Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It Takes Money To Win?

Americans could change that idiotic Common Wisdom with this primary.

Actually, what it takes is more votes that one's opponent. Americans can take a very impressive step toward rebuilding our Democracy by voting against the money and voting for Edwards.

Just take the candidates war chest dollar amount and divide it by the number of contributors. See who comes out on top and vote for that candidate.

We can show that bucks don't matter as much as the politicos think they do by simply voting against the moneyed interests.

Edwards' strategy: Win early

Behind in polls and in money, candidate bets it all on 2 states

By Jim Tankersley

Tribune national correspondent

October 1, 2007


"Comfortable chairs" top the wish list scrawled on butcher paper at the New Hampshire headquarters of John Edwards' presidential campaign. Now more than ever, they seem needed: Edwards and his campaign are making themselves very comfy here and in Iowa this fall.

Unable to match Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in fundraising, Edwards has placed all his chips on the only bet available to him: a full-scale, grass-roots push in the two earliest primary states in hopes that success there will vault him to the nomination.

Rivals call it a long shot, particularly because Edwards' decision last week to accept federal matching funds will limit how much he can spend in any given state. But the former North Carolina senator and his campaign say they have the cash, the message and, above all, the right kind of electoral calendar to pull it off.

Edwards' strategy contrasts with that of Obama, who has begun to hire campaign staff in California, Missouri and other states that vote in early February.

Obama and Edwards are vying to be the chief Democratic alternative to Clinton, who leads the field in national polls. Their competing strategies reflect their competing strengths as candidates -- and different predictions of how the most compressed primary schedule in presidential history will affect the nomination battle.

An Obama spokesman, Ben LaBolt, said the campaign is spending "the bulk" of its time and money in the earliest states but also is laying groundwork for a "sequential primary" that spreads out across the country.

"Feb. 5 has become a quasi-national primary," LaBolt said. "Campaigns have to be prepared to compete."

Edwards has seen this before

Edwards believes the nomination will be decided by the end of January, based on his experience in the 2004 primaries, when he watched a come-from-behind victory in Iowa catapult John Kerry to the nomination. He is focused almost exclusively on Iowa, New Hampshire and, to a lesser extent, Nevada and South Carolina -- states where his campaign claims "no candidate can buy votes."

"Substance counts a lot more than money in the places where voters can look you in the eye, judge you face to face and question you in detail about your plans for the country," Edwards' campaign manager, David Bonior, wrote in a memo last week that attempted to cast the decision to accept public financing as one of "principle" and "strength," though earlier in the year the Edwards campaign had rejected the idea.

Or as Edwards himself put it Friday in New Hampshire, when a reporter asked about his strategic differences with Obama: "My strategy is a winning strategy. I went through this in 2004. I know what works. ... Feb. 5 will be impacted tremendously by what's in front of it."

Iowa and New Hampshire have not yet set a caucus and primary date, respectively. But campaigns are bracing for them to come in a blitz shortly after New Year's.

In the 2004 primaries, opinion polls indicated Kerry was trailing former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean by nearly double digits in New Hampshire shortly before the Jan. 19 Iowa caucus. After Kerry won Iowa, he shot past Dean in Granite State polls, won the state's Jan. 27 primary and rolled to the nomination.

Recent polls show Obama trailing Clinton badly in New Hampshire, with Edwards in third place. In hopes of catching up, Obama and Edwards are attempting to build substantial grass-roots networks in New Hampshire. Edwards' organization already dwarfs his 2004 effort in the state.

Alone among the top three candidates, Edwards stuck around New Hampshire to campaign through small mountain towns after a Wednesday night debate in Hanover.

He sowed a message of universal health care, the withdrawal of all combat troops from Iraq and a multistep plan to bridge what he called an economic divide between rural and "big city" America. He brought along a bluegrass band and a former Georgia congressman, Ben Jones, who played Cooter on the television show "The Dukes of Hazzard."

'He's such a caring person'

The crowds seemed to embrace the politics more than the music: Supporters failed on multiple attempts, in multiple cities, to get folks to clap along with the banjo. At one point, in a butchered-plural reference to the unofficial northern New Hampshire mascot, Jones told the audience apologetically, "We don't have any songs about mooses."

Still, many voters walked away impressed by Edwards' message.

"He's such a caring person," said Elizabeth Kiser, a retired insurance executive from Bethlehem who once leaned toward Obama but now is back on the fence. Of Obama, she added, "I don't find him as strong as he should be, as confident as he should be."

Edwards said Friday that his campaign will have "far more resources than we'll need [in order] to do what we need to do in Iowa and New Hampshire." His campaign noted that the state-spending limits imposed by public financing only count some advertising spending, and certain grass-roots staffing costs don't count at all.



(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. I.U. has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is I.U endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)

The Nazis, Fascists and Communists were political parties before they became enemies of liberty and mass murderers.

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