Address, Harkin’s response discussed

By Rob Heselbarth

President George Bush’s State of the Union Address and Sen. Tom Harkin’s response were topics discussed Tuesday night at the Holmes Student Center.

About forty people gathered in the student center’s Illinois Room to view Bush’s address and a Harkin campaign videotape. The event was sponsored by the NIU Young Democrats.

“America won the Cold War,” Bush said. “The world trusts us with power,” Bush added, as he began his hour-long speech.

Because of the fall of the U.S.S.R., however, Bush said he plans to accelerate arms reductions, starting with a shutdown of the production of the B-2 bomber.

Bush said his $50 million will be saved proposed defense cuts.

Since Bush has taken office, he said there has been a 30 percent cut in defense spending.

The focus of Bush’s address was what he called his plan for America.

The plan includes a short-term plan to heat up the economy, and an eight part long-term plan to keep America’s place in the world economy.

“I didn’t find anything different or new in (Bush’s address),” said Dr. Lettie Wenner, chairman of NIU’s political science department. “There’s nothing. Just plain old stories.”

However, Bush isn’t the only politician who has a plan to save America.

“A five part economic program to get America back to work,” Harkin said in his campaign video, was his way of getting America out of the current recession.

One part of the Harkin plan was a program to deal with layoffs. A worker would be retrained for a different job in order to get back into the economy.

Harkin said he described the feeling in America right now as “a hunger to turn away from the policies of George Bush, and a hunger for a real Democrat to take on George Bush.”

“Harry Truman started a health care program,” Harkin said. “What Harry Truman started, I’m going to finish.”

Harkin added that he would redirect money from the military toward this country’s education system.

However, Hadley Hartje, a Harkin campaign aide, said Harkin’s comments were not “a cheerleading session.”

Loomis Mayfield, NIU research associate and member of the Young Democrats, described Harkin’s campaign as a people campaign, which can only be won by face to face campaigning.

“We’ve got to get out there and work for him,” said Dennis Lanthrum, a Democratic candidate for Circuit Court Clerk. “That’s what it takes for someone to win. We have to get a Democrat in the White House.”

There are five Democratic candidates with a chance to take over the White House in the 1992 election, Mayfield stated.

“Any one of them will be a good candidate to run against Bush and Quayle,” said Richard Schmack, Democratic candidate for state’s attorney.

“I’m a Democratic supporter in general, but I prefer Harkin at the moment,” Wenner stated.

Mark Ludden, a Democratic state representative candidate for the 70th District, said he called for this to be a democratic year as far as the election is concerned.