With the Super Bowl behind us, sports fans are looking ahead, to March Madness for their fan fix.
Political junkies are looking to later this year, and Iowa, for their fix.
It's hard to believe that in less than a year, Iowa residents will be dodging the sedans loaded up with Republican hopefuls criss-crossing the state. You won't be able to swing a cat without hitting an earnest young campaign volunteer.
We're already seeing the first forays of possible candidates into the state. Over the past two weeks GOP prospects former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum have been to Iowa. They've met with state legislators, state party officials and conservative activists.
And we haven't even seen the big dogs of the party yet. Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee haven't made any visits, and their advisors are quiet. But, smart money would have all three testing the water in Iowa.
It's hard to believe that it's time again for the candidate dance. Didn't we just go through that?
While we won't have the two-party craziness that marked the last presidential campaign, we'll have our fill of Republican hopefuls filing our airwaves and our living rooms over the next year. And, when February 6, 2012 (or earlier if those darn New Hampshire folks try to squeeze in early.) we'll be happy to wave goodbye as the bloodied candidates limp out of our state.
As a reporter at heart, I'm always excited when campaign season rolls around. And, like everyone else on my staff, I'm a bit relieved when they head out of town the day after the caucuses.
Congratulations go out to the staffs of our three Northwest Iowa Publishing family of newspapers. I felt like a proud mama Friday night as my staff from the Spencer Daily Reporter, Storm Lake Pilot-Tribune and Dickinson County News, got up to pick up their awards in the annual Iowa Newspaper Association newspaper contest.
Spencer picked up 16 awards, Storm Lake 14 and Spirit Lake 8. That's an impressive result, and one that is made possible by the teamwork these three staffs operate with. It was so gratifying to watch staff from all three papers laugh, joke, and basically act like the family we are.
It's really fun when you can do great work and enjoy those whom you work with.