I have walked from house to house in little towns in Iowa with my hands feeling like they would fall off in the cold.
I met a young pregnant woman with a husband who couldn't vote because he was a felon. I met an old man with hardly any teeth who believed that voting doesn't count anymore. I stumbled over trash on people's porches to get to their plastic-wrapped front doors. I was invited inside by a warm, friendly old woman who didn't understand a word i was saying. I met an enthusiastic Dean supporter who said, "You're one of those Dean people, aren't you? God bless you for coming all the way out here!" I had a door slammed in my face by Republicans who said that Howard Dean was the "most immoral man on the face of the earth" and had no business running for president.
I got up at 5:15 this morning to stand on the median of an intersection in Des Moines for over an hour in zero-Fahrenheit temperatures, jumping and hooting and waving a Dean sign and shouting at the cars to go vote.
I met Neil Drumm, the core of the DeanSpace project, Aaron Welch, the creator of the Storm Center tool, and dozens of coordinators and volunteers. And this afternoon, i shook hands with Howard Dean himself as he strolled through the phone-banking hangar where i joined an army of volunteers, calling Iowans all day long.
Why didn't Dean win? I definitely have some thoughts on that, but i'll save them for later.
I'm back in Berkeley. I will post some pictures from the weekend here when i have more time. I'm headed to HP Labs to give a talk tomorrow, and i'm not yet sure how i'm going to get there without a car.
I am so tired and so discouraged.