Richardson targets weakest of Big Three: Clinton

Watching how the trailing candidates behave is usually a good indicator of what their pricey internal pollsters and analysts are telling them.

For one of the second-tier candidates to survive after Iowa, he needs to knock off one of the top three. Bill Richardson's campaign apparently has identified the weakest link: Hillary Clinton.

Richardson Calls Hillary Clinton on Iraq Flip-Flop

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Internal Clinton memo leaks, urges her to skip Iowa

AP has the story over here. Hotline has some reaction right here.

As Hotline says, you never use the word "skip" even when you're planning to "skip" a state. It just sounds terrible and weak. And it makes you wonder who the heck leaked this memo, and why.

Is this already an attempt by the Clinton campaign to lower expectations in Iowa, where she's losing ground and has slipped to third? It is obviously not something you want to be doing if you're in a position of strength -- it gives off a vibe of desperation.

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Chuck Todd: Watch Iowa and New Hampshire

Chuck Todd, National Journal's former Hotline editor and now NBC political director, says "Tsunami Tuesday" is nice and all, but the states to watch remain Iowa and New Hampshire.

From my perspective, all this frontloading has done only one thing: make Iowa even more important.

As the very first test, the "winner(s)" of the Iowa Caucuses is (are) going to take on greater significance than ever before - particularly since there is no break between Iowa and everything else. Momentum will be the driving force for these candidates post-Iowa, not money or message. ...

The fact is, watch where these candidates travel to once Labor Day rolls around. The frontrunners will be in one of two states - Iowa or New Hampshire... period.

And frankly, the really smart candidates will be living in Iowa.

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Edwards goes on air in Iowa: Compromise is concession on Iraq

John Edwards' first TV ad hit the air in Iowa today, on broadcast and cable channels. It features Iowans calling on Congress to stand up to Bush's veto of the Iraq war funding bill.

   

"The American people have given Congress a mission to end the war -- but that mission hasn't been accomplished yet," Edwards said in a statement announcing the ad.

Edwards said in a conference call with Iowa reporters that "compromise is concession" on this issue. He said the American people sent a mandate to Congress to end the war in the November election, and now Congress must "stand its ground."

 

"This is a time for political courage, not political calculation. Congress needs to hear the message of Iowans and use its power to bring this war to an end," Edwards said.

   He is encouraging other Iowans to submit their own video messages through YouTube and will release an expanded version of the Iowa ad online.

The ad can be viewed here.

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

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Hillary loses more than 40% of lead so far this year

Newsweek's latest polls show Hillary Clinton losing significant amounts of her advantage in head-to-head matchups among Democrats against both John Edwards and Barack Obama.

In the Jan. 24-25 poll, Clinton led Obama by 20 points, 55-35. In the May 2-3 poll, that lead is down to 12 points, 51-39. That's 40% of her lead gone.

Similarly, she has lost 42% of her lead over Edwards in the same three months. A 33-point lead on Jan. 24-25 -- 62-29 -- has been slashed by 14 points and is now 57-38.

Both Edwards and Obama are cutting Clinton's head-to-head lead by a little over 3% per week. At that pace, they both would pass her by in about 33 weeks, which would be ... mid-January.

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Edwards: This is deja vu all over again. Cut the funding.

Voting for deauthorization won't get us out of Iraq. As John Edwards points out in this press release, "Congress has a clear choice - they can talk about ending the war, or they can just end it."

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2007

CONTACT:
Kate Bedingfield
919-636-3203

EDWARDS STATEMENT ON IRAQ WAR FUNDING AND AUTHORIZATION

Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Senator John Edwards released the following statement today about funding and authorization of the war in Iraq.

"This is deja vu all over again. We saw it in Vietnam and we saw it earlier this year. We don't need any more non-binding resolutions or big statements; we need to end the war. I've been in Washington, so I understand the urge to make a statement - but in this situation, statements can be an excuse for inaction. Congress has a clear choice - they can talk about ending the war, or they can just end it. The only way for Congress to end the war is to cut off the money for it, and they should concentrate on doing just that. Anything else is just noise.

"As I said in February, the president exceeded his authority a long time ago. He's never been given the authority to use U.S. troops to police a civil war, so there's nothing to take away now. What's more, we know this just doesn't work. In 1971, Congress repealed the resolution authorizing the Vietnam War - and the war continued for four long years until Congress stopped funding it."

-30-

Paid for by John Edwards for President.

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SEIU official: If election were today, we'd support Edwards

Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Marc Cooper blogged for The Nation last night about SEIU's New Leadership on Health Care 2008 Presidential Forum in Las Vegas: "Edwards Stands Out On Health Care Debate"

Seven of the Democratic presidential contenders spent all of Saturday morning talking about their health care policies at a union-organized forum at UNLV; and while they vowed to provide universal coverage if elected, only John Edwards presented a plan with any significant details.

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No surprise: Tom Vilsack endorses DLC pal Hillary Clinton

UPDATE: This endorsement raises the stakes to "All In" for Hillary in Iowa. I've mentioned before that the third-place finisher in Iowa will look an awful lot like the last-place finisher in Iowa. Some argue that with Hillary's money, she can afford a weak showing. This endorsement confirms that her campaign doesn't believe that, either. If she can't win in Iowa with Tom Vilsack's endorsement, on top of her money, her name and her media coverage advantages, then she can't win.

MSNBC says: BREAKING AP: Officials say ex-Iowa Gov. Vilsack will back Sen. Clinton in '08 race.

The timing on this is ... interesting (at least they waited almost a whole 24 hours since the Edwards news conference). The timing certainly makes it look like the Hillary Clinton campaign is very, very worried about the John Edwards campaign.

My feeling all along was that Hillary was hoping Vilsack could take Iowa off the table. When it became clear that he couldn't do that, I knew he would be endorsing her.

Don't expect much boost for her out of this. Vilsack's numbers in Iowa, such as they were, were out of a sense of loyalty to him. It's not transferrable.

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The Edwards' home uses solar energy

Since the Edwards' home is apparently a big deal to some people, I thought I should call attention to this post by Elizabeth.

We sold the conventional fuel SUV that we used to carry children, strollers, luggage and toys between Washington, DC and North Carolina, and we bought a hybrid, a Ford Escape.

Since we were building a home in Orange County, we decided to take advantage of some of the technology that President Carter had encouraged.  

All the water (all of which comes from wells) in our home and some of the flooring is heated with solar energy.

We built a highly energy efficient house. In fact, our home is Energy-Star rated. Energy Star is an EPA regulated designation for homes that are at least 30 percent more efficient than the national Model Energy Code.  In building we made sure we had effective insulation in floors, walls, and attics. We chose efficient heating and cooling equipment and high-performance windows.

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Sullivan calls it 'The Alleged UK Terror Plot'

Andrew Sullivan, who just a few days ago mocked the "Kossites" for putting "war on terror" in quotes, now appears skeptical about the alleged plot to blow up airliners flying from Britian to America.

He notices that no one has been charged, despite the fact that these guys had long been under surveillance.

Forgive me if my skepticism just ratcheted up a little notch.

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