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    2014 getting more interesting by the minute — Harkin out

    2014 getting more interesting by the minute — Harkin out

    This makes things even more interesting — via AP:

    Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin says he will not seek re-election in 2014.

    The 73-year-old Harkin tells The Associated Press in an interview, “It’s just time to step aside,” because by the time he would finish a sixth term, he would be 81.

    Harkin said it would also allow a new generation of Democrats to seek higher office.

    The announcement comes as a surprise, considering he had $2.7 million in his campaign war chest and was planning a fundraiser next month.

    Harkin played a lead role in urging the Senate’s more liberal members to back the 2010 health care bill.

    No Iowa Republicans have taken formal steps toward seeking the seat. Harkin’s decision eases the burden on the GOP, who have to gain six seats to win the majority.

    So, what’s the field look like in Iowa?


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    Raquel Pinkbullet | January 26, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    All this analysis is based on logic and rationales of old. The modern democrat party is comprised of political terrorists, not rational or logical people. They are achieving a means to end, regardless of the law, truth, honor, integrity, and our future.

    Fighting the Democrats based on how things should be or used to be is not a strategy. If you want to rebuild the high road, you’re going to need to win some elections first

    GoHawks | January 26, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Steve King is terrific. He was palinized before being palinized had a name. He would get a lot of support, though. He’s a fighter and we sure need some. He understands what we are up against and I trust him to work for the people. He has a record on this, thus the palinization.

    Chet Culver is simply a member of the lucky sperm club. He grew up in DC because his dad was a Senator (roomate of Ted Kennedy, I seem to remember). And lobbyist He had no connection to Iowa until his run for Gov. He was a disaster. He only survived one term and exited with low approval ratings. Even democrats thought he was incompetent. He was considered low IQ for a governor, He couldn’t get into law school and ended up as a gym teacher, then politics. He gained alot of weight while in office and was frequently referred to as “chetterburger” in homage to the chedderburger from Culvers Burger chain (no relation). After he lost, he promptly left Iowa to return to the east coast to lobby. I doubt there is much enthusiasm for him to return.

    Vilsack? Ugh. His wife just ran against Steve King and was humiliating in her own right, and thus, humiliated by King at the voting booth. There isn’t much nostalgia for Vilsack. One of his notable achievements was to give all felons the right to vote by executive order and well…all that other stuff that Dem govs did during those days to expand the voter rolls in their favor.

    He was an early Hillary supporter though and it was widely thought his brief run for President was mostly to stand in for Hillary (get favorite son votes as caucus, drop out and pledge his folks to her). She was competing against John Edwards and Obama at the time and was in third.

    Braley? He’s the architect of cash for clunkers which turned into an abysmal embarrassing failure.But, he’s looking to do something new having failed to achieve the love of establishment dems in Washington and is considering a run for Governor against Branstad. He may go for it.

    Loebsack? He’s a member of the Progressive caucus and well…to shorthand it, an Alinskyite Marxist. So, no.

    Tom Latham? Well, he’s a Boehner BFF and made the calls firing the conservatives from their posts. He would be in the camp that Oby is a nice guy but in over his head, rather than Oby wants to destroy America and is being very effective and must be stopped.

    Branstad has never wanted to be Senator. I think he loves being Governor. He’s not a conservative though.He’s considering increasing the gas tax right now,for instance. He’s been around for 40 years??? Not really a fighter, and we need one.

    Northey? No..don’t think so. Nothing notable there at all.

    Nussle? rejected by the voters twice. After losing his congressional seat, he was nominated by Bush to be the director of OMB when Bush was spending alot. He’s tainted by that and it would be used against him easily during these times of great spending. He was rejected as Governor, losing to the aforementioned low IQ Culver, so that might tell us something of his statewide appeal.

    Ganske? How far back must we go? He lost to Harkin once already. No, much too 80’s.

    I think there will be great interest in this seat and most likely there will be people not on anyone’s radar who surface. I hope we have a robust tussle over the seat and we truly find out who is the better man for the task that needs done.

    I can’t wait to find out who arises. We need a John Wayne.

    But, losing a leftist like Harkin is a good day for America. We won’t send anyone as leftist as him to DC.

