Rick Perry Protested at Iowa Campaign Stop

The newest Republican presidential candidate met some resistance outside the Hamburg Inn in Iowa City, but the crowd inside loved him

Yesterday, for the first time in his still-young presidential candidacy, Governor Rick Perry entered hostile territory. In a brief stop in left-leaning Iowa City, home to the University of Iowa, Perry met with a deeply polarized crowd -- the best-yet indicator of the national political climate he'll encounter in 2012.

The Hamburg Inn, a stopover for presidents and presidential hopefuls since the Reagan era, earns its loyal following through git-'er-done diner fare and belly-busting delights -- who knew you could put a slice of pie in a milkshake? Outside, a crowd stood with sneering handmade signs: I read "Everything's bigger in Texas -- wages aren't," "Texas Needs you Rick! Go home!" and "more hot air from Texas."

Inside, the crowd was decidedly more friendly -- Perry made his way through supporters, shaking hands and signing campaign posters. The air glittered with flash bulbs, and people stood on chairs to glimpse the man who has -- in a few short days -- vaulted to the head of the Republican nominees.

Perry only briefly addressed the crowd, with tentative remarks that suggest his campaign message is still a work in progress -- the "Cliff's Notes version," he said. Still he was strong on one point. "The government needs to get out of the way" and let the private sector do its work, he said, to applause.

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Joe Fassler is a writer based in Brooklyn. His fiction has appeared in The Boston Review, and he regularly interviews authors for The Lit Show. In 2011, his reporting for TheAtlantic.com was a finalist for a James Beard Foundation Award in Journalism.

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