Scott Levine.jpg

Scott Levine

Associated Press

Amid all the storylines and the hustle and bustle of the numerous campaigns, two things became apparent after Tuesday’s caucus. Iowa produced one of the closest political races ever and two women became the stars of the evening, and they didn’t have any affiliation with a potential presidential nominee.

By now, everyone in the area and most national political junkies already know about Tuesday’s (or maybe I should say Wednesday’s) unlikely mystery vote solvers, Clinton residents Edith Pfeffer and Carolyn Tallet.

I had already gone to bed, trying to shake off a cold that hit suddenly Tuesday. It was obvious that it would be a three-man race and would come down to the wire. So while most of the nation slept, national media members had to continue with election coverage because of the historically close race and a few missing votes.

Eventually, CNN pinpointed those votes to a precinct in Clinton and the rest has been written about so much in the last few days, that a simple Google search involving “Edith and Carolyn,” generates pages of information surrounding Clinton’s two breakout stars.

A Los Angeles Times article declared, “Edith and Carolyn, the women who stole CNN's Iowa caucus show,” while the Omaha World Herald delivered this headline, “Caucus settled with pajama party.”

Pfeffer became likely the first ever Clinton resident to be trending on Twitter, along with the proclamation made by CNN personality Anderson Cooper, that the moment with Pfeffer and Tallet was the “best live phone call ever.”

The late night banter involving the two Clinton residents featured plenty of star power from CNN, including Cooper, and CNN personalities Wolf Blitzer, Piers Morgan, John King and other on-air talent, but it didn’t faze Edith or Carolyn.

It was like they were on the phone with me, trying to get information about an upcoming Republican event in the paper. They weren’t star struck or trying to suck up to the hosts.

They provided enough moments that articles from national news organizations called Edith and Carolyn “charming,” “hilarious” and “heartwarming.”

Neither of them asked for all the attention, but they helped showcase Clinton in a good light from a national perspective. Even though I haven’t been in the Clinton area for a long time, I still know how much work these two women do for not only their party, but for the area in general.

So it’s good to see them get a little recognition and help shine a positive light on Clinton, and cap a successful night for the state (minus the missing votes incident).

Every four years, the national media assaults Iowa as a place that does not represent the nation as a whole. They converge on our small towns and stick their nose up in the air at people who have to drive to another town for groceries.

But this election proved how little these national pundits actually know about Iowa (if you’re interested in seeing a funny take on this issue, a pro-Iowa video is circulating on the Internet, taking offense to the constant bashing.)

The top three vote getters in Iowa own three very different personalities, showing that Iowans don’t always gravitate toward the social conservative. Not everyone lives on a farm or knows how to drive a tractor. Most importantly, Iowans want presidential candidates to spend time in the state, and meet with constituents, something many believe is the best part of our fractured political system.

Hopefully, in another four years when caucus-time rolls around and if the Republicans are back on the campaign trails, maybe more presidential hopefuls will spend time in Clinton, for a chance to meet the real celebrities of the 2012 caucus, Edith and Carolyn.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor at the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at He has been employed at the Herald since 2008.

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