Obama’s HQ fueled by coffee, youth

By Zack Abrahamson/Staff Reporter  Sam Schoenburg ’11 does not have five minutes. “You know, I really don’t right now. I’m sorry, I’ve got to get this done,” he says, typing furiously on a keyboard at Illinois Senator Barack Obama’s Des Moines headquarters. The Silliman College freshman is 336 miles from home, surrounded by new volunteers […]

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Signing off, with reflection, from Iowa

INTERSTATE 80, Iowa, 3:30 p.m. – The cameras left today. So, too, did the candidates, in big airplanes that flew north to New Hampshire. Iowans settled back to their lives. In a Country Kitchen off I-80 just west of Des Moines, the talk was once again town gossip – not the candidate haggling heard in […]

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Chuck Laudner, the morning after, on 2008: ‘Year of the new voter’

DES MOINES, Iowa, 2:45 p.m. – “It’s like the morning after a party,” Iowa State Republican Party Exectuive Director Chuck Laudner says, surveying the phone banking room that looks like a fraternity ripped through it. “Everyone just picks up and goes home, and we’ve got to clean up.” And that’s just what it is: the […]

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For young Paul believers, a tough night

DES MOINES, Iowa, 1:50 PM – The Ron Paul for President after-party feels like a funeral. Onstage, a folksy singer croons out a tune with an acoustic guitar. A spattering of Ron Paul supporters stand around holding plastic plates of cheese cubes. It was a rough night yesterday for the Texas Congressman and his libertarian […]

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Caucus afterthoughts

ANKENY, Iowa, 1:45 p.m. – Last night, I saw of the most bizarre proceedings I’ve ever been witness to, from within the Ankeny United Methodist Church in Iowa. There my companions and I observed the Ankeny Precinct 3 Democratic caucus.

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Iowa may be misplaced as early indicator

DES MOINES, Iowa, 4 a.m. – Iowa holds a special place in American political life. It is routinely the first state in which presidential candidates are tested and chosen, and has been since 1972. Iowans seem to regard their civic responsibility with utmost seriousness. They are aware that the eyes of the world are keenly […]

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Thompson supporter: Senator’s path to nomination runs through South Carolina

DES MOINES, Iowa, 9:21 p.m. — For a city the size of Des Moines, the presidential field can feel too crowded sometimes. That was the case Thursday night as Fred Thompson supporters accidentally walked into Ron Paul’s after-party, much to the chagrin of Paul’s following. Thompson, the Texas congressman’s backers said, is on the second […]

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The Iowa Numbers: West Des Moines — Precinct 111

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 7:32 p.m. — The first round of results are in: Before the critical realignment stage of the Democratic caucus in this precinct, here’s an update from West Des Moines, Precinct 111: Joe Biden: 7 Hillary Clinton: 75 Chris Dodd: 9 John Edwards: 49 Barack Obama: 99 Bill Richardson: 22 They tallied […]

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A student revolution: Valley High School for Obama ’08

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 7:44 PM — Zachary Hayes and Justin Jodoin are seventeen. So are Drew Sorge and Matt Stilwell. All four students turn eighteen before November’s general election and — according to Iowa election law — are eligible to participate in the caucus. And caucus they have, making their political voices heard for […]

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In West Des Moines, backers of unviable candidates flock to Obama

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, 7:27 p.m. — The library at Hillside Elementary School in West Des Moines was packed. Outside the door, bright-eyed women wore bandoliers of Hillary stickers and handed out cookies to caucus-goers. “Are you supporting Hillary? Supporting Hillary? That corner in the back, that’s where we are.” The Iowa caucuses began at […]

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Just a Hobby — Atul Nakhasi and the Iowa Democrats

IOWA CITY, Iowa, 4:33 p.m. — “It’s hard to believe it’s all going to be over tomorrow,” says 19-year-old Atul Nakhasi from behind a laptop and scattered piles of paper. He’s trying to figure out in the next two hours how to run a caucus in Iowa’s largest student precinct – precinct 5 of Iowa […]

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