SNEAK PEEK: All Eyes on Des Moines


The hottest place to be this weekend? Sorry Lauren Conrad it's not Les Deux and silly Tom Brady, it's not The Spotted Pig.

If you haven't made your plans to be in Des Moines this weekend, you are out of luck and will have to settle for watching the action from home.

On Saturday night the Iowa Democratic Party holds its annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner at Vet Auditorium in Des Moines. It is a veritable "who's who" of Democratic politics and one of the premiere events leading up to the caucuses on Jan. 3, with 9000 party enthusiasts cramming the auditorium to raise money for the state party and see the presidential candidates deliver back-to-back remarks.

The audience will hear from Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi serves as the emcee.

The dinner is one of the last marquee events to reach a huge crowd in Iowa so the pressure is on for the candidates to really deliver and shine in their 10-minute speeches.

Iowa polls show an ever-tightening race among the three frontrunners – Clinton, Obama, and Edwards – and all eyes will be on Clinton to see how she tries to bounce back after a rough news cycle that began with the debate in Philadelphia last Tuesday, continued through the "tip/no-tip" stories Thursday but culminated with the endorsement of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and a noticeably stronger voice on Friday. LINK

Saturday's event is the Iowa Democratic Party's largest J-J dinner ever. The previous attendance record was set in 2003 when 7500 party enthusiasts heard Hillary Clinton serve as master of ceremonies.

The weekend kicks off tonight at 8:00pm ET with the start of the "sign war." Iowa Democratic Party spokesman Carrie Giddins said that for two hours, each of the six campaigns can hang signs on the inside walls and hallways at the convention center, fighting for prominent location and most territory.

For some of the candidates, the event marks an opportunity to bring in some star power for pre-game festivities.

Obama will appear at a pre-dinner rally with five-time Grammy winner John Legend and Richardson holds a rally pre-dinner that his campaign is billing as the Richardson 500. Richardson will appear with car racers Al and Bobby Unser and John Early, the pilot held hostage by Sudanese rebels, who Richardson helped get released.

On the campaign trail…

Saturday Nov. 10


-- 11:15 am ET: Visits with local residents in Loveland, CO.


-- 8:45 am ET: Meets with New Hampshire Supporters in Manchester, NH

-- 11:00 am ET: Holds town hall event in Hopkinton, NH.

-- 2:30 pm ET: Holds a house party in Holderness, NH.

-- 4:00 pm ET: Holds a town hall event in Laconia, NH.


-- 10:40 am ET: Attends a meet and greet at Goffstown Hardware in Goffstown, NH.

-- 3:10 pm ET: Attends a meet and greet at Calef's Country Store in Barrington, NH.

-- 4:00 pm ET: Attends a town hall meeting in Rochester, NH.

--5:30 pm ET: Holds a media availability in Rochester, NH.

-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends University of New Hampshire vs. Boston College hockey game in Durham, NH.


-- 8:00 am ET: Runs in 5K Fun Run with supporters at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.

--10:30 am ET: Participates in downtown walk with Rep. Lee Quandt at Town & Country Barber in Exeter, NH.

--11:00 am ET: Attends Coffee & Conversation hosted by Rep. Lee Quandt and Chris Moustis in Exeter, NH.

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