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Trippi Defends Edwards' Funding Decision

Late last week former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) shocked the political world with the announcement that he would accept public financing during the presidential primary season.

Today -- just hours before Edwards is set to announce his fundraising totals for the third quarter of the year -- The Fix spoke with Joe Trippi, a senior adviser to the campaign, about Edwards's decision.

The idea, said Trippi, was first broached by Edwards roughly two months ago and initially pooh-poohed by his political advisers. Why? Because of the spending strictures the acceptance of public financing places on a candidate in individual states ($1.5 million in Iowa and roughly $820,000 in New Hampshire) as well as more nationally ($50 million for the entire primary season, which lasts until the national party convention in late August).

But, as they mulled the idea, Trippi said he became convinced it was the best way to draw a bright contrast between Edwards and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

"He who defines the race usually wins," said Trippi. "This race is becoming defined by money. Hillary Clinton does not want this race to become about money."

For Trippi, Edwards's decision to opt in to the public financing system is a chance to reinforce the idea that Clinton is the candidate of the status quo while Edwards is the candidate of real change.

"We think it makes a very clear choice between Clinton and John Edwards," said Trippi. "He is going to take on the special interests and not owe them a damn thing."

So what about Trippi's admonition to former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2003/2004 that opting for public financing was political suicide?

Trippi said that his advice to Dean came in response to the prospect of a well-funded incumbent president waiting in the wings for the eventual Democratic nominee. This time around, Republicans face the prospect of a "protracted" primary fight and, even after the nominee is chosen, they won't have the luxury that Democrats enjoy of "millions of people ready to go to the Internet" to donate. "They have to go out and 'Pioneer' and 'Ranger' it."

If Edwards becomes the nominee, said Trippi, he will have "slayed two of the biggest dragons in presidential politics" and won't have much trouble doing the same to the Republican nominee. Trippi also broached the (long shot) possibility that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) might be his party's standard-bearer; McCain has yet to make a decision on public financing but, given his financial struggles, may be leaning toward it as the only way to stay relevant through New Hampshire.

Our take: Although the Edwards' campaign insists this decision was made voluntarily and not out of necessity, we find that somewhat hard to swallow. Edwards fell badly behind Clinton and Obama during the second fundraising quarter, a trend that seems likely to continue when the numbers for the last three months come out today.

It seems more likely that Edwards recognized he would never be able to compete with Obama and Clinton financially and, given that reality, sought to turn a negative into a positive. Edwards is hoping that his acceptance of public financing plays into voters' sense of him as a different kind of candidate and distinguishes him from Obama (the other "change" candidate in the race) and Clinton.

As much as voters tend to decry the influence of money in politics, however, poll after poll shows that almost no one makes their mind up based on where a candidate's campaign money comes from. And, in an election where Democratic voters seem ready to do almost anything to win back the White House, it's hard to imagine them backing a candidate who will have a hard cap on his spending between February and late August.

Edwards has long maintained he is the most electable candidate in the field, pointing to polling in red states that show him running strongest against the potential Republican nominees. But, can Edwards still make that case convincingly? The task just became a little harder.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 1, 2007; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: FixCam: Week in Preview
Next: Edwards, Media Consultant Part Ways


"Trippi spent it all in Iowa attacking Gephart..."

AndyR, You have no idea what you are talking about...

Trippi was the netroots guy, this came from other advisors.

Like toknow when Dean's staff knew the jug was up?

Anyone remember when Howard met with Carter, and waltzed out bragging about his poll numbers?

Jimmy was a bit dismayed and Trippi (and many other Dean supporters) recognized the patrician was no populist. He's a great leader, but he just couldn't get down to the street level that someone like Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter could.

If that had been Edwards, he would have been humble and gracious to Carter, not bragging up his poll numbers. And he would probably be President right now.

At that point, many of Dean's closest people knew that he would not be able to surf the populist wave into office.

But Edwards is still here, he's still leading in Iowa and he's still beating all the R's in all the reliable polls.

ANyone who thinks this is over is forgetting this is a mud track, and they are just rounding the first corner. ANyone of the frontrunners could slip and fall, Giuliana in particular, Clinton quite possibly.

Don't count your horses before the finish line. Poll the bettors, they will all claim their favorite horse will win.

But it is way too early to know.

Posted by: JEP | October 4, 2007 2:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm with roo

Posted by: scutters | October 2, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I am a phony soldier

Posted by: rufus | October 2, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Why don't you think he'd be suited for Secretary of state, Mark? He has extensive foreign relations experience given his long service on the SFRC, he has a plan for Iraq, and I think he might be just enough of a nice guy to repair the damage done over the last few years with our allies.

I think it's an excellent time for him to shine in a large role on a national level.

Posted by: JasonL | October 2, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

drindl, thanks for the post to my attention.

Do you not think that it was predictable that the Kurds liked Biden-Brownback but the Shiites in presumptive control did not?

I had posted several times that this was Biden-Brownback and that my senior Senator,
and law school classmate, Kay Bailey Hutcheson, had signed on.

BTW, KBH voted for the SCHIP and Cornyn, up for reelection, did not.

JasonL, there was a commentator this weekend who called JB the adult in the race
and compared him with John Anderson, Paul Tsongas, and Dick Lugar, all of whom were thought to be the "adults" and all of whom lost. I supported them, too. Voted for Anderson as an I-R in 1980.

But I was thinking that like Lloyd Bentsen with M.D. in '88, JB would overshadow the Prez candidate and they cannot have that.
He is probably better suited to lead a D Majority in the Senate as Chairman of SFRC
or perhaps as Majority Leader than he is to be SOS.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | October 1, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

I might be inclined to read The Fix and comment more often, if it wasn't being spammed by posts that are irrelevant to the topic at hand.

rufus, you are a waste of bandwidth.

