Written by Paul Harang of "Tigers On The Trail" and in collaboration with HuffPost's OffTheBus
Business at Senator Clinton's New Year's Eve rally was as expected. Bill spoke, Hillary spoke, and beer and wine were sold. The only soda was Diet Coke.
While wandering through mobs of Hillraisers, I heard the new cliché, "I like Obama, but . . ." The speaker didn't finish the sentence. I intruded, apologized for eavesdropping, and asked if she would complete the thought. The experienced Iowan noticed my pen and paper and rattled off practiced reasons for not supporting the Illinois senator. "He doesn't seem like a leader yet," she said. She also felt that he is not courting middle-aged women. Hillary's combination of experience, understanding of the middle-aged woman (around 60% of caucus goers have historically been women), and Bill's magic touch--"He's an asset," she said--all made this former Edwards woman a faithful Clinton canvasser.
She supported Edwards in 2004, but thinks he missed his shot. For this volunteer, the Clinton choice relies on timing, not just likability. She admitted admiration for both Obama and Edwards, but feels that the former's time has not yet come and the latter's time has already passed.
Chased out before midnight by the high beer price and the standard substandard campaign event rock band, I ran into two distressed women arguing in the cold. "But you have to support Clinton!"
Clinton supporters are taking the slowing of the Hillary freight train in stride and maintaining confidence.