Friday, November 9, 2007
Sweet Endorsement: Edwards Gets Ben & Jerry Founder's Group Behind Him
This group was courted by all the candidates, and the group's staff and volunteers attended 550 campaign events and asked more than 250 questions of the candidates before making a decision today according to this AP story:
Caucus4Priorities, a group headed by Ben Cohen, co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, backed the Democratic presidential candidate on Friday. The group, dedicated to cutting wasteful Pentagon spending, says it has 10,000 Iowa members who promise to vote for Edwards in the Jan. 3 caucuses.
Cohen, chairman of the Iowa organization and founder of the national Priorities Action Fund, joined Edwards at a news conference to announce his endorsement.
He said the next president needs to cast off "obsolete weapons from a bygone era that do nothing to protect us from today's threats."
"Our politicians in Washington have neither the spine nor the whit to make these choices, and the people who end up paying the price are our kids," Cohen said. "Well, the jig is up, and Iowa is leading the change."
Edwards will do whatever it takes to keep the country safe, but he won't do it at the expense of other priorities, Cohen said.
Edwards: Differences With Clinton Most "Dramatic", Unlike Obama
According to this Baltimore Sun story dated November 9, 2007:
Edwards said, the biggest difference between himself and Obama was that each has a different approach on what needs to be done to reform Washington.
"I've heard him talk about compromise, negotiation, bringing people together," Edwards said. "I believe there's a fight in front of us."
Edwards said he didn't believe oil, health care, insurance and defense contractors "are going to give up their power willingly."
"I don't think we can all sit around a table and be nice to them and think they're going to relinquish the power and influence they have today. I think it has to be taken from them. And that means you've got to have somebody that will fight. I know that I will fight. I'll let Sen. Obama speak for himself on that."
Why Edwards? It Is The Populism, Stupid!
According to this op-ed by author and political analyst David Sirota that ran in the San Francisco Chronicle:
The media's version of the Iowa presidential caucuses is a story of five candidates and two rivalries. On the Democratic side, it is Sen. HillaryClinton, D-N.Y., against Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and on the Republican side it is former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney against former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson. But the numbers suggest the most compelling story is about two underdog candidates and one demographic: former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), former Sen. JohnEdwards (D) and the middle class.
Huckabee gained 11 points in the latest University of Iowa survey, pulling himself into a statistical tie for second place with Giuliani, despite Giuliani's national fame and huge fundraising totals. Similarly, Edwards remains within striking distance of first place in Iowa despite his rivals spending 300 times what he's spent on television ads as of the end of September (Edwards launched his first ad last week).
What explains the unlikely rise of these two dark horses?
It's the populism, stupid.
Huckabee and Edwards are the only two major candidates staking their campaigns on an indictment of economic inequality, corporate power and corruption. As the latest Democracy Corps poll shows, these are the very societal ills angering a middle class whose real-life struggles with stagnant wages, layoffs, debt, foreclosures and health care costs chafe against a pop culture and political system that glorify fabulous affluence. The country, in short, seems ready to embrace Huey Long's "Share Our Wealth" ethos, and these two southerners are resurrecting the best of the famed Louisiana governor's legacy.
....Edwards presents arguably the boldest challenge to the political Establishment of any major presidential candidate in contemporary history. Proposing sweeping health care, tax, trade and labor law reform, he says the only way "people who are powerful in Washington" are "going to give awaytheir power is if we take it away from them." The system, he says, is"controlled by big corporations, the lobbyists they hire to protect their bottom line and the politicians who curry their favor and carry their water."
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Democratic Races Closing In Iowa, New Hampshire
According to this Boston Globe article yesterday, the Democratic races are closing in between the three frontrunners. Of course, the Iowa polls are based on Obama and Hillary having just spent roughly $6M between June and September pursuing the 126,000+ Iowans who came out to caucus last time around:
New polls out today suggest drops in support for Hillary Clinton and tightening races in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote in the Democratic nomination race.
In a Zogby survey in Iowa, Clinton leads with 28 percent, just ahead of Barack Obama with 25 percent and John Edwards with 21 percent. In an August Zogby poll, Clinton led with 30 percent, with Edwards at 23 percent and Obama at 19 percent.
The new survey was conducted Tuesday among 502 Democrats likely to attend the Jan. 3 caucus, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
In a Rasmussen Reports survey in New Hampshire, Clinton leads Obama 34 percent to 24 percent, with Edwards at 15 percent. Clinton's support is the lowest of the election in a Rasmussen poll, the firm said. The survey was the firm's first in the Granite State since the Democratic debate last week during which Clinton's rivals accused her of double-talk.
The survey was conducted Monday among 772 likely Democratic primary voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Edwards: Hillary Voting Like A Hawk in DC, Talking Like A Dove in IA & NH
According to this AP story from November 5, 2007:
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards on Monday accused rival Hillary Rodham Clinton of a two-faced foreign policy and argued that she is failing to do enough to stop what he called President Bush's march to war with Iran.
