It’s Iowa Caucus Eve, so families across the state are gathering to enjoy the traditional meal of pork chops and corn syrup. All the good girls and boys know they have to leave a soybean underneath the pillow tonight, or else Caucus Charlie will send a tornado down the chimney.
It’s all in good fun that I kid — as a four-time precinct caucus chairperson, I’m more than familiar with how the caucuses work, as well as with how the rest of the world looks at Iowans with a strange form of reverent confusion about our continued adherence to the strange and anachronistic ways of the caucus. But for as annoying as it seems on Caucus Eve to have to answer so many questions, tolerate so many ads, and put up with so much second-guessing about where we get the nerve to go first, it’s far better than the sense of forgottenness that comes on the day after the caucuses, when all the reporters in the world are on the first flights out of town and on the way to New Hampshire.
We’ll matter again — probably for a bit in the fall, when our six electoral votes will count for something — but mainly in another four years, when the world will discover that having a medium-sized state with a generally middle-of-the-road disposition isn’t exactly the worst place to start the Presidential nominating process.