Thursday, January 03, 2008

LIVE CAUCUS BLOG: The wooing starts

DES MOINES -- Silver-haired Bill Smith, in his brown Bill Richardson T-shirt, is standing by the bleachers when his son T.D. walks over to introduce Beau Biden.

T.D. is a Biden supporter. Beau Biden, son of the Delaware senator, does a little flirtation with with Smith. If you folks don't have enough support, he suggests, come to us. Under the arcane math of the caucuses, candidates have to have enough support to be "viable." If they fall short, their supporters go elsewhere. That's when the serious wooing starts. Beau Biden's visit was like a first date.

Smith, 63, is keeping his options open. He's not sure what the Richardson group will do, if they do anything. Heck, he can't even keep his family together.

While T.D. is a Biden guy, son Tyson is caucusing for Chris Dodd. And Smith's wife Jeanie is going for John Edwards. Politics is the family sport.

"It's what we do here," he says. "When we don't have the Winter Olympics in Iowa, this is what we do."

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