOINES, Iowa, 7:15 PM – The floor of Senator Barack Obama’s Des Moines Iowa headquarters is soaked. Two canvassers walk in wearing thick-soled North Face hiking boots and you can see drops of water press out of the carpet around the edges of each shoe. Each volunteer that has come in out of the […]

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Candidates pass over small-town Iowan Yalies

YALE, Iowa, 2:21 p.m. — George Dorr has been driving tractor trailers for 60 years – “Since I was twenty-something,” he says. Now six months into his retirement, he sits at a table at Just Ethel’s, the only café in the tiny burg of Yale, Iowa. His whole life, Dorr has been leaving this hamlet […]

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