A sure sign of a campaign in trouble is the inability to draw a crowd for an event. Leonard Boswell has been in Congress since 1997. He represents the Des Moines area, where the Iowa State Fair is held. However, only 12 Iowans cared enough about what Boswell had to say to bother stopping to listen to his soapbox speech Thursday morning.
Making matters worse, included in the crowd of 12 were Boswell’s wife and daughter, a Des Moines Register writer, a Tom Latham staffer, and myself. A few passersby did stop to listen to the congressman for a few minutes, but they were quickly bored with the meandering speech and walked away.
The woefully unimpressive crowd size is a failure of both Boswell and his staff. The Iowa Democratic Party had a handful of people staffing their booth just 100 yards away, but none of them bothered to attend Boswell’s speech. His campaign also failed in the tried and true tactic of leaning on their union pals to help fill the void, as Christie Vilsack did on Monday.
Boswell’s staff did blast out an email to supporters on Wednesday encouraging them to come support the embattled congressman, but found no takers. The email is provided below:
Despite the utter lack of interest in what he had to say, Congressman Boswell exceeded the allotted time for his soapbox speech. Each candidate is given a maximum of 20 minutes. Out of nine speakers this week, no one other than Boswell surpassed 17 minutes.
Unfortunately for the congressman, he spent that extra time backing up everything Tom Latham has been telling voters for the past several months. Boswell boasted of his support for two wildly unpopular programs. First, he discussed TARP.
“I voted for it. My opponent did not. He didn’t think it was a good idea,” Boswell said. “If you want to know a difference between he and I, there’d be a difference. And it’s pretty big,” he later added.
As if reminding voters of that vote was not damaging enough, the 78-year old, 8-term Democrat reminded the crowd that he supported Obamacare. Even Barack Obama is afraid to talk about Obamacare on the campaign trail. Clearly, Leonard Boswell did not get that memo.
Instead, he is reminding voters of his allegiance to Nancy Pelosi’s policies and publicly spewing the talking points of his opponent’s campaign. Perhaps Boswell’s crack staff has not shared with him the voter registration numbers in the new Third District. Republicans hold an advantage of more than 14,000.
“So there’s major differences in things that we stand for. If you want a contrast, this is the year you’re going to have a contrast. And I think it’s big,” Boswell said. “Check this thing out. Look at his record. Look at my record, and you make your choice.”
When you add in the fact that last week Leonard Boswell admitted that he still supports Cap and Trade, you can see that the congressman is completely out of touch with Iowa voters. The Latham campaign wants to make this election about Boswell’s record, and he just gave them the material to do it.
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