Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


October 14, 2005

"It's touching, isn't it, the concern that U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin is showing over the tone of some conservative groups distressed about the Harriet Miers nomination," writes the Omaha World Herald Editorial.

"I really think it's despicable what they're doing," Harkin, D-Iowa, told World-Herald staff writer Jake Thompson. "I think it shows they want power and don't care about anything else."

"He's the kind of person you really want to be married to for 30 years because he washes dishes," she said. "I just sort of consider him our homeland security defense person. He's there cleaning up and making sure everything works," Hillary Clinton said about her husband, Bill.

"There are circumstances where I will run," Newt Gingrich said.


J U S T   P O L I T I C S


Frist: first immigration enforcement

Sen. Bill Frist told the Washington Times that the Senate will tackle immigration enforcement before taking up immigration reforms:

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said yesterday that the Senate will tackle border security and interior immigration enforcement before turning to the broader question of immigration reforms and a guest-worker program.

"It is a separate issue, but it's one that people understand," the Tennessee Republican said of border security. "It's an immediate issue, it needs to be addressed more aggressively, we need to do that."

Speaking with The Washington Times by telephone after a helicopter tour yesterday of 300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border in Texas, Mr. Frist said he does not know whether an immigration bill can pass this year because of a heavy workload, but the Senate will pass a bill before adjourning next year.

He said the next immigration bill should address border security and could cover interior enforcement as well.

Huckabee: trip number 5

The Des Moines Register covers Governor Mike Huckabee’s fifth trip to Iowa:

President Bush's lagging approval and serious problems for some congressional GOP leaders give governors greater appeal nationally, Huckabee said during a trip to the Des Moines area.

"I do think that all those things going on give people more of a concern and have them looking beyond Washington," he told The Des Moines Register.

Huckabee's visits to Iowa — all since July — have made him his party's most frequent caucus-state visitor and have boosted his mentions as a potential 2008 candidate.


The Des Moines Register’s coverage of Sen. Evan Bayh’s visit in Iowa stressed his call for national unity:

"The truth of the matter is that the American people have much more in common than what divides us," Bayh said. "There is a yearning for . . . people to remind us that at the end of the day, we really are not red states and blue states but 50 red-white-and-blue states with a common heritage and common destiny," Bayh said.

Bayh was not without his shots at Republicans, calling on the firing of Karl Rove if he had anything to do with the leaking of Valerie Plame name.

Bayh was hosted at a breakfast by two of Iowa’s top Democrats -- both former state Democrat chairs -- Ed and Bonnie Campbell. The Democrat powerful came to take Bayh’s presidential measure.

Harkin’s political slime

Sen. Tom Harkin has always been able to get away with some of the worst hypocrisy and political slime of any national political figure. However, the Omaha World Herald is calling Iowa’s Sen. Harkin to task for his latest duplicitous action.

Harkin is up to his usual name-calling and this time his target is his defense of Harriet Miers. Harkin has called the action of conservatives despicable for their questioning whether Miers is the best choice.

As the Omaha World Herald puts it, Harkin should know what despicable is:

But if those are "despicable," what does that make these judgments by Harkin on past judicial nominees?

Priscilla Owen (Court of Appeals): "This is not a person to put on the bench for a lifetime appointment. This person is wacko! She's wacko!" (Harkin to talk-show host Randi Rhodes, as reported by Robert Novak, June 4, 2005)

Miguel Estrada (Court of Appeals): "I know people who have associated with him . . . think he is some kind of right-wing kook. Is he a right-wing kook? I don't know. Some people say he is." (Harkin, as reported by Nat Hentoff, Jewish World Review, March 11, 2003)

Clarence Thomas (Supreme Court): "Clarence Thomas is a zero." (Associated Press story in The World-Herald, July 2, 1991)

The last comment, by the way, was offered almost immediately after Thomas was nominated.

After Harkin & Co. were through, Thomas was barely confirmed. It took a showdown over filibusters to confirm Owen. Estrada gave up.

Such, apparently, is the body of experience that makes Tom Harkin so able to recognize "despicable" when he sees it.

This from a Democrat who continues to be bankrupt on how to fight the War on Terrorism and was part of the Democrats who voted to cut defense and intelligence appropriations.




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