Iowa Farm Town Meditative About Caucuses

Candidates embrace inner gurus in visits to stereotype-bending Fairfield
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 1:56 PM CST

(Newser) – To win over likely caucus-goers in Fairfield, Iowa, candidates need to tap their spiritual sides, the Wall Street Journal reports. Roughly a third of the little farm town practices transcendental meditation, and citizens have elected a meditation devotee mayor. The candidates are pandering accordingly—Barack Obama, for instance, pointed his podium east (the direction gurus say energy flows), and won over said mayor.

Fairfield is proof that Iowa isn’t the homogenous bastion of white, Protestant farmers it’s reputed to be. Iowa is full of unusual little constituencies that, in a caucusing environment, can swing precincts. Fairfield leans left, but even Fred Thompson has paid it a visit. Surprised by a meditation question, he quipped, “Rested mind and body, huh? I could have used that.”