The perils of the Fair

Congressman Tom Latham, a Republican from Ames who is seeking a ninth term in the U.S. House, was speaking at The Des Moines Register’s Soap Box on the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  The "Soap Box" is essentially an area of grass on which bales of straw in two rows are assembled, facing three blue flags which stretch vertically and have The Des Moines Register logo featured in white type.  Latham, or whoever is on the "Soap Box" at the moment is handed a microphone and a long cord and allowed to give a speech. 

Handfans Latham spoke for about 20 minutes and then asked the Register person in charge if his time was up.  She indicated he had time to take a question from the sparse crowd.  A young man asked Latham a question and while he was answering it, another woman raised her hand and kept it up for several minutes.  Latham wrapped up and handed the microphone back to a Des Moines Register employee.  The woman with her hand in the air exploded.  She was upset because just next door to the Soap Box, fans are being handed to fair-goers.  The ID Action group is in the midst of a PR effort to encourage disabled Iowans to vote.  They have two hand fans available so fair-goers can walk around and fan themselves.  One fan is John McCain’s face; the other is Barack Obama’s.

"I just want a fan without someone’s face on it," the woman screamed at Latham and the woman from the Register.  The irate fan-seeker stalked off then, without an answer — or a fan.

UPDATE:  The ID Action folks say they had 3400 McCain fans and 3400 Obama fans.  They ran out of Obama fans at 11:30 a.m. and they ran out of McCain fans at 12;05 p.m. 

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About O.Kay Henderson

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