Today looks complicated for this political reporter. I knew for a week Ron Paul was headed to Sioux City today, when he would be the first Republican presidential candidate in the city in a whopping six weeks. The Texas congressman set up his stop as a town hall meeting, to begin at 2 p.m.
Now, another Republican candidate, Newt Gingrich, is campaigning through Sioux City, also choosing the town hall meeting format. A former House Speaker, Gingrich is also appearing today. His event time? Also 2 p.m.
How might a Siouxlander decide which event to attend? Certainly, if a person has seen one of the candidates, it would be advisable to choose the other today. Here are some other ways to pick:
(1) Do you like your Republicans with a huge streak of libertarianism? If so, Paul is your pick.
(2) Do you prefer a candidate who isn't afraid to take a two-week vacation on the heels of a campaign launch, in spite of the fact that it might peeve some staffers? If so, Gingrich is the choice.
(3) Do you prefer a candidate who worked hard in Iowa prior to the August Iowa Republican Party straw poll, nabbing a second place finish as a result? Then go see Paul.
(4) Do you prefer a candidate who led a wave election that benefitted Republicans electorally? If yes, go with Gingrich, who led the Contract With America push, and big GOP wins followed in 1994.
(5) Do you prefer a candidate who was beloved by a legion of extremely devoted followers in 2008, but never could get into the top tier of candidates? Such underdog-rooters should consider taking in the Paul event, although Gingrich is certainly an underdog in 2012 too.
(6) Might you favor a candidate whose wife has Iowa roots? Then go see Gingrich, who is traveling with wife Callista, a graduate of Luther College in Decorah.