Wednesday | December 11, 2002
Harkin wants to be top liberal
Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, who cruised to reelection in November despite being targeted by the White House, will begin a series of speeches urging the party to turn left.
Dennis Goldford, a Drake University political scientist, said Harkin is stepping into a political vacuum while Democrats try to figure out their message and direction. Harkin has always run as a prairie populist, casting himself as the politician who sticks up for the little guy, said Goldford. "Maybe this is his time to shine," said Goldford.While Harkin is not explicitly trying to be the next Wellstone, he is clearly fighting back against the DLC-types who want the Dems to turn right to help reverse last month's electoral setbacks.
Both Harkin and Iowa governor Vilsack are Democratic Party rockstars. Iowa is a solid battleground state (Gore won the state by only a few thousand votes in 2000), and their ability to win easily despite being solid Democrats (from Wellstone's "Democratic wing of the Democratic Party") lends Harkin's arguments solid credence.
(link via Political Wire)Posted December 11, 2002 08:59 AM | Comments (36)