John Edwards for President?

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

John Edwards: In 3rd Grade, I Wanted To Be A Cowboy And Superman!

According to this Los Angeles Times blog entry on the ongoing controversy between Obama and Clinton about when who wanted to be what -- and Edwards' response. As a 3rd Grader Obama wanted to be President accused the Clinton Campaign...in the same vein as the attacks on Obama's Foreign Affairs expertise living abroad as a young boy. Sheesh.

John Edwards continued today to wryly reflect upon the latest contender for most overwrought political release of the year: the missive from Hillary Clinton's crew over the weekend.

As part of Clinton's heightened attacks on Barack Obama, the release lambasted her rival in the Democratic presidential race for trying to rewrite his personal history -- not once, but twice on Sunday. His offense: insisting that seeking the White House had not been a consuming ambition for him.

Setting aside the question of whether this is an issue of much import, we concede that the Clintonites marshaled some effective arguments to make their case that Obama has had his eyes on the prize to a greater extent than he may want to admit. But then, as happens so often in the heat of a campaign, the operatives overplayed their hand -- they cited examples from Obama's days as a third-grader and kindergartner.

Edwards, as The Times' Scott Martelle noted in a previous blog item, made a crack about those citations last night while campaigning in Clear Lake, Iowa.

Today, while in Waterloo, Iowa, Edwards came up with a better punchline. He told his listeners: ''I want to confess to all of you right now -- in third grade, I wanted to be two things: I wanted to be a cowboy, and I wanted to be Superman."

Real Clear Politics: A Month Out, Gauging The Dem Field

According to this Real Clear Politics story by Reid Wilson:

“If Iowa's caucuses were held today, most rival campaigns say they believe John Edwards would win. He alone began the race with an Iowa foundation, and his committed supporters are the goldmine any caucus-based campaign needs - largely older voters who have caucused before. Edwards' biggest strength, in brief, is that he came in second four years ago; his remaining base and the good will he generated put him in strong position for a good finish.”

New Website From Obama Campaign: Hillary Attacks

A new website from the Obama Campaign starts to document Hillary Clinton attacks against Democrats especailly Obama. Check it out here or at the URL: http://hillaryattacks.barackobama.com/.

One choice quote in the header: 

"'...well, now the fun part starts,' Mrs. Clinton said, punctuating the word 'fun.'"
Senator Clinton, telling reporters in Cedar Rapids about her plans to attack Democrats from now until the Iowa caucuses. [NYT, 12/2/07]
And this timeline from earlier this evening:

ATTACK:

Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle Attacked Obama TV Ad Discussing Health Struggle of Obama's Mother. "I am writing concerning a false advertisement you are currently airing..." [Letter from Patti Solis Doyle, 11/30/07]

ATTACK:

New York Times: "Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, which is now attacking Senator Barack Obama on a daily basis." [New York Times, 11/30/07]

ATTACK:

Boston Globe: "Clinton yesterday launched one of her most pointed attacks yet against chief rival Barack Obama" [Boston Globe, 11/29/07]

ATTACK:

NBC's First Read: "Another day, another Clinton campaign knock on Obama." [First Read, 11/29/07]

ATTACK:

Chicago Tribune: "Clinton: Obama 'Betrays' Democratic Values" "Intensifying the rhetoric over competing health-care expansion plans, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton accused rival Barack Obama of 'betraying Democratic principles." [Chicago Tribune, 11/28/07]

ATTACK:

Des Moines Register: "Clinton: Obama's Health Plan 'Flunks'" [Des Moines Register, 11/28/07]

ATTACK:

Chicago Sun-Times: "Clinton is drawing sharper contrasts with chief rival Barack Obama as the crucial Jan. 3 Iowa vote looms closer." [Chicago Sun-Times, 11/28/07]

ATTACK:

Chicago Tribune: "Clinton defended her increasingly aggressive approach on the campaign trail Tuesday and stepped up her criticism of Sen. Barack Obama." [Chicago Tribune, 11/28/07]

ATTACK:

AP: "Clinton Raps Obama on Health Insurance" [AP, 11/28/07]

ATTACK:

Time's The Page: "Arrives hours late due to flat tire, still gives punchy address repeatedly knocking him."{ [The Page, 11/28/07]

ATTACK:

NBC's First Read: "In a speech from Iowa today, Clinton went after Obama."{ [First Read, 11/28/07]

ATTACK:

Chicago Tribune: "Clinton defended her increasingly aggressive approach on the campaign trail." [Chicago Tribune, 11/27/07]

ATTACK:

Des Moines Register: "The accusation came as the New York senator has sharpened her critique of Obama." [Des Moines Register, 11/27/07]

ATTACK:

Washington Times: "Clinton, locked in a tight race in Iowa, is increasingly criticizing the Democrats who are hoping to defeat her in the Jan. 3 caucuses, especially Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois." [Washington Times, 11/26/07]

ATTACK:

NBC's First Read: "Clinton took another dig at her main opponent Obama."{ [First Read, 11/24/07]

ATTACK:

New York Times: "Fog may have diverted Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's plane from her campaign stop here on Tuesday, but that did not prevent her from continuing her attacks on Senator Barack Obama's experience." [New York Times, 11/21/07]

ATTACK:

Reuters: "Hillary Clinton sharpened her attacks on rival Barack Obama's experience on Tuesday, a day after a poll showed her falling slightly behind him in Iowa." [Reuters, 11/21/07]

ATTACK:

Politico: "Clinton Unimpressed By Obama's Indonesia Years" [Politico, 11/20/07]

ATTACK:

NBC's First Read: "For the second straight day, Clinton has questioned Obama's experience. Yesterday it was on the economy, today on foreign affairs."{ [First Read, 11/20/07]

ATTACK:

AP: "Under pressure in a feisty debate, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton accused her closest rivals Thursday night of slinging mud 'right out of the Republican playbook' and leveled her sharpest criticism of the campaign at their records." [AP, 11/16/07]

ATTACK:

NBC's First Read: "Clinton is ready for a fight and seems to want one tonight."{ [First Read, 11/15/07] Read More

Monday, December 3, 2007

Mark Halperin: Clinton-Obama Feud Continues On Monday

According to Mark Halperin's The Page:

According to this Radio Iowa News story: Clinton in Iowa questions Obama’s experience in rich and evocative language; Obama calls it “silliness.”

Earlier: Clinton questions rival’s character in the Des Moines Register, says he doesn’t measure up on Social Security, Iran, health care or taking a stand when it’s time to make tough decisions.

Obama campaign replies: “…Obama doesn’t need lectures in political courage from someone who followed George Bush to war in Iraq, gave him the benefit of the doubt on Iran, supported NAFTA and opposed ethanol until she decided to run for president.” Read more here.

Monday morning: Obama campaign launches Web site chronicling Clinton’s attacks; Clinton camp calls it “disingenuous.” Read full statement here.

The New Republic: Edwards And His Impact On Obama And Hillary

According to this New Republic story today by E. J. Dionne, Jr:

Standing in the way of a straight Obama-Clinton struggle is Edwards. He has been campaigning in Iowa since 2003, nearly won the caucuses over John Kerry four years ago, and stubbornly remains within easy striking distance of the front-runners. The Edwards campaign has a theory of how he can beat both of them.

As Trippi sees it, Clinton has relied on support from less affluent voters, particularly women, who are especially engaged on economic questions.

Trippi argued in an interview that some of these soft Clinton voters could eventually move to Edwards because his message of economic populism and his background as a mill worker's son will trump Clinton's arguments based on her experience. Trippi claims to see "lots of potential" among "blue-collar women who are currently leaning her way."

Similarly, he says, some of Obama's less-committed voters actually prefer Edwards' fighting style to Obama's pledges to bring Washington together across party lines. Clinton, with her emphasis this weekend on what she's "willing to fight for," clearly senses the same vulnerability.

....The big choice Edwards faces will be whether to move his campaign more to the sunny style that became the trademark of his 2004 effort. Edwards insists that he's as optimistic as he ever was.

Given the flow of the news, he has to be. Edwards needs a January surprise. But if he achieves it and pushes one of his leading foes into third place, he will revolutionize the Democratic campaign.

John Edwards At The DNC

Check out the John Edwards speech at the recent DNC meeting where all the top candidates addressed the DNC.

Edwards outlined his vision for America and for the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Committee Fall Meeting in Vienna, Virginia. With hundreds of supporters cheering him on, John Edwards told Democrats he will break down the wall that separates Washington from the American people.

