On The Road

January 3rd, 2012
 

Bachmann, Paul and Santorum Try to Rock the Caucus

Hundreds of first-time voters had a chance to personally hear from three GOP presidential candidates this morning. Rock the Vote put together a “Rock the Caucus” event at Valley High School in West Des Moines. All of the candidates were invited. Some sent surrogates. Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum chose to take their message directly to the students.

For the candidates, it was a wise move to attend. There was a literal media frenzy as reporters and TV crews from all over the country covered the event. The presidential hopefuls were surrounded by a media scrum. At one point, there were two media swarms right next to each other as Rick Santorum was exiting the gym while Ron Paul was arriving. Each was surrounded by dozens of reporters and photographers.

Congressman Paul definitely had the most vocal support among the Valley High students. He opened his speech by asking if any of them were familiar with Kelly Clarkson. After some cheers from the crowd, Paul said Clarkson’s album sales went up 600% after she endorsed him.

Michele Bachmann was the first presidential candidate to speak. “History is going to start here today and you get to be a part of it,” she said, accompanied by two daughters. “I am thrilled to be able to be here today because today is the first step for the American people.  You will decide who the next president of the United States will be.”

Rick Santorum took the stage with his wife and six of their seven children. “This is an important moment for our country,” he told the Valley students. “We’re at a critical path. Every generation of leaders has an obligation to pass onto the next generation something greater.”

Ron Paul’s speech was laden with much of his regular stump material. “As long as one does not harm another individual, you can run your life how you so choose, but you have to be responsible,” he told the students. “The founders of this country gave us this republic and warned us that it won’t work unless we are a moral society.”

Rock the Vote worked in coordination with Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz to organize “Rock the Caucus”. It is a program designed to help teachers prepare their students for the caucus process and 2012 elections. Teachers were provided with a toolkit that included lesson plans, an instructional video and background materials.

The program culminated with this morning’s appearances from Schultz and the presidential candidates. Matt Schultz is a graduate of Valley High School. Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky also spoke to the students.


About the Author

Kevin Hall
Kevin Hall brings almost two decades of journalistic experience to TheIowaRepublican. Starting in college as a radio broadcaster, Hall eventually became a television anchor/reporter for stations in North Carolina, Missouri, and Iowa. During the 2007 caucus cycle, Hall changed careers and joined the political realm. He was the northwest Iowa field director for Fred Thompson's presidential campaign. Hall helped Terry Branstad return to the governor's office by organizing southwest Iowa for Branstad's 2010 campaign. Hall serves as a reporter/columnist for TheIowaRepublican.com.




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