Another Kansas Senator is traveling to Iowa, making moves to run for President. Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Topeka, Kansas, took Bob Dole’s place when Dole left the Senate in 1996 to run for president full-time. Brownback is mulling a run for the White House himself and believes his status as a life-long Midwesterner has nationwide appeal. “I think the country is very comfortable with Midwestern sensibilities and a Midwestern style that’s solid but not ‘in your face,'” Brownback says. Brownback was elected to the U-S House in 1994 and to the U-S Senate two years later. He says he pursues a “Reagan-style” agenda. “It’s economic growth, it’s strong foreign policy, but also I’ve pushed strongly humanitarian issues…I’ve pushed strongly the cultural issues,” Brownback says. “I push a lot of the rural and agricultural issues.” Brownback at the age of 30 was appointed the Secretary of Agriculture in Kansas and Brownback says if he runs for president, he intends to focus on reviving rural America with things like tax credits for investors and rural homebuyers. “Rural issues have generally languished the last few presidential races. You just haven’t heard much about them,” Brownback says. “And we’ve got a huge problem. You’ve got a hollowing of the center of the country.” Brownback met Tuesday with key Iowa Republican party insiders to discuss his chances in the Iowa Caucuses and Brownback says his status as a “neighbor” will help.Brownback says being from a neighboring state is a huge advantage and it helped candidates like Dole, Missouri’s Dick Gephardt in 1988 and Minnesota’s Walter Mondale in 1984. But Brownback says he’s just in the “exploratory” phase of a potential campaign for 2008. “Assessing issues and possibilities, plus my wife and I haven’t had the final conversation, so you definitely put it in that category until we have a chance to sit down and talk it completely through and decide,” Brownback says. He says, though, that decision is subject to change based on “competitive forces” — which means what other candidates may do.
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