The best TV moment from last night's coverage of the Iowa caucus was a late night phone appearance by two ladies who were dragooned into service to count votes in the middle of the night. As Tuesday night spilled into Wednesday morning, a winner had not yet emerged, partly because there was not an accurate vote total from Clinton County, Iowa.
So CNN did some good old fashioned detective work and tracked down Edith Pfeffer, the chairwoman of Clinton County's Republican Central Committee. They then put the sleepy Edith on air with John King and Wolf Blitzer to read her vote counts to America at about 1:30 in the morning. Edith was actually woken up by he friend and colleague Carolyn Tallet, the president of the Clinton County Republican Women's Club, who also joined them on the phone to try and set the record straight about the missing precinct totals. Edith explained what happened to The Washington Times
“I received the first phone call at 12:20 (CST) that two precincts were missing and I wondered what happened because I knew it had been called in,” Ms. Edith Pfeffer said to this reporter from her Iowa home. “They thought there was a computer glitch in Des Moines, and the next thing I know Carolyn Tallet is pounding on my window, my phone is ringing and then CNN is calling and my daughters in DC and Cedar Rapids are calling and it seems that my precincts numbers are missing, and that a winner cannot be declared.”
The whole thing has since been sorted out, we suppose, but not before CNN's punch-drunk political team turned Edith and Carolyn into media stars. After becoming a trending topic on Twitter, Edith has since been interviewed by The Washington Times and NPR and the sun hasn't even come up yet. Granted, their moment in the spotlight wasn't that dramatic (and may not have even been necessary), but it just goes to show you that when anything happens that was not predicted — no matter how trivial — it turns an otherwise lackluster political story into television drama. Also: people get really loopy at one in the morning.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.