WEST DES MOINES, Iowa - What is it like to be center of attention every four years?
“I’ve gotten spoiled and used to it I guess,” said Richard Weber, of West Des Moines.
His wife, Kelly, was a bit more enthusiastic about the process and admitted that the day after the Iowa Caucus is a day of mourning:
“It’s kind of like when Christmas is over,” she said.
One of my Uber drivers Monday night was equally eager about the caucus. He said he especially “loves” seeing young people so engaged in the political process.
On caucus night, precinct 313 had visits from Ben Carson and Donald Trump Jr. “Only in Iowa,” said, Pat Eastman, an Iowan who has been caucusing with her husband Roger for years.
The beginning of the presidential campaign season is an exciting moment for Iowans, yet they can only read so much campaign literature and listen to so many phone calls.
“I have a methodology, Roger Eastman said. “The one-to-two second rule.”
If no one talks within one to two seconds, that’s his hint it’s just a robocall – and he clicks.
Even eager Kelly Weber gets fed up with all the campaign propaganda. One day, she said she went to attend a 3-hour event and came home to a completely full voicemail.
Who were the biggest offenders? The Webers said Donald Trump blew up their phones most often and Jeb ruled the postal mail. “[We] got so much stuff” from Bush and Cruz, they said.
Roger Eastman says he received four pieces of mail from the Cruz campaign in one day.
As for how much attention they pay to the countless brochures, it varies.
“We’ll glance at them,” the Webers admitted.
Another voter at the table said he throws them out as soon as they hit his mailbox.
“It hits file 13 [the garbage can]," he said.
That is a painful truth for anyone who works in advertising. It was recently reported, for instance, that Jeb Bush spent nearly $3,000 per vote in Iowa – not a great rate considering how poorly he fared in the contest.
This year, the Eastmans said there is just as much passion among Iowans as ever. Republican voters like them are frustrated with Washington politics and dread another eight years of Obama-like leadership.
“They’re tired of politics as usual,” Roger fumed.
“I’m just amazed that with as much as a scumbag Hillary Clinton is what people still see in her.”
Caucus-goer Renee Hahn said “all” of the candidates had been hounding her and that no one person stood out. That, however, does not sway her from participating in the process.
“I don’t know a lot about politics, but I know it’s important for me to be here,” she said.
“It is exciting,” Hahn continued. “It’s fun to see other people actually voice their opinions.”
Kelly Weber did note that Iowa is not necessarily a great indication of who will win the nomination.
“Being the frontrunner in Iowa isn’t always a good thing,” she said. “It’s usually the kiss of death.”
Ted Cruz probably hopes that’s not the case.
For now, all the cameras and politicians have left and Iowans can go back to their daily lives - with more room in the mailbox.