Sunday, February 18, 2007

Mic Time v. Face Time

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 701

Barack Obama is making an early return to Iowa for a town hall event in Des Moines this coming Wednesday, February 21.

The event is being held at the convention center downtown, another huge venue that doesn’t augur well for candidate-voter face time. This is starting to make me feel a little cranky. I have questions to ask of those who want my support for their presidential ambitions, and I’d like to be able to ask them without need of a PA system. When will the top-tier candidates downshift from rock star mode and take the time to more fully engage with people in this state?

Ranting aside, this is a double-edged dynamic at work in the campaign. On the one hand, the field is very hot very early, and that results in a bit of disruption to the normal campaign rhythm in early-entry states like Iowa and New Hampshire. On the other hand, all the accelerated competition for attention does require the campaigns to come out in detail on issues sooner rather than later, which injects substance and gravity into the process far earlier than would otherwise be the case. If it is not exactly win-win, neither is it lose-lose; it is something in between. Welcome to politics.

So I’ll be there Wednesday to hear what Obama has to say, and in hopes of snagging some mic time (if not face time) with the candidate. Full account to follow, as always.


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