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Debating Harkin's Future

The news last week that former Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-Iowa) was dropping out of the presidential race set off a furious round of speculation that Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) might be retiring from Congress.

The buzz was that an impending Harkin retirement led Vilsack to rethink his longshot bid at the presidency.

Not so, insists Harkin spokesman Tom Reynolds. "Senator Harkin is doing everything to prepare for a run," Reynolds said. "He is actively raising money and looking at his campaign organization in advance of the '08 cycle."

While Congress was on recess last week, Harkin held a major fundraiser in Iowa to benefit his re-election campaign and recently spent time collecting cash at the American Association of Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America) winter convention in Miami Beach. At the end of 2006, Harkin had $1.1 million in the bank.

Republicans are expected to mount a serious challenge for Harkin's seat. Although he's been in office since 1984, Harkin has never won re-election with more than 54 percent of the vote. Iowa, too, has shown a swing-state tendency on the presidential level going for then Vice President Al Gore in 2000 and switching to support President Bush in 2004.

Most Republicans believe their strongest potential candidate is Rep. Tom Latham who has held the 4th district since 1994. Latham represents a broad swath of central Iowa and faced down a serious 2002 challenger in John Norris, who is now a member of the Iowa Utilities Board. One potential weakness for Latham is in fundraising, where he has never been particularly aggressive. At the end of last year he had just $123,000 in his House account. Latham has yet to announce any decision about a 2008 Senate bid.

Former Rep. Jim Nussle (R-Iowa) was long seen as a rising star within the party but lost much of that shine during his unsuccessful candidate for governor in 2006. On paper Nussle looks like a strong statewide nominee since he spent 16 years in Congress representing eastern Iowa, a reliably Democratic area. But, would voters be ready to put Nussle in the Senate just two years after they rejected him for governor?

The wildcard on the Republican side is Rep. Steve King who has held the strongly Republican western Iowa seat since 2002. King has made no secret of his interest in running statewide and would be tough to beat in a Republican primary due to his base in the 5th district -- the most Republican seat in the state. King is also a leading voice among immigration opponents, a stance that would likely pay dividends in a GOP primary.

If King or Latham is the nominee, Harkin will have a unique distinction among his peers in Congress -- having faced a sitting Republican Congressman in each of his re-election bids. Harkin has beaten Reps. Tom Tauke (1990), Jim Ross Lightfoot (1996) and Greg Ganske (2002).

By Chris Cillizza  |  February 27, 2007; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Ohio Guy, I wasn't denying that the stock market had a bad day. But that's not a "free fall". It's one bad day. MikeB was saying that the economy has been ruined by immigration, that we're "screwed, bankrupt, kaput". Despite fluctuations like yesterday's, the stock market has been generally going up over recent years. That's not the sign of a ruined economy.

Colin, Meuphys, thanks for the kind words. I'll tell our boss to pay you extra this week.

Posted by: Blarg | February 28, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I think it's worth pointing out that Blarg was dead wrong - the stock markets had their worst day today since September 11th, 2001. Only a complete hack would try to deny this.

Posted by: Ohio guy | February 28, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

MikeB -- If you are going to attack 'Blarg' like this, it would be nice if you substantiated your claim that they're who you think they are. Otherwise, please exchange email addresses or phone numbers so you two can fight directly without the need for this site.

Also, for what it's worth Blarg's posts don't seem to fit with either a "christian dictator" or a paid corporate blogger. I don't always agree with them, to be sure, but if anything I would tag 'Blarg" as left-leaning.

Posted by: Colin | February 28, 2007 12:01 AM | Report abuse

Great posts Tarheel. And I give you props for apologizing to Blarg for linking him with Drindls and Judges remarks about you. I haven't seen any apologies from Drindl and Judge. And we won't. They were totally out of line by swearing and gutter name-calling in response to your straightforward and sourced documentation about Democratic scandals. I loved the looter mentality analogy in the second post. That really decribes politics today. You dont know me but I'm asking a favor. Post the Democratic scandals articles over and over and sit back and watch the fireworks and enjoy. You really hit some partisan Dem bloggers where it hurts.

Posted by: IndyWasDem | February 27, 2007 11:22 PM | Report abuse

y'all should just lay off blarg. what difference does it make, engineer or christian dictator? it all comes out in the wash... and what we're talking about is what's important anyway, not who's saying it. for what it's worth, i have not always agreed with blarg's posts (although at times i have), but then i have not always agreed with anyone's posts but my own, and any one of you who is honest would say the same thing. the point is not to agree, the point is to get some exosure to different points of view and their strengths / weaknesses.

blarg, please tell me i didn't just defend a christian dictator.

Posted by: meuphys | February 27, 2007 9:55 PM | Report abuse

What you are Blarg, is an overstuffed, self absorbed twit with the intellectual capacity of a bunny. And, from where I was tracing your posts, I'd bet a great deal on your being a paid poster.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 7:16 PM | Report abuse

My engineer mind? You must be thinking of someone else. I'm a paid blogger. Or a CEO. Or a Christian educator. Or something. Ask MikeB; he knows all about it.

Anyway, I'm not talking about what we should discuss here. We can talk about whatever aspects of politics we want. But we shouldn't expect CC to post about anything but the 08 elections, because that's the subject of the blog. He has a very narrow definition of politics. But that doesn't limit the rest of us.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

"So I think real analysis of issues and current events is out of the scope of this blog."

Blarg, that's where we come in. You're letting the engineer part of your brain cloud your judgment. This blog isn't a contract where "out of scope" has meaning. Politics by definition covers just about everything under the Sun - especially current events, how we govern ourselves and how we want to govern ourselves.

There is no manual, there is no customer support, we're not on Version n.nn; the only thing objective in all of this are the results on election days. Everything else is subjective.

You want this blog to shrivel up and die, just keep the topics to an election which is 20 months away, and where the first true results are 11 months away.

