Senator Tom Harkin says it’s “too early to speculate” about Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential prospects in 2016. Biden will be the “headliner” at Harkin’s annual “Steak Fry” this Sunday.
“Joe Biden’s always had good support among Iowa Democrats. He’s very popular in a number of areas around the state,” Harkin said Thursday during a conference call with Iowa reporters. “…He has a long history of working with Iowa Democrats, so I think that he would find — how should I phrase it? — fertile ground in Iowa if he should choose to run.”
Harkin’s 2012 Steak Fry featured Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, one of the Democrats mentioned as a presidential hopeful for 2016, but Harkin told reporters he “hasn’t paid much attention” to any political jockeying that may be going on for the next presidential race.
“Obama just got reelected. We’re in the first year of his second term,” Harkin said, laughing. “We ought to take a breather here, you know?”
As they did six years ago, many Democrats argue Hillary Clinton has a clear path to the party’s 2016 presidential nomination. Harkin himself did not endorse a candidate in 2008, but Ruth Harkin, his wife, campaigned extensively for and with Clinton in Iowa. Senator Harkin is reluctant to say who would prevail in a potential Hillary Clinton versus Joe Biden match-up in Iowa’s 2016 Caucuses.
“I’m just not going to speculate on that,” Harkin said. “They’re both well liked in Iowa. There’s no doubt about that, but you know there’s a lot of time between now and 2015 when things really start to move. There’s a lot of time, a lot of things can happen.”
AUDIO of Harkin answering questions about Steak Fry, 6:32
On Saturday night Harkin will host a private dinner with local supporters featuring San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and his brother, Congressman Joaquin Castro. Harkin describes Julian Castro, the mayor, as “one of the up and coming young stars” in Democratic Party politics. Mayor Castro was a speaker at the 2012 Democratic National Convention and he’ll also speak Sunday at Harkin’s Steak Fry.