Hermits Rock

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Iowa Summer

Every four years, Iowa summers are the best. Today we got mail from Chris Dodd. Apparently, a carbon tax will do everything but bring Jesus back: it’ll “protect our country by ending dependence on Middle East oil and protect our environment and health by reducing greenhouse gases while creating jobs here at home.” (The fact that a solve-all-problems carbon tax is the brochure’s sole policy proposal makes the claim that “other candidates give speeches. Chris Dodd is giving us specifics,” a little contradictory, no?) (Anyway, it’s not nearly as sexy as the DVDs that came from Edwards and Obama.) Tonight, John Edwards called to invite us to a town hall meeting on Saturday. We’ll be away by then, but I’m not worried. He’ll be back—oh, yes, he’ll be back.



Ah yes—and yet, I find that I just don’t miss them that much. Though I still relish having seen Jesse Jackson speak at a picnic shelter in City Park on Labor Day, 1987. I saw Joe Biden speak in an even smaller shelter in the park that summer. He was less scary then. He did say he thought every American high school student should take four years of English.

Your Iowa summers go much farther back than mine!

Yeah, though the ’88 election is the first one I really remember in any detail. I do remember watching the election returns with my mom in 1984, and learning about elections in school that year. But not candidates. By 6th grade, though, we were all over that stuff. There was a caucus held at Lincoln that year, and the next day we all went around picking up leftover propaganda from the candidate of our choice. I was for Bruce Babbitt, as was a kid named Dan, who is now a tax attorney in NYC. My friend Sara and another old friend Tim were in favor of Jackson; Sara just finished her M.Div. and last I heard Tim is in Baltimore, working in the printing and bicycle repair industries. I actually think that may be all the candidate preferences I remember, but I suspect I’ve alarmed you all enough as it is.

See, everybody? All the candidacy that goes on in this state turns kids into pols.

I shouldn’t really talk, though. In 4th grade my G&T class did a mock gubernatorial election between Frank White & Bill Clinton. We campaigned in the opposite elementary school (there were then two in town). I hadn’t a clue what BC stood for, but I played him and won.