Saturday, April 26, 2008

Harkin Staying Neutral

Harkin Staying Neutral

Abolish Superdelegates, Don't Seat Rulebreaking States

Senator Tom Harkin told 2nd Congressional District delegates at this morning's convention that he's still staying neutral in the nomination fight between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

The senator also said rulebreaking states should not be counted at the national convention, and he hopes superdelegates are abolished.

Key quotes from Harkin's speech, the first of five he'll deliver at all of today's conventions:

"I am determined to stay neutral as a superdelegate until all of the people's votes have been counted. We set up rules. Every state signed off, so every state ought to have their say."

"That also means that states who do not abide by the rules shoud not be counted." Partial standing ovation from most delegates.

"I"ve never even been comfortable being a superdelegate, hopefully the convention will get rid of them." Applause.

"Some of you are passionate for Barack, some of you are passionate for Hillary, but once our nomination is decided we ought to put our differences aside and be a united party."

Rolling into an extended metaphor about farm cats. "All that screeching and yowling just means there's gonna be more cats." With this he touts the Dem's voter registration edge. "Together, we are unstoppable."

The remarks on the presidential race concluded Harkin's speech. Before that, he bashed Republican John McCain a bit and made his own case as he faces re-electon

"Instead of lowering our standards for recruiting privates and corporals, how about raising our standards for recruiting our next commander in chief."

McCain 5 word health care plan: "Pray you don't get sick."

"Change is not something that blows with the wind. A weathervane changes every day. Change needs to be rooted in values." This launched his case for himself. "I want to use my seniority to help a new Democratic congress and a new Democratic president." He did not name either name.

Massive standing ovation to "End this nutty war in Irag and bring our troops home." Audience then hushed as he discusses the troops. Namechecks Boswell on the Omvig suicide prevention bill.

"I may a bit grayer, and I hope wiser, than when some of us first met. But I have the same fighting spirit when it comes to standing up for Iowa values."

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