Jan 31, 2007

An Iowa Traffic Jam

In Iowa, one could be mistaken for thinking that we are already in primary season.

With 12 months to go before the first vote, traffic is already slowing to a crawl, thanks to the influx of candidates, their entourage, the media and the supporters of the wide field who have expressed an interest in the Presidency.

It was Mike Huckabee's turn yesterday. Oh, and also Sam Brownback's. On Saturday and Sunday it was Hillary Clinton. And Tommy Thompson.

Then there is local Tom Vilsack who is always campaigning.

John Edwards has been here at least 17 times in the last 2 years, and you can expect more visits in the coming weeks from Joe Biden and Bill Richardson who have been here nearly 20 times between them since the end of 2004.

And just wait for Barack Obama - could it be a bigger media event than Clinton's?

That's just some of the close to 30 candidates who are running, exploring, or actively considering a tilt for President. Yes, it's a traffic jam.

But a necessary one for all of the candidates. Many of the millions they spend over the next 12 months will be in Iowa, such is the power of securing an early victory, or polling well.

So expect more school visits, more packed public hall meetings and more meet and greets. This is politics local style.

Well, local, except for the heavily stage managed events, more press and photographers than the Oscars and the fact that everything you say is being beamed live around the country.

Jan 30, 2007

I've Learned from 2004 - Edwards

Speaking at Wake Forest University yesterday, former Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards said he has learned lessons from the election in 2004.

Edwards said that perhaps he was too inexperienced to run, and was concentrating too hard on being a good candidate.

This time, he said he is thinking about what he wants to do as President of the United States.

Edwards has also reiterated the mistake that he made in previously supporting and voting for the war in Iraq, and he is not interested in blaming anyone for that mistake.

Pushing again for Diplomacy in the region, Edwards said that if he were President he would be pursuing talks with Iran and Syria. He said U.S troops should be withdrawn from Iraq within the year.

Jan 29, 2007

Edwards Says Minimum Wage Overdue

John Edwards is calling on the Senate to pass the minimum wage legislation when it comes before them in a few days.

Edwards has long been a campaigner for an increase to the minimum wage - so far through his campaigns he has helped to raise the minimum wage in 6 states.

The last increase to the minimum wage was over 10 years ago, and since that time the cost of living has gone up 25%.

Edwards said that "It's a long overdue change that will immediately help over 13 million people, many living at or below the edge of poverty."

John Edwards has set up a petition to tell Senators how important this increase is for working Americans. You can sign the petition here.

John Edwards Taking Action on Energy

John Edwards taking part in the One Corps National Action Day in Pennsylvania on Saturday. Edwards has said that it is time for America to be patriotic about something other than war.

Jan 28, 2007

Edwards to New Hampshire Again

John Edwards will be campaigning in New Hampshire again this week. This will be at least his 10th trip there in the last 2 years.

Edwards has benefited from his trips to key states in the recent past. In Iowa, he leads the polls, having visited there at least 17 times. Hillary Clinton is making her first visit to Iowa in more than 3 years this weekend.

In New Hampshire, Edwards has been polling in 3rd place. More than 800 came to hear him speak at a school cafeteria there, just after he announced his run in late December last year.

Edwards will be speaking tomorrow at Wake Forest University, N.C at 4pm.

Jan 27, 2007

Edwards Would Beat McCain

In a just published Newsweek Poll, John Edwards would beat Republican frontrunner John McCain in a Presidential election, 48-44, and is in a statistical dead heat with Rudy Giuliani.

The poll was conducted between January 24 and 25.

The same poll showed that President Bush's approval rating had dropped to the lowest point in the poll's history - just 30%. And this coming after the State of the Union address where he might have hoped to get a boost.

Edwards and National Day of Action Today

John Edwards is calling on all One Corps Chapters to "get together and take action to help conserve energy and fight global warming." The first National Day of Action is today, January 27.

Check out the information on the John Edwards Blog here. It has some great tips for saving energy.

Jan 23, 2007

John Edwards - Vision for Change

Responding to the State of the Union Address by President Bush, John Edwards tonight said that the next President must offer a vision for fundamental change.

Edwards said that the Address was "heavy on rhetoric, but light on everything else".

Emphasising again that the escalation plans for Iraq were a big mistake, Edwards called on the President to immediately withdraw 40-50,000 troops.

And Edwards fired a shot at Congress, reiterating his belief that they should block the funds to increase U.S involvement in Iraq. "Congress has the power to stop this escalation - they should use it." Edwards said.

John Edwards also made reference to the President's failings on health care, saying that the Bush plan will do little to help working Americans. Edwards said that "We need universal health care in this country and we need it now."

Edwards responds to the State of the Union on Hannity & Colmes

Clinton Wont Admit Mistake on Iraq Vote

In an interview this morning on NBC Today, Hillary Clinton refused to admit that she made a mistake on the Iraq vote before the invasion in 2003.

In stark contrast to John Edwards, who has said that he was wrong on Iraq, Hillary said that everybody has made mistakes, but she has taken her responsibility, although what that responsibility is remains unclear.

