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Harkin Withdraws from Race

Harkin Withdraws From Race

By Paul West
The Baltimore Sun


Sen. Tom Harkin billed his presidential campaign as a fight for the heart and soul of the Democratic Party. But this year, Democrats are going with their head.

The Iowa senator called himself "the only real Democrat" in the race. He lost out to three new-style candidates who say the party has to change.

"Our campaign has been about keeping the progressive agenda alive in our party," said Harkin, who chose a unique backdrop for his valedictory speech Monday: a college for the deaf. "We always knew it wouldn't be easy. The forces of reaction are dug in deeply, and that's why our candidacy has not been timid."

His poor showing -- he won no primaries and finished first in just three caucus states, including his own -- was being described Monday as the death of New Deal liberalism. But that may be a premature conclusion, particularly because some believe New York Gov. Mario M. Cuomo, an archetypal New Dealer, could have been the Democratic nominee this year, had he been willing to run.