Iowa Congressman Jim Leach says the Iowa Caucuses had a big impact on how Europeans view the U.S. political scene. Leach was recently in Europe for an economic conference. Leach says unfortunately there’s a lot of hatred toward the U.S. at this time, something that he says could improve. He says for the last several decades people have differed with our political leadership, but he says they have respected American culture and American people. Leach says that’s a good position as “because if we can improve the quality of our political life, we can come back in the world in a much stronger way.” Leach, a republican, says it’s not a partisan issue. He says it isn’t republican versus democrat, as the same trauma occurred under former President Bill Clinton, although under a different set of issues. Leach says it seems to be an overall political view that the Europeans have trouble accepting. He says he doesn’t sense a belief that a change in administration makes a difference. He says Europeans know our politics much better than Americans know European politics. Leach says the European interest in U.S. politics brought their focus on Iowa. He says as a representative of Congress from Iowa, everybody wanted to talk to him. He says they wanted to know “what was an Iowa Caucus? Who are these people?” Leach says the Europeans were so much concerned about the various candidates for president as they were the issues and manner in which Iowans selected their favorite candidates. He says the state earned respect.He says, “Iowa is in great shape around the world, Washington is in less good shape.” Leach says the Europeans were fascinated by the fact that Iowans were choosing a candidate based on the best candidate among a field of good candidates, and the way supporters of one candidate didn’t have to hate the other candidates. He says that’s not the way European politics work. He says in European politics, you can’t possibly like an opponent. Leach says he sensed the Iowa Caucuses were the “most cheerful in memory” and he says Europe got a great feel for that. Leach says both democrats and republicans in Iowa should be proud of the showing they made around the world.
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