Despite the fact that former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., fell well behind the two Democratic front-runners, raising more than $9 million during the last quarter, the campaign promoted the glass-half-full news that more than 90 percent of contributions were for $100 or less and roughly half came from grass roots fundraising.
The Edwards camp continued to use recent confrontations with right-wing author Anne Coulter to drum up funding support in the final push of the quarter. Last week, Edwards’s wife Elizabeth caused a bit of stir when she called in to MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Mattews” to ask Coulter to put an end to her personal attacks.
As a result of all the attention, the New York Times wondered if Coulter was the campaign’s chief opponent.
Elizabeth Edwards also hit the trail hard last week, despite her continued fight with cancer, and has emerged as a popular spokesperson for her husband’s platform. The Seattle Times highlighted her recent visit there and other coverage has examined the powerful role she has taken on both behind the scenes and in front of the microphone.
Meanwhile, John Edwards continued to stress programs aimed at the poor last week before the National Education Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, Pa. He pledged to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2012. Today, the federal wage stands at $5.15 an hour and will raise to $5.85 on July 24, though states can set minimum higher than the federal rate.
Last weekend, he also addressed the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials annual conference.
The couple took a break from the circuit to celebrate Elizabeth’s birthday on July 3rd and the nation’s on the 4th. Back on the beat to capture the labor vote, John Edwards is expected to address the United Steelworkers Candidate Forum in Columbus, Ohio on July 5th. Elizabeth is slated to open another campaign office on the 10th, this time in Columbia, S.C. and, in true Carolina fashion, plans to follow that with back-to-back-to-back house parties. John Edwards has agreed to speak at the NAACP annual convention in Detroit July 12th. He is scheduled to follow that with an address before the American Association for Justice annual convention on the 15th in Chicago.