"Does Anybody Here Know the Name 'Kelly Clarkson'?"

"Does Anybody Here Know the Name 'Kelly Clarkson'?"

"Does Anybody Here Know the Name 'Kelly Clarkson'?"

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 3 2012 12:58 PM

"Does Anybody Here Know the Name 'Kelly Clarkson'?"

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa -- The final metro-area cattle call of the caucuses was here, in Valley South High School, for a "Rock the Caucus" assembly of 800-odd high school students. This is what it looks like when the media descends on a high school gym in the Des Moines market.

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You might be able to make out a red shape on Santorum's gray sweater vest. That's part of a red and blue stitch of his name, in campaign colors. Like Herman Cain before him, Santorum has capitivated the press by wearing sweaters unencumbered by sleeves. Cain, however, was wearing these in August.

Bachmann preceded Santorum, and Ron Paul followed. His stump speech was scaled back to a lean ten minutes, with a reference that I don't think he'll use in many other crowds. "Does anybody here know the name 'Kelly Clarkson'?" he asked. Lots of cheers, for a star who won American Idol when these students were 6 or 8 years old. Lots of cheers for Paul in general, who won the kids over by warning that "your privacy is no longer protected," and that "it says in the Constitution that only gold and silver are legal tender."

David Weigel is a reporter for the Washington Post.