Thursday, December 27, 2007

"Edwards Says He Sounds Like a President"

Huffington Post:
CONWAY, N.H. — John Edwards tried to shore up his New Hampshire support Wednesday with promises of fighting the establishment, changing Washington - and even speaking with a Southern accent.
The former North Carolina senator, on a 300-mile, one-day campaign tour through New Hampshire, stuck to populist themes for what he hopes will be an Edwards presidency.

"You'd better choose someone as your candidate who's ready for this battle. Nice words will not change anything," Edwards said in this northern New England town.

He also cited his small-town, Southern roots as an asset.

"The last two Democratic presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter," he said in his Carolina twang, "both talk like me."

While Edwards said he was talking about fighting "big business" and "corporate greed," he's in a tight race with rivals Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama in Iowa _ where he was heading next.

"It's a very competitive race. From everything I see, it's a dead heat between the three of us," Edwards told reporters after going door-to-door looking for votes in Nashua.

"This is my last day here. We'll go from here to Iowa very late tonight. ... I, Elizabeth, my kids, my parents _ everybody will be stationed in Iowa between now and Jan. 3."

Edwards has spent years building an organization in Iowa, where the caucuses will provide the campaign's first results a week from Thursday. Here in New Hampshire, polls show Clinton and Obama in a tight race for the Jan. 8 primary. Edwards remains a distant third but hopes a strong showing in Iowa will let him slingshot into New Hampshire with momentum.

"Having done this once before, this is crunch time, now's when it matters," Edwards said.

He refrained from criticizing his rivals, aware that Iowa voters tend to reject overtly negative campaigning.

"My fight is not with politicians. My fight is on behalf of those kind of people I grew up with who deserve a real chance in this country," Edwards said in Conway.

But he did say that he could help down-ticket races, such as those for Congress or governor, citing recent polls that suggest he would defeat Republicans in hypothetical matchups. He also suggested other candidates _ without naming names _ could hurt Democratic candidates in moderate districts and states.

"I beat all of (the Republicans). I beat most of them very handily. There's nowhere I can't go and campaign with our congressional candidates," Edwards said.

No comments: