CONCORD, N.H.--I'm in the gym at the Concord High School, packed, packed with a youthful audience here to see Barack Obama; so many showed up they were supposed to be taken to an overflow room. Obama is the last of 11 presidential candidates who have stumped at the school during this cycle, ending Jan. 8 with the primary vote.
Meanwhile, the John Edwards campaign, bragging about beating Hillary Rodham Clinton, issued a "state of the race" memo (in full after the click) slamming Obama and Clinton for being "celebrity candidates" who spent $200 million against him.
Near the end of the Iowa campaign, Edwards started to toughen his criticism of Obama for taking money from federal lobbyists and political action committees in his election races, only stopping when he started running for president. Edwards was not able to really communicate his point so far that he doesn't think much of Obama's conversion to a higher standard only for his presidential bid.
" The January 8th New Hampshire primary will be an election – not an auction. Just look at the results of the first contest: two celebrity candidates spend $200 million against a candidate who’s got an unstoppable message of fighting for the middle class. Despite unprecedented resources spent by our opponents, Edwards is standing strong – without taking a dime of campaign money from PACs or Washington lobbyists," the memo said.
Edwards has a weaker organization here than Obama or Clinton but he is going to get help from the United Steelworkers of America and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. The group of SEIU state councils will be pouring $1.5 million into the Feb. 5 states, but the flip side of that is Obama will accuse Edwards--as he did in Iowa--of taking special interest money from the third parties and is therefore a hypocrite. By the way, Obama has said he will take this special interest money if he is the Democratic nominee and will disarm only if the GOP nominee does.
Back to the gym with Obama...he is winding up...
"This is our moment. This is our time," Obama is telling this very young crowd ,finding his rhythm..."if all the young people here decide this is our moment to make our mark in history....(add a string of things Obama saysto make the world a better place)..if you want to reach for that, in four days time you will have a chance."
Obama is really underscoring his pitch that he will to Democrats, Independents and Republicans, a message that's important in a state with a large number of independent voters. (That's why Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Ct.) cross-vover endorsement of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a potential big deal here.
This is the Edwards memo....
TO: Interested Parties
FR: The Edwards Campaign
RE: State of the Race
WELCOME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE
Welcome to New Hampshire, where John Edwards has climbed to 20 percent (Reuters and LA Times/Bloomberg) or 21 percent (Franklin Pierce and ARG). Most importantly, our New Hampshire operation rivals each of our opponents. With 17 offices statewide, including five new GOTV offices opened over the past weeks in response to volunteer turnout, and over 80 paid staff in New Hampshire with more arriving every day, the Edwards campaign has a strong base of operation in every corner of the state.
In addition to our volunteer program, United Steelworkers of America (3,350 New Hampshire members) and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (2,136 NH members) have all endorsed John Edwards and have pledged substantial man hours to the campaign. The Endorsement of New Hampshire’s SEIU means we not only have support from the chapter’s 10,000 NH workers, but it also means that’s all 1.1 million SEIU members of the 12 State Councils are working for us there.
THE NEW DYNAMIC IN THE RACE
The lesson out of Iowa is that Democrats and Independents want change from the corporate Democrats and corporate Republicans who have controlled our politics for more than 25 years. They are not going to select a nominee like Senator Clinton who has more money from lobbyists, more money from the pharmaceutical industry, more money from Wall Street, and even more money from the defense industry than even the Republican candidates. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, before Democrats took control of Congress, pharmaceutical manufacturers gave 70% of their contributions to Republicans. After 2006, 47% has gone to Democrats. They are expecting something return.
This is not who we are. The Democratic Party should be the party of the people. The January 8th New Hampshire primary will be an election – not an auction. Just look at the results of the first contest: two celebrity candidates spend $200 million against a candidate who’s got an unstoppable message of fighting for the middle class. Despite unprecedented resources spent by our opponents, Edwards is standing strong – without taking a dime of campaign money from PACs or Washington lobbyists.
The question now is which type of change we need. John Edwards believes that in order to achieve bold transformational change you cannot negotiate or compromising or work with the powerful interests to get real change. If negotiating and working with powerful interests was type of change we needed right now, we’d already have universal health care, wouldn’t be dependent on foreign oil, or burdened with trade deals that only benefit multinational corporations.
THE PATH TO VICTORY
On the heels of our victory over Senator Clinton, the coalition of 12 SEIU state councils that endorsed Edwards last night announced they would be pouring additional $1.5 million into February 5 states on communication and voter turnout among the more than 750,000 SEIU members in those states.
Before that, though, we hit Nevada where we recently added two dozen field staffers and already have strong labor support in the state over 28,000 members (Carpenters, Steelworkers, Transport workers, Communication workers) and more than 1,000 precinct captain caucus trainings. Edwards has logged 17 visits to Nevada – roughly as much as Obama and Clinton combined.
Then South Carolina – Senator Edwards’ home state, the state he won by 15 points in 2004 without winning Iowa, and the state where we were first to go up with television advertising.
To: Interested Parties
From: The Obama Campaign
RE: Inside the Numbers of Obama’s Win in Iowa
DA: January 4, 2008
Last night, Barack Obama made history in Iowa with a dramatic and decisive victory. He won by bringing an unprecedented number of voters into the process, including thousands of Republicans and Independents who registered as Democrats in order to support Obama.
The entrance polls show just how dominating Obama’s win was.
Obama beat Clinton among women 35% to 30%
Obama beat Edwards among voters in union households 30%-24%
Obama beat Clinton and Edwards among voters of almost every income level (Obama and Clinton tied among voters who make $15-30,000)
As many voters age 17-29 as voters 65 and older participated last night -- in previous years senior participation has been 5-times greater than younger voters.
Obama beat Edwards and Clinton among voters who want change (51%-20%-19%)
Despite countless attacks and hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative mail, TV, and radio, Obama beat Clinton and Edwards (34%-30%-27%) among voters who say health care is the most important issue
Obama won among those who said the economy was the most important issue (36%-26%-26%)
Obama won over Clinton and Edwards (35%-26%-17%) among those who said Iraq was the most important issue
Won across the ideological spectrum – winning among liberals, moderates and conservatives
Won among high income and lower income voters among voters with household income below $50,000 (34%-32%-19%) and among those over $50,000 (41%-19%-28%)
Also won among the 82% of voters who said Pakistan was “very or somewhat important”