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Edwards's Loss, Shaheen's Gain

The head of former Sen. John Edwards' (N.C.) Nevada caucus campaign is leaving his post to head up former New Hampshire Gov. Jeanne Shaheen's Senate race, according to sources in Washington.

Bill Hyers had been serving as Edwards' lead strategist in the state since the spring. In Edwards' previous presidential bid, Hyers had served as the central Iowa field director. Between the two races, he managed Rep. Kirstin Gillibrand's (D) successful challenge to then Rep. John Sweeney (R) in New York's 20th district. Shaheen's challenge to Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) is one of the most high-profile races in the country, and currently holds the #2 ranking on the Fix Senate Line.

The Edwards campaign moved quickly to fill the vacuum, annnouncing that Oliver Gottfried who had been serving as Edwards' western regional political director would take over for Hyers. Chris Chafe, an adviser to the campaign on labor issues, is moving into a senior adviser role in Nevada; assistant political director Bryan Jung will serve as deputy political director of Nevada.

For Edwards, Hyers' departure coupled with the additiions of Gottfried, Chafe and Jung are simply the latest developments in an up and down effort in Nevada. Once viewed as a strong spot for Edwards due to his vigorous support from the Service Employees International Union, Edwards' inability to keep financial pace with Sens. Barack Obama (Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) was forced to pull much of his staff from the state in August. He also lost his Nevada field director -- Preston Elliott -- later that month. (Elliott left to become deputy political director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.)

But, following Edwards' decision to accept public financing, he has announced plan to staff back up in Nevada -- adding more than two dozen operatives.

Edwards campaign manager David Bonior cast the moves as an attempt to strengthen the campaign in the state as the Jan. 19 caucus nears. "We are bringing in experienced senior staff who are familiar with key issues in Nevada and the West," said Bonior. "Our strategy remains focused on the four early states: Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina."

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 5, 2007; 4:36 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Romney, Rudy and the Electability Question
Next: The 2008 Primaries: A Long, Hard Slog?


Hillary claims all the guys are piling on her. I feel so sorry for her (not) What does she expect she is the front runner. She has been treated the same as any other front runners in the past. you can asked Howard Dean about that fact. I will vote for Hillary if she gets nominated. Only in the general election. At the same time I have a concern about how high her negatives are 50 percent of the voters in polls have said that there is no way they would vote for her. the Democrats would be better of nominating John Edwards he does much better up against the Republicans in a head to head contest

Posted by: cutellimark | November 7, 2007 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Survey USA just released an AMAZING series of 7 Senate polls from the hottest 2008 races -- and the results are great for Democrats, including Shaheen. You have to see this:

Posted by: campaigndiaries | November 5, 2007 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Before Obama said anything about Sen. Clinton, she called him "naive and irresponsible". Will you hold her to the smae standard and not vote for her?

Its common knowledge that whoever is in the lead, the others will try to differentiate themselves from them. Be it political or personal differences, those will be thrown out there. Not only that, if a candidate can't take the hits from a fellow Democrat, what are they going to do when it comes from a Republican? If they complain about that in the general election, they will appear weak. If you appear weak, you make it easier for the Republicans to maintain the White House.

So my advice to Hillary when an "attack" (and I use that term loosely, because she does - policy differences are viewed as attacks by her), either: a) attack back; or b) do not acknowledge the "attack" and hope that it doesn't do any damage. Do not allow yourself to look thin-skinned because that will be a killer in the general election (if you win the nomination).

Posted by: mcmahon10 | November 5, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

What I find interesting is that certain Democratic candidates for President would rather fight amongst themselves in order to guarantee a victory for the Republicans in November.

I think they frankly prefer a Republican in the White House if they can't win.

Those that I think fit that bill will not get my vote, and of the candidates running, Hillary was last on my list, but now she's rising fast to the top.

At least she aims her fire at the other side, and I see no problem with a candidate framing his/her message for the general election. That's what all of them should be doing. Hillary at least knows how to run for office. She wins the vote, hands down, of those who want competence in office.

Posted by: santafe2 | November 5, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

With MSM turning its big guns on Senator Clinton, after several weeks of writing about her "inevitability' (remember President Muskie?), the question to be answered in the next few weeks is whether she will be damaged enough by the sudden barrage that another candidate can gain some real traction against her. If that is a "yes," then the question is which candidate will it be?

John Edwards seems to have done everything he can to position himself to bust a move on the field, IF Clinton slips or is damaged by 3rd parties. If the polling results in the early states hold up and reflect the actual outcomes in January and February, the next sound you hear will be Democrats trying to convince themselves that they've always really liked Hillary after all.

Posted by: LonestarJR | November 5, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

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