In a thinly veiled attack on Edwards, Clinton said that she is "not looking backwards", nor is she sitting on the sidelines regarding the Iraq issue, she is trying to find a solution in Congress.

There is sure to be more to come on this issue.

Jan 22, 2007

People Prefer Edwards - Newsweek Poll

John Edwards is the most favored Democrat over leading Republican Candidates according to the latest Newsweek poll.

In regard to the two top GOP candidates, Edwards leads John McCain 48%-43% and Rudy Giuliani 48%-45%.

Interestingly, in the poll conducted late last week, Giuliani has a slight lead over both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Have a look at the full results here.

Jan 21, 2007

POST/ABC Poll - Edwards 3rd 11%

In a national poll of 561 Democrats and Democrat leaning independents conducted by the Washington Post and ABC, John Edwards ranked third behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The poll, which has a margin of error of about 4%, was conducted between the 16th and 19th of January, during the time that Obama declared, but prior to Clinton on Saturday.

Edwards: 10%
Clinton: 41%
Obama: 17%
Gore: 10%
Kerry: 8%
Biden: 3%

Jan 20, 2007

Edwards in Iowa City - Leads Poll

(Photo - Matthew Holst - New York Times)

John Edwards was on the campaign trail yesterday in Iowa City, to conduct a "Town Hall" meeting on the President Bush plan to escalate the War in Iraq.

Edwards was joined by his wife Elizabeth, who also spoke at the meeting, attended by a large number of people, many who had travelled miles to see him.

John Edwards has a good record in Iowa- he polled second behind John Kerry in early 2004.

That status seems unchanged - a Zogby poll earlier this week showed that Edwards led the race in Iowa with 27%, followed by Barack Obama on 17%. Hillary Clinton and former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack were tied on 16%.

On Tuesday night, John Edwards will conduct a live online video discussion on the President's State of the Union Address. The discussion will take place at 9.30ET, 6.30PT, and can be viewed here.

Jan 18, 2007

Edwards - Congress Must Act on Iraq

In a bold move that will conflict with some of the other Democratic hopefuls, John Edwards is calling on the Congress to block the President Bush plans for escalation in Iraq.

The Edwards Campaign are calling on people to sign the petition, to show how much anger there is in the community about the new plan for Iraq.

John Edwards plans to run a full page ad in Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, which will feature the petition and call on Congress to act to block funding for the new plan.

It has also been reported that Edwards' speech in Harlem on Sunday was seen by the Clinton camp as an attack on her credibility on the Iraq issue. While Edwards who had earlier supported the war, then retracted and apologised, Clinton has taken her time in being vocal on the issue.

Up until yesterday, where she called for a reduction in troops, she had not made her position clear. Further, in contrast to Edwards, she has not yet admitted that she made a mistake.

Edwards speech on Sunday drew a swift response from the Clinton team, labelling Edwards' campaign "negative". After the Obama announcement this week, we would expect to see Clinton in the contest sooner than later, and when it happens, expect some fireworks.

Jan 14, 2007

John Edwards speaks in Harlem

John Edwards will today be at the Riverside Church in Harlem to give the "Realizing the Dream" speech.

This is the same church where nearly 40 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told of his opposition to the war in Vietnam.

In his speech today, Edwards will compare the war in Iraq with Vietnam and make it clear that the same problems that existed then, exist now.

Edwards is taking the opposition to the Iraq war one step further than his Democratic colleagues in Congress. He is calling on Congress to refuse to commit extra funds to pay for the President Bush escalation plans for the Iraq war.

Edwards also takes a swipe at leading GOP candidate, John McCain, calling the decision by Bush the "McCain Doctrine", which will cost America dearly.

Edwards will today state that there is no military solution to the problem in Iraq, and the only way forward is politically and diplomatically.

Following in King's own style, Edwards will be making a call to the people of America to speak up on this issue, to contact their Senators and voice their opposition to the escalation in Iraq.

Watch the speech live here.

Jan 11, 2007

John Edwards - the first 2 weeks

John Edwards campaign for the Democratic nomination was hampered by breaking stories which took his announcement out of the media spotlight.

Announcing his decision to run for President between Christmas and New Years, traditionally a slow news week, seemed like a good plan.

That was until President Ford passed away, followed by the death of James Brown, followed by the hanging of Saddam Hussein. Add that to the increasing speculation of the impending announcement of President Bush's new plan for Iraq, and the Edwards campaign was off to a slow media start.

Nevertheless Edwards went on a whirlwind tour, visiting Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina. In New Hampshire, Edwards was greeted by 750 people in a school cafeteria, and apparently as many as that were turned away.

John Edwards has also made a
statement on the troop escalation in Iraq, saying that escalating the war in Iraq would send "...the wrong message to the Iraqi people, to the region, and the world."

The Washington Times reports today that Hillary Clinton's campaign in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire is falling behind, with Edwards and Obama tied for first place on 22% from a poll of 600 people in Iowa, and Edwards scoring a third place with 16% in New Hampshire, behind Hillary and Barack.

Time reports that while Edwards has limited funds in his campaign account, he has made 15 visits to Iowa and 9 to New Hampshire since Nov. 2004. He is ranked in third as a 5-1 shot.