Monday, December 31, 2007

John Hot Air Edwards

John Edwards rose from a humble background - "son of a mill worker" - to build a very big, fancy house in North Carolina. He worked for a hedge fund when hedge funds were still cool. He took a "break" from campaigning to go on a "poverty tour" for a week, was it this summer? This firebrand messiah of the working classes used to talk of "two Americas." Many have seemingly flocked to him as the last white male hurrah. C'mon people, this is a job application. Let the best qualified person win, regardless of skin color.

I like John Edwards as I like the rest of the Democratic fiend. I can't remember the last time the Dems had it this good. But this guy is not going to be president. This guy should not be president. He is a loving husband who says the word "fight" so much because he wants his wife to fight her cancer. He knows he is not going to win this race, but he is in to make a statement. He wants the working classes to be heard. And I will not have it any other way.

But this is not a guy you can imagine in the Oval Office. He wants to nuke the insurance companies to get to universal health insurance. He wants to offer vouchers so some families can escape the dead end of the inner cities. Look at the picture of his house above. This guy does not get it.

The working white males of the unions have got behind him because it is identity politics. He is white, he is male, his father was a "mill worker," and he has taken to breathing fire. The nice guy of 2004 is gone.

He will make you feel good, but he will not get anything done. First, he will not win. For him it is a matter of dropping out after Iowa, or after New Hampshire, or after Nevada, or after South Carolina. That is as far as he goes. He does not get to see February 5. If he finished third in Iowa, he is over after Iowa.

But if by some miracle he were to become president, he will have to disown his fire if he is to begin to start to doing anything.

What a waste. You get the working classes, and the union households excited, and to what end?

Barack is the one who will deliver. He is the one who is looking at the big picture. No, you don't nuke the insurance companies, but you make sure they are not the only ones at the table. It is that approach that will bring health care for all.

We don't need more fire. We need more light.

Don't Count John Edwards Out Yet
John Edwards, Voucher Man, Is A Republican
PBS Debate: Hillary Was Strong, Barack Was Warm, Edwards Was Composed
McCain Is 1970s, Hillary Is 1990s, Edwards Is 2004, Obama Is Today
John Edwards: Antiwar

