Thursday, July 19, 2007
For a really cool, interactive look at where candidates raised their money from across the country, check out this page from the Federal Election Commission.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
At the gathering of about 150 people, the 55-year-old bookstore clerk asked Edwards whether, as president, he would invite the Palestinians' elected Hamas government to the negotiating table. Not until it recognizes Israel and renounces violence, he replied. Then Edwards complimented his questioner.
"You do a thoughtful job of bringing this up everytime I see you," he said.
Minor has talked to Edwards about the Palestinians four times this year. Earlier this month, she got a chance to ask former President Clinton, campaigning with his wife Hillary. That's how it goes in Iowa. It's an old saw, but a lot of Iowans won't decide who they'll caucus for in January until they can look a candidate in the eye, kicking the tires before they buy.
"It's always up close and personal," said teacher Connie McKean.
With their January caucuses, Iowa voters get the first say on the 2008 presidential race. And they take thier role seriously. Almost 400 showed up to hear Edwards in Fort Dodge Thursday night. Other crowds swelled appearances in smaller towns on Friday and Saturday. Clinton and Obama have drawn even more.
People who show up ask nuanced questions about returning veterans, energy policy, health care and other issues.
"Your voter out here is a savvy voter," said Mike Robinson, chair of the Linn County Democratic Party in Cedar Rapids.
In North Carolina, the presidential race is still an abstract issue for a lot of voters. If candidates pop in at all, it's usually to raise money or change planes. Here, amid the cornfields, politics counts. Voters aren't the only ones who know it.
"You actually get to look us in the eye and judge who deserved to be president of the United States," Edwards said in Anamosa.
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Yesterday our three-van caravan sped through north-central
It was probably as fitting a place as any for John Edwards to lay out his latest plan, for "green-collar" jobs. Those would be part of a plan to reduce
The green economy was the subject of the speech he gave at five stops. It was a short speech. Five minutes and then Q&A. Iowans seem to like that.
The Edwards campaign knows a photo op when they see it. The last stop, just outside
At one point, there was some rustling in the corn. Edwards seemed startled. "Somebody's walking around in the corn," he said. A photographer pushed her way past the corn, cameras strapped around her neck "I'm glad those are cameras in your hands and not guns," Edwards said.
Edwards has visited
Where, he asked.
Friday, July 13, 2007
After breakfast, we'll climb into a small press van and follow John Edwards on a day-long swing through north central Iowa. This is an old meat-packing town in the middle of miles and miles of corn. We'll see more corn today.
Last night Edwards spoke at the Fort Dodge library. People began coming in an hour ahead of time and by 7, there were nearly 400 people sitting in seats and leaning against bookshelves. Edwards arrived 25 minutes late. Standing with rolled up sleeves, he spoke for a few minutes about health care and rural America, but devoted most of his time to answering questions.
Iowans take this stuff seriously. There were questions about terrorism, stem cell research and education. Amanda Feeley, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mom with three kids in tow, asked Edwards is he would take what she called the “food stamp diet challenge,” and eat on a dollar a day.
“The $400 haircut would have kept my family in groceries for three weeks,” she said. The audience groaned.
The haircut thing won’t go away. And Amanda said she’s leaning toward supporting Edwards.
After the meeting, we came back to the Best Western Starlite Lounge, out on the edge of the prairie. We had a late dinner at Buford’s, the steakhouse in the hotel. Edwards walked in with a blue t-shirt, past a table with reporters and a couple staffers.
“It’s good to see you guys, but I’m not going to eat with you,” he said, heading off to a corner table.