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By CNN's Wolf Blitzer
Decorah, Iowa (CNN) - This is really rural northeast Iowa. And I love it.
What a pleasure to get out of Washington for a few days. I can identify with President Obama and the Republican presidential candidates who are all working the crowds here in the Midwest. The people are very friendly and seem so happy to see us; the weather is fabulous; and the corn fields are majestic.
Like so many political reporters, I come to Iowa every four years. I remember interviewing then-Governor George W. Bush in 1999 when he was running for the Republican nomination. I remember interviewing then Senator-Barack Obama in October 2008 just before he was elected president.
Iowa may not be the largest state, but right now it's one of the most influential. The folks here love the fact that they are the first in the nation in the race for the White House.
The Republican field is lively - with all of the candidates really lashing out against President Obama. And now, he's beginning - slowly - to lash back. It will get much more intense in the coming weeks and months.
I'll be interviewing President Obama tomorrow here in Iowa. He's on his bus trip that began this morning in Minnesota and continues through Iowa and ends in his home state Illinois. He needs these three states in his bid for re-election. He carried all three in 2008.
I would love to hear from you. If you have a good question for the president please let me know @WolfBlitzerCNN on Twitter.
If you're a political news junkie - as I've been my whole life - it doesn't get any better than this.