MASON CITY, Iowa – Grammy-award winning singer and songwriter Paul Simon joined longtime friend and Democratic presidential hopeful Chris Dodd on campaign appearances across Iowa on Friday, saying the political process is too focused on money and not on issues.
Simon said he watched a recent Democratic debate held in New Hampshire and felt the most serious issues questions weren't directed toward the candidates with the most expertise, including Dodd, who he's known for about a quarter-century.
"The (political) process is not really eliciting the best thinking because it's focused on how much money is raised and it's difficult to come around the media and speak to people ..." he said.
Simon, of Simon and Garfunkel fame, went on to have a successful solo career featuring such hits as "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," "Loves me Like a Rock," and "Slip Slidin' Away."
He donned a baseball cap, button-down striped shirt and had sunglasses hanging around his neck during an appearance at a cafe in Mason City early Friday, where he mingled with a crowd of about 125 people.
Simon was expected to perform later in the day in Fort Dodge before traveling to Sioux City. He was scheduled to appear in Carroll and Council Bluffs on Saturday.
Dodd thanked Simon for joining him on the road, and said Iowa was the perfect spot for him to meet voters one-on-one before the contest gets more focused on national ad campaigns.
"You don't get that same intimacy, the same chance to talk about these things" as you do in Iowa, he said.
The Connecticut senator was on a five day "River to River" tour of Iowa in a huge, blue touring bus with his name splashed across the sides.