December 12, 2007 – Another Outsider’s Perspective

Yesterday Des Moines Register staff writer Mike Klein wrote a story about a reporter from the Rocky Mountain News who moved to Iowa for the nine months before the caucus to cover the candidates for his newspaper.  Following is an exerpt from the piece:

His first impressions were “mind-numbing” drives between muddy fields. “Then I see little cornstalks growing out of the ground. Little things. Then it grows into this big plant. Then it dies. I got sad,” he cracked. Early on last spring, he was astounded at Iowans’ sense of entitlement. He watched Iowa reporters ask candidate Mike Huckabee why he had been ignoring Iowa. Huckabee had visited Iowa a dozen times already.

Then an odd thing happened. Sprengelmeyer started to like Iowa, even more than he did when he got his first taste of the state in 1988 – on a caucus road trip with three Northwestern University student newspaper cronies.

“If you are not from Iowa, you think of it as a boring place. But I grew up in the desert (Albuquerque). The scenery is dynamic here,” said Sprengelmeyer, 40. “I’ve been to the pearl button factory in Muscatine, to the cheese factory in Kalona. I fell in love with Marshalltown, an interesting place going through this big transformation with immigration issues. Iowa is more diverse than people realize.”

The reported M. E. Sprengelmeyer, also wrote a column for his paper about what he found in Marshalltown.  I thought it was a very accurate, well-done piece for a reporter coming into an unfamiliar town. Â Often times people who live in a place are unaware or oblivious to some of the things he mentions in the article.

one year ago…