Saturday, October 6, 2012
Is this heaven? No, it's Iowa.
Jon Bon Jovi was in Iowa yesterday imploring Iowans to get out and vote.
I suspect the presidential election doesn’t hinge on pretty-boy rocker Jon Bon Jovi strumming an acoustic rendition of “Livin’ on a Prayer” on a chilly autumn night in downtown Des Moines.
Bon Jovi performed the same four-song set in two different city parks Friday, in Iowa City and Des Moines, on behalf of President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign. Friday’s nightcap in Western Gateway Park, in the shadow of the downtown insurance industry, was a “concert” only by the most generous definition of the word.
Let’s label these things for what they are: cattle calls to sign up waves of voters and harvest as many early ballots as possible. Forget the quaint notion of Election Day in Iowa. This time of year is becoming a full-blown election season, with our swing-state undecided voters constantly in the campaigns’ cross-hairs.
Maybe the Department of Natural Resources should begin to share oversight of elections with the secretary of state.
You can’t “just hope for change” this time around, Bon Jovi implored fans. “You can effect change.”
Iowans seem to have a fondness for letting guys from New Jersey tell us how to vote. Bon Jovi rallies Democrats, while New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fulfills a similar role for Republicans.
Friday night’s fresh meat was an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people. Anybody could get a ticket as they walked up. All they had to do was fill out complete information including their name, email address, phone number and ZIP Code.
The crowd appeared to be dominated by middle-age fans for whom the Cold War meant the 1980s, not just Friday night’s weather.
LeAnn Larsen of Des Moines was pressed up against the barricades with her 18-year-old daughter, Michelle.
Larsen, who enjoys a view of Western Gateway Park from her own downtown insurance office, is one of those coveted undecided voters who’s passionate about taxes, jobs and housing. Those issues will sway her more than the words of her idol Bon Jovi.
Michelle, meanwhile, registered to vote for the first time upon entering Friday’s gig. But mother and daughter will wait until November to vote.
“I like the feel of putting the ballot in the machine,” Larsen said.
Bon Jovi performed while flanked by an acoustic guitarist and violinist, with “Wanted Dead or Alive” — not applying to voters, I presume — as his final tune.
You can read the rest of the article here
You can find all the photos in my photobucket.