Iowa's Sen. Tom Harkin and Nebraska's Sen. Bob Kerrey, both of whom have now dropped out of the presidential race, had a lot in common. Both are from sparsely populated Midwestern farm states. Both have relatively liberal voting records. And both voted themselves a hefty pay raise in the now infamous sneak late night roll call last summer. That spectacle -- which so emphasized their "Washington-ness" -- probably hurt them more than their liberal voting records.
But make no mistake about it, their liberalism hurt.
Senators Kerrey and Harkin campaigned honorably and hard, but 1992 is clearly not the Year of the Liberal -- and most definitely not the Year of the Senator.