Saturday, August 13, 2011

Iowa straw poll

I couldn't resist the urge to check out the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames.  Don't worry.  I'm not going political with this blog.  However, I am proud of Iowa's first-in-the-nation role in electing our next U.S. president.  I never used to pay attention to the caucus hype until a few years, when I heard a speaker explain that Iowans shouldn't take our role in the presidential election for granted. It's not very often that a small-population state gets so much attention from politicians.

The Iowa Straw Poll definitely has a county-fair atmosphere.  There were games, food and freebies everywhere.  Right away, I spotted my first politician of the day -- Mike Huckabee.

Then I stopped at the ginormous AARP booth, where I got to meet "Teddy Roosevelt."

When I saw that Abraham Lincoln was on the schedule, I decided to check it out.

Even better -- I got my picture taken with Honest Abe!  Not sure why he wasn't looking into the camera...

The Ron Paul booth was by far the largest (i.e., the most expensive).  There was an inflatable slide for the kiddies.

Not sure who thought this was a good idea for a sign.

Lots of folks showed their support for favorite candidates.  This guy told me people were asking him all day for his picture!

Here's one of my favorite exhibitors -- the Mid-South Tea Party.  They came dressed as a leather-clad motorcycle gang.  The band was playing Lynard Skynard, of course.

Another fun exhibitor was presidential candidate Thad McConner.  I never heard of him until a week ago, and he didn't have a big fancy booth like the other candidates.  Instead, his campaign rented two ice cream trucks, offering free bomb pops.

Then Thad McCotter and his family rocked out on stage.  And boy, can Thad shred a guitar!  I was impressed by his musical talents.  I almost got the feeling that he came to the Iowa Straw Poll just to have an excuse for a jam session.  I hope he stays in the race a little longer so I can learn more about his politics, too.  Quite an interesting guy.

I also hopped over to Herman Cain's booth to hear him speak.  I was very impressed by his message.  I also hope he stays in the race. He's got some great ideas for the country.

How cool is it that Herman Cain's staff gave out free Godfather's Pizza?

After awhile, the lines started to get really long, especially for the Michelle Bachman booth.  So I decided to call it day.  But not before I voted.  Got my finger stamped blue to prove it!

On my way out, I saw this "petition" signed on the blade of a wind turbine.

Just had to take a picture of this -- looks like they got "Rick rolled." Can you see it?

I rode my bike back to my car to avoid the heavy traffic.  A car honked at me while I was waiting at the stop light.  I couldn't figure out why until I got back to my car and looked at the free bag I received at the straw poll.  I had no idea that I was carrying a big yellow NRA bag!  I must have looked like an NRA billboard! How funny!

What a strange but fun day!  Isn't democracy great!

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