Except for the occasional surprise (looks like Mitt's campaign had an "Ooopps!" today), this would be even more boring than the Celebritology blog which the Post has.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 27, 2007 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, you were right. You didn't issue personal insults like Drindl and Judge. I apologize for grouping you with them. But I stand by my lobbyist-related remarks in the same post. Business as usual in DC is not working. Just because the Repubs sold influence for money doesn't mean the Dems can use that as an excuse to do the same thing (Washington Post. Democrats Offer Up Chairmen For Donors: Party's Campaigns Had Faulted GOP For 'Selling Access', 2/24). Its the looter mentality that says, I saw others robbing that store during the hurricane, so I did it, too. A looter is a looter. The second one to do it isn't excused because it was done before. Democrats or Republicans that sell influence for money are morally corrupt and equally liable for their actions. I am an Independent but what bothers me about too many (not all) Democrats is that they seem to be saying, I'm just a car thief, you're a bank robber. So I'm better than you. As if car theft is OK because its less serious than bank robbery. It's a scary morality.

Posted by: tarheel | February 27, 2007 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Nope. That website is your's. Now, just sit back and read your fan mail. Enjoy. "Christian"? If you're a Christian, I'm the Queen of France.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Tarheel, I didn't insult you, and I don't appreciate being mischaracterized. I disagreed with you politely. Don't lump me in with the people who insult everyone they disagree with.

If you were equally outraged when the Republicans did the same kind of fundraising, that's good. But I couldn't tell that from your original post. You were specifically criticizing the way Democrats are running their fundraisers. And it wasn't fair of you to not also mention that this has been standard practice in Washington for a while. It's not an example of a Democratic scandal; it's something that both parties do. It's disingenuous to use that story as evidence the Democrats are corrupt.

Nor'Easter, I think it's apparent by now that CC has a very narrow definition of politics. He only talks about elections and the horse-race aspect, not what politicians actually do when they're in office. And even within that narrow field, he doesn't report anything too in-depth. So I think real analysis of issues and current events is out of the scope of this blog. And if you expect that from CC, you're looking in the wrong place.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 5:02 PM | Report abuse

You figured it out! I'm associated with Avvanta, the ISP that's the top Google search for "Blarg". I'm also associated with www.blarg.co.uk, www.theblarg.com, the Blarg Zone, Teh Blarg, Broadcasts from Planet Blarg, and every other site that uses my screen name. There are 354,000 Google results for "MikeB". Looks like you've got a lot of websites!

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"And speaking of the Fix, you have to remember the purpose of this blog. It's supposed to be about campaigns and elections. The blog was started to talk about the 2006 elections, and now it's about '08. So you shouldn't expect CC to post about Scooter Libby or the Walter Reed hospital; that's not what the blog is about."

Sorry Blarg, have to disagree with you on that. The heading at the top of this page is "The Fix by Chris Cillizza, washingtonpost.com's Politics Blog"

Even if this was an "elections only" blog, those topics would qualify as campaign material. All it takes is one topical paragraph by Chris C. and this blog is off and running.

But too many in a row on HRC robs the blog of its freshness; which is where the "off topic" posters regularly do us a favor.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 27, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I ask for some facts instead of name-calling and three people swear at me and call me a crackhead for pointing out Democratic party scandals written about in the Washington Post and New York Times. Does your swearing, name-calling and saying discredited crap make the articles untrue? What were your sources for discrediting a documented jail sentence, again? My sources are listed below.

Judge, Drindl, Blarg, your personal insults to me really say a great deal about all of you personally, don't they? I just presented documented articles I hoped would inspire some reasoned discussion about how both parties have problems. And I won't stoop to swearing and posting personal insults to other bloggers that post informative articles for discussion.

Judge, how are these articles made up? Blarg, how does saying the Republicans did it, too, justify selling influence for money? Dems said they wouldn't do that if given the majority. Its wrong no matter what party does it. And YES, Blarg, I was outraged when Republicans did this. Aren't you outraged the Democrats are involved in giving meetings to lobbyists in return for money? Drindl, what was discredited in my post? It's all documented. Many Democrats are going to jail for corruption. And its wrong for the other team (Republicans) to sell influence, but not your team (Democrats)?

Here are my sources and some other documented Democratic party scandals (with sources), just from February's headlines.

Washington Post. Democrats Offer Up Chairmen For Donors: Party's Campaigns Had Faulted GOP For 'Selling Access' By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum and John Solomon
Washington Post Staff Writers
February 24, 2007; Page A01

New York Times. Former Democratic Leader in Brooklyn Is Convicted, By Anemona Hartocollis, Published: February 24, 2007. Clarence Norman Jr., leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, the biggest Democratic organization east of Chicago, since 1990, was convicted February 23 of coercion, grand larceny by extortion and attempted grand larceny by extortion in what prosecutors said was a scheme to shake down judicial candidates in exchange for party support.

New York Times. Rhode Island: Ex-Lawmaker Gets More Prison Time, by Katie Zezima, Published: February 21, 2007. Former Democratic State Senator John Celona, who was sentenced last month to two and a half years in federal prison for taking corporate payoffs, was sentenced to an additional year and a half in prison after pleading no contest to similar state charges. Mr. Celona, a Democrat from North Providence, will serve the sentences concurrently starting on March 2.

State tells Black: We want $30,000 back
Money for legal fees must be returned after guilty plea, official says
Mark Johnson, Charlotte Observer, February 27, 2007. (http://www.charlotteobserver.com/112/story/32545.html)
Black Pleads Guilty to Corruption
Charges - Took $25,000 from chiropractors for influence, by Paul Chesser, Carolina Journal, February 16, 2007. (http://www.carolinajournal.com/exclusives/display_exclusive.html?id=3900)
Jim Black, North Carolina Democratic Speaker of the House, last week pleaded guilty to taking about $29,000, mostly in cash, from some chiropractors, is looking at a 10-year maximum and a possible $250,000 fine. He also committed crimes related to the state lottery and allowing a lobbyist to use his office and resources. But to lighten his sentence, Black will name other corrupt Democrats. Black is cooperating with the feds in their investigation as part of his deal. Black was the most powerful politician in North Carolina and directed Democratic party politics for decades. This is just the tip of the iceberg in North Carolina.

