Monday :: Mar 31, 2003

Meanwhile, Back on the Campaign Trail...

by Steve

While much of the national focus is on the war, there have been interesting developments back on the presidential trail over the last ten days.

John Kerry is expected to do quite well in the first quarter fundraising reports, perhaps coming in at over $8 million. But he has ruled out using personal funds for the race, which frankly is a mistake, especially this early. Kerry has also assured fellow senators that he will be a serious player in the South.

Howard Dean continues to focus his attacks squarely at Kerry, and has even pulled even with Kerry in the early polls for New Hampshire. He continues to get good national and local press for his work on the campaign trail as the most noticed anti-war candidate in the field. Dean apologized to John Edwards for alleging that Edwards ducked discussing his pro-war position in front of a predominantly anti-war crowd at the California Democratic Party convention earlier this month. And Dean is pleased with his first quarter fundraising performance.

For his part, Edwards still does not have the support of his home-state constituents for his presidential run. And the Charlotte Observer ran a good story yesterday on the plusses and minuses of Edwards’ war stance so far. But Edwards did keep his toes in the substantive part of the campaign by offering a proposal to help the states with their budgetary problems.

Gephardt got a lot of ink for linking the war with an appeal for campaign cash. And he picked up what looks like a key endorsement in South Carolina over the weekend.

Lieberman announced today that he will support legislation extending full benefits to domestic partners of federal employees, in an attempt to undercut some of the support that was accruing to Howard Dean’s enactment of civil union legislation while governor of Vermont. Lieberman also has acquired some positive media lately from John Kerry’s back yard and his own hometown papers over his support for our Iraq invasion and the troops, while convincing possible supporters that he is a man who could be trusted. And Lieberman is making a big play for Arizona.

Bob Graham looks to use his recent heart surgery as a basis for making health insurance a major part of his campaign. And Graham picked up a couple of key defectors from Edwards’ campaign late Friday, which may signal problems with Edwards’ chances of capturing Southern primary voters. Graham leveled a broadside at Bush’s deceitful efforts to sell the war to Americans. Graham asserts that he is medically cleared to get into the race, and has made some key hires lately of top-flight talent, in addition to the defections from the Edwards campaign.

Steve :: 12:56 PM :: Comments (9) :: Digg It!