DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — When Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin completes his last year in office, the longstanding lawmaker may take a certain brand of liberal Midwestern populism with him.
A so-called “prairie populist,” Harkin was raised amid the social programs of the depression, witnessed the horrors of the war in Vietnam and charged into politics vowing to fight for the working classes, minorities and those with disabilities.
But until he walks out the door in January 2015, the 74-year-old Harkin shows no signs of slowing down his fight for the progressive causes he has championed throughout his nearly 40-year career. In recent months he has been advocating for President Obama’s health care overhaul, pushing for higher federal minimum wages and promoting anti-discrimination legislation.
Harkin said he “wanted to get some things done,” before retiring.