UPDATE: K said that the Bachmann supporters were particularly irked for having paid good money for good seats in the barn, only to have the headliner not show up. Of course they blamed the students. K said that the students got a brief glimpse of the candidate at a distance, accompanied by her posse of PR people, walking down the trail leading to the baby goat pen. The only reason they knew it was her? They cheered, and she waved.
The “PumpkinGate” non-event was picked up by the New York Times:
GRINNELL, Iowa — Representative Michele Bachmann is committed to crisscrossing Iowa to personally impress as many voters as possible, but it is a good bet she won’t be returning to this college town any time soon.
Some 50 students from Grinnell College showed up at Carroll’s Pumpkin Patch on Tuesday evening, where Mrs. Bachmann had scheduled a fund-raising event on behalf of a conservative Christian group, the Family Leader. Soon after, police officers arrived and threw a cordon sanitaire around the students while Mrs. Bachmann toured the baby goat corral and pumpkin-washing station.
A few students, who had been alerted to the visit by an e-mail from the campus Democrats, unfurled signs protesting Mrs. Bachmann’s opposition to gay rights (“Pumpkins are the Gayest”). But there was no chanting and no heckling. Most students said they had come to hear her speak and to ask a question or two.
“Grinnell’s known for being a very liberal and politically active campus, but we’re very peaceful,’’ said one student, Jillian Johnson. “We weren’t going to throw anything. We just wanted her to talk to us.”
Our daughter K and some of her pals attended a scheduled Bachmann rally yesterday, apparently forcing the candidate not to appear at her own event. From the Des Moines Register:
Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, was to speak at an ostensibly open event in the hayloft of a barn at Carroll’s Pumpkin Farm during a fundraiser for the Iowa Family Leader, an advocacy group for socially conservative issues.
But the event’s 5:30 start time came and went with no sign of the candidate after the event space filled up with college students, some carrying signs. Bachmann ended up not appearing until about 6:40 – after a truck from the Poweshiek County Sheriff and two police cars arrived on the scene and officers cordoned off part of the farm with police tape.
Rather than speaking publicly from the barn – which was festooned with Bachmann campaign posters and clearly arranged for her to speak – Bachmann met with Family Leader donors privately in a house on the property and then took a short walking tour with farm owners Danny Carroll – a former state lawmaker – and his wife.
The students, meanwhile, stood behind the cordon waving signs supporting gay marriage and playing on misstatements the candidate has made. They clapped rhythmically and yelled questions and entreaties in Bachmann’s general direction.