Reed, an Iowa Republican considered to have little chance of unseating the four-term incumbent in the November election, referred to Harkin as the “Tokyo Rose of al Qaeda and Middle East terrorism” in a conversation between the two for airing on Iowa Public Television.
O. Kay has the play by play.
Sounds like a sure entry in Worst Person In The World to me. The Republicans would cut off his funding Michele Bachmann style -- if they has been giving him any funds to begin with. From the comments at Sporer (update: apparantly Yepsen, the moderator, posted it first; it was tape-delayed):
After the cameras were turned off, Harkin calmly told Reed: “you’re a nice young man and I thought you had a political future ahead of you but that just ended your political career right there” and walked away. Reed said nothing.
Ted himself calls it "the most specific, truthful and damning attack that any of our Republican candidates have ever delivered to Harkin during a campaign." The comments split between that take and this: "The Tokyo Rose comment ended it for him..... that and pissing all over the Iowa GOP for leaving him with no support whatsoever."
Yepsen: "I’ve covered politics in Iowa for 34 years and I’ve never heard a candidate make that kind of serious charge about an opponent." Yeah, this kinda tops "totally nude dancing?!?" Who here remembers that one?
From Team Harkin in the in box, subject line "Vile":
As someone who has proudly worn the uniform of our country and who has served the people of Iowa in the United States Senate, this is a disgraceful attack. It has to end. It has to end today.
In perhaps a first for Team Harkin, the message actually names Reed.
Little reaction yet in the Dem blogosphere, probably because this race is so safe that no one was really aware that there even was a debate... or an opponent for that matter. "Harkin's on the ballot? Has it been six years already?"
My guess is that the attack backfires by reminding Democrats that Harkin actually has an opponent.