    GoHawks | January 26, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Harkin’s decision not to run may be tied to some ethics issues which have a pay for play stench to them that has surfaced over financing of his controversial Tom Harkin Vanity Institute at Iowa State University.

    Reports in politico and other places, involve Herbal Life, some Koreans, and transparency issues related to everything they are doing. Much stench involving his wife Ruth and her role on the board of regents which authorized the vanity institute at the regent controlled university. Hush hush meetings, ramming through decisions. Yesterday, Politico article. Today, not running. Hmmm…

    Theodore Sporer | January 27, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    Just a brief introduction. I was the longest serving Republican chairman in Polk County (Des Moines and some of its suburbs, approximately 20% of turnout) history and served as Chairman of the state committee that ran the caucuses and straw poll.

    The ultimate winner is not yet mentioned. He will be a dynamic Constitutional conservative that will focus a postivie campaign of a better tomorrow, a much smaller government that focuses on doing its core functions well and abandoning what government does poorly to more efficient policy actors, and strong and safe America that takes the war to the enemy in their homes before they do the same to us.

    Keep your powder dry Hawkeyes-the best is yet to come if we look for the candidate I just described. We do not need to settle, we do not need merely hope, and we absolutely no longer need to cringe in the face of the liberal political and media hate machine guys, we really don’t.

    CausticConservative | January 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    With Commie Tommy finally, mercifully, stepping aside, Iowans get the opportunity for a fresh start. (There are people almost 30 years old who haven’t been alive as long as Iowa has had its two current Senators.)

    Don’t look toward former beaten candidates. I expect both Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack, currently in the US House, to look at runs on the Dem side, but only one of them actually pulling the trigger on it. I imagine Braley will be the nominee, with Harkin’s blessing. Loebsack probably leans more to the commie end of the spectrum, like Harkin, but Braley has the aggressive backing of union tools that will be needed to win. Chet Culver was a disaster as governor, plagued with scandal and incompetence. He won’t even bother, staying in his cushy DC job. Tom Vilsack, current Sec of Ag, will run, but there’s little affection for him in Iowa these days, as evidenced by his wife’s electoral drubbing in a US House race this cycle. He will run a distant second in the primary. There will probably be 3 or 4 statehouse candidates for the seat on that side who will split about 10 percent of the primary vote, with the most progressive and noisy one getting the biggest share. I hate what this state has become.

    On the R side, I can see Congressman Tom Latham running. His house seat was redistricted, forcing him to move this cycle, and it is a much bluer district now than it was. But he has the temperament to appeal across party lines the way Steve King probably couldn’t. King is too blunt. Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is young, effective, and has been targeted by national Democrats for trying to clean up voter rolls. He would be a great candidate, but said he would not run against Harkin. Now he wouldn’t need to. Kent Sorenson is the Iowa Senator who defected from Michele Bachman’s campaign chairmanship and switched to Ron Paul right before the Iowa caucus. He has an ethics cloud over his head, but he’s a calculating individual and an over the top self promoter. I think his ego leads him into it. Iowa House Speaker Kraig Paulsen is tactically very good, speaks effectively, and gets things done. I think he has small children, though, so I don’t know if this race is for him. Former Iowa House member Steve Lukan once had built a huge war chest, co-chaired for McCain in 2008, and was a very effective retail politician. I figured he was priming for something big. But when Branstad got elected two years ago, he jumped at the chance to head up Iowa’s office of drug control policy. He’s former military, NRA endorsed, and was a helluva candidate, winning multiple terms. I can’t figure out why he bugged out to an appointed position. He would have been perfect this cycle. But I don’t think he can get there from where he’s at now.

    The biggest winner from this announcement is Branstad, who now will find that the most high profile Democrats won’t be interested in his governor’s seat. He will likely cruise to reelection, having righted the state’s deficit he inherited. Iowa House is debating returning $750 to each household of taxes this year. That’s a long way from where things were when he started two years ago, over a billion in the hole with state rainy day funds effectively at zero. There will be “profile raisers” on the GOP side, too, but they won’t get far, maybe a dark horse Paulbot like Sorenson can show, but I don’t think he wins.

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