Democratic presidential candidate Christopher Dodd has a warning for those who believe the Democratic Party presidential nominee is a shoe-in for the White House. "That is a very naive thought. It is going to take the ability to excite the passions of the Democratic Party as well as to invite Independents and Republicans who want change to join us next November to guarantee that victory," Dodd says, "and then to move on from that victory to build the kind of coalitions that will allow us to succeed on these issues we have before us."
At a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, Dodd acknowledged he’s a long-shot for his party’s nomination, but Dodd suggested Iowans have given lesser-known candidates a shot in the past. "You’ve not been overly impressed by celebrity or wealth in making decisions in the past. You’ve gotten beyond that here. You engage in this process in a way that no other state does," Dodd said. "The mere fact you’re here this morning willing to listen to someone who is not as well known, to give me a chance to make my case tells me you believe that there’s more to this decision than what the pundits or the national political writers have told you."
Also today, Hillary Clinton said the "fix" the Bush Administration proposes to stem the tide of home foreclosures is inadequate and unacceptable. During a telephone conference call with Iowa reporters, Clinton proposed a 90-day moratorium on any foreclosures on so-called "subprime" mortgages as well as at least a five-year freeze on the interest rates on those mortgages, many of which are scheduled to balloon dramatically.
"Iowa has a foreclosure problem. The state has about 6700 mortgages in some state of foreclosure proceedings right now and 40 percent of those are subprime although subprime mortgages are less than 10 percent of all the mortgages in the state," Clinton said. "What that tells you is that in Iowa as well as elsewhere subprime lenders wrote mortgages they knew families couldn’t afford."
Clinton said Bush’s proposal to cap interest rates would apply to too few of the mortgages that’re in risk of foreclosure. "At points this year Iowa has had the highest rate of foreclosure in the country," Clinton said. "…In Davenport about half the refinancing in 2005 was done with subprime loans. In Des Moines banks have gotten more than 700 foreclosed properties on the market; in Cedar Rapids more than 200; in Sioux City more than 100. I could go on, but I think you get the point that unless we take bold action the situation is only going to get worse."
Republican candidates Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson are due in Iowa Friday. On Saturday, Clinton returns to campaign in central Iowa. Saturday is also the day Oprah appears with Barack Obama at rallies in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids.