Elections

Harkin welcomes Clinton -- and raises some questions

Former Sen. Hillary Clinton is introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin during the Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola Ipwa on September 14, 2014. (Zach Boyden-Holmes/McClatchy)
Former Sen. Hillary Clinton is introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin during the Harkin Steak Fry in Indianola Ipwa on September 14, 2014. (Zach Boyden-Holmes/McClatchy) McClatchy

Hillary Clinton made her first visit to Iowa in more than than six years, and host Tom Harkin offered a gracious — if somber — greeting Sunday.

Harkin, the veteran Iowa senator, is hosted his final steak fry on an Indianola, Iowa, farm, continuing a tradition he started in the 1970s. Clinton and her husband, the former president, are the featured guests.

Harkin told Des Moines’ WHO-TV Sunday "I don’t know" if Hillary Clinton will seek the presidency in 2016—though visitors to the steak fry Sunday were greeted by volunteers offering "Ready for Hillary" bumper stickers. The "Ready for Hillary" crowd is a group that backs her candidacy and has been active in Iowa, traditionally the nation’s first caucus state.

Harkin insisted Clinton is thinking more about this year’s elections. "She wants to be here to help our 2014 candidates. She’s focused on 2014, I’ll tell you that," he told WHO.

The senator also told ABC that the Democratic party’s center has shifted to the right. "A lot of us believe the center ought to be moved back — that the center has moved too far right," he said. Asked where Clinton is on that, Harkin said, "I don’t know."

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