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Anecdotal Evidence – July 29: Passing the handshake test

Lars Gesing, CU News Corps Assistant Director

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Logo final_highIn our Anecdotal Evidence column, each day movers and shakers share personal stories of how intriguing (and often odd) presidential campaigning in their respective swing state can be.

 

From Wall Street boardrooms to Iowa barns

Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Kathie Obradovich – Political Columnist, Des Moines Register

“The Des Moines Register’s editorial board had its interview with Mitt Romney in a barn. He was giving a speech on a farm, and the only time the editorial board could talk to him was before this speech. So there was a tractor in the background, there was a dirty floor and it was all over our laptops. Considering that this guy is a Wall Street boardroom type of person – interviewing him in a barn seemed like a very Iowa experience.”

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Can you pass the handshake test?

2014 Iowa GOP U.S. Senate candidate Scott Schaben. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

2014 Iowa GOP U.S. Senate candidate Scott Schaben. Photo: Lars Gesing/CU News Corps

Scott Schaben – Iowa Republican activist, ran for U.S. Senate in 2014

“How do I pick the candidate I support? As dumb as it sounds – here we are in Iowa: Part of it will be the handshake test. I’ve met some candidates who gave an unbelievable handshake, made excellent eye contact and made me feel as if they were sincerely concerned about the things I cared about. With other ones, it was as if they were handing me a dead fish. It was a waste of my time to even shake their hand.”

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A bicycle tour with the Carters

"Dr. Politics" Steffen Schmidt, Iowa State University. Photo: Private

“Dr. Politics” Steffen Schmidt, Iowa State University. Photo: Private

Steffen Schmidt – “Dr. Politics,” Political Scientist, Iowa State University

“It was the middle of the summer, 100 degrees. We were out on a farm with a friend of mine. There was a line of trees leading down to where the farmhouse is. We were out having some beer. This big bunch of maybe 10 people showed up on bicycles on the paved road and then came down the driveway. A guy gets off, hands his bicycle to someone and goes, ‘Hi, my name is Jimmy Carter, I’m running for president.’ Of course I had heard of Jimmy Carter. But he was riding with his family on a bicycle on a boiling hot weekend day down in Story County and stopped at every little house along the road to introduce himself.”

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Explanatory multimedia reporting from CU Boulder journalism students
Anecdotal Evidence – July 29: Passing the handshake test