Focus: Individual Responsibility

DAVE O'BRIEN, a lawyer from Sioux City, Iowa, is a former supporter of home-state presidential-primary candidate Sen. Tom Harkin. Now he chairs Iowa's Clinton delegation.

Iowa's Democrats are more liberal than most, but not long after Senator Harkin dropped out, Mr. O'Brien says, his supporters perceived that Bill Clinton would win the nomination with a shift to a moderate message from the liberal Harkin-style approach.

"I've got 53 votes up here for Bill Clinton, and so that tells me, and they know what he stands for," he said as the convention was casting nomination ballots.

"But I think Bill Clinton's approach is not to talk about it in terms of [political] spectrum, as I just did, but to talk about it in terms of individual responsibility, starting with that father who's not paying child support and going up to that corporate president who's reaping great stock dividends and so forth when his company is losing money."

"So individual responsibility goes from one end of the spectrum to the other, and I think he's taking the right approach."

That Mr. Clinton and his running mate are Southerners does not trouble O'Brien. "Geographic diversity was the old way of looking at things. We've got to look at it in a different way and that's what we're going to do."

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