I'll be joining Mike and Noam in Iowa up through the caucuses; more on immigration, Huckabee, and Ron Paul to come. In the meantime, some atmospherics: In case you didn't know, and I have already been told three or four times since touching down in Cedar Rapids at 2 p.m., Iowans are the nicest, friendliest Americans. So much so that they actually named a town "What Cheer, Iowa." I briefly stopped in on my drive to Des Moines, and I feel better that the fate of our executive branch is in these fine peoples' hands already!

Arriving in Des Moines, I bunked down at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, a historic and traditionally Democratic hotel downtown that briefly served as the state Dem Party headquarters. (It's a block from Centro, at times the top David Broder-spotting restaurant in Iowa.) But when I called a friend who's all sorts of plugged in with the Iowa scene (and a huge fan of Obama) and mentioned I was staying at the Hotel Fort Des Moines, he yelped excitedly, "Oh, that's the place where Joe Trippi yelled [Obama campaign slogan] 'Fired Up!'"

The Hotel Fort Des Moines: The Place Where Joe Trippi Yelled "Fired Up." Tells you something about the narrative of this campaign, and the moments that are perceived as landmarks within Obama-ville.

--Eve Fairbanks