From www.northnewjersey.com -- Federal probe divides Trenton, Tuesday, February 13, 2007, by John P. McAlpin and Mitchel Maddux-Trenton Bureau. Democrats are refusing to release documents related to a federal probe on how millions in public funds were handed out over the last three years of the Democratic party controlled legislature. New Jersey legislative officials were hit with a volley of federal subpoenas last week, in a rapidly expanding corruption investigation into the Statehouse. The federal probe began last April with an investigation into state Sen. Wayne Bryant D-Camden, who was accused by a federal monitor of using his position to steer funding to the states medical university after he received a no-work job there. Among those who received subpoenas were Senate President Richard Codey D-Essex Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny D-Hudson Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts D-Camden and Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman D-Mercer, legislative officials confirmed. This may be the biggest state-wide scandal ever once it's done.

Well, I think I made my point. What was yours again? Oh, ya, you said I'm a crackhead and my documented articles are BS and discredited crap. No, its all documented and true. And all your name-calling and swearing won't change that. I'm sure others are tired of the three of you using a discussion forum for unjustified personal attacks.


Posted by: tarheel | February 27, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Avvanta . Sound familiar?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

And your evidence for that is what, exactly? Is that what you've figured out from tracking my posts?

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

drindl--FH is right. You are predictable and hyperbolic which diminishes the impact you could otherwise have.

Posted by: roo | February 27, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Just so everyone knows it and can understand it, Blarg's company is one of the leading proponents and profiteers of outsourcing and H1B visa's in the country. Also, Blarg is no working "software engineer". He is manager, perhaps one of the owners of that company, someone who actually advertises that companies can save money by hiring Indian workers at half or less of what they are currently paying for American workers. Blarg is, in other words, a parasite and a scumbag. Understand that and take everything he says with a very big grain of salt. Oh yes, Blarg, you know full well who I am. I just want you to know that I know very well who and what you are.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Drindl "NO. the Dens would not have chosen Don Rumsfeld, who did indeed overrule his military people. His only plan for the military EVER - was privatization for profit. That was the sole driving force behind everything he ever did. that is why everythhing that happened was entirely predictable, and predicted by the 'shrill'. That is precisely why our military is broken and we are sending troops to war without training and proper equipment."

Most experts are agreed that the force and tactics we used to take down the Taliban in Afghanistan were right on target. What is it that the dems would have done differently to catch Bin Laden in Tora Bora?

Drindl: "And what is the mission...to kill one man or to try and rid Afghanistan of the Taliban?'' Both. If we had used the same resources we used in Iraq in Afghanistan, chances are that would be over by now."

You can't just throw troops and resources into Afghanistan and expect results. The terrain, lack of roads etc. make it very difficult to maintain order. The Soviets tried that and failed miserably. You don't know what your talking about.

Drindl: "Stop supporting Mushareff ? Yes, I think so. Why is our taxpayer money being used to build a nuclear arsenal tht will eventually be used on us"

That's just idiotic. Who is left then? Who are you going to talk to, or support? Eventually we are going to have to ratchet up the pressure and possibly take matters into our own hands with regards to Wazirastan, but that would be a last resort.

Drindl: His only plan for the military EVER - was privatization for profit.

And Bush is Hitler...thanks for the reasoned response.

Posted by: FH | February 27, 2007 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Chris, Blarg and others like him have been appearing more often in these forums and I am more than a little sick of them. Liberal, conservative, moderate posters who express their own views don't bother me a bit, but paid bloggers are a menace and need to be outed and banned.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I don't see why I should give you any details of my personal life. As I said, I'm a software engineer. I'm not paid to post here. (Except in the sense that I'm posting at work. But that's not my job; it's just me goofing off.)

Go to any financial site. Etrade, Yahoo Financial, Google Financial, whatever you want. Look up the S&P 500. Look up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. They are two leading indicators of the stock market. Look at their performance. These indices have gone up over the last one-year, two-year, and five-year periods.

Your claim that the stock market is in free-fall is completely and totally wrong. And it's very easily proved false. You can't expect to make ridiculous claims like that and not be called on it. I'm not part of a conspiracy against you. I'm just someone who knows BS when he sees it.

And do you know what the worst part is? The rising stock market actually validates your opinions on immigration! Big companies are profiting from outsourcing, offshoring, and reducing wages and benefits. That's part of the reason the stock market is doing so well! So not only are you making yourself look like a paranoid idiot, you're doing it in a way that doesn't even help your case!

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 3:52 PM | Report abuse

But, Blarg, that isn't what you do for a living, is it? I imagine you're paid to post here. Who do you wok for? C0me on. Share.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, if your tracking of my posts is as effective as your tracking of everything else (salaries for software engineers, number of people working on H1B visas, the S&P 500, etc.), I have nothing to worry about.

I'm a software engineer. That means that, according to you, I'm paid 50% of what I would have been in 2000. You should be able to figure out the salary range from there.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, I track your posts. I KNOW you're not an ordinary participant, so please quit the ducking and weaving act. Fess up. How much are you paid?

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Once again, you're making statements that are totally unsupported by the facts. And then you call me delusional and say I'm lying.

It is a fact that both the Dow Jones index and the S&P 500 have increased significantly in recent years. Look up the charts on any financial site. This isn't something that I can be lying about. It's publicly available information which you're completely misrepresenting as part of your own agenda. Again.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I'm shrill. That breaks my heart. I'm just telling the truth and you don't want to hear it. I also said Iraq was not going to be a cakewalk. People like you told me I was shrill back then, too. tough.

'The dems would have been relying on the same military minds that GWB used in Tora Bora.'

