Tonight I participated in my first Iowa Caucus. It was a pretty interesting experience.
The first thing I noticed tonight was that the turn out was far greater than anyone expected. When pulling up to caucus and seeing a long line of head lights I knew something special was going to happen. I ended up having to park about half a mile from the school and others had to park even further.
Note to the GOP and Democrats... don't have your caucus in the same location. Most schools don't have adequate parking for a lot of cars. In the future you might try and get many of the larger churches in town to open up their facilities and parking lots to host events like this. But... I'm really new to how the system works so it may not be that easy of a fix.
I stood around with over 500 others (only 200 were expected) waiting for the chance to put our name in the hat for our preference in the presidential race. The whole process was fairly informal and the precinct temporary caucus chair did a great job explaining the entire process to everyone.
After he explained everything, representatives from each of the candidates were given time to speak. Regretfully, no one from the Fred Thompson campaign was there to speak on his behalf. I almost stepped forward to say something but didn't know if it would have been proper or not. Following that everyone put their name in the hat and the rest of the evening proceeded accordingly to the agenda. I'd say 80% of those who came left after putting their candidates name in the hat.
I decided to hang around to see what the rest of the experience would be like and ended up stepping up to be one of the two people chosen to represent our precinct on the Polk County Republican Central Committee. Members on the committee form the backbone of the GOP volunteer force in Polk County. The term of office is two years. As a central committee member I'll be asked to serve on a subcommittee and to provide service to the party at events and for political projects. For me it will be an interesting experience and another opportunity to serve our community.
I'm also going to be one of 22 people participating at the Republican County Convention on March 8!
The results from the Iowa Caucus were not entirely surprising to me. I'm grateful that Fred Thompson came in third place so he'll continue his campaign to the White House. It is really amazing how little the press even mentions his name now that I'm paying more attention.
The coming days will be interesting.
Go Fred Go!