A reader in Iowa e-mails:
Attended Romney’s visit to Pioneer Hi-Bred (seed/biotech branch of DuPont) this morning–it was closed to the public, but empoyees were encouraged to attend. It was very well attended. About 150 filled the room he was in, and they had overflow rooms I’m told had another 90 in (they piped it in via video feed). When Hillary came to Pioneer for a similar visit last month, the media put the count at 400 (I counted people too, and I assure you it was no more than that). They also had her in a large, more welcoming open area. I have some non-poliitical, but level headed friends who attended. I’ve talked to 4 so far and they were very impressed. They did not know much about him at all prior to this event. Most of the people there are of the same ilk, going to see who the candidate is, only having heard the name or seen the tv ad. I found nothing bad to say about his performance. He connected well off the bat by talking about his experience on a farm in Idaho and a joke about cattle breeds (can any other candidate talk cattle?). Many of us grew up on the farm, so connecting with the employees was important and he got that right away. Lowry is right, he is very excited about technology and innovation. Spoke very well. Best short explanation of health care ideas I have heard from ANY candidate thusfar. I will note that Mitt mentioned the Ames Straw Poll THREE times in his talk–encouraging people to go. I would say 80% of the people or more in Iowa do not know about the Straw Poll. 3 of the 4 friends I refer to above said they had never heard of it before I explained to them what it is (I went to it in 95 and 99–yes, I’m a junkie). Or did someone hear the confusion in the Rudy camp yesterday and want to start driving it harder? The straw poll is a state party fundraiser. Only the hardcore people have traditionally gone. Mitt and his people need to keep that in mind–most people don’t know what it is. I’ll be at Mitt’s campaign office opening this afternoon. I hear “60 Minutes” is following him around today too. Oh here he is in the local radio show….gotta go.