NO. the Dens would not have chosen Don Rumsfeld, who did indeed overrule his military people. His only plan for the military EVER - was privatization for profit. That was the sole driving force behind everything he ever did. that is why everythhing that happened was entirely predictable, and predicted by the 'shrill'. That is precisely why our military is broken and we are sending troops to war without training and proper equipment.

'There was never a doubt that once the initial war was fought that the enemy was going to regroup.' So then why did we pull out so precipitously? For a war we did not need to fight in Iraq. For a war for oil. The agreements are being drawn up and I guarantee you Exxon Mobil will be he first cmpany to sign on to drill for oil in Iraq. You see, bush/cheney/rumselfed don't think this war is going badly at all. they got everything they wanted.

I don't have any ideas? I don't see you coming up with much of anything except criticism of me. And frankly I don't care what you think. If you think.

Stop supporting Mushareff ? Yes, I think so. Why is our taxpayer money being used to build a nuclear arsenal tht will eventually be used on us? He has never cooperated and bush/cheney never stops babying him. cheney goes over there and says, [finally, after 5 years] crack down -- and mushareff says,, 'we won't be dictated to.' Well, stop the money and see if he starts listening. It's you republicans that are the appeasers.

Reagan trained and equipped bin Ladin, Saddam, Noriega and others and they all turned on us, and now bush/cheney are appeasing mushareff and the saudis.
'
'And what is the mission...to kill one man or to try and rid Afghanistan of the Taliban?'' Both. If we had used the same resources we used in Iraq in Afghanistan, chances are that would be over by now.

As far as hunting the militants in Pakistan? infiltrators. Spies. Agents who speak the language and know the area. We should be recruiting people who speak Pashtun and Farsi. But are we? No. In fact, the last couple of years many of the middle-eastern dialect speakers were purged from State and the CIA because they were gay.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

I see our friend Blarg is still as delussional as ever - "...the stock market is in a free fall..Nobody's noticed it because it's not happening..."

Oh, so the 500 plus point drop is an illusion. That explains it all! Tell us Blarg, how much does your company pay you to watch these forums and post your inane comments? And, share with us who they are.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the D majority in Congress is going to grow in 2008. Wait for it.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/linkset/2005/04/11/LI2005041100879.html

"Support for a troop withdrawal -- and, specifically, for Congress to stay Bush's hand -- is not the domain of the antiwar left. It is the view of a solid majority of Americans."

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 27, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

"Uh? Has anyone noticed that the stock market is in a free fall?"

Nobody's noticed it because it's not happening. The DJIA is up about 10% over where it was 2 years ago, and the S&P 500 is up over 15%. Both indices have been going up pretty steadily since early 2003.

There are a lot of problems with the US economy, based on things like income inequality and the lack of jobs with decent benefits. But big corporations are doing just fine, and they're the ones who drive the stock market.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Uh? Has anyone noticed that the stock market is in a free fall? Harkin, Clinton, the "Progressives", and rest of the globalization crowd; all of of the "Free Traitors" have nothing to offer and, I predict, will be history long before the 2008 elections. U.S. companies have outsourced jobs and services and production and used "guest workers" to replace/displace American workers for the past 6 years in their insane chase for lower costs and higher profits. Apple Computers, once the darling of my own household (we own 7 of them) are now made in China -- junk video, overheating problems, battery life that can be measured in parts of an hour, sound board malfunctions, built-in camera bugs, and memory problems are a just few of what we have experienced with our newest ones and I no longer recommend them. Microsoft, IBM, Intel, and other comanies has used indentured servants from India, 26 year old kids forced to work 12 and 14 hour days six and seven days a week, every one of them displacing an American worker, and they produce absolute cr*p for products any more. Now, our brilliant political leaders are about to legalize some 20 million illegals who won't be picking fruit for $5 an hour or doing construction work for $8 an hour paid under the table; they will compete with American's for every semi-skilled and unskilled job available. Our economy is going to completely collapse; it's just a matter of when. Our balance of payments is completely untenable, the fact that that international bond market has already been pegged to the Euro, and the fact that the price of crude oil is about to be pegged to the Euro, makes all of those foreign investments in the U.S., all of those government bonds purchased and held by foreign investors', a very bad deal. THIS is the story on the front page of newspapers everywhere in the world but the U.S. We're screwed, bankrupt, kaput! We just don't really know it yet. And, I've got to say it, we deserve it - there's a price to be paid for that cheap labor that has artificially inflated stock prices and those low low WalMart prices.... and the bill has come due. Harkin? His story is a non-issue. The story, Chris, is WHO IS GOING TO HAVE THE COURAGE TO END ANY AND ALL H1B, L1, AND OTHER GUEST WORKER VISA'S AND WHO IS GOING TOACTUAL ASK HOW WE CAN AFFORD THOSE 20 MILLION ILLEGALS.

Posted by: MikeB | February 27, 2007 1:45 PM | Report abuse

"i'm not the 'stooge' FH -- that would be YOU. you are the one that allows yourself to be used like a credulous, gullible fool. so tell me, do you still think the taliban is 'in its last throes'? "

Drindl: You are pretty much not even entertaining anymore...shrill, lack of any real ideas, basically just a dart thrower at this point. I always knew Afghanistan was going to be hard Drindl. Whether it was all we had going or whether we went to Iraq. Look at its history...easy to conquer, hard to hold. The Soviet army was not that bad. Terrain, tribal issues, porous border, lawless areas all play a part in making it difficult to control. There was never a doubt that once the initial war was fought that the enemy was going to regroup. The question is, are we going to stay and fight the long hard struggle, or are we going to run away.

The dems would have been relying on the same military minds that GWB used in Tora Bora. Do you think a Dem. president overrules his military commander? And what is he going to do, drop the entire 82nd into the mountains and hope some unit gets lucky and spots Bin Laden. Not to mention the inherent dangers of a large scale Airborne operation, which is the only possible way to get the number of troops needed in a timely fashion to try and secure that area. And what is the mission...to kill one man or to try and rid Afghanistan of the Taliban?

