Saturday, January 24, 2015

And So It Begins

Here is how it starts.
We'll be sitting in the usual spot.
A restaurant.
A coffee shop
Like this one.
A favorite.

It will be a neighborhood sort of place
where people sit with laptops
and study
or biking buddies
and stop for a caffeine buzz
mid-morning ride
or catch up
over breakfast
with old friends.
It will be a
come as you are
kind of place
whether as you are be
yoga pants and sneakers
or college sweatshirt
and backpack.
It will be an Iowa sort of place.
With a hometown feel
and friendly chatter
drifting around the room
on the fragrance of coffee
good and strong.
And then they appear.
The entourage.
They will be polished
and properly dressed
for a Wall Street meeting
with $150 haircuts.
They will be smiling
just a little too big,
talking a little too loud,
eyes scanning the room
to see
who is present
who is watching.
And they will orbit
like little
crisp-shirted planets
around the
Star of the Day:
The Candidate.
And then
In. Walks. The. Candidate.
they will be dressed in
one of two ways:
crisp, white shirt
with proper accents of
flag red or flag blue
in the tie/scarf/jewelry
farm-family casual
with sleeves rolled up just-so
and everyman/everywoman pants and shoes.

(Hog-lot appropriate, just in case.)
There will be baby kissing.

 And burger flipping.

There will be inspection of corn notsogood.

And corn lookingnotgreatbutbetter.
(No political lean intended here
not even a little bit
doesn't this photo just scream
"I spend lots of time in farm fields!"
I think so too.
So anyway.
That's what they'll be wearing.
Today Chris Christie
chose the more formal attire
when he walked into the
local hangout
for breakfast and coffee.
Crisp, white shirt.
No jacket.
Dress pants.
As a politico friend of mine said
when I told him about seeing him here,
"And so it begins."
Today Governor Christie
was the first in what will be a
nonstop parade
of would-be candidates
and candidates
and probably
Bruce Springsteen.
And while it will look like
every person living in Iowa
came out to greet them
in general
no matter where they all go
the reaction will pretty much
be the same:
We'll keep drinking our coffee.
And talking about our kids.
And checking our phones to make sure
we're not late for our grandson's ballgame.
Because we're so used to having these folks around.
We remember not to park on certain streets
because CNN and all of the other satellite trucks
are blocking more than their share of lanes.
We see news anchors sitting at bars.
Press secretaries ordering lunch.
Celebrities ducking into Starbucks.
First ladies caravans
making us late to work.
It's all part of the game.
And every campaign
it starts earlier.

Can you spot the maybe-candidate for President in this picture?
(Hint: it's not the one with hands clasped like a reverent nun.)
(I made it easy, follow the arrow....yep, the one
basking in the glow. Sidenote: it was glowing in that spot
before he arrived.
Just sayin.)
Can you spot the TV camera?
Can you spot the weary reporter?
(Buck up, kid. It's a long road to the election and you might
as well grab a punch card. You're going to be
earning lots of free coffee in this state.)
CAN YOU spot the incognito security guy??
(Hint: He needs to review the Incognito Manual)
And so it begins.
Welcome would-be, won't-be and I-hope-you'll-be candidates.
You pump fistfuls of cash
into our local economy
with your expense accounts.
We're glad you're here
and you can be sure
regardless of political ilk
we'll welcome you like neighbors.

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