The annual state-sponsored celebration of Martin Luther King Junior Day celebration got overrun with the campaign craziness today. It seems Democrat candidate Howard Dean’s campaign announced he would be attending this morning’s celebration of the late civil rights leader at the State Historical Building. That prompted members of the national media to descend on the event, thinking Dean would be speaking. Organizers arrived to find the first two rows of seats in the auditorium lined with TV cameras. Organizer Ruth White asked the reporters to move and set the record straight on Dean’s appearance. Things seemed to calm down until Dean arrived trailed by dozens of reporters carrying cameras and boom mics. They followed Dean into the auditorium, blocking the aisles and jockeying to get Dean on camera. Dean’s handlers asked the reporters to move back — which didn’t seem to do much good — then they decided to pull out. Dean apologized to Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack for the commotion as Dean left out the side door about five minutes after his arrival. The event went on as planned, and before he spoke Governor Vilsack had this to say. He said maybe the national media should spend a little more time in Iowa so they could learn about being polite and respectful.
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