Right now, about 10,000 Iowa Republicans are reclining in red, hard-backed chairs here in the Hilton Coliseum. They have two choices for the rest of the afternoon. They can sit through a five hour program of musical acts and videos interspersed with candidate speeches or they can brave the 100 degree heat.
The NRA's ubiquitous Wayne LaPierre was the first formal speaker -- he's always the first speaker at events like these -- and regaled the Iowans with tales about how the NRA defeated the gun-hating left and the gun-detesting media. (Newt Gingrich was in the hall but he was ignoring LaPierre, holding court instead with a media scrum.)
Talk show host Laura Ingraham is the host. She made an obligatory crack at the New York Times, sucked up to the audience, bashed Washington, D.C., and set a lightly partisanal tone for the rest of the afternoon. "I want to welcome you to the Iowa edition of American Idol," she said.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.