All Shook Up
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KWAME HOLMAN: Still elated from his come-from-behind victory in the Iowa caucuses last night, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry told jubilant supporters in New Hampshire this morning that their support is essential for him to maintain momentum and win next week’s first-in-the-nation primary.
SEN. JOHN KERRY: The whole world will be watching what you do here as they were watching in Iowa. It’s your chance now. You’re next in this great journey that is part of American history and part of our future at the same time. We here in New Hampshire have a chance to be able, next Tuesday, to give America back its future and its soul at the same time, and I count on you to do that.
As I come back to New Hampshire I want to begin by thanking you, because over the last months all of you in this state have helped to make me a better candidate. And I’m also here to tell you this morning that as a result of that, while I may be the underdog in this state, I have yet begun to fight and show the full measure of what we will do in this state.
KWAME HOLMAN: North Carolina Sen. John Edwards — suddenly seen as surging after a strong second place finish in Iowa — was in New Hampshire today, answering questions from reporters.
REPORTER: Are you still going to do 18-hour days?
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS: Oh, yeah. I can work 24 hours a day if that’s what it takes. I’m so excited to be here in New Hampshire, and bringing this message of positive hope, politics of what’s possible. That’s what my whole campaign has been about. We’re going to carry that campaign, carry the state of New Hampshire, and we’re going to see the same kind of response here in New Hampshire that we’ve seen in Iowa and we’ll continue to see across this country.
REPORTER: Senator, a lot of the pundits are saying work in South Carolina, kind of bypass New Hampshire, and look at Missouri. Now that’s open. Are you going to commit to fully being here for next Tuesday?
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS: I paid no attention to pundits three weeks ago in Iowa when they said I had no chance. (Applause) But this campaign is being built from the grassroots up, not top down. And I’m talking to voters, listening to voters, hearing what they have to say, while other candidates are talking about each other. I’ve been talking about the problems people face in their lives. I love campaigning here in New Hampshire. I intend to work my heart out here in New Hampshire.
REPORTER: What is it about your message that you think the Iowa voters heard, what specific proposals, what ideas were you talking about?
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS: I was talking about the two Americas we live in today: One America for those who can get anything they want, the best health care money can buy, the best public school education they can get, a tax system that works for them, an economy that works for them. Instead, we want to change that to one America, where everyone gets a chance to do what they’re capable of doing, and for me that’s what this entire election is about. Finally, that’s what voters in caucus scores of Iowa heard and that’s what voters in New Hampshire will hear also.
REPORTER: Is there a bounce? Is there an Iowa bounce do you believe?
SEN. JOHN EDWARDS: We’ll find out, but I believe so. (Applause)
KWAME HOLMAN: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean had sat atop the Iowa polls for several months, but last night finished a distant third. He assured supporters in New Hampshire today his campaign would recover.
HOWARD DEAN: Having won eight elections in a row in Vermont and not won the one last night, I can tell you it’s a lot more fun to win and we’d better win in New Hampshire if we’re going to change the system.
KWAME HOLMAN: Dean was very animated last night when he went before supporters in Iowa after the caucus results were known but not so today.
HOWARD DEAN: For those of you who came here intending to be lifted to your feet by a lot of red meat rhetoric are going to be a little disappointed, although we may get to some of that before we’re done. But I want to give the kind of speech I gave in Vermont for so many years — a speech about policy, and I thought on the occasion of the president’s state of the union address that I ought to give a state of the union address.
I think this president thinks that things look terrific from the White House balcony or from the suites of the big corporations that are benefiting from his policies, those that got all that money in the drug bill, all the HMOs and the insurance companies. But they look a little tougher on Main Street. We’re 3 million jobs short of where we were when this president took office.
He probably forgot about that. He probably won’t mention the fact that we have had a half a trillion dollar deficit every single year since, and that’s going to be out as far as the eye can see. That’s money that’s charged to our grandchildren. He probably won’t talk about the 43 million people in America that have no health insurance. He probably won’t talk about the $8 trillion increase in our national debt on his watch. He probably won’t talk about the fact that bankruptcies are at a record high. He probably won’t talk about the fact that more women will declare bankruptcy than in any years in the history of the country.
Those are the things he won’t talk about, but those are the things that we’re going to change when we have a Democratic president of the United States starting on Jan. 20, 2005 — one year from today.
KWAME HOLMAN: Retired Gen. Wesley Clark skipped the Iowa caucus to focus his energy on New Hampshire. Clark told a crowd there today that he is the type of candidate who can beat George Bush.
GEN. WESLEY CLARK: We need a candidate who, in time of war, can stand toe to toe with the president of the United States and challenge his leadership in this country’s national security. And we also need a candidate who in time of need can hold George W. Bush accountable for his failures in this country: Failures in job creation, failures in health care, failures in the environment, failures in looking after our children’s education.
We need a candidate who can compete and win and defeat George W. Bush on foreign affairs and domestic affairs. And that’s why I’m running for president, because I will bring a higher standard of leadership to America.
I’m going to bring a standard of leadership to this country that looks out beyond the next election cycle to what’s good for the next generation. I’m going to bring a standard of leadership that looks for what’s good for America as a whole, not just for special interests. I’m going to bring a standard of leadership that’s open and accountable, that lays out specific measurable goals and expects to be judged and held responsible by the American people. And I’m going to bring a standard of leadership to this country that pulls us all together.
KWAME HOLMAN: Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman also took a pass on the Iowa caucus and spent the day in New Hampshire courting potential voters.
SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN: It is a brand new ballgame here in New Hampshire. You know I’ve been here for weeks; we’ve built an organization. The people of New Hampshire have a unique responsibility, and they’re going to make their choice all on their own because they know the rest of the country is relying on them. I’m here this week right through Tuesday to say to every voter here in New Hampshire, Democrats and independents, this is about the future of the greatest country in the world at a tough time and I offer experience that you can rely on.
I will be a president who will stand up and fight for what’s right to keep America strong in the world and safe and to restore our prosperity for the hard-working middle class. Experience is for a second consistency and reliability, independence of judgment. I’m not going to flip-flop. You can always count on me to tell you what I really believe is right for the future of our country and our people and then to follow through and do it. Third is electability. And it’s pretty clear that Democrats, independents and even some disgruntled Republicans want a change of leadership at the top here in America. And I am the electable Democrat.
KWAME HOLMAN: Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich and the Rev. Al Sharpton also continue to campaign, heading into next week’s primary.