Poor Sanatorium... how sad to be himSubmitted by An agitator on Thu, 12/08/2011 - 15:09
Yahoo News | By Kerry Howley | The Ticket
IOWA CITY, Iowa--"Someone said to me, 'Why the Hamburg Inn?'" Karen Fesler, a member of Rick Santorum's Iowa steering committee, was telling a local journalist at 7:15 on a cold November morning here. "And I said, because it's just what you have to do."
What you apparently have to do, if you're Rick Santorum, is spend 15 minutes walking through a burger joint associated, on any other day, with university students and hangover food. The success of one diner in selling itself as the single most Iowan place to meet Iowan voters has long since stopped interesting Iowa City, a college town in which I have studied and taught for three years. We simply accept its dominance. When Michele Bachmann's incongruously large bus pulled up beside a rival diner, The Bluebird, last June, the story we told was not that she had come, but that she had spurned the Hamburg Inn to no conceivable purpose.
By 7:30, the time for which the morning's first campaign stop was scheduled, Santorum had yet to arrive. Three very unlikely Santorum voters—Ron Paul and Gary Johnson fans, it would turn out—had positioned themselves in prime heckling position near the front of the restaurant, a vantage point from which you can look onto a moderately busy street and watch your victim approach. At least seven journalists, including a heavily made-up reporter from the local TV news, milled about with notebooks and cameras of various sizes. The number of people who were either eating breakfast or waiting to meet the former senator from Pennsylvania stood at six. Then two of them left, and another reporter walked in.