Local Politics

Stakes High for Edwards in Iowa

Posted December 5, 2007

— With one month left until the Iowa caucuses, Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is in the final stretch of what some see as a fight for his political life.

Edwards, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina, surprised many in 2004 by placing second in Iowa. The strong showing boosted his candidacy and propelled him to the Democratic vice presidential nomination.

But Edwards no longer has the element of surprise in his favor, and the political stakes are much higher this time around. Most political analysts said they believe he needs to pull off a win in Iowa to stay alive for the Democratic nomination.

"John Edwards has everything riding on Iowa," said David Yepsen, a political columnist with The Des Moines Register.

The newspaper's latest poll places Edwards third behind Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Yet, he remains confident and upbeat on the campaign trail.

"Everything's relative, but I'm in a much better place than I was the last time," he said. "I feel a great deal of confidence as we go into the last few weeks of this."

Edwards has campaigned in Iowa for 67 days this year – more than any other Democratic candidate – working for votes in high school libraries in Mason City and community college conference rooms in Waterloo.

He talks about ending the war in Iraq, lifting up the poor and taking on powerful corporate lobbyists.

"They will no more give away their power than the man in the moon. We've got to take it from them," he said of lobbyists.

The message resonates with some caucus-goers.

"He walks the talk," Jana Root said.

"He's one of us," Jim Kuhlman said.

While Edwards' familiarity in Iowa is good, Yepsen said, he also lacks some of the spark he had in 2004.

"It's also a downside. He's not a fresh face. He's not as new as he was," Yepsen said.

Edwards has retooled his campaign for the weeks leading up to the Jan. 3 caucuses, toning down attacks in favor of a more positive message.

"I've been through this. I know what you do in Iowa," he told some residents recently.


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  • mvnull Dec 6, 2007

    "If the SS money was never there to begin with, it would never be used as a back up to our budget issues......" I do agree with this. If there hadn't been the SS funds to raid, the government would have either had to cut spending or be transparent about the taxes.

  • mvnull Dec 6, 2007

    "ANd when more of my check goes to SS benefits than to fed AND state taxes combined, there is a problem." I would like to talk with your tax accountant. Preferably before she goes to jail. My paycheck withholds about the same in NC tax as SS, each of which is about half of the federal amount. My retirement fund is also about the same as SS and NC Tax. I just hope there is actually something in the fund when I retire.

  • wcnc Dec 6, 2007

    If the SS money was never there to begin with, it would never be used as a back up to our budget issues...... I personally would rather be in charge of saving for my retirement. ANd when more of my check goes to SS benefits than to fed AND state taxes combined, there is a problem. Why we don't ask people to be responsible for their own lives, I can't figure out!!

  • wcnc Dec 6, 2007

    Oh my, I just noticed my typo!!! When I typed "poo" I meant instead to type "poor". That's almost funny!!

  • mvnull Dec 6, 2007

    "All those programs to help the poo started by FDR are the ones currently bankrupting our country...." Really? Many of FDR's programs were short term and terminated when their usefulness was gone, such as with the CCC. Others were declared unconsitutional, such as the NRA.

    In many ways Social Security is the only thing currently keeping the country from going bankrupt. The excess income is used to balance the budget. At least for now.

  • wcnc Dec 6, 2007

    "FDR was fabulously wealthy and still created several programs to help the poor. It is possible for a wealthy person to want to give back to others."

    Or is it more appropriate to say that it is possible for a wealthy person to take from others??!!! All those programs to help the poo started by FDR are the ones currently bankrupting our country and creating our generationally lazy citizens!! So much for helpful programs!!

  • jgriffith3792 Dec 6, 2007

    mvnull, I am not obsessed with Edwards. I am obsessed with making sure he (Edwards) never holds a public office again.

  • Karmageddon Dec 6, 2007

    Why doesn't the media put a web cam and GPS in his car and then have a web site available to track him every where he goes?

    We need more coverage of John Edwards.

  • mvnull Dec 6, 2007

    "At least, cover all of the candidates equally -- selecting one candidate to focus on is so very biased."

    Whether you like it or not, he is a local candidate for the presidency. I am sure WRAL will cover Burr just as much when he runs in the future (you know he will!).

    I'm continually amused by the Edwards-obsessed. Observing pathology is a hobby of mine.

  • jgriffith3792 Dec 6, 2007

    As far as the story, “he walks the talk” is the biggest load I have heard in a while.

    Example: the other day on NPR Edwards claimed none of the Christmas gifts at the Edwards house would be from China. Well, when you can afford a 28,000 sq ft house, $400 haircuts, and get $950,000 for a book (annefrank, that is how you work in all three H’s) that all you did is “edit”, well you can get non-massed produced gifts.

    However, the rest of us, thanks to John Edwards vote to make China a favored nation trading partner along with all the other free trade bills he voted for (along democratic party lines by Mr. outsider/non-Washington), will have most gifts under the tree that were made outside of the US.

    Edwards is a walking contradiction.