The Iowa Caucuses will be held tonight. I was a caucus voter in that state one presidential election, in 2004, so my experience that long-ago January night can perhaps illustrate what we will see unfold.
Certain rules are different this caucus night compared to that one a lifetime ago, but the core principles inside the experience remain the same: 1. A caucus is not a primary, in which one votes with a ballot; it is an hours-long town meeting, and, 2. Caucus night is the climax of a year in which there are more presidential candidates in Iowa than Iowans.
Return with me to 2004, when TV was in black and white, movies cost a nickel, and a Republican president was up for re-election: George W. Bush.
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In 2004, the Democratic Party, my party, offered a buffet of candidates, many of them U.S. senators, like this year. I did not plan to take action or even speak at my caucus, but history forced my hand.