"The crowd was already getting a little restless here tonight at a campaign rally for Senator Barack Obama, when a woman walked to the front of the room and offered her apologies."
That's how New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny sets the scene for another one of those trenchant election-year process stories that clutter up the newsfeeds. Titled "The Politics of Punctuality," the piece is news from the front lines! The trenches! Where every little detail could be the deciding factor in who gets elected to what!
And here, in Cedar Rapids, Barack Obama is running late for an event at Kirkwood Community College. Zeleny muses darkly, "Here in Iowa, punctuality in politics can be important. As candidates are aggressively working to court voters, any slight - even appearing late at a rally - can turn off voters." He catches two such voters, Kay and Tom Lammers, in the process of being turned off. They're gathering their coats and heading for the doors, even as Obama's aides beg them to stay.
But are there, indeed, "politics of punctuality?" See for yourself, as Obama reaps the dire consequences of being the first politician in the recorded history of the universe to show up late for an event:
As for the Lammers, will tonight's delay influence their decision at the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3?
"Oh, no. I really think he's one of the few people who can actually turn this country around," said Mrs. Lammers, volunteering the fact that she is leery of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. "As much as I respect Hillary Clinton, I don't feel she's what the country needs."
Oh well! I guess "Area Couple Bail on Obama Event So They Can Get Home In Time To Watch 'Dancing With The Stars'" isn't a snappy enough headline!