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Prof. Ken Bode Defends Iowa Caucuses to NPR's 'Political Junkie'

June 21, 2006

ken bode hall of fame.jpgJune 21, 2006, Greencastle, Ind. - "Our good friend Ken Bode at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., adds, 'I'm not sure what to make of your wish that the Iowa caucuses are rendered null for 2008,'" notes Ken Rudin of NPR.org. Bode's message to Rudin's "Political Junkie" column continues, "The problem is not Iowa or New Hampshire, per se, it's that the whole thing effectively ends after those two. P.S. If you make me choose between the two, I pick the Hawkeye State (maybe because I grew up there)."

Rudin, who also hosts the "Political Junkie" segments that air on NPR, responds: "I didn't mean to diss Iowa, though it certainly came off that way. It is true, I have more of a personal affection towards N.H., having been in the state for every presidential primary since '76 (my first Iowa foray wasn't until '87-88). And I think I also have more of a romanticism about the N.H. primary, how it made/wounded/broke candidates, the history of it all (going back to 1952), a history I don't think especially pertains to Iowa. In addition, I think I've been feeling sorry for the Granite State lately, given the proposal on the table by the Democratic National Committee that would inject several caucuses in between the two state contests (and thus would lessen the importance of N.H.). So I apologize. I realize I came off too harshly. Iowa can have its caucuses after all."

You'll find the complete column online here.

Ken Bode is Eugene S. Pulliam Distinguished Visiting Professor of Journalism at DePauw. His most recent op-ed, on the war in Iraq, was published in Friday's Indianapolis Star. Read more by clicking here.

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