Midnight Runner Edwards Campaigns All Night
By Libby Copeland
ATLANTIC, Iowa -- John Edwards is in the midst a 36-hour blitz, and this morning he had scheduled events for the wee hours of midnight and 2:15 a.m. His campaign is calling this a "Marathon for the Middle Class."
This is what a 24-hour news cycle -- combined with an impossibly tight footrace among the Democrats in Iowa -- has wrought. And it's not as if tomorrow's caucus is the finish line, either. Not even close.
No rest for the weary, indeed.
Your trusty Trailer set out for the midnight event in Atlantic, Iowa, wondering who would show up at a farmhouse down an unpaved road in a rural area an hour and half from Des Moines in the middle of a bitterly cold night. (Minus ten with the wind chill.) It turns out about 100 people, nearly half of them reporters. There was even a Japanese news crew.
True to his reputation, the former North Carolina senator was over half an hour late. (His bus had broken down earlier that night.) Supporters and reporters stood shoulder to shoulder, with barely room to turn around. When Edwards arrived, supporters started chanting, seeming altogether too peppy for 12:36 a.m. Edwards admired the crowd ("In the middle of the night!") and he and his wife, Elizabeth, struggled past all the bodies. Daughter Cate hesitated at the door until somebody helped her through the crowd.
From the living room, Edwards could be heard talking about about his "fight for working families" and his fight "against corporate greed."
"We take this cause very, very seriously, as you can see by the fact that we're out here in the middle of the night," he said while the crowd jammed the doorway. (Your Trailer could not see a thing, and nearly had her eye poked out by some guy's pen.)
After some chit-chat, autographs and pictures, Edwards left with a bowl of cornbread and a mug of hoppin' john soup. Sustenance for the long run.
Web Politics Editor
January 2, 2008; 9:01 AM ET
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