The great Obama no-show…

…that was me.

I was all set to go along and hear Mr President the day he came to Iowa City, when I realised it was going be hours of waiting once you got in early (1pm) to get near the front, or a late entry that got you way down the back up on Capitol Hill for the 5.30pm start time.

That wasn’t for me: I gave my ticket to the guys on the front desk here and contented myself with walking around and taking a few shots of the security arrangements, and the general buzz of expectation.

I’d already the day before been watching online his acceptance speech in North Carolina – and he was magical, as I alluded to earlier. What I didn’t know – but would later discover – was that he’s giving basically the same speech wherever he goes. I saw that when I watched the start of it here live on TV – so I switched off.

It’s not that I wasn’t interested, but once was enough, and I had other fish to fry (not in my room, of course). No cooking. The stroll about the perimeter of the security zone was interesting indeed, and because I had to take the long way around to get back here to the hotel, I saw a lone protester with his placard demanding the troops come home now. I should have told him to talk to Mohib from Kabul.

But I admired his style: a old army man who’d served at home in the Vietnam era and fortunately for him, had never been shipped over there. The security guy was bugging him, and as I snapped away while the vet chatted to a cowboy and his wife, the Police Chief arrived – he was about to be moved on.

He was a fly in the ointment on a day when American Boosterism was the only show in town. Gotta hand it to him ‘though: as I left and walked down hill, a huge bus in Republican colours diverted down a back street swept on by.

“The Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class” was where it was headed – that’s what it said. Funny – that’s what Obama was saying too.

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About paparoa

Writer and researcher.
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