Meet Jo Zunkel, a resident of rural Ogden who showed up to see Hillary Clinton at Iowa State University in Ames this morning. Jo is an archetypal Hillary supporter--a woman in her sixties who backs Clinton without reservations and loves the idea of a strong and brave woman in the White House. "She's very intelligent. We need somebody with brains," Zunkel told me, adding that she is totally commited to caucusing Thursday night. With Zunkel was her friend, Judy Paulson, who liked Hillary's because "she's accomplished things." Of Obama, Paulson said, "I think he's smart, I think he's a good philosopher, but to me I don't think he's proven anything."
Zunkel added that she doesn't think the media gives Hillary a fair shake. "The press has been just horrible to her," she said. "All they focus on is the negative, they never say anything positive." (Was that Howard Wolfson whispering in her ear?)
After chatting with me Zunkel squeezed into the rope line and got her copy of Living History signed. Another satisfied customer.
P.S. As for Hillary, she opened her remarks this morning with some lyrical of GOP-bashing I hadn't heard before, decrying "the way [Republicans] have used fear to undermine our country's unity, to divide us from one another, and the way they have allowed a strain of fatalism to enter into the American bloodstream." I was told not to read too much into it, however, that Clinton just likes to mix up her stump.
I was also told, incidentally, that Hillary was not taking a veiled shot at John Edwards when she referred yesterday to people who try to bring change by "yelling and screaming about it." Sure sounded that way to me. But apparently the Clinton strategy remains staying above the fray, and projecting a slightly imperial sense of confidence and manifest destiny.
Also: Special shout out to TNR reader and frequent Talkback commenter jet, who came up and said hi after the event. Great to meet a reader out here in the heartland.