Things are pretty quiet here on the 3rd floor, skinny end of the NPR building (where Talk of the Nation is located.) Barrie, Sarah, Ashley, David and I, your faithful bloggers, are holding down the fort with about as much energy as we can muster on a chilly Monday. The REAL action is happening about 700 miles away, in Iowa. Neal Conan is there and getting ready for show time at the State Historical Museum in Des Moines. The first hour will be broadcast as an NPR News Special, so you'll hear different theme music during the show. In that hour, we'll focus on Republicans in Iowa, who they are, and their influence on the race to the White House. And we'll also look at the caucuses that will take place in Iowa a month from today. Following that discussion, you, the listener, will have a chance to talk with Robert Siegel and Michele Norris, hosts of All Things Considered, and Steve Inskeep, co-host of Morning Edition. Tomorrow, they will moderate a radio-only debate with seven Democratic presidential hopefuls. What questions would you like to hear asked? What topics do you feel need to be addressed? Send us your questions!!
In our second hour, we'll be back to Talk of the Nation, and you'll hear that familiar theme music. In that hour, we'll talk about immigration and its importance to the voters in Iowa. A year ago, the office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement conducted raids on six Swift meat packing plants around the country that included one in Marshalltown, Iowa. We'll speak with an official from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, talk about the Swift plant raid with a reporter for The Des Moines Register and discuss how the raid changed the city with Gene Beach, the mayor of Marshalltown. Following that, we'll talk to Robert John Ford, a native of Iowa about his inspiration for the play Caucus! The Musical!!!
Enjoy our Iowa broadcast!!