"Senator Clinton is voting like a hawk in Washington, and talking like a dove in Iowa and New Hampshire," Edwards told hundreds of people gathered at the University of Iowa, where he offered his ideas on dealing with Iran.
The 2004 vice presidential nominee stepped up criticism of Clinton's vote in Congress to declare Iran's Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization, which Edwards said is a mistake. He has said that by her vote, she and other lawmakers are allowing Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to "rattle the sabers" of war, and giving them the excuse they need to attack Iran, just as they attacked Iraq.
"The war in Iraq isn't even history yet, but the Bush Administration is repeating the march to war with Iran, and they're getting help from people who should know a lot better," Edwards said. "George Bush, Dick Cheney, and the neocon warmongers used 9/11 to start a war with Iraq and now they're trying to use Iraq to start a war with Iran. And we have to stop them."
ABC News: Edwards Picks Coveted Endorsement Over Obama as 'the Un-Hillary'
According to this ABC News story, "Edwards Picked Over Obama as 'the Un-Hillary': Former North Carolina Senator Nabs Coveted Iowa Endorsement":
Iowans for Sensible Priorities, a group seeking to redirect spending from the Pentagon to domestic needs, plans to endorse John Edwards Friday in Des Moines.
The decision to endorse Edwards over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama came down to 'courage versus caution,' according to the group's executive director.
'There's a rhetoric gap with Obama,' executive director Peggy Huppert told ABC News. 'He told me personally:'Trust me. Ideologically, I'm with you.' But people have told him to be afraid of being pushed too far to the left. He doesn't bring up [cuts in Pentagon spending] on his own. He doesn't incorporate it into his speeches. He skirts around it. He talks around the edges. He never gets to the heart of it in strong, bold language.'
Edwards, by contrast, won over the group with his harder edge.
Edwards boosted his chances of winning the endorsement Oct. 26 when Huppert asked him at an Iowa town hall meeting how he would respond to former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the GOP's national front-runner, saying the day before that Democratic support for reducing Pentagon spending amounts to a lack of concern for defeating what Giuliani calls 'the terrorists' war on us.'
'Edwards gave an excellent answer,' said Huppert. 'He said we have to stop buying into their frame which equates spending money on the Pentagon with keeping us safe. He also said we can't have a Democratic candidate who cowers and runs away from this issue.'
'For whatever reason,' she said, 'John Edwards has decided he is going to take this on and he has staked out the position quite convincingly of being the un-Hillary.'
Although Clinton filled out the group's detailed policy questionnaire, she was not among the final two candidates under consideration for the endorsement.
'She didn't answer any questions 'yes' or'no,'' said Huppert. 'She has a refusal to commit to anything.'
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Obama Campaign Surveys Supporters
The Obama Campaign surveys its supporters in an attempt to plug them into the Campaign and early states like Iowa.
Here's one section from that survey:
This last question in this section was interesting. Especially in light of the Obama's campaign to reach out to "black evangelicals in South Carolina, an early voting state where half the Democratic primary voters are black and where at least one recent survey shows Mr. Obama is losing ground to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton."
Of course, Obama's reaching out to one group at the expense of another.
Monday, November 5, 2007
John Edwards: Oops, Our Bad!
A new ad from Senator John Edwards' campaign that continues to highlight the differences between Hillary Clinton and John Edwards by apologizing for the blanket statement that Hillary Clinton never answers a question directly.
There is one time that Sen. Clinton answered a question directly. View this video for yourself and see when and about what!
Hillary Clinton: The Politics of Parsing
As John Edwards has put it several times recently, instead of Hillary Clinton (as one of her campaign staff member put it when asked about a discrepancy) going from primary mode to general election mode, when will Sen. Clinton go into "tell-the-truth" mode!
Here's a great video that puts this issue in perspective. Launched online, it has gotten increasingly amounts of air time including Hardball on MSNBC earlier today.
Friday, November 2, 2007
ABC News: Edwards is Buzz Maker of the Week
Rick Klein of ABC News on how Edwards performed incredibly well this week in the last debate on MSNBC:
The week was supposed to belong to Barack Obama -- he told us as much, in an interview with The New York Times where he vowed to step up his attacks on frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
But when Tuesday night's debate arrived in Philadelphia, it was John Edwards who was the dominant force. On issue after issue -- ties to lobbyists, trade, Social Security, Iraq, Iran -- Edwards offered the sharpest contrasts with Clinton -- and continued to present a thorough and coherent rationale for his candidacy.
When Clinton herself fed the negative storyline her opponents are seeking to build -- of an obfuscating, too-comfortable frontrunner -- it was Edwards who called her out.
"Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes," Edwards said, after Clinton bungled an answer about driver's licenses for illegal immigrants.
Edwards' campaign looks virtually nothing like the race he ran in 2004, when he was the fresh-faced outsider who refused to attack. He's more aggressive now, for starters, but he also has a sense of purpose: Let me fight for you, he seems to say, and make the changes to the political system that we all know it needs.