The uniqueness of the Iowa caucuses was nothing short of glaring within the precincts that dotted the state Thursday night as the event went underway.
Two particular gentlemen were among the several who were particularly aware of this uniqueness, as they traveled from out of state to Covenant Christian Church in Urbandale to be with Iowans during the caucuses.
Matt Herzberg, of St. Louis, Mo., a student at the Air Force Academy, said he was not going to participate in the caucuses; he just wanted to witness the event.
"We heard about the hype of the Iowa caucuses, so we wanted to see what's going on," Herzberg said.
The mood at the precinct was one of community, as participants regarded one another as neighbors and laughed at awkward moments as well as what seemed to be jokes from members of the community.
Due to the lack of precinct locations, the Urbandale church was asked to play host as this particular Republican precinct location.
Robert Dopf, of Urbandale, said he didn't want the location of the precinct to mislead people to think there was a connection between the caucus being held at the church; the location was used only as a result of the request.
The caucus began with participants picking up their "pink slip," the ballot of which they needed to cast their presidential preference. After the crowd was seated in the church sanctuary, meeting regularities preceded the pledge of allegiance and an optional prayer.
Private citizens then took turns making short, one-minute speeches offering support and personal reasons for voting for their candidate of choice.
The first community member to speak was Jackie Craig, of Urbandale, who supported Mitt Romney. She mentioned that her support was based on what his views were on immigration and her faith in the success he's achieved in the past.
Next to speak was a citizen for Rudy Giuliani.
"He inherited a city deep in debt without fiscal discipline and deep in crime," the man said.
He went on to say that he believed Giuliani's success with New York was reasonable support for his candidacy for presidency.
For Fred Thompson's support, a man stood to say that Thompson remained true to his stances "from the beginning," and is a "true conservative."
Other citizens rose to speak briefly on Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter and John McCain.