Democrat Senator Tom Harkin and Greg Ganske, his Republican challenger, rehashed “tape-gate” last night during a televised debate in Cedar Rapids, but the real squabble occurred off-camera. The candidates disagreed over whether to sit on stools — that’s what Harkin wanted to do — or stand behind a lectern. Ganske wanted one for his notes. They ended up with lecterns pulled onto stage five minutes before show time, and because of the scramble, the candidates had to hold their microphones like lounge singers. During the debate, they sang the same tunes Iowans have been hearing from them on all the campaign issues, and each repeated their refrain over the Harkin campaign’s secret taping of a Ganske fundraising meeting. The candidates were asked how they’d vote on the resolution authorizing the use of U-S military might against Iraq. Congressman Ganske called it a “serious decision.” Ganske said Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and has played “rope-a-dope” with U-N resolutions. Ganske said it’s time to make sure Hussein follows the rules. Senator Harkin said it’ll be a “tough vote.” Harkin said he’ll wait to see the final version of the resolution before announcing whether he’ll vote for it. Last night’s debate was sponsored by KCRG television and the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
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