Campaign activity

The following presidential campaigns are keeping in touch with this Iowa reporter (and I suspect others) via email — post-Caucuses:  Clinton, Giuliani, McCain, Obama, Paul, Richardson, Thompson.  (I did it in alphabetical order, not in order of frequency of email messaging.)  No incoming from Edwards or Romney anymore.

Three of the seven still send daily schedules, letting me know where the candidate will be in Florida or elsewhere.  The others have sent targeted messages to Iowa supporters, and emailed copies to reporters. 

For example, this came in Friday, January 4, 2008 — the day after the Caucuses — from the Obama campaign to supporters in Iowa:

You did it.

Not just yesterday but every day for ten months, you did what the cynics said we could not do.

You said the time has come to move beyond the pettiness and anger that have consumed Washington, and you sent a powerful message that change is coming to America.

I’ve landed in New Hampshire, where four days from now, we’ll have the chance to build on the momentum you sparked here yesterday.

But I want you to know that — wherever this improbable journey takes us — it started in Iowa. Years from now, you’ll look back and you’ll say that this was the moment — this was the place — where America remembered what it means to hope.

I’m thankful to you, and I always will be.



This came January 5, 2008 — from the Clinton campaign to supporters in Iowa.

It’s been an amazing 11 months in Iowa. After months of talking with you at county fairs, town hall meetings and steak fries, I only have one thing to say: thank you. Thank you for welcoming me into your homes and hearts, and thank you for asking the hard questions to keep us on our toes. That’s exactly how it should be.

I knew that coming to Iowa would be such an important part of this campaign. I wanted to meet Iowans one-on-one, learn about their lives, and tell them about my plans for change. And that’s exactly what I did.

While it all starts here in Iowa, it doesn’t end here. You and I both know that we have a challenging road ahead. But with the support and energy that I saw in Iowa and am seeing across the country, I know we can win.

The stakes in this election couldn’t be higher. When the next president is sworn in on January 20, 2009, a stack of problems will be waiting in the Oval Office: A war to end in Iraq and a war to resolve in Afghanistan, a faltering economy, an energy crisis, and 47 million uninsured. We need a president ready to take on our big challenges starting on day one, and I know I can be that president.

I will never forget your faces, your stories, and your commitment to the future of our country. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for standing up for me on January 3. I promise that when I am your president I will stand up for you every single day.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

On Monday, January 7, 2008, the Obama campaign touted a SurveyUSA poll in Iowa on General Election match-ups:

Following his Iowa caucus victory, Obama has surged in an Iowa general election poll. Obama now defeats McCain in Iowa by 17 points, Huckabee by 23 points, Romney by 26 points, Giuliani by 40 points.

Results of 01/07/08

Obama defeats McCain by 17 points. (+4 from 12/16)

Obama defeats Huckabee by 23 points. (+6 from 12/16)

Obama defeats Romney by 26 points. (+8 from 12/16)

Obama defeats Giuliani by 40 points. (+11 from 12/16)

On Tuesday, January 8, 2008, the Obama email) the Obama camp announced it was keeping three of its 37 Iowa offices open (the Obama campaign misidentified the date in the email and I haven’t corrected it):

Campaign to Keep 3 Iowa Offices Open to Help Obama Organize for February 5 Primaries

DES MOINES – Today, Tuesday, February 8th, Iowa Supporters of Senator Barack Obama will host parties in Des Moines and Iowa City to watch the results of today’s primary election in New Hampshire. The Obama Campaign also announced that they will be keeping offices open in Des Moines, Iowa City and Cedar Falls to allow Iowans to help organize support for Senator Obama in the February 5th primary states.

All Offices to be open Monday – Friday, 11am to 8pm and Saturday 11am to 5pm

Des Moines, 323 East Locust Street, Des Moines, 515-883-2008

Iowa City, 393 East College Street, Iowa City, 319-351-2450

Cedar Falls, 4807 University Avenue, Suite 101, Cedar Falls, 319-268-7301

This came from the Clinton camp at 10:48 p.m. Iowa time on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 — after the New Hampshire results were known (must have been in a hurry, it’s merely signed Hillary and not Hillary Rodham Clinton).  "From the bottom of my heart" was the subject line of the email:

You and I surprised a lot of people tonight!

In the days after Iowa, I turned to you and asked you to stand with me. When I needed you most, you came through with flying colors.

