I'm sitting inside the Holiday Inn just across from the DSM Airport. Bill Richardson just took the podium before about 150 AFSCME members from Iowa. Why is this appearance important for him? Perhaps, his own words explain... Richardson said, "An AFSCME endorsement is, perhaps, the ultimate prize."
Other candidates must agree this is a pretty big weekend. John Edwards spoke yesterday. Hillary Clinton's flying in tonight just for this event. Chris Dodd stops by tomorrow evening, so will Barack Obama, who is also flying in just for this.
A few more words from Richardson...
"I don't have their rock star status, but I'm working on it?"
"Have you seen my ads? Do you like 'em?"
"There are no free riders in my state." He was talking about legislators' attempts in Iowa to pass what they called "Fair Share", so that non-union employees don't get free services from the unions. New Mexico has this. Here in Iowa, despite a democratic governor, a democrat-controlled house and democratic-controlled senate, it went no where last session.
"I know last time the (AFSCME) endorsement went a little off-key." ("off-key"...get it? AFSCME endorsed Howard Dean last time around)