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No Tea Leaf Reading for Harkin, 'But What a Campaign!'

By Jose Antonio Vargas
DES MOINES -- Tom Harkin, the Hawkeye State's junior senator, knows these caucuses. One of Iowa's favorite native sons, Harkin easily won the caucuses during his unsuccessful 1992 White House bid.

But he offers no predictions on what will happen tonight.

"I don't know," Harkin told The Trail yesterday, sitting at the Village Bean Cafe in this city's hip East Village neighborhood. "I honest to God don't know. But what a campaign!"

Four years ago, Harkin endorsed Howard Dean, then the front-runner for the Democratic nomination. He didn't endorse a candidate this time, though his wife Ruth is supporting Sen. Hillary Clinton. Harkin's popular in the state-- twice, Iowans interrupted the interview to chat with their senator -- and his annual Harkin Steak Fry was one event that ignited interest Sen. Barack Obama's presidential run. Obama headlined Harkin's event just two summers ago.

"What's true this year may not be four years ago," Harkin said. "There's a scenario I can envision: If there's no clear winner in Iowa, then they go to New Hampshire. If there's still no clear winner, then they hit Super Tuesday. But what if no clear winner comes out of those states? Then all the other states that didn't bunch up, all of a sudden they become very important."

By Washington Post editors  |  January 3, 2008; 10:16 AM ET
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One democrat Harkin says he doesn't make predictions while other Barack Obama says there's too much tea leaf reading going on.

Since I had wrote a book on tea leaf reading, The Art of Telling Fortunes by Tea Leaf Reading, I thought I might chime in.

Here's six important reasons why Democrats should love tea leaf reading:

) Tea leaf reading is best done at home, domestically, little threat of this skill being loss to cheap labor overseas

2 ) Tea leaf reading started with the poor and is still seen to have little commercial value unlike its cousins tarot card and palm reading.

3) Tea leaf reading provided the basis for fun inexpensive entertainment turning families away from their reliance on cable tv, ipods, and personal entertainment systems for weekend fun

4) Tea Leaf reading skills are built on serious study of an interesting subject this could encourage interest of other forms of arts and sciences

5) Teea leaf reading fosters our natural curosity about the unknown it seems highly probable that interest in religion would also be considered

6) Tea leaf reading is a harmless way to lowering fears swirling about America's financial future

Posted by: garthmavic | January 31, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"But what if no clear winner comes out of those states? Then all the other states that didn't bunch up, all of a sudden they become very important."

Excellent point. There's a bug difference between a 50 meter and a 3000 meter race. Bunching up only aids the sprinters.

Posted by: thebobbob | January 3, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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