This must be why they called it the Grand “Old” Party

They say you make some of the biggest decisions of your life in middle school. That’s true. Partly because that’s the first time I drank beer on purpose and the first time I asked a boy out. [Since you’re dying to know, he said “No”. But it’s okay, Doug Adney. I’m happy now.] 

Fast forward 17 years and here I am again, in a middle school cafeteria, still making gigantic choices, but this time about who will run the United States of America. I attended the GOP Caucus for Riley County on Saturday, my first caucus ever. Needless to say I did a few things wrong, or backwards, but I wasn’t ridiculed to my face so we’ll call it a win. I got there two hours into the event so I missed the speeches from the candidates’ representatives. I didn’t even know they did speeches at these things. Fortunately, I still had time to talk with the reps though, but I didn’t know that either until I’d sat down at a cafeteria table and cast my vote. I could’ve asked questions about the process, but that would’ve revealed my ignorance. Instead, I learned by trial and error. So consider this photo-journalistic journey through the caucus a raw tutorial if you’ve never “caucused” yourself. 

I guess you go in here.

Amazing that this stuff is held in a junior high cafeteria. Politicians and representatives hobnobbing amongst milk stains and Cheerio crumbs. Tell me you love the irony.

I found friends who came to caucus: Barb and her son, Dave.

Politician menu: oooh, oooh which one should I pick?  Not telling.

Newt’s representative, Ms Friesen, offered me her speech to read since I missed it. To the left is a list of reasons why Newt is the man. 
[Most of the other reps had left for the day, except Ron Paul’s, but his table was crowded with collegiate, idealistic libertarians, and I didn’t feel like arguing about the fact that we can’t pull out of Afghanistan tomorrow or that, for some many reasons, we can’t dissociate from Israel. So I left them alone.]

And here she is, a very convinced Ms. Friesen, Newt’s representative who also happens to be a homeschooling mother. She told me all the reasons why Romney’s pursuit of venture capitalism wasn’t really going to create jobs and Santorum just needed a little more vetting, although he’s a very nice guy. She had some compelling arguments. But I’d already voted.
See you in 8 more years, GOP Caucus. Or 4, if we get more of the same in November.

So there you have it, a real, live caucus experience through the eyes of a real, live caucus rookie.

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