I would love to hear what your ideas are for hunting the militants in Pakistan. What else can you do? Stop supporting Musharaff? You throw darts, but offer us nothing in return.

Posted by: FH | February 27, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Tom Harking will beat these three moonbeams
(Latham, King & nussel) very handily.

Posted by: rk.robins@cfu.net | February 27, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

drindl, you almost sound like you're rooting for the Taliban to get Cheney, or at least happy that there was a saboteur.

Please tell us that's not the case.

Posted by: JD | February 27, 2007 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"...orchestrated a "quick attack" to send a message to people like Cheney who constantly tout military successes...you are a fabulous stooge Cheney"

Posted by: Original thought hurts my brain | February 27, 2007 12:45 PM | Report abuse

' Sufferers have low self-esteem, and often believe that the abuse is their fault.'

understood kevin,, but the way these reporters grovel and beg for the rightwing's attention sure looks like low self-esteem, but maybe it's just a lack of dignity and professionalism.

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

And btw, Schneider is just another FAUX rightwing sold-out wapo corporate wh*re...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

The following is the definition of "Battered Women Syndrome" from Wikipedia: 'In lay terms, this is a reference to any person who, because of constant and severe domestic violence usually involving physical abuse by a partner, becomes depressed and unable to take any independent action that would allow him or her to escape the abuse. The condition explains why abused people often do not seek assistance from others, fight their abuser, or leave the abusive situation. Sufferers have low self-esteem, and often believe that the abuse is their fault. Such persons usually refuse to press criminal charges against their abuser, and refuse all offers of help, often becoming aggressive or abusive to others who attempt to offer assistance.' So, you can see, Drindle, your analogy doesn't really work here. I like your idea, though. I think it is a hoax, perpetuated by lies, with a wink and a nod by all involved. Except us.

Posted by: Kevin | February 27, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

'to people like Drindl who constantly tout militant successes...you are a fabulous stooge Drindl.'

i'm not the 'stooge' FH -- that would be YOU. you are the one that allows yourself to be used like a credulous, gullible fool. so tell me, do you still think the taliban is 'in its last throes'?

it wasn't democrats that abandoned sure victory in afghanistan to divert resources to the battle for iraq's oil. it wasn't democrats who let bin ladin slip away. it wasn't democrats who allowed themselves to be used by mushareff while he just kept taking our money, and building up his nuclear arsenal and allowing bin ladin and the taliban to build training bases in afghanistan.

it wasn't democrats who have enabled bin ladin to be ready to strike again -- this time with nukes. no, that would be republicans,, wouldn't it?

you really don't like the truth, do you FH?

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Drindl news "Did you know the extraordinary secrecy of Cheney's trip to Afghanistan? Yet, clearly the Taliban knew exactly when and where he'd be. Which likely means infiltrators..."

Actual news "However, his meeting with Karzai was delayed when a snowstorm left him unable to make the roughly 20 minute-flight from the Bagram base to Kabul, and the vice president stayed the night.

The Reuters news service reported that Taliban spokesman Mullah Hayat Khan took credit for organizing the quick attack."

Orchestrated a "quick attack" to send a message to people like Drindl who constantly tout militant successes...you are a fabulous stooge Drindl.

I especially liked this part of the article by Howard Schneider, "

"The official said that Karzai was "upbeat," but relayed comments from Afghan tribal leaders skeptical about U.S. commitment to the country -- a concern deepened, the official said, by Democratic talk of a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

"They worry about that," the official said. "If they see weakness on the part of the U.S. . . . they worry about our commitment."

A well founded skepticism about our commitment I would say.

Posted by: FH | February 27, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"the mounting Democratic party scandals in our daily headlines"

Links, please. Real ones, not right-wing mastication based on made-up bs (see Clinton, Bill 1992-2000).

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 27, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

'Anytime posters start using Hitler remarks they lose all credibility'

that's total BS tarheel -- when the shoe fits, wear it. there are parallels that are true whether you like it or not. I didn't say 'bush is hitler' i said, the American and European media of the 30's were quite thoughtful and delicate and even admiring of Hitler at first, evenn tho he hated them. Google it. Like you have any credibility with your petty 'mounting party scandals' --after jack abramoff and tom delay and the most corrupt congres in history/

Are you kidding me? Where'd you buy that crack? Hey, you sound just like zouk -- maybe you're hiim. Same discredited, absurd crap.

Posted by: drndl | February 27, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarheel, did you read the second page of the article?

"The tactics are hardly new. Republicans aggressively used their committee chairmen -- and the promise of access to them -- to raise money from interest groups and lobbyists during the party's 12 years of congressional control. They tracked donations closely and pressed lobbying firms to hire GOP lobbyists through the 'K Street Project,' promising 'intimate' issue briefings with the chairmen in return for big donations.

And the GOP is hardly sitting on the sidelines this year. Republicans are also using their top lawmakers on committees to haul in donations. Rep. John L. Mica (Fla.), the ranking Republican on Transportation and Infrastructure, is scheduled to headline a "transportation luncheon" fundraiser in coming days for fellow House Republican Jerry Moran (Kan.)"

So the worst you can say about the Democrats is that they're doing the same things as the Republicans. Were you outraged when the Republicans did this?

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

If you wanna get really nauseous, read George Will's attack on unions today. He's whining about how the poor little global corporations are getting pushed around by their employees --boohoo!

Just another sickening day at the WaPo HoHouse. Fortunately, they do have a few REAL reporters like Bob WoodrufF, who after receiving horrific injuries in Iraq, is championing the brain-damanged veterans who are being abused and neglected by the Pentagon...

