Politics
              FILE - In this March 22, 2013 file photo, Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Senate Democrats are introducing legislation that would replace the one-sized-fits-all national standards of No Child Left Behind with ones that states write for themselves. Harkin on Tuesday was ready to announce a bill that drops some of the education law

Harkin: In closed-door meeting, Southern senator called Obama ‘exotic’

Photo of Caroline May
Caroline May
Political Reporter

A Southern senator described President Obama as “exotic” in a closed-door meeting last month, according to Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

During a meeting with the Des Moines Register editorial board Wednesday, Harkin offered his explanation for the reason Republicans are so opposed to the president by pointing to a comment an unnamed Southern senator made during a staff-less, press-less meeting concerning filibuster rules on July 15.

According to Harkin, the unnamed senator said that his constituents could not identify with the president.

“It was very interesting. No press there, and no staff and so senators just got to speak,” Harkin said, according to a Des Moines Register’s report. “And, not naming any names, but one senator got up from a Southern state and said, ‘You’ve got to understand that to my people down here, Obama seems like he’s exotic.’”

“We kind of laughed at that – what’s that mean? Exotic?” Harkin continued. “That he’s just exotic, that he doesn’t share our values and that kind of thing. It was kind of a strange comment.”

Harkin added that he did not know in what respect the senator meant Obama was exotic.

“He never explained it. Everybody just kind of laughed at the idea of exotic,” he said.

Follow Caroline on Twitter