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Wouldn’t the following many good things logically happen if Tom Harkin started campaigning today for the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination?

Wouldn’t an immediate start to such a campaign be consistent with (and actually add substance to the rhetoric of) Harkin’s recent statement that nothing significant can be passed by the Senate during 2013-2014 because of the recent failure to adopt substantive filibuster reform? (See: http://www.slate.com/...)

Wouldn’t such a campaign generate more publicity for Progressive criticisms-cum-alternatives that Harkin might like to make of non-Progressive positions and actions of office-holders (and of other 2014 candidates for any offices)?

Wouldn’t such a campaign demonstrate the popularity, especially among potential Democratic primary voters and caucusers, of such criticisms-cum-alternatives?

Wouldn’t such a campaign pressure other candidates to declare their views on such criticisms-cum-alternatives?

Couldn’t such a campaign develop a voter-mobilization infrastructure that is independent of OFA, and thereby prevent an OFA monopoly on selecting the 2016 Democratic nominee for President?

Wouldn’t such an independent infrastructure broaden the Democratic voter-mobilization tent by (more easily than OFA) reaching potential voters that have turned negative on Obama?

Couldn’t such a campaign infrastructure help support 2014 candidates, for other offices, that Harkin might like to endorse?

Couldn’t such a campaign infrastructure be transferred to a later-declared Presidential candidate who Harkin might decide to endorse? (Wouldn't such a candidate benefit from infrastructure-development getting started long in advance of candidacy being declared?)

Couldn’t such a campaign, if it resulted in a non-trivial number of convention delegates pledged to Harkin, give him direct influence on selection of the 2016 Democratic Presidential ticket?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, no (4+ / 0-)

    He already ran once.  Seems like he's done.

    "Maybe we should march on the campus of the electoral college and occupy it until they change their vote"--some wingnut, Worldnetdaily

    by chicago minx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:17:03 PM PST

    •  Right. History only likes perfect hitters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chicago minx, BentLiberal

      When was the last time someone ran in a presidential election, and later won a different one?

      •  Nixon is the only one I can recall (0+ / 0-)

        "Maybe we should march on the campus of the electoral college and occupy it until they change their vote"--some wingnut, Worldnetdaily

        by chicago minx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:29:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Reagan lost nom to Ford in 1976; 1980 cruised (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chi
        •  I think he means actually running as the nominee (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrybuck

          or at least that's how I took it.

          "Maybe we should march on the campus of the electoral college and occupy it until they change their vote"--some wingnut, Worldnetdaily

          by chicago minx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:46:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, but Harkin was not a prior Pres nominee (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BentLiberal, exterris, Chi

            he was only a prior candidate in primaries

            •  In the last 30 years voters have become even (0+ / 0-)

              more unforgiving of losing primary and vice presidential
              candidates.  They want to move on.  Think of Quayle, Lieberman, Edwards, Palin.  

                   I love Harkin but his time as a kingmaker is past.  You are suggesting he could establish some sort of parallel organization that would rival OFA.  If he could do this, why didn't his endorsement of Howard Dean (who I also love) in 2004 propel Dean to the nomination?  You really think Harkin (who wold be 77 in 2016) could get enough delegates to make a difference?  Why would he even want to?  He ran for president 20 years ago and failed.

              "Maybe we should march on the campus of the electoral college and occupy it until they change their vote"--some wingnut, Worldnetdaily

              by chicago minx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:08:09 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Timing & Aging (0+ / 0-)

                Two timing issues seem relevant:

                1. The filibuster reform bust is a potential catalyst, and

                2. Harkin's announced non-candidacy for Senate-reelection gives him two years in which he is free to campaign, while other potential candidates are generally not yet able to declare (or even to decide to declare) their candidacies.

                Some things look worse with age, like the centrism that Clinton ran on in 1992 when he defeated Harkin in primaries,

                Other things look better with age, like potentially Harkin.

                The failure of Dean's 2004 candidacy does not necessarily mean that Harkin could not generate substantial support from Progressives in 2013-2014.

              •  failed primary candidates (0+ / 0-)

                Um, remember Romney[the fact that he lost is irrelevant, anyone who wins the nom has a legitimate chance of winning the presidency regardless of supposed baggage]?  And people want Hillary to run.  I think mostly people don't remember that failed primary candidates ran assuming they didn't spectatularly implode[fairly or not I'd include Dean and his scream in this category].

      •  Most Repub Pres nominees lost prior primaries (0+ / 0-)

        although usually just 4 years prior, rather than 22 years prior.

      •  Only of Democrats. Repubs Elect Repeaters nt (0+ / 0-)

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:55:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If he's done partly due to disappointment w/Senate (0+ / 0-)

      then what better last act than to transcend his role as Senator for at least the 2013-2014 remainder of his term?