'VA Secretary Jim Nicholson tells Woodruff that his agency is devoting considerable resources to brain-injured patients. But the program charges that military officials are withholding information on the extent of such injuries among Iraq veterans, and that many soldiers also suffer from "invisible" brain injuries that go undiagnosed for long periods. A veterans' advocate accuses the Pentagon of issuing "gag orders" on discussing traumatic brain injuries, and Woodruff reports that the department declined to release some information for "operational security reasons."'

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Anytime posters start using Hitler remarks they lose all credibility. It sure wasn't liberal anti-war activists who defeated Hitler. You completely discredit yourselves with that over the top grade school rhetoric. How about some facts instead of name calling? Follow the money. Right. Heres some money news.

The Post just published an article title, Democrats Offer Up Chairmen for Donors (2/24). Nancy Pelosi made no apologies for blatantly scheduling meetings with committee chairmen for money. Thats called selling influence for money! Democrats should be worrying about this outrageous slap in the face of the voters who gave them the majority. Plus the mounting Democratic party scandals in our daily headlines will be broadcast across the internet, further eroding their support.

Clarence Norman Jr., leader of the Brooklyn Democratic Party, the biggest Democratic organization east of Chicago, since 1990, was convicted 2/23/07 of coercion, grand larceny by extortion and attempted grand larceny by extortion in what prosecutors said was a scheme to shake down judicial candidates in exchange for party support. This was Norman's third similar conviction. After his first conviction, Mr. Norman was stripped of his Assembly seat, which he had held for 23 years, and his leadership of one of the largest Democratic Party organizations in the country.

Posted by: tarheel | February 27, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Tom Shales is, hands down, the worst TV reviewer I've ever seen. Your best bet is to do the opposite of what he says, because his taste in TV is so awful. He hated "Arrested Development" so much he'd bring it up in praising far worse shows, saying things like "I'm so glad to see a good old-fashioned sitcom that's not complicated like Arrested Development." He's basically the only critic that didn't like AD. The fact that Shales can get paid for his terribly-written praise of mediocre crap boggles the mind.

I know that's not related to the Fix, but I had to get it off my chest.

And speaking of the Fix, you have to remember the purpose of this blog. It's supposed to be about campaigns and elections. The blog was started to talk about the 2006 elections, and now it's about '08. So you shouldn't expect CC to post about Scooter Libby or the Walter Reed hospital; that's not what the blog is about.

Posted by: Blarg | February 27, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Hey, Nor'easter, we ARE his interns -- we just don't get any credit. I wish CC and so many other reporters could step out of their beltway mindsets and THINK for a change --particularly in terms of writing about politics as if operated independently of what's happening in the world .

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Nor'Easter;

Anmyone know if CC's carrying around a "macaca" camera? I bet he'd love to get a shot of Hill or Bill in an unflattering moment...

But nothing hurts a writer's ego worse than the old addage "a picture is worth a thousand words."

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

And I do not make these "Delay pawn" accusations likely.

I meant "lightly", normally I don't correctmy typos, but this one had serious "meaning" problems...

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

JEP - One problem for the blog is that Chris C is out on the campaign trail with Sen. Clinton, writing hard copy stories as well as handling The Fix.

So, CC's selcted topic for The Fix has been "2008" almost 24/7; and when he's on the road reporting, the topic is invariably about HRC.

It's not like there isn't enough to discuss with Iraq, Iran, the Congress, the Vice President, the "Scooter," the Post's Dana Priest series on Walter Reed, the recent increase in oil prices, etc. to keep the blog lively.

But it takes Drindl and some others (Che doesn't count) to get the conversation on to things other than 2008.

Chris really needs an intern to help with The Fix.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 27, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Grassley and Harkin have consistently worked across party lines to produce for their constituents, it will take someone of extremely high integrity to get a whole-hearted endorsement, rather than a casual nod, from Grassley.

Considering the list we've been given, and their connections to the old Delay gang, it will be hard for Grassley to sincerely endorse any known characters.

It would take an Iowa Republican Obama coming out of the state Republican ranks to give Grassley a candidate he might support with all sincerity.

But faced with the crew of former Delay pawns that he currently has to choose from, (those on today's list in particular) he's not likely to be overly enthusiastic, and will be reduced to giving minimalistic lip service that his party obligations demand from him.

And I do not make these "Delay pawn" accusations likely, a little bit of googling on any of Iowa's House Republicans (Kansas is even worse) shows they were part and parcel of not only the K-Street purge, but in the run-up to war.

Iowa and Kansas Republicans played major roles in the disinformation and arm twisting that led us into this Iraq cesspool. They should all be voted out of office next time around, and hopefully, the Democrats in both states will find some top-tier candidates this time, to do the job.

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Harkin will seek re-election in 08. Furious DC speculation aside, Vilsack's move has nothing to do with Harkin. I guess pure fantasy is part of DC parlor games these days.

The complete absurdity of this article makes me question anything in the Fix now. You should be ashamed of printing such obvious tripe.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

One of the funniest things on television is when Shales criticizes the physical appearance of somebody else.

But then, maybe that's actually more sad than funny.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | February 27, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

From Drindl's last post...
"I can't think of any other reason but the press' masochsim and adulation of people who are essentially fascist in their beliefs is one of the scariest phenomenom I've ever witnessed. Much like the press' love affair with Hitler in the 1930's..."

While I am not personally experienced with it, it has always seemed to me that the battered spouse quite often sticks around just for "the money."

So, in this case of misplaced media loyalty, just follow the money... and like Hitler's industrial backers managed the wealth that managed the media that managed the poublic opinion behind the tyrant, the same applies to Cheney's no-bid, book-cooking war profiteeering pals.

If you believe the old parable "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil," then the real issue is THE MONEY, and this love-hate game of journalistic sleaze is nothing more than the WaPo wooing advertising revenue from the conservative corporate ranks who are the ultimate enablers of pnac, Bush, Cheney, war and torture and death.

This battered spouse (the WaPo) apparently doesn't mind the black and blue bruises, the vile criticism or the hateful remarks from "the right," as long as they keep sending them that weekly advertising check.

