Posted: November 29, 2007 5:41 PM
Edwards Fights for Survival as Iowa Race Tightens
In recent weeks, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., seems to have swapped his sunny smile for a sharp tongue, casting harsher criticism at Democratic front-runner, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y. He has come out fighting in stump speeches and a new Internet campaign after recent polls showed a decline in support for his campaign among Iowa voters.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the new Edwards Web site, which seeks a million pledges from voters or caucus-goers not to support a Democratic candidate that accepts campaign contributions from Washington lobbyists.
Of the three leading candidates, Clinton is the only one that accepts such donations.
The New York Times looked this week at the rougher, tougher image of Edwards. “I do think that when you go through a national campaign, the intensity of a national campaign, and the experience we’ve had with Elizabeth’s health, it does make you tougher,” Edwards was quoted as saying. But the piece highlights a shift in posture that has already turned one prominent Iowa caucus-goer off: New Hampshire state Sen. Lou d’Allessandro, who chaired Edwards’ 2004 run in Iowa, has decided to support Clinton this time around.
Andrew Sullivan’s blog for the Atlantic Monthly looked at how Edwards’ ramped-up rhetoric contributes to a recent dip in support for Clinton. But the Des Moines Register’s David Yepsen warned that going too negative could backfire.
The Associated Press reports on Edwards’ refusal to disclose what type and quantity of tickets he requested from the University of North Carolina, and New Hampshire’s Concord Monitor reported on a local barber and Autism activist’s attempt to get Edwards to sit for another $400 haircut, where the money would be donated to promote Autism research. Edwards declined the offer.
He might not want to revisit the haircut flap, but Edwards has gone back to trumpeting his humbler past as a son of a mill worker. In a new ad airing in South Carolina, Edwards stands before the old family home in Seneca and his ties to the needs of South Carolina’s workers.
Edwards’ campaign has also launched another ad in Iowa titled, Mess,. The 30-second spot emphasizes his wish that tomorrow’s world is a better place for kids growing up today.
A vocal supporter of unions and organized labor, Edwards joined the striking TV and film writers in New York on Monday.
NY1 had their cameras on the scene. A week prior, Edwards joined the WGA strikers in California and has canceled appearances on Ellen and The View in support of the strike.
Thursday night, Edwards is slated to appear on “Charlie Rose” and ABC’s “World News Tonight”. He is scheduled to appear at the Democratic National Committee fall meeting on Friday in Vienna, Va. On Saturday, he plans to head back to Iowa to participate in the “Every Child Matters Presidential Forum” in Des Moines. He is slated to spend the rest of this week stumping across the Hawkeye State.