The Impact of Chris Dodd's IAFF Endorsement
by Todd Beeton, Wed Aug 29, 2007 at 03:23:01 PM EDT
It's appropriate that Chris Dodd would accept the endorsement of the International Association of Fire Fighters on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina with the following accolade from Harold Schaitberger, IAFF president:
The man we trust to keep our country safe and our families secure.
If we've learned anything from events such as Hurricane Katrina, the recent mining tragedies, the collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis and the recall of toys and food made in China and even the administration's curbing of our constitutional rights, it's that protecting Americans goes above and beyond issues related to terrorism. And Chris Dodd, over the course of his campaign, has slowly but surely made the case that he is able and willing to be our fiercest protector on matters both big (the Habeus Corpus Restoration Act and The Gulf Coast Recovery Act of 2007) and small (his strong defense of dailyKos against the attacks of Bill O'Reilly.) In fact it was this very quality that Schaitberger cited time and again in his endorsement of Dodd today. Watch it:
The IAFF's endorsement is highly coveted because of the influence it had in the 2004 presidential race. In September 2003 when the IAFF endorsed Sen. John Kerry, that candidate's Iowa poll numbers hovered around the low teens. After Kerry went on to win the 2004 Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire primary, columnists and pundits credited the IAFF's endorsement, which was Kerry's largest endorsement before he won Iowa, with much of the Massachusetts senator's success.
Now, certainly Dodd has a steeper hill to climb but if anything has the potential to put Dodd on the map in the early states and really build momentum for his campaign, this is it. For this endorsement isn't just a one day deal, as today's announcement by the international association will be followed by several endorsements by the state associations. Check out Dodd's schedule over the coming days:
* Upcoming Events
* Aug 29th - IAFF Official Endorsement Announcement
* Aug 30th - Iowa City IAFF Endorsement Rally
* Aug 30th - Des Moines IAFF Endorsement Rally
* Aug 30th - Council Bluffs IAFF Endorsement Rally
* Aug 31st - Manchester IAFF Endorsement Rally
* Sept 1st - Reno IAFF Endorsement Rally
* Sept 1st - Las Vegas IAFF Endorsement Rally
And even then, the work on behalf of Dodd in these states will have only just begun. From The AP:
"The firefighters, they work," said Kathy Sullivan, former state Democratic chairwoman in New Hampshire. "I remember they did the series of firehouse dinners and had people come out and see John Kerry. Their membership does phone calls, does mailings. They actually do work to get their candidates elected. My theory on the importance of endorsements is, they're only as good as how hard they will work."
At the very least, today's endorsement gave Dodd the most and best press he has gotten to date (see the pieces by the AP, Bloomberg and Reuters,) even setting in motion a new "will lightning strike twice?" narrative, the answer to which we will all be anxious to discover over the coming weeks and months.