I drove two hours to Des Moines, mostly through icy fog. I highly recommend two of the podcasts I listened to during the boring drive. The first is an interview of a journalist who has covered every Middle East war since 1973. The second is an interview of New York Times food critic Pete Wells.
I grabbed a quick lunch at this "Chinese" joint next to the airport. I had overdosed on pork during this trip but I just had to try their bacon egg roll. It was surprisingly funky, in a good way. I had imagined an entire slice of bacon wrapped inside the egg roll, but it was actually little bits peppered in the edible delivery device.
At a table next to mine was a nice older lady. We got to talking and I learned that she was going to be a Hillary precinct captain on caucus night. Despite all the vitriol and bad blood, I quickly realized that in the grand scheme of things, we are on the same side. We really need to talk to and socialize with people with different points of view. Hanging out with partisans who agree with you 100% of the time is neither productive nor healthy.
On the flight to my Vegas layover, I read a sad but uplifting article in the airline magazine(!) about a Navajo woman who delivers fresh water to reservation residents.
I had a three hour layover in Vegas and my mother took me to this authentic Chinese restaurant right next to the airport. I highly recommend it if you have a few hours to burn between connections. Having had no real vegetables for three days, I ate every green-looking thing on the table.
A final note about the trip. Somehow, my boarding passes said I got assigned to TSA Pre-Check. It was incredibly convenient. There were no lines, and I didn't have to take off my shoes or stand in that see-me-nude machine. I'm going to sign up for it. It made the airport experience infinitely better.
A final final note. I was and am conflicted. I realize that I was essentially a caucus tourist. Though my motives were sincere-- I wanted substantive change in the political process and wanted to make this country a better place for the poor and middle class-- this was essentially a vacation. I treated Iowa like an exotic destination and marveled at the foreign ways the people there lived and ate. I do not feel good about it.
Did Bernie win, lose, or draw? Officially, Hillary won 699.57 county delegates to Sanders's 697.77. The county where I worked, Black Hawk County, went for Sanders 53%-47%. The arcane rules and imperfect hand counting led to a less-than-ideal result. Six delegates-- SIX-- were determined by coin tosses. Hillary won all six.
This is how the #IowaCaucus works. A tie is solved tossing a coin @HillaryClinton wins pic.twitter.com/yZDTUKFJXQ— Fernando Peinado (@FernandoPeinado) February 2, 2016
American democracy at work, ladies and gentlemen!
Among Democratic voters ages 17 to 29, Bernie won 84% to 14%.
So was it a win, lose, or draw for Bernie?