Plans for this column are to write about presidential candidates, and we will in just a minute; but first I want to talk about a Congressional vote earlier this week.
The naughtiest of the naughty pointed the finger at themselves earlier this week, distinguishing themselves by turning their backs on Christmas.
A vote earlier this week to honor Christmas and the Christian faith was rejected by nine congress-persons. Now some of you might be saying, it's the job of our national leaders to set the tone, and they should be separate church and state. A fine argument for the PC among us.
However, these same nine didn't have a problem with resolutions honoring the Islamic holiday of Ramadan, or the Hindu holiday of Diwali.
So let me get this straight, Ramadan and Diwali get honors from Congress without a blink, but nine Congressfolk believe that Christmas doesn't deserve at least equal treatment in America.
Well, I felt it only right to point out the names of these fine national leaders who don't seem to understand the history or traditions of the American people.
Well placed at the top of the naughty list, Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY…go figure); Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY…again, really); Rep. Diana DeGette (D-COL); Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL); Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA); Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA); Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA); Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA); and Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA).
When we have leaders in this country who don't see a problem recognizing Islamic and Hindu holidays, but can't support the same recognition for the the Christian holiday of Christmas -- well let's just say we have nine problems in the nation's Capitol. Perhaps we should send them all Christmas cards because I'm pretty sure all Santa's going to bring them is a big steaming, chunk of coal.
And now for the naughty or nice presidential candidates.
What I'm basing this on is the love they've shown for the voters of Spencer.
At the top of the nice list - Tom Tancredo, the Republican who has been to Spencer more than anyone else. He's not a big fan of illegal immigrants, as a matter of fact, that's the basis for everything he's running on; but he's made multiple stops in Spencer so he gets a check next to the nice box.
Also on that list, Barack Obama, who will make his second visit to town on Monday. With his rock star like following, and Oprah powered surge, Obama is making the Hillary backers sweat - whether they will admit it or not.
John Edwards had a good showing on his first visit to Spencer and then he sent us "Cooter." He gets a nice check just for that. Talk about a down to earth guy who understands why people know him. Lunching with the southern gentlemen was one of the highlights of this campaign cycle -- and he's not even running.
Mitt Romney has been to Spencer a couple of times, -- once for a very controlled appearance at the Events Center and the second time at the Republican booth during the fair. Next to Obama, Romney probably generated the largest crowds so far.
And I do say so far because we still have a couple of weeks left between now and the Iowa caucus. The gloves are off right now. You may have a presidential candidate piggy backing on Santa as he drops down your chimney Christmas Eve for a quick meet-and-greet.
Conspicuous by his absence, and doomed to the naughty list, Rudy Giuliani. Apparently the mayor of New York does not get Iowa politics. It's not just about the big cities, it's about one-on-one, face-to-face personal politics. Giuliani has been all over the central and southeastern parts of this state, but few of his visits have pushed him westward and nothing has pushed him to northwest Iowa's retail hub yet.
Likewise, Hillary Clinton has snubbed us multiple times. Oh she's been all over northwest Iowa, but she has failed to make any public appearances in Spencer.
And to add insult to injury, she's been sending First Husband in training Bill, former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright all over the state to campaign on her behalf. Who does she send to Spencer? Bob Villa.
Sure, he's a nice guy and he can hammer with the best of them -- but I'm not certain exactly how much he can speak to Hillary's foreign policy or her views on current health care issues.
John McCain is another who seems to have forgotten his way to the junction of Highways 18 and 71.
Fred Thompson was in danger of getting the naughty until late this week when he announced he would be making a Grand Avenue walk next Friday afternoon.
So right now, the three on the naughty list -- the former First Lady, America's mayor, and former POW Senator -- need to pull out a map and find Spencer, Iowa and haul themselves up here if they want to get off Santa's naughty list. And more specific to their cause, if they want to raise new voting interest among Iowa's most populated upper northwest Iowa community.
Seems like a no brainer, but hey, we are talking about politicians.