Nebraska attorney David Begley winds up his reports from Iowa for us with this account of last night’s GOP caucus in Carter Lake:
It was a scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The citizens of Carter Lake gathered at Thomas Jefferson high school in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and voted for the Republican nominee for President of the United States. There was a barefoot baby in attendance along with two elderly women in wheelchairs. Voters and official campaign representatives gave short speeches, votes were cast and then counted in public on the high school stage. One couldn’t help to be proud of America after witnessing the event.
Carter Lake, Iowa is on the western bank of the Missouri river. The river moved years ago and part of Iowa was stranded in Nebraska. For people who use Omaha’s Eppley airport there are signs on the road that point out this geographic anomaly that confounds the uninitiated. So note that the voters had to drive some distance to attend the caucus in Council Bluffs.
Speaking for the Jeb Bush campaign as an official spokesman was former Omaha mayor Hal Daub. California congressman Doug LaMalfa spoke for Marco Rubio. Some campaigns had official spokesmen read prepared speeches. Two voters gave unofficial one-minute speeches for Donald Trump. A man whose grandfather legally immigrated from Mexico said Trump’s immigration policy makes sense to him. He was also angry that the GOP had “betrayed” him after gaining control of the House and Senate and accomplishing nothing.
The star of the show was a retired Army master sergeant. He said that the federal government was not adequately caring for vets, the military had been gutted, the rules of engagement were wrong and that terrorists were being allowed into the country. He received applause from the crowd when he said the Second Amendment had to be defended and that Obamacare sucks.
The entire crowd cheered when a party official said that tonight was the beginning of the end of the Obama administration.
The votes were counted out in the open on the stage. Trump, 63 (47%), Cruz, 40 (30%) and Rubio 12 (9%). Carly Fiorina had two votes. I did not vote nor did I try to do so. Council Bluffs is not Chicago.
A total of 133 people voted. A party official said only 50 had voted at the last caucus.