  •  Veep seems a better option /nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Illinois IRV

    Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

    by annieli on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 07:18:52 PM PST

    •  Best way to run for VEEP is to run for Pres. Nom. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, BentLiberal

      But in any case I see such a campaign more as a vehicle for other goals than as a way for Harkin to actually get on this ticket, although VEEP nomination should not be ruled out.

      •  Harkin is a great guy and it he wants to (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FG, exterris, skohayes

        do anything, he should.  But I see no groundswell of support for him to head a national alternative to OFA.  You say it could "reach voters who have turned negative on Obama." Obama won't run in 2016.  (An overwhelming number of Democrats like Obama just fine, anyway).   This sort of sounds like a "primary Obama" diary--maybe it is a "primary OFA' diary.  

        "Maybe we should march on the campus of the electoral college and occupy it until they change their vote"--some wingnut, Worldnetdaily

        by chicago minx on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:18:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  How old is he? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes

    The Dems really need to get our younger popular canidates ready to run.

    I'm 60+ years old. I'm a salesman Two weeks ago The  BIG NATIONAL BOSS: "The future isn't with fat, bald old men".

    It's a little scary for me. I'm falling behind the pace the younger people are setting.

    I guess what I'm saying is we really don't need Bidden,Harkin and I for one have doubts about Hillary.

    The Ghost of Tom Joad http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jVZHCUbS4U

    by Illinois IRV on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:03:18 PM PST

  •  I would love it if he could. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't know if he wants to, but it would be great to have his ideas in the race.  While not to minimize the importance and the necessity for Progressive to align themselves with moderate allies such as Obama and Reid, it is important for us to run our own candidates too.

    Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

    by BentLiberal on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:15:18 PM PST

    •  Also (0+ / 0-)

      If you're talking about him actually winning and serving vs. a symbolic run, then he may likely only want to serve one term due to his age.

      Self-described political "centrists" believe the best policy is halfway between right and wrong. — @RBReich via web

      by BentLiberal on Sat Jan 26, 2013 at 08:17:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, probable result is just agenda-influencing, (0+ / 0-)

        but, if lightning strikes, and he becomes the nominee and the President, then he might be too old for two terms.

        •  emorej--I like Harkin, too, but I look for him to (0+ / 0-)

          leave the Senate at the end of his term for a high paying job in the insurance industry as a lobbyist or consultant.

          He gets a major award from one of the trade (lobbyist) associations on Monday, Jan 28, 2013.

          Just saw this quote in the latest issue of Pensions and Investments:

          Mr. Isakson also keeps his seat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, plans to further his universal retirement system proposal.
          Here's an excerpt from the NCPERS news release and a link to the piece in Reuters:
          The National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS) applauds Sen. Tom Harkin for focusing national attention on America's retirement security crisis and the vital role defined benefit pension plans must play in resolving that crisis. . . .

          We look forwards to working with Sen. Harkin and other policy makers to bring defined benefit pensions back to the private sector – and make retirement security a reality for all Americans.

          If Senator Harkin manages to get legislation passed for USA Retirement Funds (a new mandatory defined benefit plan for the American populace), he'll have written his ticket to a multimillion dollar lobbyist job with the insurance industry.

          Senator Harkin is a multimillionaire in his own right, but many Senators and Congressperson leave and go to "K Street" jobs for the big dough, on their way out of Washington.

          I have no problem with this, as long as former officeholders don't go back and forth (revolving-door syndrome) between private and public sector jobs.

           

          Mollie

          “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

          by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 12:38:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Harkin & NCPERS seem to be promoting the type of (0+ / 0-)

            conservatively invested large pool defined benefit plans, sometimes administered by governmental entities, that minimize management costs and fees.

            Is there a basis for expecting this to endear Harkin to the private insurance (or retirement fund management) industry?

            •  The basis is the following . . . (0+ / 0-)

              From the online website Pensions and Investments:

              New Congress offers hope for pension issues

              While wholesale policy changes are not expected in President Barack Obama's second term, some new Capitol Hill assignments have sparked a glimmer of optimism among retirement and investment industry observers. . . .

              Mr. Isakson also keeps his seat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, where Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, plans to further his universal retirement system proposal.

              Maybe it seems like a small feat to you, but IMHO being responsible for setting up a system that ensures that the entire American populace is participating in a universal (private) retirement system, which clearly provides insurance companies with millions of new American taxpayers/customers would ingratiate him to the industry IF he should want to put in a few years once her retires.  After all, the insurance companies sell the annuities that are part of the defined benefit plan--USA Retirement Funds-- that Senator Harkin is trying to get passed.

