Happy New Year from Iowa!

Drove to Des Moines last night after knocking on doors all day. It was about 21 F all day, but without the wind. The temperature dropped to 7 F after dark, with a wind chill of -8 F. Big party in Des Moines, and Governor Richardson spoke to us, offering a long toast, concluding with, “to victory!” The enthusiastic crowd yelled back, “Victory!” We stayed the night, and watched the Governor speak on TV this morning. Colder this morning, at -15 F to -20 F with the wind chill. Roads were often covered with blowing snow, rippling across the highway like water. Normal weather here. No fog today (it’s far too cold!), but the blowing snow sometimes got whipped up into the air, making the horizon disappear. Stopped for gas in the middle of the plains on the way back, and the wind had a bitter, deathlike chill to it as I pumped gas. Talked to a cashier who said she doesn’t have cable so she hasn’t been following things – gave her a Richardson leaflet. Another Hillary worker there, and the two women had been talking about how you cannot make a decision based solely on a candidate’s sex. I agreed, saying that the reason I wouldn’t vote for Hillary is because her position on the war is the same as Bush’s. Drove back to Waterloo, and everyone is very busy here. People are getting packets ready for more precinct captains, and putting out door hangers. Some people are phone calling, but people are hanging up. I think it’s a bit early for New Year’s Day. Be going out into the cold later. It’s still pretty damn cold, but the sun is shining! It hasn’t done that much around here.

This is the official weather today: Low zero to 5 below. Northwest wind 10 to 20 mph with gusts to around 30 mph. Wind chill readings 15 to 20 below.

pict0210.jpg Went out on the street today, putting out door hangers with caucus locations, which also happen to say that if you want to end this war, and restore our democracy, our economy and health care system, then Bill Richardson is the guy to caucus for. We spent a lot of time getting the drops ready, so it was afternoon by the time we hit it. We stayed out way after dark. We tried to finish a precinct, but the house numbers got hard to see, and not only were the mailboxes not always numbered, but it wasn’t clear which houses they were for. (Our list was specifically targeted.) Man! it was cold. The wind picked up more and more the later it got. It got so bitterly, biting cold pict0209.jpg that my coat wasn’t any good unless it was completely buttoned up tight. My cap was pulled down tight, and I had to wear gloves. There is weather worse than this, but not that I’m used to. It’s hard to imagine living here. My hat is off (for microsecond) to the hardy Iowans who take this weather in stride. Give me that New Mexico sunshine!

We were hoping to sleep in tomorrow, but there is a conference call for everyone involved in the campaign at 8:30am.

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