Tradition Returns With a New Look; Organizers Hope it Also Brings Back Some Power

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  There were steaks on the grills, people in the seats, and politicians on the stage Saturday afternoon in Des Moines. It was almost like the Harkin Steak Fry had returned.

Former Senator Tom Harkin held his annual fundraiser for years to rally Iowa Democrats and show them current and future leaders of the party, both from Iowa and those from other states hoping to be president one day.

Polk County Democrats offered their own version of the Steak Fry Saturday at Water Works Park. Organizers say they sold 1,500 tickets to the initial event.

Guests munched on steak dinners and then listened to seven Democrats running for governor, another seven competing for the 3rd Congressional District and three more who are mentioned--albeit, very early--as those with presidential ambitions one day.

Each of those out-of-town headliners offered words of how Democrats can regain support with voters, who have turned more toward Republicans since 2010.

Rep. Cheri Bustos, of Illinois, said, "If we have this attitude that we will never work together or this 'total resistance movement'...we're not going to move our country forward. I think people in this region want results not resistance."

Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio, said, "Focus like a laser beam on an economic message that appeals to all regions of the country...all people...urban, rural black, white, gay, straight, man, woman. The economic message is one that crosses over."

Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, said, "We've got to get back to our roots. We've got to get back in touch with our voters that we have lost. Because the reality is a lot of Americans feel left behind, not just by Republicans but by our party."