Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Caucusing Made Simple

Think it'll be tight on caucus night? We found three of the Prez campaigns so far (Edwards, Obama and Clinton) that are using videos on their campaign web sites to show you how to caucus (They're all dems. Does that mean something?). They all seem to have a different feel. Check them out below.

A few other campaigns got back to me about their plans:

Mike Huckabee is using DVDs. A spokesman tells me precinct captains and county chairs will work to show the DVDs to Iowans with questions.

Tom Tancredo is going the old-fashioned route, well, I guess the new, old-fashioned route: phone calls, emails, mailings.

Mitt Romney is taking advantage of his kids. Here's the response from his campaign.

"We are training our folks in small groups across the state. Often we’ll have one of the sons or another surrogate attend, and true to Romney form, we have a PowerPoint presentation. This highlights our organizational efforts, so we unfortunately don’t have them open to the press so as to not tip our hand to the other candidates."

Here are those videos:

John Edwards

Barack Obama

Hillary Clinton

1 comment:

Bruce said...

With the national press assuring the rest of the country and the world that caucusing is hard math, it's nice to see the campaigns making sure (1) that Iowans can see that the Democratic party caucus process is reasonable and (2) that three candidates are willing to help us join them that Thursday night.

Caucus goers, of course, don't have to worry about the math--the temporary chairs in the precincts have been trained to drive the calculators. Rather, we all should be looking at the YouTube videos by Edwards, Obama, and Clinton to see if we get any signals that might help us decide for whom to caucus.

Edwards? Well, he gives us cartoon characters named, cleverly, Joe and Jane, following them not only through January 3 but, for goodness sakes, another four years so that we can see three accomplishments of the Edwards presidency. A serious romantic vision that begins with homemade bread and ends with food for thought.

Obama? No foolishness here, unless you count dressing twenty-eight people in different colored tee-shirts--they don't match in order to assure diversity--forming preference groups. No, indeed. A serious introduction by the candidate, then with former chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Gordon Fisher showing us how to do it. Definitely a high school educational film.

Clinton? To reinforce the theme "Caucusing is easy" we see the hard things: Bill Clinton exercising while thinking about big cheeseburgers, Tom Vilsack trying to dance, and Hillary Clinton mangling the tune to the "Star Spangled Banner." We're shown the basics of the caucusing process, finishing with ol' Bill eating that cheeseburger. A Saturday Night Live sketch!!!

So, Edwards gives us an heroic vision, Obama, an authoritative lecture-demonstration, and Clinton, fun for the family. A romantic hero, a political insider, and a comic: who best to lead the party?

Just some more information about the leading candidates' character as you think ahead to January 3.

Bruce Gronbeck, Director, University of Iowa Center for Media Studies and Political Culture