"The Congress spends money like John Edwards at a beauty shop."
- Mike Huckabee

In The News

Deadly Rioting Over Kenyan Election Results
ABC News
Obama campaign touts crowd sizes
Baltimore Sun his crowds have been significantly outsizing those of rivals John Edwards and Hillary Clinton in the Iowa battleground. ...... his events have drawn more than double the attendance of Edwards events in several Iowa cities. ..... In the match-ups with Clinton, they contend Obama draws at least 50 percent more people. ..... The crowd sizes are also a testament to organization
Obama, Edwards look beyond Iowa, NH Boston Globe Plouffe outlined a 24-slide presentation that not only details what he called growing momentum in Iowa and New Hampshire, but also describes progress in Nevada, where Democrats caucus on Jan. 19; South Carolina, which votes Jan. 26; and in the Feb. 5 super primary. ...... has the minimum of $100 million to compete in the first 26 states to vote, has 32 offices in 17 of the 22 states scheduled to vote on Feb. 5; and has the highest favorable ratings and electability findings among the leading Democrats.
Obama's Campaign Manager Makes The Case Atlantic Online gently eviscerating (thanks, Mark Leibovich, for the phrase) John Edwards's chances after Iowa, contending that he has no organization to speak of in most of the states following Iowa and is severely limited as to what he can raise and spend. ............. Obama "has the dominant field organization in Iowa" and is well positioned to win "with even the most aggressive turnout models." And Obama is strong outside the cities, Plouffe said. "We believe we're going to be viable in every county, in every precinct." ........ Obama is the strongest second choice preference among those Democrats most likely to caucus. ....... "Sen. Edwards will have no operation to speak of in the Feb. 5 states. I believe Sen. Clinton has political or field organizations in five or six of those states. We have, I believe, 17 of the 22 states covered." ......... John Edwards .. can spend only $17M more between now and Democratic National Convention. ......... the campaign's internal polling shows Obama leading in New Hampshire. ...... the campaign estimates turnout among African Americans in South Carolina will be well above 50%. ...... "We believe that by Feb 6., we'll be turning our attention to the general election."
Obama's Middle Class Appeal Washington Post Meet Barack Obama, man of the people. ..... The Illinois senator is weaving new threads about his life into his stump speech, recalling a time not long ago when he was a member of the beleaguered middle class ..... ordinary problems, like daycare and housing costs, that he and his wife Michelle confronted as recently as five or six years ago, before he was elected to the U.S. Senate and became a best selling author. ....... "We were still struggling with all the student loans we had to pay off after law school, because neither of us were rich," he said. "Our parents couldn't provide us with all that education. We had to borrow. We hadn't started a college fund yet for our kids. We hadn't started saving for retirement. We had some credit cards we had to deal with. We were living in a small condo that was getting a little too small for our two kids." ..... People nodded their heads. "I was doing the grocery shopping," Obama continued. "Michelle shopped at Target. She does still shop at Target. She really loves Target." He quoted his wife telling him, "I think one of the reasons you'd make a good president now is...we're not that far from being normal." ...... "That's why I didn't become a trial lawyer," Obama told the Newton audience -- a clear dig at Edwards, who made millions in the courtroom.
Democrats Try Various Styles, and Pronouns New York Times In the last 10 days, Mrs. Clinton has presided over “Moms and Daughters Making History” events, “Time to Pick a President” events, “Working for Change, Working for You” events, “The Hillary I Know” events and “Every County Counts” events. ...... Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s events are meticulously planned. ....... “I think you do it by working really, really hard,” she said, before going on to catalog her résumé. ....... look very much in need of a good night’s sleep, or 10. ...... (Mr. Obama outdrew him 900 to 300 at simultaneous rallies in Davenport on Friday.) ...... He speaks less than an inch from the microphone and deploys bellicose words (22 “fights” in 40 minutes on Saturday morning) ....... a scattering of older voters covered their ears. ...... tends to address his crowds as a singular civic unit (“Hello, Marshalltown”), like a real rock star would. ....... Toddlers are more likely to be seen scurrying around Obama events, sometimes breaching forbidden areas, like TV camera risers. ..... Clinton’s events are meticulously planned and orderly, and even seem regal at times. ...... hands folded in perfect symmetry with her mother’s. ...... Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea were slumped shoulder-to-shoulder, holding each other up. ...... Mrs. Clinton took the microphone, thanked him profusely, and praised him “for producing wonderful fruits and then expanding into juices.” ........ Mrs. Clinton gets by far the most autograph and photo requests. ...... He vows to invite C-Span to broadcast his health care deliberations, resulting in one of his most sustained and reliable applause lines. ....... He is gifted at summoning fresh rage, despite delivering these grievances so many times. ....... Edwards described a sharp phone conversation he had with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan after Benazir Bhutto was slain.
Obama to Iowans: Pick me at least as 2nd choice Reuters pick me second if you don't pick me first. ...... "Make me your second choice, although you are wiser making me your first," he said to laughter and applause. ...... the other four Democratic candidates are not expected to get to the magic 15 percent mark
Michelle Obama Counting Down to Caucus on Campaign Trail KMEG 14 She says today's generation of young people are timid, hesitant, and doubtful........ "We are afraid of everyone and everything, the problem with fear is it clouds our judgement and cuts us off from one another, our own families, communities and cutting us off from the rest of the world."
Surging Edwards may be blessing for Clinton Newsday Meet John Edwards, Hillary Clinton's baby-faced tormenter - and the guy who just might be her last, best hope to stop Barack Obama in the early primary states. ....... he's splitting the vote against her ..... His collapse could deliver his supporters, overwhelmingly anti-Clinton, to Obama in numbers great enough to push deadlocked New Hampshire and South Carolina into the Illinois senator's column. ....... Joe Trippi, who said his candidate's gains have largely been drawn from Obama. ....... Edwards and Obama are rediscovering their mutual animosity after a year of ganging up on Clinton ...... "If she finishes third, how can she recover?"
Clinton leads in Iowa but Edwards gains Reuters "It's about as close as you can get at the top in both races," pollster John Zogby said. "But it's still very uncertain." ...... The poll showed Clinton, a New York senator and former first lady, leading Edwards and Illinois Sen. Obama by four points, 30 percent to 26 percent. Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, gained two points overnight to pull even with Obama.
Prominent Clinton backer criticizes Iowa caucuses CNN International Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland told The Columbus Dispatch it "makes no sense" to grant Iowa the right to hold the first presidential contest. He called the GOP and Democratic caucuses "hugely undemocratic," because the process "excludes so many people." ...... Clinton's Midwest co-chair, Jerry Crawford, told him that Clinton would "not be here caucus night." ........ it was because she "needs to get to New Hampshire." ....... Asked at an event Sunday night in Cedar Rapids whether she planned to spend the night of January 3 in Iowa, Clinton first laughed and then told CNN, "I'm just trying to get through each day here." Pressed to clarify that remark, Clinton said, "I've got to figure out what I'm doing." ....... "She is staying in Iowa until after caucus returns come back, and won't leave until late, late, late that night," Carson said.
Tenth Senator Backs Clinton The Associated Press

