An hour's drive later and we arrived at the Plainview Country Club for a lunch hosted by former Speaker of the Texas House, Pete Laney, Rep. Joe Heflin, Mayor John Anderson, and some of the area county chairs. The chicken fried steak had plenty of gravy and green beans but the couple dozen local leaders were attentive in listening to Rick speak. He touched on many of the same themes and focused on the squeeze of the middle class. Many points were made more poignant because of the people in the room- a sophomore in high school perked up when Rick talked about college affordability and the tuition crunch that Corny has let get out of control. The veterans in the room were interested in Rick's views on the consequences of the war in Iraq, and how it has taken America's eye off the ball in Afghanistan where we may be letting Al Queada grow stronger.