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UW Election Eye 2012

Campaign 2012 through the eyes of UW faculty and students

Topic: Food

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February 2, 2012 at 6:37 AM

On the road to Nevada and Colorado caucuses: Sin City, Super Bowl Weekend, Ted Haggard, and Tim Tebow

(Courtesy of flickr/John Wardell)

LAS VEGAS — Call us crazy. Our friends and families certainly do.

This morning we hit the road for another week on the ground of the presidential three-ring circus — er, campaign.

Our first stop is in the bright lights here to chronicle three days of Republican Party campaigning and Saturday caucuses in what are high holy days in the Sin City — Super Bowl weekend. To kick it off, Donald Trump will make a “major” announcement today at 12:30 pm at his eponymous Trump Hotel and Towers on The Strip. We’ll be there — not to see The Donald, but to see what surrounds him. Epic. Absurd. America.

In Vegas, we plan to report on the housing crisis in the nation’s worst-hit city for foreclosures, to examine how people of the Mormon faith thrive in a state known for gambling and legal prostitution, to get some up-close insight into famously inexpensive Las Vegas culinary culture, to shed some light on Newt Gingrich’s largest benefactor and Las Vegas hotel mogul Sheldon Adelson, and to unpack the Nevada Republican Party’s decision to release the caucus results via twitter.

On Saturday we’ll be tweeting results and commentary from caucuses all across Clark County, which houses 60% of the state’s Republican population. The final caucus of the day will be held at a school named for Adelson, which should be interesting.

At dawn Sunday morning we head to Colorado to spend three days exploring conservative (Colorado Springs) and liberal (Denver and Boulder) strongholds in a politically purple state. Mitt Romney has the GOP nomination momentum and is likely to do well in Nevada, but on Tuesday Colorado joins Minnesota and Missouri in voting, so it’s a test of whether Romney can cement national support.

We plan to attend former National Association of Evangelical president Ted Haggard’s new church, which began in a barn after his fall from grace following a sex scandal, and his former church, which meets in a building the size of an airplane hangar. We are set to talk to Air Force Academy cadets and other military members who populate the region. We will hear what Latino Republicans think about their candidates. We want to know what the Obama campaign is doing in this crucial swing state. And we won’t be stunned if we see Tim Tebow somewhere on the campaign trail.

On Tuesday evening we’ll be tweeting results and commentary from various points up and down Interstate 25, which runs from the border of New Mexico to Wyoming, smack through Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Denver, and alongside Boulder, Loveland, and Fort Collins. We’ll probably sing a particular John Denver song while we’re at it.

Please join us here for our posts. Crazy? Maybe. Compelling? Absolutely.

Continue after the fold for some scene-setting information on Nevada. We’ll provide similar context for Colorado on Sunday morning when we catch our breath.


Comments | Topics: Barack Obama, Caucuses, caucuses

January 19, 2012 at 11:03 PM

Politics and pork

Photos by A.V. Crofts

BEAUFORT – Driving east from Columbia to the South Carolina coast, the upcountry pine trees give way to the low country Southern Live Oaks draped in Spanish Moss. Approaching the coastal city of Beaufort on Route 21, you cross brackish marshlands that hold the promise of a nearby ocean. Crack the window and you smell salt air.

Sgt. White’s Diner sits at the intersection of Rt. 21 and Boundary Street, just as you arrive in Beaufort. Celebrating 25 years in the barbecue business this year, Sgt. White’s has occupied this particular corner for 17 of them, appropriately placed next to the Piggly Wiggly, a classic Southern institution.


Comments | Topics: alvena smalls, Barack Obama, barbecue

January 15, 2012 at 4:00 AM

We wanted to go to Chick-fil-A, but it’s Sunday

Photo from Flickr user hectorir

I’m the Southerner on this trip. I was born and raised outside of Houston and attended The University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate. Over time, my “Hook’em Horns” has morphed into “Hook’em Huskies” as I’ve come to love Seattle, but once a Texan, always a Texan.

For our coverage of the South Carolina Republican Party primary, I am all in as a Southerner. First and foremost that means food.

Food is the portal to everything in the South. Let’s consider a Southern institution, Chick-fil-A.


Comments | Topics: food, Food, religion