From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

All the best,


A day later, Clinton was out with a fundraising solicitation with the intriguing "What happened last night" subject line:

Only six days into the voting in this presidential race, and we’ve already been through so much together. In the days ahead, you and I have to keep speaking from the heart. We have to keep listening and learning, always understanding that this campaign is about high aspirations for America and hard work.

Because of your passion and commitment, our campaign begins today with new energy and new momentum. We won last night because we showed the leadership people are looking for in the face of difficult challenges and because we connected with people who share our vision for a new, more promising future.

But just as surely, we won because we made more phone calls, knocked on more doors, and put more get-out-the-vote vans on the road. And now we face our next big challenge: doing all of that not in one state, but in more than two dozen states that will vote between now and February 5. Let’s go for it.

Contribute now to keep our momentum going.

We Democrats are in a hard-fought, spirited campaign that will continue to widen across the nation in the weeks ahead. All of our hopes, dreams, and aspirations for America are wrapped up in this election. And because I’ve been able to count on you, we’re entering this next phase of the campaign with the wind at our back.

In New Hampshire, we stood together and showed them what we’re made of. We’ll have to do it again and again in the days and weeks ahead. Will you help me carry our winning message of change, opportunity, and achievement to every corner of this country?

Keep our campaign moving forward. Contribute now.

This is a huge moment in our effort to lead America toward a more promising future.

But we’ve got a lot of work to do. So let’s roll up our sleeves and get to it. Thanks so much for all you do.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Obama campaign had emailed a message to supporters the day after New Hampshire, with "We knew this would be hard" as the subject line:

There is something happening in America.

A week ago we were 14 points behind, and no one imagined that we’d accomplish what we did in New Hampshire last night.

There is something happening when Americans who have never participated in politics turn out in numbers we’ve never seen before.

There is something happening when people vote not just for the party they belong to but the hopes they hold in common.

Change is what’s happening in America.

We are ready to take this country in a fundamentally new direction, but we need your help to make it happen.

We are about to enter the most decisive period of the campaign. We need to act immediately to build up our organization to compete in Nevada, South Carolina, and the 22 states that will hold their contests on February 5th.

Please make a donation of $25 now:

We can lead this nation out of a long political darkness.

We can overcome the division and distraction that have clouded Washington.

Because when we challenge ourselves to reach for something better, there’s no problem we can’t solve — no destiny we cannot fulfill.

Thank you,


You may recall that I posted the Des Moines Airport advisory about increased traffic at the airport on Friday and Saturday, January 5 and 6.  I can report that when I arrived at the airport on Saturday morning at 5:15 a.m. there was a fire alarm going off.  People were standing silently waiting in line at security.  Once the alarm went off, folks moved quickly through the screening process.  Here is the update from the airport’s Roy Criss issued on Friday, January 5.

As of 2:00 pm the passenger throughput by TSA was 3,300. It is a given that 700 more will board. That total enplanement for the day of 4,000 is a 50% increase from a normal day (2700 boardings). Highest wait time to get through security this morning was 3 minutes.

More than 1,000 rental cars have been returned today and about 500 more are expected this evening. That is a 35% increase over a normal day. Another 500 are due on Saturday.

The Ambassadors and TSA personnel have related several stories to me of passengers commenting on the thoroughness and efficiency of everyone they have encountered at the airport. I think everyone left happy. They got a free luggage tag, a cookie (in the am) and maybe saw a magic trick. Then, they went through security lickety-split.

I saw no magic and I did not get a free luggage tag or cookie, but I really didn’t need it at 5:20 a.m. on a Saturday. Finally, there was this email from The Des Moines Register the day after the Caucuses:

Dear Media Colleagues:

Thank you for your commitment to Iowans and the people of the United States! We certainly hope that you enjoyed your time in “The Hawkeye State”.  Iowans take great pride in being “first in the nation” and this was evident with historic record turnout of Iowans caucusing last evening.

If you are interested in interviews about the Iowa Caucus, the exclusive Des Moines Register Iowa Poll, candidate rallies and analysis, please contact me. Also, find details at

Please pass this message of appreciation on to your colleagues who spent time in Iowa. Again, thank you for your dedication to this great process of democracy.

Susan Patterson Plank
Vice President, Marketing & Digital Development;
The Des Moines Register

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.