Smoke on a Plane?

By Nitya

Dec 3, 2007 12:43pm

ABC News’ Eloise Harper and David Wright Report:  Scheduled to appear in Clear Lake, Iowa at a ‘Take Your Buddy to Caucus’ event, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had problems landing in Iowa because of technical difficulties on her press corps’ plane, currently blocking the runway.

Upon landing in Mason City however, the press plane’s cabin filled with smoke. A aide informed the captain and the entire plane evacuated in minutes – only to stand on an empty tarmac in twelve degree weather and wait for a fireman to appear dressed in a metallic head-to-toe jump suit.

(After months of following Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton in rental cars, the New York senator’s press corps saw welcome relief in the press plane the Clinton camp chartered for media outlets. Not today, though, when a strange clanking noise from the propeller caught the attention of some reporters who don’t normally fly on these planes and weren’t quite sure if it was a normal sound.)

Clinton was running late for her appearance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, IA, near the Minnesota border.

Hopefully it’s not a bad omen for the New York senator!

The Surf Ballroom is historic not for politics but music.  It was here that Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Vallens performed their last gig.

On February 2nd, 1959, the 3 legendary performers played the very stage where Hillary Clinton is due to have her campaign appearance.  The large 50′s style diner is now festooned with American flags and Hillary Clinton signs.  And watching it over it all is the iconic, familiar face of a rocker in horn-rimmed specs.

That night in 1959, Buddy Holly’s plane crashed in a heavy snowstorm — weather not unlike what hit Iowa and much of the Midwest over the weekend.  Singer/songwriter Don Maclean eulogized that tragedy in his hit song "American Pie" as "the day the music died."

In her remarks, Clinton said: "I’m probably dating myself but I am old enough to remember Buddy Holly, Ritchie Vallens and the Big Bopper."

"We should probably cut short the political speeches and just listen to "La Bamba" and "Peggy Sue," she continued.

These days Hillary Clinton is flying into a new sort of storm — one that is dangerous politically, but hopefully not personally for her. 

Polls in Iowa confirm that she is playing catch-up against Barack Obama, who now enjoys a narrow lead here in the state.

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