Family to participate in caucus

January 4, 2008 5:20:38 AM PST
Iraq, the economy, social problems and credibility - those are just some of the issues that will influence Iowa voters as they begin to caucus at 7 p.m. For a family transplanted from south suburban Flossmoor, those factors and more are at the top of their minds as they cast their votes in Iowa. "I could still change my mind walking in the door. I could change my mind after I get in the door," said Deborah Grenard. Deborah and Frank Grenard have gone back and forth - Clinton to Obama, Dodd to Richardson.

"I'm Hillary Clinton's prime caucuser, and that's what makes it very difficult," said Deborah.

Difficult, because Deborah Grenard says she likely won't be voting for the New York senator.

"She's everything that I could want, except my concern is her divisiveness and whether or not she's really electable," she said.

It's not as if the Grenards, who've lived outside of Des Moines for the past five years, have a shortage of reading material. A large pile has come in just the last week.

They get nine or ten calls a day from the candidates and their surrogates. But the number one issue for the Grenards is the war in Iraq. For them, it's personal. Their two sons are in the Army.

Homewood-Flossmoor High School grad Josh Grenard served 16 months in Iraq. His brother, Greg, is still there. Both have been injured by explosions.

"I think about not wanting to answer the door, being afraid when the phone rings and being happy when the kids call to say 'I'm OK,'" said Frank Grenard.

The Grenards want a candidate who will bring the troops home but do so in an orderly manner.

"I think the person who I feel would be best to end the war is Dodd, but is Dodd really going to be the person in a position to get to the White House? So my back-up is Barack Obama," said Frank.

This family, like nearly a quarter of caucus goers, say they'll listen to their neighbors, keep an open mind, then vote. And, unlike in Illinois' primary in recent years, the Grenards say at least their vote will count.