Bhutto's son maintains political dynasty USA Today
Bhutto’s Son, 19, Chosen to Lead Pakistan Party New York Times
Obama Tries New Tactics To Get Out Vote in Iowa Washington Post "the largest grass-roots volunteer operation that Iowa has ever seen." ....... an Election Day operation that combines an apparent edge in technology with the tried-and-true grunt work of a traditional Iowa campaign ........ Obama began organizing in Iowa by deploying more staff members earlier to more counties and by building tracking mechanisms to identify and retain supporters. ....... the campaign mines data gathered online: Which petitions did people sign on the campaign Web site? Which e-mails have they answered? ....... today's Web is vastly different, that Iowa is much more wired, that they have learned that electronic touches are only part of the picture. ...... It's not just a computer-to-computer relationship -- it's a person-to-person relationship. ...... She taped a call to them and told them to expect an envelope in the mail. The packet, less political than other Clinton mail, included a card that said, "If you're itching for change, scratch here to win." Those who sent it back received a blue travel mug that said "I'm standing with Hillary." The campaign collected the names of thousands of potential supporters -- so many that it needed a tractor-trailer to haul all the mugs. ...... "We realized it wasn't that we needed to spend our time building the support in Iowa for Hillary -- we just needed to turn out the support that she had," said Emily's List spokeswoman Ramona Oliver. "We looked at why they wouldn't go -- what were the barriers?" ....... an online advertising strategy that popped up a link to its Web site every time a computer in Iowa searched Google or Yahoo using specific terms. ..... By the end of the week, about 20,000 visitors from 613 Iowa towns had clicked on the ads...... The group decided not to send out-of-state volunteers to knock on doors in Iowa. "It just felt wrong" ....... campaigns have been urging Iowans for months to bond with like-minded supporters at barbecues, house parties and mock caucuses. And that's why the ground armies are arranging rides and babysitters, and the candidates are returning again and again to Ottumwa, Davenport and Mason City. ...... The key of keys, Hildebrand said, is to knock on doors. ....... "Working the ground, going from house to house, talking to supporters and those leaning towards us and to undecided voters, is what we'll do all day Thursday," he said. "Nothing beats that door-to-door contact."
Bloomberg Moves Closer to Running for President New York Times A final decision by Mr. Bloomberg about whether to run is unlikely before February. Still, he and his closest advisers are positioning themselves so that if the mayor declares his candidacy, a turnkey campaign infrastructure will virtually be in place. ...... a pragmatic, progressive centrist ..... Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, who has said he would consider being Mr. Bloomberg’s running mate on an independent ticket. ....... Bloomberg-Hagel, Bloomberg-Nunn ...... Bloomberg, who has tried to seize a national platform on gun control, the environment and other issues, has been regularly briefed in recent months on foreign policy ......... might invest as much as $1 billion of his own fortune ....... the Electoral College has nothing to do with parties, has absolutely nothing to do with parties. ........ “a rich Ralph Nader” ....... what’s magical about people who happen to be a member of a party? ...... after six years as mayor, Mr. Bloomberg was itching for a new challenge — much like he was in 2000 when, as chief executive of Bloomberg L.P., he was flirting with running for mayor. ...... Can he run for president and serve as mayor of a combustible metropolis simultaneously for eight months?
Incumbent Declared Winner in Kenya's Disputed Election Washington Post
Sean Penn and wife set to split after 11 year marriage San Jose Mercury News
Obama Fires Back at Edwards Washington Post that he is "too nice" to bring about change in Washington, dismissing what he called "hot air" and "rhetoric." ...... Edwards called the idea of sitting down to negotiate with special interests to solve the nation's problems a "complete fantasy", adding: "You can't nice these people to death." ...... Obama's strategists long believed that Edwards would fade as the caucuses drew closer, ceding the anti-Clinton vote to the Illinois Senator. That has not happened; in fact, just the reverse is true -- Edwards appears to be gaining strength in recent Iowa polls. ...... Edwards casts himself as a skilled, effective and willing fighter for the middle class ...... "There's no shortage of anger in Washington," said Obama. "We don't need more heat, we need more light." ....... Voters tend not to like their presidents angry, preferring candidates who appear above-the-fray and always looking at the big picture. ...... "George Bush is the most anti-science president in American history"
Chelsea Clinton Guards Her Words The Associated Press a 9-year-old reporter .... Sydney Rieckhoff, a Cedar Rapids fourth grader and "kid reporter" for Scholastic News ...... she approached the 27-year-old Chelsea after a campaign event ..... "Do you think your dad would be a good 'first man' in the White House?" Sydney asked, but Chelsea brushed her question aside. "I'm sorry, I don't talk to the press and that applies to you, unfortunately. Even though I think you're cute," Chelsea told the pint-sized journalist. ...... Tall and attractive, Chelsea cuts an impressive figure on the campaign trail; she plunges enthusiastically into the crowd after her mother's speeches, shaking hands and posing for pictures while asking, "Are you going to caucus for my mom?" ...... An aide follows the former first daughter as she works the crowd, shushing reporters who approach her and try to ask any questions. ...... For her part, Sydney looked a bit crestfallen after Chelsea turned her away.

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