The third-ranking Democrat in the United States senate used a Saturday night appearance in Iowa to tout Hillary Clinton as the party’s top presidential prospect for 2016.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer was the keynote speaker for the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Day fundraiser.
“It’s time for a woman to be president,” Schumer said and the crowd of about 800 started clapping, cheering and getting to their feet. “And so tonight, here in Iowa — and I won’t get this opportunity again, I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for president.”
Schumer, who endorsed Clinton in 2008 as well, called politics a “tough business,” but he praised Iowa Democrats for seeing the “hope” in Obama in 2008.
“Suffice it to say my friends, 2008 was the right time for Barack Obama. He successfully navigated this country though some choppy waters and he’ll continue to do so for the next three years, but 2016 is Hillary’s time. Run, Hillary, Run!” Schumer said, as the crowd continued to cheer. “If you run, you’ll win and we’ll all win.”
Schumer has repeatedly said he is “one of the few” politicians to visit Iowa who isn’t harboring hopes for a White House bid of their own. Congressman Dave Loebsack of Iowa City joked about it when he spoke about an hour before Schumer.
“I’m still not convinced he’s not running for president,” Loebsack said “…He can deny it all he wants, but that’s not going to do him any good. We’re from Iowa. We know how these things work.”
Schumer spoke for about 45 minutes, spending most of the time offering a critique of the Tea Party movement within the Republican Party. Senator Tom Harkin spoke just before Schumer and Harkin suggested the Tea Party inspired government shut-down shows the Tea Party doesn’t represent “conservatism” but instead, represents “vandalism.”
AUDIO of Schumer’s speech, 44:00