OCTOBER 21ST, 2008 | Harkin for Senate
Read the original story at The Globe Gazette.
The race for one of Iowa’s U.S. Senate seats pits a four-term incumbent against a young upstart. The challenger, Republican Chris Reed, is bright and motivated. We’re impressed with his enthusiasm, but without reservation we’re throwing our support behind Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin.
Harkin, because of his experience and leadership in the Senate, is uniquely qualified to help steer the United States through these uncertain times. He is chairman of the committee that drafts the farm bill, a vital piece of legislation that sets farm and food policy for the U.S. and distributes billions in subsidies across the nation. Who better to lead that team than an Iowan who is an experienced Washington hand?
We remain impressed with Harkin’s cooperative, results-oriented temperament. The 68-year-old from Cumming is passionate about his work and equally passionate about his progressive beliefs. The senator has shown time and again that he’s able to draw strength from both while staying mindful that he serves all Americans.
Reed, who lives in Marion, is a Navy veteran who for 10 years has owned a telephone answering service. In his first bid for public office he’s attempting to unseat one of the most skilled politicians this state has ever produced. That takes guts. We admire his fearlessness and commitment to public service.
His opposition to Harkin comes at a unique time in national politics. The Bush presidency has become wearisome to Americans who at the same time are fed up with the performance of Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike. Now is the perfect moment for a challenger to upend the established order.
Reed, 36, has made this point often, saying that Washington is broken and adding that it makes no sense to send the same man (Harkin) back for a fifth term. The problem is that he’s trying to sell a message that won’t win over enough voters.
By his own admission Reed is a social conservative. President Bush and other Republicans may have tainted the values of social conservatism for a generation. Reed also claims to be a free-market conservative. The last few weeks have soured many on the value of free markets, at least free markets as envisioned by the GOP.
Reed is right about change coming to Washington. As things sit now, however, the change is likely to be in the form of a Democrat-controlled Congress and White House that will have a free hand to shape the future of this country. Iowans deserve to have an experienced voice speaking for them in the new-look Washington.
Tom Harkin is that voice.