--Claire Brinberg, 360 Producer, a.k.a. "360 Caucus Queen"
So I'm back from Des Moines. Just arrived in New York to work on tonight's caucus extravaganza. Was kind of a bummer to leave Iowa on Caucus Day, but honestly, the airport will be a TOTAL ZOO tomorrow morning. According to the Des Moines Register, 2000 rental cars will be returned and the airport will be 50% busier than usual.
I'm way glad to be missing the Great Iowa Exodus of 2008. And it's warmer in New York, if only a little.
So I have no clue what's gonna happen tonight. What do you think?
I've been mainly reporting on the Republicans this week, specifically Mike Huckabee's electric appeal among Iowa evangelicals. The folks I talked to sure do love him. They extol the strength of his character and the depth of his faith. And many seem largely unconcerned with his positions on the issues, though they strongly affirm his credentials on "life" and "marriage".
On New Year's Eve, I was welcomed at a lovely church celebration at Grace Church in West Des Moines. I got into a conversation with Marylys Foster, a Huckabee supporter who told me she was going to caucus for "the guy who's with Christ. I believe that somebody that believes in Christ is truthful."
I asked Ms. Foster which issues she was most concerned with this year, and she launched into an incredibly detailed and well-informed discussion of healthcare and immigration.
"So," I asked her, "Do you know where Huckabee, your candidate, stands on those issues?
"No," she replied.
That's just amazing to me. She's well-versed on the issues, and yet is supporting a candidate whose positions she doesn't know, 'cause she's convinced that as a man of God, Mike Huckabee will make the right decision. She trusts him.
Trust. It's a word we haven't heard a lot this campaign. But again and again, the Iowa Christian conservatives I spoke with invoked it, when asked to explain their support for Huckabee.
Grace Church pastor Bob Deever summed up the thinking thusly: "Anybody who gets into the White House is going to have to learn a lot of things, but one thing you can't learn and be taught is how to be a follower of Christ. Unless He's in you, you don't have it."