The Steak Fry Show begins

Roxanne Conlin, the Democratic candidate for the US Senate, was first to speak during the “main program” for Senator Tom Harkin’s Steak Fry fundraiser this afternoon.  She gave a short speech, making reference at one point to the “uber-rich” — promting a woman sitting in the front row of the tent watching Conlin’s speech to repeat “uber” with a sort of awestruck tone.

A man under the tent shouted “You won the debate!” as Conlin started speaking.  Conlin a few moments later mentioned her joint appearance on Iowa Press with Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and told the crowd she doubted Grassley would agree to a televised debate.

“I’m glad you saw it,” Conlin said to people in the crowd who had yelled that they’d seen Iowa Press this weekend, “because as far as I know, he’s not coming out of his house again.”

Lieutenant Governor Patty Judge spoke briefly, introducing Governor Chet Culver who said: “People say it’s do or die time.  I say it’s do time…People wonder whether (Democrats) are up to the challenge….I’m telling you we are up to it…Stand with me.”

Harkin’s wife, Ruth, was next to speak, telling the crowd what’s upu with the two Harkin daughters.  Then Harkin was on.  Harkin quipped he’d asked Glenn Beck to estimate the size of the Steak Fry crowd. “He says there are at least 500,000 people here today,” Harkin said.

Harkin then said he’d asked Sarah Palin for a crowd assessment. “She said it’s so big she can see it from Wasilla,” Harkin said.

Harkin said Americans are “fed up with all this right wing…fear mongering.”  Harkin said: “They want to distract people so they’ll forget what happened last time they were in charge.”

Harkin put the 2010 choice for voters this way: “The elephants want to take us back. It’s either the clean up crew or the wrecking crew.”

Harkin offered a prediction on the governor’s race: “Chet Culver is going to beat Terry Branstad like a rented mule.”

Harkin offered a few words for Roxanne Conlin, saying Iowa would “make a little history,” as no woman has ever been elected in Iowa as a governor or member of congress.

Harkin seems to be wrapping up:  “I’m fed up with people sitting around and gazing at their navels and asking what it’s going to take to fire up…Winning campaigns are not about magic, or mood control…It’s about getting down to work…so friends, enjoy the festivities today.  Tomorrow, we’ve got to go to work.”

“…This is Obama country and we’re going to let him know it by our election this November.”  At about 3:25 Harkin introduced the two Davids — Axelrod & Plouffe.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.