The Americans have their presidential campaign games that cost millions and complicated strategies to deal with voters.
But why should you keep us busy with this if we have the fast, straightforward (and possibly brutal) reason that the plowing championships are?
Or, as President Michael D Higgins correctly and playfully remarked: The Plowin & # 39; "
This is where it counts. Ground zero among the kind of public that can sort the wheat from the chaff at a glance.
No wonder our hopeful people descended on the spot like a swarm of towers on a field of barley stumps, with a determined smile on their faces.
& # 39; Dragons & # 39; Den & # 39; stars Sean Gallagher and Gavin Duffy, as well as Pieta House founder Senator Joan Freeman, were all on the bat hoping that it could translate into votes.
And with 97,500 people packed in one place, there was everything to play for – although with the state of mind here and that poll throughout the weekend, anyone could reasonably conclude that Michael D left his competitors to plow their own lonely furrows.
With the weather swinging wildly from scorching sunshine to soaking wet rain, it was a busy opening day.
In livestock farming, the RTÉ broadcaster Ryan Tubridy ventured his chances while milking a cow.
"Amateur hour in the milking parlor," he admitted, before he spotted the photographer with milk in a rather expert manner.
Also driving around the site in Screggan, Co Offaly, was the new Garda commissioner Drew Harris, who shook hands and received many good wishes from people who told him in a murmur that he "got rid of his work for him".
But he did not do interviews, he only did the Garda tent, where he talked to agents.
Early to the Plowing in his perfect tweed-suit, with Sabina in surprisingly purple next to him, Michael D & # 39; s campaign was subtle and unofficial – but it was definitely going on. He fitted eight different locations after lunch while the rain came down in an unrelenting cloth.
He started with the horses "because it all started there", he stated later. He remembered his grandfather Patrick, who left Ireland in 1862 for Queensland in Australia and found work as a plowmaster. Michael D did not talk about the presidential campaign, urged his press officer – but in response to a question that rose unexpectedly, he made a short, steel expression of intent and said he "looked forward" to the campaign.
"I am really looking forward to the campaign, I have never run away from a campaign in my life," he said.
And in case that was not clear enough, he added: "I am happy that I have answered questions regarding campaigns for 30 or 40 years."
And he called for "dignity" and said, "Let it be about real problems and let it be worthy."
"Fear uasal," was the verdict of Cian de Butleár of An Cheathrú Rua, Co. Galway, after the president had met his daughter Córa (11).
Michael D gave his official opening speech from the bandstand, enthusiastically enthusiastic about the need to support farmers' families and the specific problems they have suffered over the past year with the wet, cold winter, snow, followed by the heat wave and then Storm Emma.
He told us about the Wexford Star team lying on the Áras site as a symbol of the 1913 Lockout.
And then we noticed that Seán Gallagher stood silently in the wings, not dressed especially for the Ploeg but in more business attire.
"He can stay there," whispered a farmer. "Your husband is back in here."
Gallagher sang the national anthem aloud and then quickly shook off the president's hand, strategically positioned.
He thanked me for a note that I had sent him, & # 39; he explained, saying that he should thank him for his seven years in the Áras.
He described the president as an inspiring figure, but felt it was time for something new and new, adding that he did not want to replace Michael D – but that he wanted to be his successor.
He claimed that he "needed more than an hour to walk 300 meters" because all the people lined up to meet him.
Gavin Duffy also did the round, resolutely dressed for plowing in stylish Dubarry leather boots.
"They are not new, but they are good," he said, with one ankle forward: "Are not they nice?"
He said he believed that he was "the only candidate wearing many boots" and that although he was known as a businessman, his roots lie in agriculture.
Sadie Lenihan from Killarney, Co Kerry was a big "Dragon" Den & # 39; fan – but would she vote for him?
& # 39; I do not know, I should hear his policy, & # 39; she thought.
Catherine Plunkett and Maureen Herley from Tullamore, Co Offaly were also & # 39; Den & # 39; fans – but also Michael D. "He certainly did us proud, but his age is against him, & # 39; said Catherine.