December 30th, 2007
07:53 AM ET
15 years ago

Scenes from the trail: Romney supporter comes around

 Kathy Krafka Harkema says she's never seen a caucus like this one.

Kathy Krafka Harkema says she's never seen a caucus like this one.

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (CNN) - Kathy Krafka Harkema, 47, calls herself a lifelong Iowa caucus-goer. But with five days until the 2008 caucuses, she says she's never seen a race like this one.

"There are so many people still deciding, there are even people deciding between which party they want to caucus for," she said Saturday, picking apart a piece of pound cake inside Smokey Row Coffee House before Mitt Romney popped in for a brief campaign stop.

Krafka Harkema, a Republican who works in public relations, called it "the most spirited caucus activity I've ever seen in my lifetime" and said that TV airwaves and mailboxes are saturated with campaign pitches. Her family held a mini-caucus over Christmas, she said, with Romney winning.

"I see people my age who are caucusing for the first time. There's no clear frontrunner in either party, so people feel like they have more power and more of a voice this year," she said.

She said all the Republican candidates "have pluses and minuses," but she recently came around to Romney because she likes what she said is his level-headed, managerial pitch. Rival Mike Huckabee, she said, has injected too much religion into the race.

After seeing Romney speak in person for the first time Saturday, Krafka Harkema was assured.

"That sealed it," she said, walking over to shake Romney's hand.

- CNN Political Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Iowa • Mitt Romney
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Matt A. , Marietta, GA

    Lemme guess... you support Romney, you voted for Bush both times, and you make up the 30% of the nation that somehow thinks that Bush is doing an excellent job.
    Ok I see.

    OBAMA / BIDEN 2008

    December 30, 2007 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  2. Jon Sanderson

    Yeah, I'm jumping on the Romney train. The man just exudes competence. And competence is this is precisely what the GOP and the USA needs right now. You're my guy Mitt. God speed.

    December 30, 2007 01:00 am at 1:00 am |
  3. JB

    Anyone that uses someone's religion as a criteria for whether or not they will vote for that person is not only a fool, but unequivocally un-American. One of the many wonderful things about this country that has made us so strong and persistent, is our ability to be tolerant of a variety of religions while all still maintaining a fervent love of and loyalty to America the beautiful, land of the free and home of the brave. Rise above. Now... after having read some of these comments, let me tell you if you need surgery, call me. I watched my dad do surgery plenty of times, so I'm qualified, right?

    December 30, 2007 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  4. John

    Was this just downloaded straight from the Mitt Romney site? What value did this blog bring to the table? Did it impart any information other than Mitt Romney has a supporter? What a load of crap!

    December 30, 2007 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  5. SHU

    I'm following this race with great interest. To me McCain and Romney seem the most clear-thinking on their feet, with a command of facts, and able to lead with reason and persuasion. But I am bothered because McCain always wants to get along SO well with the opposition that he compromises too much. Romney stuck to his guns on some tough issues in Massachusetts, and I like that. Romney has changed his mind on some keys issues, which I can forgive if sincere, but I'll be watching closely for any sign that it was really waffling and/or pandering as his critics claim. Right now he looks genuine and smart. Hope Romney is the real thing. The USA needs the real thing.

    December 30, 2007 03:06 am at 3:06 am |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    "About the only one with real integrity, morals, and that can actually think for himself is John Edwards."

    I think you owe me a new keyboard, after laughing I realize it is no joke how dishonest libs are destroying this nation and all that it should stand for.

    An ambulance chasing liar who has taken money from people who did nothing wrong has real integrity and morals, you truly symbolize what it means to be a liberal democrat these days.

    Since people like you who hate fairness and enjoy seeing people have their wealth taken from them for bogus, fake, dishonest reasons are the people who make up the left today, it is the duty of all fair minded, honest people who want truth and justice to rule the day to vote against your ilk. I bet you are just another lib leech who feels it is your right to be getting free money from some evil company (evil just for having money for working hard) through some bogus fake lawsuit or non-existant disability other than the disability that almost every lib has which is morally.

    Edwards has stolen money from hard working honest people through bogus, fake, dishonest lawsuits. Thanks for showing that a person like this is what a liberal democrat feels represents sound morals and integrity. Say what you will about people like Bush and Cheney, the facts show that the lib is far worse than they ever could be.

    December 30, 2007 03:16 am at 3:16 am |
  7. billybob

    Don't know He just seems so phoney to me. BUT I'll keep listening

    December 30, 2007 05:54 am at 5:54 am |
  8. Romney is worse then Bush

    Romney, another millionare who is going to work to make sure the Millionares and Billionares of America have more money then they will ever know what to do with

    I thought after 04 people would lean their lesson, but American never cease to amaze me

    December 30, 2007 05:58 am at 5:58 am |
  9. Romney sucks

    I honestly think Id rather have Bush another 4 years then Romney, the stupidity of Americans never cease to amaze me and that is evident by the support Romney is getting

    "he seems like a good man"

    "He looks like a President"

    "once you meet him you will want to vote for him"

    Romneys policies are worse then Bush, look for unemployment to continue to go up, more people claiming poverty, more middle class becoming lower class, and more upper class having more money then they will ever know what to do with

    That is what you will get with a Romney presidency, you have been warned

    December 30, 2007 06:07 am at 6:07 am |
  10. Julie T

    During Mitt Romney's governorship in Massachusetts, the only ones that he helped were himself and the wealthy; the middle class and poor had and still do suffer from his tax cuts. He cut the fat alright, unfortunately it was to the public schools, programs to assist the needy, and highways. This in turn raised fees which unfortunately affected the middle class and poor. He supports standarized testing, without any consideration to those children that have learing disabilities. He brushed off the Big Dig mistakes, allowing Lt. Gov. Healy to take the fall, which impacted her failed run for Governor of Massachusetts. He did not decrie her horrific negative ads (review them in the archives of the Boston Herald/Globe and nation wide media) when she ran for Governor against now Governor Deval, and is now is using them himself. Yes, I am from Massachusetts, I fear what will happen to the middle class and the poor if he is elected. One has many coats; he wears them all at once slowly shedding them to show his true colors.