              Heck, many prominent lawmakers--Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, to name a couple--went on to lobbying jobs.

              And if Senator Harkin manages to set up these federally mandated private accounts, I would imagine that, having provided a windfall of that magnitude to the insurance industry, he would be welcome to work in it (if we so desires).  

              Clearly, I don't have a pipeline into the inner workings of his retirement plans.  He may well be intending to "spend time with the grandkids."  This is merely a possibility, IMO.  I sure don't have concrete evidence.  But again, logic tells me that he would have the opportunity, if he so desires.

              Remember Republican Congressman (Rep) Billy Tauzin, who pushed through the Medicare prescription drug benefit?  

              According to Wikipedia, Former Congressman Billy Tauzin, R-La., who steered the bill through the House, retired soon after and took a $2 million a year job as president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the main industry lobbying group.

              Here's a short clip of him on C-Span talking about the USA Retirement Funds (if it works--did in one post, didn't in another).  And here's a link to Harkin's USA Retirement Funds plan.

              Here's a quote from Senator Harkin:

              Specifically, I propose providing universal access to a new type of retirement plan – Universal, Secure, and Adaptable (“USA”) Retirement Funds – that can deliver real retirement security for all working Americans.
              And this as well.
              To address the retirement crisis, Harkin proposes to rebuild the private pension system by creating a new type of privately-run retirement plan – “Universal, Secure and Adaptable (USA) Retirement Funds.” USA Retirement Funds combine the advantages of traditional pensions – e.g., lifetime income benefits and pooled, professional management – with the portability and ease for employers of a 401(k). . . .

              Importantly, USA Retirement Funds also make it simple for employers to offer a benefit without having to take on all of the risk and administrative burden.

              And yes, NCPERS has in the past dealt with state plans.  But if you read on, you'll see that they are looking forward to working with him on developing the mandatory federal plan.

              If he does run, btw, I would very likely be in his camp.  So, I'm not dissing your idea or desire to see him as a Presidential candidate in 2016.  
              Just thought I'd throw that information into the mix.  (Have several insurance and securities brokers in our family.  So I tend to hear about this kind of stuff, LOL!)

              Good luck!

              Namaste.

              Mollie

              “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

              by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 09:57:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  P.S. I've seen conflicting information on these (0+ / 0-)

                accounts.

                Some material says flat out "mandatory," unless you're already enrolled in a defined benefit retirement plan.

                Other material says you're automatically enrolled in the USA Retirement Funds, but can "opt out."

                I will be interested to see which criteria applies.

                Mollie

                “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

                by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:06:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is that his candidacy will not be (0+ / 0-)

    taken seriously and will not have any serious influence on anything. Everyone knows that he is not going to win the primaries. Of course, he'll win Iowa. But beyond that?

    •  As Pres candidate wd TH hv more or less influence (0+ / 0-)

      than as a lame-duck Senator?

      Wouldn't such a campaign increase the value of Harkin's endorsement, and the incentive of other candidates to adopt positions that Harkin had already demonstrated have popularity (especially among primary electorates in key states)?

    •  Respectfully, that a bit of a "self-defeating" (0+ / 0-)

      attitude.

      Why can't he win, if the progressive community unites to back him?

      My question would be--would he be interested?  None of us could possibly know the answer to this.

      Mollie

      “If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

      by musiccitymollie on Sun Jan 27, 2013 at 10:02:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So let me get this right (0+ / 0-)

    The biggest knock on Biden and Hillary is that they are too old to be president.  So you want someone even older to run?

    •  Various knocks on Biden & Hillary candidacies (0+ / 0-)

      include that Hillary is too centrist and cautious, and that Biden (who has lost two Presidential primary campaigns) will be too identified with the Obama administration, especially its compromises on budgetary issues.

      Somebody using a Presidential campaign to promote the Progressive end of the playing field on those issues could be beneficial.

      Since such a campaign is a full-time job, most national figures don't have enough time available to devote to it. Feingold and Dean (each of whom was most recently seen losing a campaign) appear to have decided against this type of approach.

      Being a retiring Senator is not a bad platform for this kind of effort, because Senate votes and hearings, etc. enable some guaranteed media attention. Harkin's fellow retiring Senator Jay Rockefeller is now 75.

  •  Tipped & rec'd because Harkin is (0+ / 0-)

    such a true Blue vote for many, many years, and is owed the praise he's been given on this site these last couple days, but his running for president for 2016 is a remote chance.

    It could happen but I'd bet against it.

    I'd like to see Harkin instigate heavy volunteerism for the man or woman Iowa's Democratic Party chooses to replace him.  And I think Harkin may oblige that wish.

    The fight to keep that seat blue is entirely winnable.  

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