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Not Yet a Union Man

John Edwards pulled some campaign resources in Nevada today, the same week that Barack Obama launched radio ads in the state. It's a decision that reflects two difficulties for the Edwards candidacy: his lack of money and strong union backing.

Both Hillary Clinton and Obama have raised dramatically more money than Edwards, who had roughly $13 million cash on-hand after the last campaign finance filing, compared to Obama's $36 million and Clinton's $43 million.

Apart from the cash calculation, Edwards has spent the two years between his presidential runs aggressively courting labor unions. The former North Carolina senator campaigned for ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage around the country, showing up at picket lines and praising the importance of organized labor.

But so far in the campaign, the unions haven't rewarded him with their support. And in Nevada union support is crucial. The Culinary Union, based there, has a strong reputation for turning out votes for Democrats and Nevada political observers say a Culinary endorsement is tantamount to winning the caucus.

Unite, one group in a new coalition of unions called Unite Here, endorsed Edwards in 2004 and may do so again. Culinary is part of Unite Here, but it has its own endorsement process. Despite the support he had in 2004, Edwards has been unable to collect the kind of unified labor backing that could lift his candidacy.

While Edwards aides said his campaign will move Nevada resources to both Iowa and New Hampshire, Democratic sources say this decision may point to a shift in strategy for Edwards. Earlier, he had been focusing on the four early states. Now, he appears to have a more Iowa-focused approach, hoping a win there can springboard him to the nomination--just as it did for his 2004 running mate, John Kerry.

--Perry Bacon Jr.

By Washington Post editors  |  August 15, 2007; 4:54 PM ET
 
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Comments

I find it interesting that the only democrat who could possibly lose next year (Clinton) was annointed by the media as the front runner so early. Justly or not, she inspires extreme hatred in certain portions of the population. Obama is just too green to have a record to judge.

Edwards or Biden could crush any nominee the GOP puts forward, just based on disgust with that party's record. If the dems don't nominate one of them, it would indicate a kind of death wish within the party.

Posted by: SchmittHow | August 16, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that the only democrat who could possibly lose next year (Clinton) was annointed by the media as the front runner so early. Justly or not, she inspires extreme hatred in certain portions of the population. Obama is just too green to have a record to judge.

Edwards or Biden could crush any nominee the GOP puts forward, just based on disgust with that party's record. If the dems don't nominate one of them, it would indicate a kind of death wish within the party.

Posted by: SchmittHow | August 16, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

I find it interesting that Edwards has been leading in the polls in Iowa since the beginning, yet the mainstream press all along only trumpets Obama & Hillary unless it's about hair. Guess that's a juicier match. Unfortunately, this impacts on fundraising. I can't wait to see the headlines when Edwards takes Iowa: 'Underdog Edwards in Surprising Upset.'

Posted by: tourist4earth | August 16, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Politicians will say and pledge anything in order to get two things: money and votes.

Take a look at what some Democrats were saying not too long ago in their own words:

http://www.bercasio.com/movies/dems-wmd-before-iraq.wmv

Posted by: ricroe | August 16, 2007 1:30 AM | Report abuse

I am proud to be an American when I see the way the Iowa straw poll seemed to cut through some of the hype created by the media that was in favor of the over financed candidates.

Back about 1915 or so we had a politician named Woodrow Wilson that accepted a bribe to create the Federal Reserve. They were a group of very powerful bankers and businessmen from around the world at the time. Through the monopoly of being the source of our money and by being outside of our government, or paying any taxes, they have built up a fortune that, I believe, includes owning most of the politicians of the world.

It is going to take a determined, We the People, to restore law and order in our government before we can restore law and order in our streets.

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. No longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

-Woodrow Wilson

Posted by: Stokeybob | August 15, 2007 8:02 PM | Report abuse

I agree with MaryKate above. If Obama or Clinton stumbles, Edwards will be there to scoop up the fragments. Although it doesn't feel like it, it's important to remember that it's only August.

Posted by: creeley | August 15, 2007 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Well, as usual everyone is counting Edwards out maybe so with good reason. If anyone thinks that Hillary will beat the Republicans nominee your in another world, secondly although Obama seems to be raising quite a bit of cash , the question still remains behind close doors( or curtains) is America ready to endorse a black president. People will say one thing but when it comes down to voting don't be surprised to see Edwards take some primaries where he isn't suppose to, yes he has shot himself in the foot on several occasiuons but so have some of the other candidates it's just that the Republicans went after Edwards in the beginning because he's the one they were afraid of to begin with.

Posted by: MaryKateConstruction | August 15, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

Well, as usual everyone is counting Edwards out maybe so with good reason. If anyone thinks that Hillary will beat the Republicans nominee your in another world, secondly although Obama seems to be raising quite a bit of cash , the question still remains behind close doors( or curtains) is America ready to endorse a black president. People will say one thing but when it comes down to voting don't be surprised to see Edwards take some primaries where he isn't suppose to, yes he has shot himself in the foot on several occasiuons but so have some of the other candidates it's just that the Republicans went after Edwards in the beginning because he's the one they were afraid of to begin with.

Posted by: MaryKateConstruction | August 15, 2007 6:57 PM | Report abuse

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