    December 30, 2007 08:34 am at 8:34 am |
  11. Larry, Fairfax, VA

    Romney has no prayer of becoming President. He's another Radical Righty with zero foreign policy experience. I like the comment about him "exuding competence"....How exactly does one exude competence? Is it like in the debate when he said that Saddam kicked out the weapons inspectors? Seriously, Romney is so clueless its scary...and sad that he would garner such support for his polished lip service.

    December 30, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  12. Shelly

    As a women business owner, I can say, Romney is the best candidate. We need America to stay a world power economically.

    If I were a democrat in my social philosophies, I would support Obama.

    Interestingly enough, Romney is not such a threat to Dems on a social level, and Obama is not such a threat to Republicans on a social level....go figure.

    December 30, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  13. scared

    These comments truly scare me. This man and all the republican candidates preach more war and hate. Pushing their own morals on America. It is not the presidents job to dictate whom i pray to or dont pray to. Cant you see war all wars are wrong and caused by somebody's religious believes pushed onto others. You truly want to watch more young men die for another rich republican who is playing off the fears of the poor and uneducated "christians" to make more money from the spoils of war? Who is going to pay for this war. Its not going to be the people that make at least 6 figures. The more you make the less you pay. Im not here to tell you whom to vote for. Im here to ask you, is this war good for america, and who is really benefitting from it?
    think about it and keep religion out of it. There are thousands of religions in the world and to believe yours is the right one is just little unreligious.

    December 30, 2007 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Dallen, IA

    Response to "Romney Sucks" (fyi, your mother really didn't name you well, did she) – you mentioned that "Romneys policies are worse then Bush". Here's why you're wrong:

    – Romney turned around numerous companies that were on the brink of bankruptcy and in the process saved and created thousands of jobs. (are you against people having good jobs with companies that will actually be around in a year?)

    – Romney turned around record deficits as Governor, reduced waste, and left office with a surplus (are you against Government only spending what it needs to or has?)

    – Romney turned around corruption in the Olympics and left them with a lot more money than they started with, and did it for free. (are you against ending corruption, fraud, and waste in our Government?)

    You are way off base. THIS is what you will get with a Romney presidency. Or are you merely coveting what another man has worked hard to achieve in his life? Are you jealous of success or successful people using their talents to improve their communities and government.

    You are WRONG! America has never been more in need of someone like Mitt Romney to become President. How big is our national debt? Have you looked at it recently? We need to kick out anyone and I mean ANYONE currently in office, on either side of the isle, who has benefited from the pork and the waste that is so rampant and that is destroying our future. Or are you against that too? Time to wake up America.

    By the way, if you had an accountant who managed money the way our elected officials handle money – would you keep hiring them year after year and not actually hire someone who KNEW how to handle money? You can't fix problems by re-electing people that haven't even proven they know how to fix things before they get to Washington, and then suddenly expect they have a CLUE what to do next.

    Is all this sinking in? Have you seen a pattern in the way he's governed. If you can, and if you are not so blinded by hate that you will vote against the one person who has proven he can turn things around, well... God have mercy on your soul.

    December 30, 2007 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Jeff Burke

    You can tell when a candidate is desperate. They start the attack ads. Romney is on the run. The Mormon Christmas story is that God the Father has a physical body, was once human, and had physical sex with Mary. Which brings in not only multiple wives but husbands as well. SUCH WEIRDNESS.

    December 30, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  16. Chris S - Gerald, MO

    It's about time we get back to the business aproach to the institution of America. The last 8 years have been a crap-shoot of guesses and second guesses.

    Edwards/Romney '08

    December 30, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  17. Chris S - Gerald, MO

    It's about time we get back to the business aproach to the institution of America. The last 8 years have been a crap-shoot of guesses and second guesses.

    Edwards/Romney '08

    December 30, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  18. Scott, Madison, WI

    I hope she plans to come around a few more times since it's likely Mitt will change his positions and rewrite history before the next news cycle!

    December 30, 2007 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. Romney = liar

    Please don't be fooled by this guy. He is by far the phoniest candidate in the race. Just do a little research and you will see Romney is the biggest Flip-Flopper out there. If your rich and you like what Bush is doing to this country, then you will love Mitt. However if you are a working class voter who cares about the middle class then please suppport anyone else besides this bum.

    December 30, 2007 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. concernediowan

    I read that Huckabee and Romney are in a statistical deadheat. This will be an interesting vote this week. I just know I will not vote for Huckabee because I live in a town deeply affected by illegal immigration. Huckabee's past stance on this issue is pro-illegal aliens. I'm still researching Romney about this issue.

    December 31, 2007 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
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