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HOH’s Bonus One-Minute Recess: Living It Up in Little D.C.

After umpteen hours of chasing GOP presidential wannabes across Iowa, it’s no surprise our fellow political hacks have been seeking refuge at the downtown Des Moines Marriott’s newly minted City Center Lounge.

With everyone in town to cover tonight’s glorified popularity contest, the lobby bar in which most of the press and the candidates appear to be holed up has become the after-hours recovery room for the campaign weary on both sides of the microphone/camera/notepad.

“Business has been great,” Marriott General Manager Terry McLane said of the shot in the arm the just-opened watering hole — which presciently came online last Thursday — has experienced in the runup to tonight’s caucuses.

According to McLane, our media brethren have been knocking back “a lot of wine and whiskey,” estimating that “most of them are sticking to what they know.” When they do feel the need to supplement the steady diet of booze with proper sustenance, bargoers have apparently been wolfing down their fair share of bruschetta, chorizo sliders dressed with pickled red onions and chipotle ketchup and grilled pork chops (“Because when you’re in Iowa, you gotta have pork chops,” McLane explained).

With hours to go until they’re due to scuttle off to New Hampshire for the next round of tea-leaf reading, McLane fully expects to see his new best friends at least one last time before they put Iowa out of their minds for another four years.

“By 11 p.m. tonight, the results will be in and everyone will be putting up a final toast to the Iowa caucus,” he predicted.

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