Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Word is: Harris is Having a Super Time!

A life-long democrat speaks out on political campaign finance, Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and why he thinks Governor Bill Richardson would make a good vice president.

Former U.S. Senator Fred Harris supported George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign (this b/w photo was taken at Old Town's La Placita Restaurant). Four years later he criss-crossed the United States in a motor home four during his own bid for the democratic nomination. This August he'll be in Denver for the nominating convention. Harris is an at-large Super delegate and former Democratic National Party Chairman. He's supporting Barak Obama, but said he originally backed Governor Bill Richardson for president.

At 77, Harris is still active in presidential politics, but he spends most of his time writing. His extended bibliography includes books on poverty, race, American government, the shift to republicans in the 1980's, and the rise of national politics.

On May 19th, Harris, a "new populist Democrat" spoke at a book signing at the UNM Law School. He's published "Does people do it? If people does it, I can do it." In this engaging memoir, he describes how he met life and political challenges head-on.

During a January 2008 Barak Obama Rally at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Harris, who has encountered the likes of John and Robert Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon, listens to Barak Obama.

Hillary Clinton narrowly beat Obama after a hand count of provisional ballots by state party officials

For now, only one Superdelegate in New Mexico, Rep. Tom Udall has not announced who he's supporting in Denver this August. Perhaps he is unwilling to aliente 50% of the democratic base he'll need in this fall's general election against either Steve Pearce or Heather Wilson.

Harris, who was first elected to the U.S. Senate when he was just 33 years old, has maintained a reputation as a down-to-earth man of the people whose advocacy included American Indian causes.

My interview with Harris, was originally broadcast on 770KKOB morning host Bob Clark's program.

Photos: MG Bralley

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