Rich Galen

On the 15 minute drive to the Thompson Iowa headquarters in a suburb of Des Moines we got a call from Carl Cameron asking if he would be available for a live stand-up prior to a "Meet Fred Thompson" event for about 150 supporters there.

He would and he did that interview discussing the crisis in Pakistan.

Inside the HQ Thompson did his 15 minute stump speech, took another 15 minutes of questions from the audience, shook hands and allowed supporters to take pictures for another 15 minutes then it was back onto the bus for an hour drive to Oceola where he did a "Radio Town Hall."

It occurred to us that doing a town hall at a restaurant in a town like Oceola (pronounced Oh-see-OH-la" allowed Thompson to speak to the 75-100 people who could pack into the limited space.

However, if we got a local radio station to interview Thompson in front of those same 75-100 people, then 10 to 20 times that number might hear the program. It has been a very successful technique.

Radio Town Halls take about an hour so at about 2:30 pm (after an interview with the local newspaper and a call-in to a radio service which covers all of Iowa) we were back on the bus for the 40 minute drive to Chariton, Iowa.

Along the way we were asked if we would be willing to do an interview with CNN's John King if the satellite truck could get there. We would, but it didn't so the John King interview got recycled to Friday.

In Chariton we did an interview with the local weekly paper and did a walking tour around the town square - press corps in tow - and stopped into random stores. In this case a candy store, a general store and a beauty parlor.

The manager of the local radio station showed up and Thompson did an interview while walking around the town square.

Back on the bus for a 30 minute ride to Knoxville, Iowa (NOT Knoxville, Tennessee) during which CNBC called and asked if we would do an interview for the Larry Kudlow program if the satellite truck could get there. We would, it couldn't and that interview was recycled as well.

On the way Thompson did a radio interview with Fox Radio's John Gibson - who also hosts a program on Fox News Channel from five to six Eastern time.

At 6:30 Thompson went to the National Sprint Car Hall of Fame for a speech to another 100 people which lasted just under an hour giving us the chance to drive 30 minutes to Pella, Iowa get to our motel in time to do the lead segment of Hannity and Colmes at 8:00.

After dinner and brief look at the next day's schedule, we are all done for the day at just after 9:00 pm.

A standard 13 hour campaign day in Iowa.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.