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Wednesday, August 29, 2007; 7:53 AM

There is no better place than a local diner for connecting with regular Americans. Historically, diners have been places where people gather for good food and engaging conversation. During election season discussions naturally turn to politics, and candidates descend on diners to pitch their message to the captive audience.

In an effort to find out what voters really think about the 2008 election, and to get a look at politics on the ground, The Washington Post and washingtonpost.com will be spending time at two classic diners in two early primary states: The Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, and the Waveland Cafe in Des Moines, Iowa.

We will visit the diners as often as we can. We'll talk to customers, employees, and politicians to get a feel for how the election is playing out. We'll write about our visits and film some of our conversations. We have also asked the staffs of both establishments to be our eyes and ears when we are not there. With small video cameras provided by washingtonpost.com, they will capture video of politicians who visit, and conduct their own interviews with citizens who have something to say about politics.

All of this reporting will appear in the paper and at: www.washingtonpost.com/diners.


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