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Friday, Aug. 22, 2014

From the Midway: All politics are local

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

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Now that were well into the merry month of May it has occurred to me how much I've missed the political phone calls that I used to get prior to the Iowa caucus. I feel like I've been used. Many candidates were courting me for my vote and now I don't get a single message saying that they miss me.

Maybe that's why I like having Iowa first in the nation when it comes to politics. We get it over quick, imagine what our neighbors to the west in South Dakota have been going through, they won't have their primary until June 3. Well with the lack of attention that I have received from the candidates I have not been sitting by the phone waiting for them. Fact of the matter is that I went on the offensive this year.

On Caucus night I went to check out what all the fuss was about (you may or may not remember my insightful look into the causes in a prior installment of this column).

Well one thing lead to another and the next thing I knew I was elected a delegate for the Democratic Party for the O'Brien County convention. By the time the convention came around the candidate that I was a delegate for was no longer in the race.

So at the County Convention I got shuffled around a little and ended up with a group of people who weren't quiet happy with either Obama or Clinton. We hung together and became uncommitted. (That's not the first time I've ever been uncommitted, just ask any woman that I've dated).

There were just enough of us to send one uncommitted delegate to the District Convention in Council Bluffs and I was chosen to be that delegate's alternate. I was happy to be an alternate because I had to go to the convention anyway. At the county convention I was also elected to be on the Credential Committee. It seemed to make since at the time I first was elected to my county's Credential Committee on caucus night. So from what I gather my experience at the county convention must have convinced the members of our convention that I knew what I was doing.

Soon after I was voted to be on the Fifth District Credential Committee. Basically the Credential Committee members check and set delegates and alternates to a convention. If you're not on the list you don't get in. It's like being the guy behind the velvet rope who lets people into a dance club.

At the district convention, I thought my little adventure in politics would be over. But there was a delegate from another county who did not attend the convention. He was also an uncommitted delegate. So I was picked for the alternate pool to be seated on the convention floor in his place. As conventions go I guess it was a good one. We had plenty of passionate speakers including Senator Tom Harkin, Lt. Gov. Patty Judge and Fifth district Congressional candidate Rob Hubler to name a few.

The most exciting part of the convention for me was when the delegates had a chance to realign themselves to a different preference group. I had three choices, Obama, Clinton or Edwards. I went with the Edwards camp. They needed a few more people to keep the Edwards campaign viable and me being a reformed smart-ass I thought it would be fun to thumb our noses at the other two camps. We voted on a delegate to send to the national convention.

An interesting side note was by the end of the convention three out of four delegates chosen to go on to the national convention were people under the age of twenty. I feel that may be the best thing to come out of all of this complex process of choosing a president.

There is not a better sign that the good old boys club is not working in the party than having the younger generation represent our district. They will get a valuable life lesson on how politics works on a national stage. One of the national delegates for Obama was an eighteen-year old Cherokee High School Student. Congratulation to Stephanie Gosgrove, she overcame a lot and worked hard to be a national delegate.

So thinking one more time that my adventure in politics was over I once again was elected to the Credential Committee. This time it is for the state convention to be held in June.

So what does all this mean? Well, if you do get involved in politics plan on it taking a lot of your time. Plus you won't be home when the phone rings.

Mike Leckband
From the Midway