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I think the strongest candidate would be Tom Latham. Here's the catch, I do not think Latham will run for the senate seat. Steve King appears to want to run, but I'm not sure how effective of a statewide candidate he would be. I'm wondering who has the blessing of Republican Iowa icon Chuck Grassley. I don't think Harkin can be defeated without a strong candidate with a very strong backing from Grassley. Anyone know who he supports? Or will he come out strong against Harkin at all?

Posted by: reason | February 27, 2007 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Shales is paid and encouraged to be an idiot.

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

That was me, Judge. Forgot to sign. I'm really just astonished at the lack of dignity of Post writers... the way they grovel and prostrate themselves at the feet of these white supremacists and chickenhawks and faux news pretenders -- who HATE them and openly ridicule them --I just don't get it.

A lot of folks think it's like battered wife syndrome -- they've been beaten up by the radical right so much they've come to need it and want it. I can't think of any other reason but the press' masochsim and adulation of people who are essentially fascist in their beliefs is one of the scariest phenomenom I've ever witnessed. Much like the press' love affair with Hitler in the 1930's...

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Anonymous, it's even more blatant than that. In Shale's column (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/16/AR2007021602098.html) he talks about how 'funny' Faux New's emulation of the Daily Show is (based on his examples I just don't get it) but the giveaway is when he says "the dreadful, overboard mugging and mincing of "Daily Show's" obnoxious Jon Stewart."

First off, I (and the hordes of people who regularly watch the show) LIKE Stewart's mugging. The man has excellent comic timing.

Second, to call Stewart 'obnoxious' in the context of an article about Faux News is the height of hypocrisy. Faux News is the world's reservoir of crass and deliberate obnoxiousness, while Stewart often seems to be the only remaining example of truth in journalism.

Shales is an idiot.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 27, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, JEP -- but the WaPo has just oodles of lipstick and it never stops trying...

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Hey Judge -- I'm already packed -I've been waiting. Hey, and don't think you haven't been noticed too! But we don't have to go all the way to Cuba-- there's a whole bunch of luxe 'detention centers' being constructed by Halliburton all over the country!

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Just want to say "hey" to all the regulars. I've been following the Libby trial lately on Firedog Lake and as you all might imagine I have not been shy about commenting.

But to be quite honest, after the elections, this blog just seemes a bit too forgiving about some of the issues the election should have dredged up, I noticed it took posts from Drindl and The Judge to get us looking into meaningful issues.

Just consider the Babs Comstock and Michelle Malkin enablers coming out of the WaPo woodwork, and the very concerted effort by the MSM in general to legitimize these infantile right wing blogs, when we all know the moderates and lefties are the real "blog" story. The right wingers are the wannabe's, as far as blogging goes, and they have exposed their underlying MSM connections, which makes for a very ugly critter.

No amount of make-up can fix that pig.

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"The Post's soft spot for conservative media players is well-known. Last year the paper lovingly profiled Fox News' openly partisan anchor Brit Hume and announced, "He speaks deliberately, unhurriedly, making his points with logic rather than passion." And in 2005 the paper equated factually challenged talker Rush Limbaugh with award-winning late-night satirist Jon Stewart.

But I think it's time to acknowledge what has blossomed into one of the Beltway's most dysfunctional media liaisons: the love-hate relationship between The Washington Post and right-wing bloggers. The Post loves the bloggers, but the bloggers hate the Post.

I don't know if the Post's cozying up is part of an overt effort to shed the "liberal media bias" charge, or if Post news execs actually believe the online GOP bomb-throwers represent an interesting and important piece of today's political dialogue. But for whatever reason, the Post has gotten into bed with the right-wing bloggers again and again. "

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

And I bet Tom Harkin would agree with me.

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

'KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan Tuesday during a visit by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, killing up to 23 people and wounding 20 more.

The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.'

Drindl, baby, you've got it all wrong! This is a sign of SUCCESS in Afganistan! The insurgency is in it's last throes! They didn't get Cheney so now they are moping around, totally demoralized! Osama is weeping inconsolably in a cave somewhere! Victory is just around the corner! Cheney bravely consumed the last of their IED's during his visit! Black is white! Day is night! All hail our brave and glorious leader!

Now I must chastise you for propagating the truth. You are obviously in the employ of a terrorist sleeper cell in the US. They are feeding you doses of reality which has a known liberal bias. We must retrain you in one of our luxurious 'schools' at Gitmo. Pack your things.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | February 27, 2007 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I think the old, slow ebb and flow of "liberal" vs "right wing" media bias is becoming more like a wild, swinging pendulum, and the WaPo is suffering some of the worst resultant journalistic schizophrenia in the industry.

After Victoria Toensing's recent trashfest about the Libby trial and Fitzgerald was somehow obtained by a juror in that trial, it makes any reasonable person wonder at whether there is ANY integrity left on the right.

Just printing such a piece of convoluted conjecture only makes the WaPo look like another version of the WaTimes.

If they are proud of their subterfuge, all the more shame to them. If their publishing shenanigans cause a misstrial, I will join an already-building movement to boycott your publication and encourage others to do so. Your editors really should print an apology, but that's about as likely as Libby forgetting all about Valerie Plame for a couple weeks.

As long as the trial continues to a conclusion, I won't join that boycott the WaPo group. But if Toensing's trash can be traced to the juror who was disqualified, your entire staff should feel ashamed of what your bosses did to undermine our legal system.

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

who**ing is actually spelled who*ing.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Hey, CC, why are your bosses messin' with the Libby trial?

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Just wanted to share this -- gee, WaPo [especially Kurtz] people are talking about your who**ing with racist rightwing bloggers:

'Under normal circumstances, the recent lunch at at a Filipino cafe in Washington, D.C., between Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz and right-wing blogger Michelle Malkin would have been an awkward affair. Kurtz was there to profile Malkin for the paper's Style section, yet Malkin in her writings had made it clear she despises the mainstream media and holds the Post in contempt. ("Washington Post Sinks To A New Low," read a Malkin blog entry on July 22, 2005.) She has written that the paper's managing editor displays an "anti-American mindset" and has specifically singled Kurtz out for being a dishonest and incompetent reporter.

