View Full Version : New documentary film about 2012 Iowa Caucuses - "Caucus"

06-18-2013, 09:24 AM
Trying to remember which oddities/cheating occurred at the Iowa caucuses. Didn't they take the votes away to an undisclosed location to count them - then "lose" the votes of entire counties? Can someone remind us? Anyone in Washinton likely to catch the premiere?

(from Politico - by Patrick Gavin - 6/18/13):

We’re about 30 months away from the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (who’s counting…?), but why not take a look back at the last go-round?

Filmmaker A.J. Schnack is doing just that with “Caucus,” which is premiering in the U.S. at Washington’s AFI Docs festival this week. The film tracks the Republican presidential field, including Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain, as they campaign across the Midwest state.

Schnack said he first covered the Iowa Caucuses in 1988 when he was writing for the University of Missouri’s student newspaper, “and I just kind of fell in love with the whole idea of it.”

“There was something about the retail politics of it that had always sort of interested me,” said Schnack, whose interest in doing a documentary about it piqued in 2012 when “we ended up with a pretty wonderful cast of characters.” Doing the documentary gave Schnack a bit more time than his fellow journalists to take in the race’s evolving narrative.

“For a lot of the media that was covering it, they were focusing on what was happening that day, that week, and so, I think we were able to approach things differently,” Schnack said. “We could think about the candidates’ arcs over a longer period of time.”

What makes Iowa so appealing to Schnack is the fact that all too often, the candidates haven’t gotten their sea legs yet.

“A lot of them are really fish out of water in these scenarios, whether it’s flipping pork chops at the Iowa State Fair or going to Pizza Ranches or whatever it is they have to do,” Schnack told POLITICO. “The candidates are still figuring that dynamic out for themselves, so they have a lot more unguarded moments where you see them trying to figure out, ‘Who am I trying to be in these type of situations?’”

Schnack has heard the standard critiques of the Iowa Caucuses — namely, that it puts a disproportionate amount of power in the nominating process on one state not always representative of the country writ large — but said, “My question is always, ‘Well, what’s the plan to do it differently?’”

“I think the thing about what happened in 2012 — and our story — is the ability for someone who didn’t have a lot of money who was going around in a pickup truck on a shoe-string budget, that they could not only be viable in the end but also end up winning,” said Schnack referencing Santorum. “There’s plenty of states here where the amount of money you’d have to spend on advertising and television would really eliminate that person’s chances. So I like the fact that in an age when we talk a lot about super PACs and money in politics, that whatever it is about Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina, there’s still the possibility for a surprise.”

According to wiki,

AJ Schnack is an independent filmmaker. He directed Kurt Cobain: About a Son, which premiered at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival. His first feature film was a documentary about the Brooklyn-based band They Might Be Giants titled Gigantic (A Tale of Two Johns).

In late 2007, he founded the Cinema Eye Honors, an award for nonfiction filmmaking that was first presented at the IFC Center in New York City on March 18, 2008.

Schnack writes the film blog All these wonderful things, which focuses on news related to nonfiction or documentary filmmaking.

06-18-2013, 09:29 AM
We eventually won Iowa, but much after everything had just been handed to Romney. Film could be interesting...