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Why Obama Won - People Like Beth

I've got a lot more footage of Beth and Adam, but this was what I was able to whip together quickly after returning to Des Moines. In Fort Dodge, people in the street really do talk to their neighbors, and the word on the street was OBAMA. I talked to a clerk at the gas station who wasn't going to caucus, but pretty much decided Obama was the one and optimistically planned to vote for him in the general election.

We've had a crazy, intoxicating journey here in Iowa. Off to bed now while my compatriots edit, dreaming of an Obama-Edwards ticket. :-)

January 4, 2008 at 02:46 AM in Current Affairs, The Uptake | Permalink


Nice video! (And while I like Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee as genuine down-to-earth guys, I wish they didn't have such nut-job stances on a whole host of issues.)

Posted by: JD at Jan 4, 2008 3:02:22 AM


Good video, and great approach to the background on these issues.

I'm glad you wrote you have more footage, and i would like to see it edited together more comprehensively.

Basically i now know this woman's opinions, and I can guess at her reasons, but didn't get those reasons from her. So how can i evaluate her ideas?

Why would a person with a disabled son leave the republican candidates and join Obama? Why would her son be left behind? WHat is it about health care concerns for small business that makes her disappointed in republican politics? Again, i can guess, but I want to hear it from her so this can be a real constructive part of the conversation.

That said, I love this approach to the "real iowan backgrounder" story. Going into her world and meeting her on her territory is important. Amazing that you could whack this together while on the road. Thanks for participating in this project, I am following it closely!

Your fan,


Posted by: Dave H at Jan 4, 2008 12:52:04 PM

Caught this video on Veracifier, came here to let you know I thought it was great. Nice work.

Posted by: Mike at Jan 4, 2008 1:33:20 PM

I'm watching you, Chuck.

Posted by: Josh at Jan 4, 2008 2:22:49 PM

Hey Dave - we didn't really have any in-depth policy discussions in the short time I was there. I just let her answer in her own words, and didn't often get a real good answer as to "why." I do have her talking a little about "Why Obama over the other Dems" and it comes down to trust. She didn't think the other candidates were as sincere or believable as Obama.

Back to the health care issue, medical bills for treating Angelman Syndrome can be over a million dollars. She knows other parents of kids with AS that don't have health care, and they really have it tough. She also sees lots of folks without health care in her work managing two gas stations. So that's a #1 issue for her, universal coverage. (I don't really have a good sound byte of her saying that succinctly though.)

I asked her about "No Child Left Behind" and she said they had good intentions with it, but it's not funded and she knows teachers that have to spend more time trying to fulfill the requirements and less time teaching. I'm not sure why specifically Adam would be "left behind."

So yes, this is really the kind of deeper documentary-style piece that i LOVE doing, and is really difficult for me to produce on a short-turnaround news schedule. The story merits time and patience. Watching it again now I"m very happy with how it came out, considering the chaos and tight timelines we were working with. NH is upon us but I do hope to revisit this piece.

Posted by: chuck at Jan 5, 2008 1:17:16 PM