Talk about tension. The lunch and the subsequent feature could have set off some real fireworks with Kurtz not only defending his work and the Post's reputation, but pressing Malkin hard to explain her wild and often fact-free allegations against journalists. Instead, the profile, which skated over Malkin's anti-media rants as well as her loathing of the Post, was published as a Valentine's Day week mash note, presenting Malkin as a pugnacious, on-the-rise pundit who has her liberal critics up in arms.

As Paul McLeary noted at CJR Daily: "It really takes a talented writer to paint conservative commentator Michelle Malkin as the voice of reason. ... But the Washington Post's Howie Kurtz ... manages to do just that."

http://mediamatters.org/columns/200702270003

Posted by: Jay | February 27, 2007 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Harkin may also be looking at a cabinet position, there's not a Democrat in race who won't at least consider him for a cabinet spot, he would be one of the most qualified Agriculture Secretaries in history.

And I also noticed you didn't even mention Latham's much-closer-than-imagined contest against Dr. Selden Spencer this last time around. Latham, whose well-documented ties to Delay and a few other notable scoundrels weren't exploited in the last election, came very close to catching the same indignant undertow Jim Leach got swamped by.

And while King still manages to win a bit bigger than the eastern Iowa candidates, he will seriously risk giving up a congressional seat to the Dems if he isn't the perpetual western Iowa Republican candidate.

See, wherever these Iowa Republican candidates come from to take on Harkin, they will leave a big hole for a likely Democrat to fill.

But, more than likely, Tom Harkin will go on to win another not-so-close one, and will continue to be one of our best Senators EVER. History will look back on Harkin's tenure as one of commitment and compassion for the public that elected him.

He is a real hero to those of us who grew up in Iowa, even most of the Iowa Republicans would defend him to anyone outside the state. Now as for INSIDE the state, they aren't as likely to be so kind, but that is Iowa for you, the literal headwaters of our political process.

It is unfortunate, and somewhat amusing, all the big states have become so obsessed with "caucus envy."

No matter what the naysayers say, Iowa is just the right kind of place for all of it to start.

Posted by: JEP | February 27, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"The NYT reports that after Cheney's visit, the Pakistani government issued a strong statement saying that "Pakistan does not accept dictation from any side or any source."

I guess Shooter showed 'em who's boss, eh?

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

'The Washington Post leads with an in-house poll that reveals two in three Americans oppose President Bush's plan to send more troops to Iraq. Also, 53 percent of people support the idea of setting a deadline for the withdrawal of troops and 64 percent said the Iraq war was not worth fighting.

The Wall Street Journal tops its world-wide newsbox with word that a U.S. raid in southern Iraq uncovered a factory that officials say was used to construct deadly roadside bombs that the military previously thought were made only in Iran.'

Posted by: republican clowns | February 27, 2007 9:58 AM | Report abuse

this is what smaller government means -why we are currently having an epidemic of food poisoning that's killed quite a few people:

'WASHINGTON (AP) -- The federal agency that's been front and center in warning the public about tainted spinach and contaminated peanut butter is conducting just half the food safety inspections it did three years ago.

The cuts by the Food and Drug Administration come despite a barrage of high-profile food recalls.

"We have a food safety crisis on the horizon," said Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia.

Between 2003 and 2006, FDA food safety inspections dropped 47 percent, according to a database analysis of federal records by The Associated Press.

That's not all that's dropping at the FDA in terms of food safety. The analysis also shows:

• There are 12 percent fewer FDA employees in field offices who concentrate on food issues.

• Safety tests for U.S.-produced food have dropped nearly 75 percent, from 9,748 in 2003 to 2,455 last year, according to the agency's own statistics.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The only people saying he may retire is the press. Not one source from inside his camp has even remotely come close to Harkin considering retirement. What gives?

Posted by: Bewildered | February 27, 2007 9:52 AM | Report abuse

I think, CC, if people are paying attention to the news at all [I mean, if they can tear themselves away from anna nicole's corpse and look at ACTUAL news] they will see that under bush/cheney/ rumsfeld's watch, the world has grown increasingly and explosively dangerous. Everywhere you look, tinderboxes ready to go up. Why would anyone in their right minds [and granted, a lot of the R base isn't] would vote for ANY republican?

Did you know the extraordinary secrecy of Cheney's trip to Afghanistan? Yet, clearly the Taliban knew exactly when and where he'd be. Which likely means infiltrators...

'KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A suicide bomber attacked the entrance to the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan Tuesday during a visit by U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, killing up to 23 people and wounding 20 more.

The Taliban claimed responsibility and said Cheney was the target.'

Posted by: drindl | February 27, 2007 9:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree I think that Harkin is solid anyway you look at it. He is a good speaker, he can raise tons of money if he needs too, and the GOP are still realing from the 2006 election.

The RNC and the RSCC have bigger fish to worry about then trying to take down Harkin.
The only way the Dems loss Harkin's seat is if he is tapped as the VP nominee.

Posted by: Andy R | February 27, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I find it hard to believe that Harkin could lose in this upcoming cycle. True, he's never won by much, but he hasn't lost since his first run for Congress in '72 either. This will not be a kind cycle for the GOP nationally with the war the mess that it is, and locally Iowa is looking more Democratic than ever (Dems control the House, Senate and Terrace Hill for the first time since Harold Hughes (well technically Robert Fulton) was governor in the 1960s)).

Posted by: Ian | February 27, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

It would be funny if Nussle ran. He couldn't beat a candidate like Culver, but then to go up against a historic figure like Harkin (only person to beat a sitting member 5 times). Nussle would get paddled in the debates. It would be like the VP debates of 88 all over again.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

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