That last entry ended a bit abruptly, as David hustled me out to the car for the long drive to Grinnell. Tom likes to say that he’s in the middle of nowhere learning about everywhere, and I have to admit that this does seem like the middle of nowhere. But there’s something brave and beautiful about the clusters of farm buildings in the midst of golden brown cornfields, the houses often in need of paint, especially as the sun set long across the expanse of hills and glimmered pink through the blowing rows of corn. There are stout little barns with what look like boxes on top on them, a style I’ve never seen before, and the people are much friendlier than in Massachusetts–something we learned in January 2004, when we came to Des Moines to work on the Howard Dean campaign. We are going to have lunch later today at the Machine Shad, where we were interviewed on MSNBC (we were on a Boston TV show, too, and missed going out with Tom Brokaw because my cell phone signal was so poor that we missed the call).