The crowd that did show up in Indianola today must have thought it was caucus time again. Temperatures in the 50s and a wind that didn’t want to quit. It was hardly the crowd I remember seeing the past half dozen years for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry. Last year’s crowd approached 15,000. Of course, last year some of the biggest names of the party showed up, too….Edwards, Biden, Clinton, Richardson, Obama, Dodd.
Saturday, a Harkinite told me to expect about 2,000 supporters. A crowd probably less than half that showed up. No doubt the weather kept some away. But you wonder why ticket sales were so small. Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer headlined the event this tie. The Gov earned himself some accolades for his speech in Denver at the convention. But apparently, the bolo doesn’t tie in the crowds that it used to.
Anyone notice how late the notice went out about Schweitzer coming? It went out September 6th, just eight days before the steak fry. Was Schweitzer really that hard to pin down? Or was Harkin trying to go for a better-known name to help him raise cash for his race against a still largely unknown Republican challenger, Chris Reed?