Dateline: Dubuque

[Here at Fat Clown we almost pride ourselves on being so out-of-date as to be completely irrelevant. If nobody cares, you can’t screw up too bad. However, this New Year’s we find ourselves privy to such a scoop that we can’t help but be timely and interrupt our normal programming to bring it to you. (It’s not like the 2007 year in review post is going to get any less timely now anyway.) Friend of Fat Clown Beckers finds herself at her mother’s place in Dubuque, Iowa for the holiday season, and has graciously agreed to be Fat Clown‘s second-only guest poster. I always kind of knew things got kooky in Iowa every four years around this time, but I never knew just how kooky until now. Click through on any pics to get a better view.  Now Becky fills us in…. -Ed.]

On my first day, I conducted an exhaustive poll of this middle middle-class neighborhood (read: I counted the campaign signs along the 2.1 mile stretch of sidewalk promenade sometimes shoveled clear enough to support a desperate runner). I came up with the following results:

Obama 6
Hillary 2.5
Dodd 2
Generic end-to-the-war 2
Biden 1

The half-sign for Clinton reflects the survival of the fittest conditions here. The couple who live across the way are divided in their support. Two yard signs competed for attention until the recent snowfall- Hillary’s sign was mysteriously half-buried by the snow shoveled from the walk, where Obama’s sign was unobstructed.

Later, I tried to get a picture of this dirty yard campaigning, only to find that the polling results can now be modified to include a WHOLE sign for Hillary. Sometime in the night, the half-buried sign was unearthed, and a wide, level surface was created in the snowbank to ensure the sign’s entire message is visible.


I think it shows remarkable self-restraint on the part of the shoveler that she didn’t bury Obama’s sign in turn… probably more self-restraint than demonstrated by the candidate in question.

The barely receding snow revealed that Edwards, too, has a lone sign in the designated polling region. His visible supporters were also more apparent when I drove downtown to go to the post office, where, well, you know, the lower middle middle class people live….

The local firefighters union is supporting Dodd, which is why, I believe, he has more visibility in my poll than he does in the lesser ones being touted by CNN.

I have seen very few signs of Republican support, literally or figuratively. I can only speculate that Dubuque is probably among the most liberal cities in Iowa, so I imagine that they don’t wish to waste a whole lot of time and money here. My mom and sister went to see Giuliani, but that was over the summer. They were, in a foolish rookie intern mistake, ushered up to the front of the seating (they claim that it’s only because a black couple declined) but did not perform as expected: no poster waving or standing ovations. Over and over again some intern mistakes my sister’s blue eyes and blonde hair for wholesome doe-eyed naivete and a good photo opportunity. So they ALWAYS let her ask a question… and often regret it. Both really wanted to hear Romney, but were disappointed to find that the only access was either closed or a $1000 plate dinner.

Finally, today, I braved three-degree weather to bring Fat Clown’s readers up-to-the-minute New Year’s polling info. As we approach Thursday’s caucus, we see two new signs for Edwards and one new sign for Obama, but the new year seems to have infused new fervor into the Biden campaign, with the addition of FIVE new campaign signs, like ducks in a row, so he is no longer outnumbered by generic No War signs. You really start to get the feeling that the candidates would write their names in yellow snow if they thought you could see it from the street. This would be a disadvantage for Hillary, to be certain, but I’m sure she’d manage somehow.

This brings our current 2008 tally to:
Obama 7
Biden 6
Hillary 3
Edwards 3
Dodd 2
Out of Iraq 2

So there you have it…if the caucus were held today, the next President of the United States would be Barack Obama.

Of course, what makes this really different from any other state right now is not just the passive yard signs, but the amount of incoming active messages. Yesterday’s mail brought exactly 12 pieces of caucus-specific campaign mail, 10 from Hillary and 2 from Obama.

[picture lost to sands of time -Ed.]

The highlights include Christmas cards from the Clinton and Edwards families…


…and an invitation to Chris Dodd’s New Year’s Eve Party, which, though I have no other plans, I’m not quite socially desperate enough to attend. (My sister reports that she’s been to rallies where the interns outnumber the attendees.)

[picture lost to sands of time -Ed.]

The phone rings, at minimum, ten times daily, alternately asking for my mom’s support or her vote at that instant in time.

Now, I know that correlation does not prove causality, but you can’t help but wonder at this coincidence: there were four new For Sale signs and one advertising (or warning of) the addition of an Invisible Fence when I went out to look today.


5 thoughts on “Dateline: Dubuque

  1. Pingback: Miss Piggy Lunchbox » Blog Archive » Dateline: Dubuque Deuce

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