Diving Into the Fray: On the Campaign Trail in Iowa

Des MoinseI am in a Des Moines hotel right now, preparing to meet the Republican presidential candidates tomorrow. I'm excited about it, but to be honest, I'm also a little bit nervous.

For days I’ve been reading stories and watching television coverage from reporters embedded with the presidential candidates, and the news isn’t pretty. I’ve seen Internet video of skirmishes that have erupted as bodyguards have pushed reporters out of candidates’ paths, read about shouting matches between press photographers and police, heard stories of relentless journalists who go to extremes to get a story.

With the rise of the Internet, the number of reporters seems to have grown exponentially and from the looks of things, the candidates’ appearances are often grounds for controlled mayhem among the media, all of whom are jockeying for that perfect shot and that headline-making quote.

What the heck have I gotten myself into?


Granted, I’ve been part of those throngs of pushy reporters before during my television reporting days, and come tomorrow, I’ll grit my teeth and get right back in the fray again -- but motherhood has changed me, and changed my perspective. Where once, I might have joined with steely-eyed pleasure in the game of political reporting -- and the warring egos, preening and posturing that come with it -- now I have a totally different approach.

Now, I can say in all honesty that I’m here for you.

And I know that totally sounds hokey, but I’ve read your comments and I’ve heard your voices and I feel your frustration with this economy and at least some of the people who are running it. It sounds very much like the disillusionment and disappointment I’m hearing from moms here in my own community, it crosses party lines, and I get it. I really do.

It nearly brings me to tears each time I think about the number of moms who’ve told CafeMom that they spend sleepless nights worrying not just about paying their mortgage or rent, but about how they’re going to pay for their family’s groceries.

There’s not much that can suck the hope out of you more than worrying about how you’re going to make sure your kids get enough to eat.

For you, the “game” of politics is all too real. The decisions made on Capitol Hill affect you in very real ways, from the shelter you’re able to provide for your children to the food you can put on the table to the doctor’s visits you may not be able to afford when your kids are sick.

For all of these reasons, I’m determined to push past the attitudes, to ignore the egos, to tell your stories, and to keep pursuing until I get answers to the questions and concerns you have about the future of our nation and the people in it. You deserve it.

Wish us luck tomorrow as we at CafeMom kick off our political coverage at the Thanksgiving Family Forum. (and wish CafeMom member UpSheRises luck as she asks the Republican presidential candidates a question live!!) You can catch it on the web right here this Saturday, between 4 and 6 p.m., CST. Or check Moms Matters 2012 on Monday and we'll show you all that happened.

In the meantime, what would you like to ask the Republican presidential candidates? Tell me and I just might use your question!


Image via DMPL Special Collections

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