With about 50 days until the Iowa Caucuses, neither of Iowa’s U.S. Senators plans to endorse a presidential candidate. Republican Chuck Grassley said this week he won’t be backing any single contender going into Iowa’s first-in-the-nation contest on January 3rd, and Democrat Tom Harkin says he’s staying out of it, too.
"We’ve got so many great candidates out there and they’re just all top-notch," Harkin says. "They’re all, without exception, friends of mine that I’ve known for a long time."
Harkin says he doesn’t think he carries that much influence with Iowans anyway in the choosing of their new national leader. "Iowans are very independent, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans and I don’t think they listen to me or Senator Grassley." Harkin says. "They just tend to do what they think is right. That doesn’t mean a hill of beans, as far as I’m concerned. And if you don’t believe me, you can ask President Dean about that."
Harkin was referring, jokingly, to Howard Dean, the man Harkin endorsed just before the 2004 Iowa Caucuses. Harkin was standing on stage with Dean in West Des Moines — holding Dean’s jacket — when Dean let loose with that now-infamous scream on Caucus Night.