And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, Editor Emeritus

... that I realize it is only a temporary reprieve, but it is nice to have control of my telephone once again.
Calls on behalf of politicians or from poll takers dominated use of my land line for weeks ahead of the primary election. I am convinced that since so many people have abandoned land lines for cell phones, we who still have land lines are being pestered more frequently. It is annoying, but I suppose if we can convince ourselves that one vote or one opinion really does matter, we can flatter ourselves into thinking we have greater influence as well.
But results belie the importance of those calls.
A good example is Joni Ernst, the state senator who was among a handful of candidates for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin, who seems to have held that seat forever! The polls had Ernst barely eking out the necessary 35% to avoid a convention vote, but she ran the table with almost twice that margin.
That victory set up what is certain to be a highly contested race with Democrat Bruce Braley, U.S. Representative, who had no primary opposition.
There will be wide national interest, and so I suspect my phone will start ringing again shortly and continue until November!
An example of how interested the national press will be in Ernst in particular was a story in one of the daily papers that said her old high school, Red Oak, and the grade school which she attended were contacted within hours of her victory by reporters seeking information about her schooling.
I have no quarrel with that, although I wondered how much information the schools are required to give. Candidates should be “vetted” as the term is used today.
That’s one of the quarrels I had with the main stream press when Obama was nominated. They totally failed to look into his background, instead seeming to accept the pre-campaign information contained in the two self-serving hagiographies he prepared for their consumption. I don’t think we ever did learn about his grades or the theme of his thesis, did we?
Still, a muckraker moved next door to Sarah Palin to spy on her every move!
The “dirtier” politics gets, the more I wonder why anyone who is not a borderline egocentric would subject themselves to what it entails to seek and even win an election. Even those who escape scrutiny as Obama did face fire after election.
I cast a “spite” vote this time.
Iowa Governor Terry Branstad also seems to have been elected for life, and had no significant primary opposition again this time. I suspect he will have sufficient funds to fend off his Democrat opponent this fall. But I voted for “what’s his name” and not Terry in the primary because I read that Terry has shifted his allegiance from the Cubs to the hated Cardinals!
That will teach him to be a fair weather fan! Oh, wait. The Cubs have never had fair weather, have they?