Posted: January 2, 2008 6:25 PM
Biden Turns on 'Mo-Joe', Underscores Electability
Presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del., leaped into a fast-paced sprint across Iowa, hoping to finish fourth — or even third — in the caucuses, now just one day away.
Biden’s family — including his wife Dr. Jill Biden, sister Valerie Biden, brother Jimmy Biden and sons, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden and Hunter Biden — also fanned out across the state to speak at campaign events during the home stretch. Plus, the senator attracted star power from “West Wing” actor Richard Schiff, who appeared at campaign events.
Biden’s “Caucus Countdown Tour” takes him to some 28 counties in eight days. The campaign calls this “Mo-Joe” — a last-minute push for a stronger-than-expected showing in the caucus.
“This week, Mo-Joe 08 is sweeping across Iowa, with Sen. Biden earning two new legislative endorsements … and packing venues across the Hawkeye State,” reads a Dec. 29 news release under the banner “Feel the momentum. Join the Movement.”
The senator’s “Mo-Joe” strategy to galvanize grassroots support, his state legislative endorsements, now totaling 16, and support from local elected officials are the keys to his success, the Biden campaign says.
“These community leaders have real experience participating in the caucus process and help rally already committed Biden backers as well as sway caucus-goers who are undecided or have to make a second choice when their primary choice does not reach viability,” wrote campaign Communications Director Larry Rasky in an e-mail on Jan 2.
The new “Mo-Joe” strategy appears to be paying off, say campaign staffers, noting that Biden drew in more than 500 people at an event at the Raccoon River Brewery in downtown Des Moines, Iowa, on Tuesday.
“Our events over the last few days further bolster the significance of our strategy going into Caucus Day. First, Iowans are generally late deciders, and the growing ranks of enthusiastic supporters at every one of our recent events means that many Iowans are now choosing Joe Biden,” Rasky wrote.
On Jan. 1, Biden issued a “final plea” on why Iowans should vote for him, namely his experience, his ability to handle the serious challenges ahead and his leadership abilities: “I want all the caucus-goers in this great state to close their eyes and imagine: If their candidate is president of the United States, not in a year but this very instant, are they confident that they have the sure-footedness, the steady enough hand to know exactly what they would do in Pakistan? To know exactly what they would do — not generically — exactly what they would do in Iraq? … Are they ready? Because, ladies and gentlemen, they are going to have to act.”
In his address, Biden argued why he can beat the Republican candidates: “I’m ready to win. We know what the Republicans will throw at us in this election. They’ll say we’re weak, and soft on national security. They’ll appeal to peoples’ fears, not their hopes. If I am your nominee that strategy will certainly backfire. So when caucus-goers visualize the election when they ask themselves, ‘who do you want in the ring to go toe-to-toe with the Republicans’ — I hope you will conclude it is me.”
A day earlier, his campaign released statement explicitly doubting the electability of former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., who is widely considered one of the top three Democratic presidential contenders.
“[T]he evidence that Edwards is more electable is at best thin and is probably misleading … The first question mark is that Edwards was unlikely to hold onto to his North Carolina Senate seat in 2003 when he decided not to run for re-election. In short, if John Edwards is so electable, why couldn’t he be re-elected in his home state? … Edwards fared no better as the Democratic Party’s Vice Presidential candidate in 2004.”
Biden concludes his Caucus Countdown tour with an evening rally Thursday surrounded by supporters, friends and family at the Science Center of Iowa in Des Moines.