Friday, January 09, 2004
Press Release on Sen. Harkin's Endorsement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2004
Statement of Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) at Howard Dean endorsement event earlier today in Des Moines, Iowa:
Every four years, Iowa plays a unique role in selecting America's President. It is true grassroots democracy in action - politics at its best. Iowans get to size up the candidates face-to-face over a period of many months.
In my opinion, this year the process has been better than ever. During the spring and summer, we conducted a series of 10 "Hear it from the Heartland" forums with each of the candidates. These forums were a huge success - both for those who participated and for the millions who watched them on C-SPAN. And in September, we had one of the best Harkin Steak Fry's ever.
This year, the enthusiasm and energy surrounding the caucuses is incredible.
Iowans are fired up to take back the White House. They are tired of Karl Rove and George W. Bush's radical special interest agenda. There is no better example than earlier this week when they got together with their big business pals for cigars and martinis to plot how to cheat even the lowest paid workers out of overtime pay.
I led the fight this summer to protect overtime pay, and we won. The Bush Administration defied the will of Congress and the American people - but rest assured when Congress returns, I will lead that fight again.
Iowans have been sizing up the candidates - and we have been doing so through careful deliberation. Every Iowa Democrat - including me - feels a responsibility to get it right, to make the best choice.
This year, we have an exceptionally strong field of candidates. Each one is a talented, well-qualified Democrat, who would be a vast improvement over the current occupant of the White House. I like and respect each one of them.
But for me, one candidate rose to the top as our best shot to beat George W. Bush and to give Americans the opportunity to take our country back. That person is Governor Howard Dean of Vermont.
I respect that many of my fellow Democrats here in Iowa have made their own choices. I am not here to persuade them to abandon their candidates. As I have said before, in this field there are no wrong choices. But for those who are undecided-- let me tell you why I support Howard Dean for President.
In a very strong field, Howard Dean started at the back of the pack and today leads the pack. This says a lot about his vision, his conviction, and his capacity for leadership. It shows his ability to motivate and organize people.
And he has common-sense plans to create good-paying new jobs and get our economy going again-not just for Neiman Marcus, but on Main Street all over America.
As we Iowans say, Howard Dean has his head screwed on straight - balancing the budget, while providing health care to kids, strengthening education, and protecting the environment. A fiscal conservative with the right priorities.
A plain-spoken, straight-forward Democrat, Howard Dean has the toughness and strength of conviction and character to go toe-to-toe with Karl Rove and George W. Bush. Because these guys and their special interest cronies plan not just to trash the Democratic candidate, but to poison the entire political atmosphere. Their strategy is to suppress the vote, sow cynicism, to make people feel powerless. Because the Bush team knows that when voter turnout is low, Big Money carries the day-and they win.
Paul Wellstone and I always believed that Democrats can't win competing over a shrinking pool of voters. We must expand our party in every direction and from all walks of life.
Howard Dean is doing just that. He inspires ordinary folks to join in the political process. He understands that when people are energized.... when the electorate expands.... when people turn out on Election Day... Democrats win.
There is a powerful authenticity to Howard Dean. With that authentic demeanor, his toughness, his progressive beliefs, and his plain-speaking, he is the Harry Truman of our time. I believe most Iowans and most Americans would rather have an occasional mistake by someone who speaks openly and forthrightly, than the
practiced, nuanced, measured emptiness of today's political chatter.
Iowa Democrats are tired of the negative attacks that have become too common in the last few weeks. I hope in the closing days of the campaign here and in the primaries and caucuses to follow, all of us Democrats will take a lesson from Senator John Edwards and keep a positive message.
The campaign to take back America and send George W. Bush back to Crawford begins right here in Iowa - and the day of decision is January 19. Iowa Democrats are going to turn out for the caucuses in record numbers. And it will be clear that we are united and energized to take our country back... and Howard Dean will lead the way."
# # #
DiscussionPost a Comment
Obama 2008 - I want my country back
Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.