If you are a Democrat giving serious consideration to running for the presidency then you have the Harkin Steak Fry circled on your calendar.
Once a local fundraiser to fill Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s political war chest, the Iowa Steak Fry has evolved into a signature political event with big time national exposure. Democratic hopefuls seeking national attention find large enthusiastic crowds eagerly waiting to press the flesh. If you are running then the Harkin Steak Fry is the place to be and be seen.
So it comes as no surprise that Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the presidency, showed up at this weekend’s event in Indianola, Iowa. Not only did Hillary show up at the National Balloon Classic Balloon Field where the event was being held…she brought with her arguably the most popular politician in the history of the Democratic Party…husband Bill.
In 2007 Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the presidency at the steak fry. She had not returned to Iowa since suffering a bitter defeat at the hands of Barak Obama in the January 2008 Iowa Caususes. Speculation was high that she would announce her expected run at this years’ event. After all Indianola, Iowa is generally not the type of place the Clinton’s hang out.
“Hello Iowa! I’m baaaack!” She exclaimed to raucous cheers from an enthusiastic audience.
‘It’s true, I’m thinking about it. (More cheers)
“For today that’s not why I’m here.” (Groans)
“I’m her for the steak.”
Over the course of the past six months Clinton has been asked thousands of times if she intends to run for the White House. Each time she responds with some little evasive quip designed to do nothing more than stoke the speculation. At a time when Clinton could be providing informed commentary…offering her insights on the weighty issues of our time…Clinton chooses to say nothing. She makes a host of speeches to fund her campaign machine…but says nothing. She publishes a book…and says nothing. Time and time again she is provided the opportunity to present new ideas on education, climate change, and poverty and income equality and yet she says nothing. As the former Secretary of State she is uniquely qualified to share her insight on the pressing matters of foreign policy. And yet again she says nothing. Always calculating…always political. Too cute by half! Behavior like this is why people hate politics.
We live in very complex and dangerous times. We need leaders who have the courage to speak the truth about these very politically charged issues. We don’t have time for political gamesmanship.
If Hillary intends to run then she should tell us. And then give us her insight on the issues.
If she is not going to run then say so. And then get the hell out of the way.