Mark Halperin of Time had praise for this “very passionate, enthusiastic speech emphasizing issues.” Noam Scheiber at The New Republic chimed in: “Edwards really poured his heart into this effort just now. That’s one of the better, more impassioned speeches I’ve seen him give.”

Watch the full speech here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Edwards, Other Democratic Candidates Take In Donations Online Via ActBlue

According to this New York Times story on a new web-based service that has turned political fundraising on its head, at least for Democratic candidates. Not sure I understand why small donations made online via the ActBlue service wouldn't qualify for matching funds.

They definitely should be matched. That's the whole point of matching funds (which allow a candidate like Edwards -- who has not accepted PAC money like Hillary and Richardson etc -- to get matching funds up to the first $250 from each donor).

Where big-dollar fund-raising is typically done behind closed doors with well-connected bundlers and showy, costly fund-raisers, ActBlue is just the opposite. It is an Internet-based political action committee that lets Democratic candidates use their Web site as a portal to collect donations, making fund-raising cheap, and, for donors, as simple as a click of a mouse.

Cash comes into ActBlue’s Web pages and goes out to candidates: John Edwards has raised more than $4 million for his campaign through ActBlue, not only through his official Web site, which is linked to ActBlue, but also from dozens of supporters who have set up their own Web pages on ActBlue to solicit on his behalf, groups as varied as “Pizza for Progressives” and “Artists for Edwards!”

More than 54,000 online donors have given to Mr. Edwards, and when he announced that his wife’s cancer had returned, but that he was staying in the race, more than $100,000 was raised on ActBlue in five hours.

The rapid growth of ActBlue is posing new questions for campaign finance regulators, like whether the millions that Mr. Edwards has raised through it can qualify for federal matching money as he seeks public financing for his primary bid. At the moment, only contributions written as personal checks are counted toward matching funds — not funds raised electronically or through a third party.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

NBC Nightly News Interviews John Edwards

Check out this extensive interview with John Edwards conducted earlier tonight by Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News.

Senator Edwards comes across as mature, seasoned and presidential. He is eloquent and straightforward about the issues and the campaign for president as well as the other candidates.

Why Oprah Won't Help Obama

I agree with Mark Halperin. This is akin to Obama sending Forrest Whitaker to the Johnson County Fair a couple of months ago when I was in town checking out the Edwards Campaign in action. According to this Time Magazine story:

To win the Democratic nomination for President, Barack Obama still needs the same thing he has needed all along - for voters to see him as ready to be commander in chief by January 2009. So now the question is: Will appearing at weekend campaign rallies with Oprah Winfrey help him achieve that goal?

Mark me down as more than a bit skeptical.

...So yes, expect loud, rousing rallies in all three early voting states when Oprah Winfrey comes to town with her friend Barack Obama in early December, with gobs of media attention, raucous crowds, emotion and great pictures. But don't expect those events to do anything productive to allow Obama to get over the biggest hurdle standing between him and the White House. American voters are not looking for a celebrity or talk show sidekick to lead them. Obama is an intelligent and thoughtful potential President, but Winfrey's imprimatur is unlikely to convey those traits to many undecided voters.

In that respect, Winfrey's events might even be - dare it be said - counterproductive.

Obama Tries To Conquer Iowa, Edwards Continues Steady Winning Of Iowans

According to this profile of one Iowa volunteer for Obama in the New York Times (the newspaper that has recently admitted the gross difference in coverage of Sen. Clinton and Obama vs Edwards):

The outcome of the Iowa caucuses, a set of 1,781 precinct meetings to take place across the state on Jan. 3, hinges on creating a strong and loyal person-to-person network. Mr. Steele is among the hundreds of Democratic and Republican campaign aides stationed in Iowa responsible for building — and sustaining — those networks throughout the state’s 99 counties.

...Across the rolling bluffs and the flat plains of his territory, in towns like Defiance and Denison, Honey Creek and Harlan, it is his responsibility to know which caucusgoing Democrats are supporting which candidate.

...When Mr. Obama went to Creston a month later, Mr. Steele arranged a brief one-on-one meeting between the senator and Mr. Knock, who signed on to the campaign soon after.

This month at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Des Moines, the Democratic Party’s marquee event of the year, who was seated at Mr. Obama’s table? Mr. Knock and his wife, Jan. Later, Ms. Knock told her husband that Mr. Obama had “swept her off her feet,” but she remained a committed supporter of former Senator John Edwards

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