Democrats in southwest Iowa met recently for an election rally. Since the event involved 5 countries, and attracted people from a total of 7 Iowa counties, we were able to arrange for several candidates and politicians to attend.
Lt. Gov. Patty Judge attended, and on behalf of Governor Chet Culver, outlined the incumbent party's strategy for the November election. The Lieutenant Governor said that events out of the Governor's control, like record flooding and a national recession, are making times difficult in Iowa but the state in government is in good shape because of the work of the incumbent Democrats. However accurate, this line of argument will be a hard sale, but I am glad to see that Culver and Judge are ready to fight to defend their record.
Matt Campbell, the Democratic party's nominee for the 5th Congressional district, made another appearance in Southwest Iowa. I had mixed feelings about Campbell. I want so badly to see Rep. Steve King(R-IA-5) defeated that I will support anyone running against him. However, I was worried about Campbell's self description as a "fiscal conservative" and describing his philosophy as being in line with the Blue Dog faction. However, Matt Campbell gave a stirring defense of social security and I left much reassured by Campbell's willingness to fight for the pillar of the Democrat's domestic achievements.
The headliner of the night was Sen. Tom Harkin(D-IA). Harkin took great pride in the fact that he won Mills and Montgomery counties for the first time in his 5 elections to the Senate. Harkin spoke about his service as the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions(HELP) Committee. Taking each of the letters in HELP, Sen. Harkin described how Democrats were making life better for Americans. Harkin even grew tearful when talking about succeeding Ted Kennedy as chair of the HELP committee.
I know it is going to be a rough year for Democrats in Iowa and across the nation. However, the rally was a reminder of why I am a Democrat and I find so much enjoyment in being involved in politics.