Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa Caucus Live Blog at Otto's

Tonight I am sitting among friends and fellow Democrats watching the Iowa Caucuses Live at Otto's Barbecue and Grill in Stafford, Texas. We are taking up one entire corner of the restaurant and make a fine raucus caucus watching group. There are new faces that saw the announcement on the Fort Bend Democrats' website, there are some old faces, and there are familiar faces from campaigns past.

We come together again, like locusts out of the woodwork, to beat the bushes (pun intended) to get Democrats out to actively support Democratic candidates at all levels.

Richard Morrison is here working the room. A new couple from Canyon Gate, one of the communities that will be affected by the Grand Parkway Section C toll road joined the group and Richard made sure that they had his card.

7:57 PM: CNN projects Mike Huckabee to win the Iowa Caucus by some unknown percent. Wow, that was fast. Don said it's because the Republicans have different rules.

8:05 PM: CNN projects that Mitt Romney will take 2nd place in Iowa.

Wow, it must be nice to have it all done by the 1st hour.

things are looking a little more tight on the Democratic side. Edwards, right now, has a slim lead over Obama who in turn has a slim lead over Hillary. We're talking within 1% and change of each other.

8:10 PM: 49% of Democratic caucuses reporting . . . too tight to call.

8;13 PM: Obama surges! 34%. Edwards and Clinton are 0.5% apart.

8:22 PM: This is the last time this year we are going to hear the words "Iowa City is a very important place".

And in the meantime, Susan brought Sharon Wallingford around to meet everyone. Sharon Wallingford is one of 5, count 'em five Democrats running for County Commissioner Precinct 1. That's Sharon sitting next to that big lunk of a guy with the moustache.

8:28 PM: CNN projects Obama to win the Iowa Caucuses. He now stands 4% ahead of the Edwards/Clinton pack, both at 31%.

That was fast. Now all we have to do is wait until it is 100% of the caucuses reporting for us to know who will take second, and by what fraction of a percent that happens.

Now for the Half Empty review of Otto's fare:

The barbecued turkey was fairly dry but a good portion. I think they need to rethink the barbecue sauce portion. Marsha says that the barbecue beef sandwich was pretty good but they were, again, a little stingy with the barbecue sauce. Jeri had the most healthful meal at the table: meatless baked potato topped with broccoli cheese and whatnot. The skin is a little overdone, she says.

That's it. One down, 49 to go.

Finally, just as we were leaving, in comes Ron Reynolds. Ron Reynolds, it will be remembered is running for State Representative, and is challenging Dora Olivo, the Democratic incumbent. We all thought that Ron needed a group hug, and perhaps a warm-up on that chilly night, so before leaving, we made sure we had a group picture. This group represents about half of the total crowd we had at this event.

With 100% of the caucuses reporting, my guy, John Edwards eked out a win against Hillary Clinton by just over a quarter of a percent (0.28%). Edwards calls that a victory for progressives who want to send a message to the candidate for no change that progressives want change. I suppose so, if you include Obama's 37% (and have bought into the fact that Obama's campaign represents change - for that to happen, I think, the lobbyists have to go). In the end, I think you have to take Iowa Caucus results with a grain of salt, as Howard Dean should have in 2004.

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