Friday, August 03, 2007

Christmas in August for John Edwards

The ’08 campaign pace in Iowa is as intense as it was a month before Democrats chose John Kerry in 2004 with a new poll showing Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and—-surprise--John Edwards in a virtual tie.

Six months before the January 14th caucuses, Iowans have donated as much money, attended as many campaign events and received as many phone calls as they did in December 2003.

Edwards, who placed second last time, is making an all-out effort there to beat the two national front runners, with a week-long bus tour this month to pound home the message of his poverty campaign: “I want America to join us, all of us, to end the great work Bobby Kennedy started.”

Clinton and Obama are working hard too for a victory in the first ’08 test of strength. The former First Lady’s secret weapon is two-time Governor Tom Vilsack, a possible running mate, who is auditioning by playing surrogate in the spat over meeting with unfriendly foreign leaders.

Vilsack, in expressing “disappointment” with Obama’s attacks on Clinton, told voters, “It’s not the Iowa way.”

Meanwhile, Obama is showing considerable strength with potential caucus-goers expressing interest in his “new ideas and new direction.”

In a state with a reputation for being “contrary,” where caucus members stand in designated areas and yammer at one another and traditionally make up their minds at the last moment, anything can happen. John Edwards, for one, is hoping that it will.

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