Posted by: Wonk | October 1, 2007 9:05 PM | Report abuse

*I wish HIM nothing but good fortune.*

My mind seems faster than my fingers today.

Posted by: JasonL | October 1, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

I was an early Joe Biden supporter, but my interest waned as he failed to make any big splashes nationally. I've always liked his federated Iraq plan. I hope that it makes people take a good look at him and realize how bloody qualified he is.

However, I seriously doubt he'll get the nomination or even the VP nomination. The only scenario I can see for him is as VP under Obama. I believe he'll make an excellent Secretary of State under President HRC, the other likely scenario.

I wish nothing but good fortune.

Posted by: JasonL | October 1, 2007 6:16 PM | Report abuse

MarkA, if you're around--thought you'd be interested in this. Joe Biden gets tough on Maliki. I thought it impressive. Also, I didn't know Brownback was the co-sponsor.

ROCK HILL, South Carolina (CNN) -- At a campaign stop here Monday morning, Sen. Joe Biden responded to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al -Maliki's charges that implementing the Delaware Democrat's plan to divide Iraq would be a "catastrophe."

Biden's amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill calls for dividing Iraq into a loose federation of three provinces. It passed the Senate overwhelmingly last week by a vote of 75-23.

Al-Maliki criticized the plan last Friday, telling the Associated Press:
"It is an Iraqi affair dealing with Iraqis. Iraqis are eager for Iraq's unity ... Dividing Iraq is a problem, and a decision like that would be a catastrophe."

Biden, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, hit back.

"Other Iraqi politicians have said we have no right to tell the Iraqis [what to do]," Biden told reporters. "Let me tell you, we have a right. Three thousand and eight hundred dead. Twenty seven thousand wounded. Billions of dollars. Let me tell you as President of the United States, they'd have to understand full well that if they don't keep their commitment to implement their constitution then they're on their own. And so, ladies and gentlemen, the idea that al Maliki questions whether or not we have a right to express our opinion, he'd better get it straight real quick."

Biden emphasized that the amendment calls for an Iraqi federal system and not state partition, saying that "it's the only workable plan."

The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has promoted the plan of dividing Iraq into federal states since May 2006. Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas, who is running for president on the Republican side, was a co-sponsor of the measure.'

Posted by: drindl | October 1, 2007 5:01 PM | Report abuse

The Pentagon has informed thousands of American soldiers in Iraq that their Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was a pre-existing condition from before they ever joined the military. In other words, NO TREATMENT, NO INSURANCE, NO NOTHING!

And if that isn't awful enough for you, American soldiers suffering brain injuries while in Iraq are being told that also was a pre-existing condition.

More than 22,000 soldiers serving in Iraq have been kicked out of the US military entirely - booted from a war zone straight to the streets - for seeking treatment for the psychological effects of combat and brain injuries. Now, they're jobless, without medical coverage, and in immediate need of medical treatment that Bush's Pentagon absolutely refuses to provide.

It's so off-the-charts evil that even Republican senators are speaking up...

"They've kicked out about 22,000 troops who they say have pre-existing personality disorders. I don't believe that," Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) said in an interview Friday. "And when you kick them out, they don't get the assistance they need, they aren't entitled to DOD or Veterans Administration care for those problems."

Here's more from the
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

One Republican congressional staff member who works on military issues said the rationale behind the Pentagon's practice was: "We didn't break you, you were already broken. You're not our responsibility."

"One soldier I know received a diagnosis for a personality disorder after a 45-minute talk," said the staffer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "He'd been in the military 10 years, had made it his career, and then he was told he was being shuffled out in a couple of weeks. We keep getting these stories.

Posted by: this is -- incredible | October 1, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Rush may be drug gobbling bloviator with a giant 4-F pustule on his butt, but his comments were well in line with what is considered free speech in this country, and that actually isn't any of the Senate's business.

What is the Senate's business, however, is that Rush Limbaugh is on Armed Forces Radio Network. His show is broadcast daily to nearly a million troops in 177 countries. In a poll conducted earlier this year, only 35% of service members said they approved of George Bush's handling of the war and 49% say the US is not very or not at all likely to succeed. A full 37% say the US should never have gone to war. It's their network, too.

These young men and women do not deserve to have to listen to their commitment besmirched by Rush Limbaugh, who never served in the armed forces and never met a pill he didn't like. He's got no business on the radio launching attacks on military personnel like that, and his right to free speech does not guarantee him placement there at government expense.

I'm sure the Republican would fight like hell to keep him on -- look at all the effort they went to in order to keep Republicans on the reservation with Ari Fleisher's ads and the Petraeus three ring circus -- but that's because removing him would actually be meaningful.

Posted by: Steven | October 1, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Another example is Richard Perle. Richard Perle headed the Defense Policy Board. Just two months after 9/11 he launched a venture capital firm called Trireme Partners that exists to invest in the homeland security and defense sectors. One of his first investors was Boeing -- it sunk $20 million in Trireme. Meanwhile, Perle is using the Defense Policy Board to make the case for war. And of course Boeing was another one of the huge winners from the invasion of Iraq.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 4:38 PM | Report abuse

WOW. this is getting ugly now. Forgive us for not allowing you to break federal law and spy on americans. Like the gop, take no accountability. point the finger at the messanger. FASCISM. For those that no knowing, roo :)

"AT&T: Say bad things and we'll cancel your internets
By: Nicole Belle @ 1:03 PM - PDT Net neutrality, anyone? What an incredibly slippery slope we're now hurtling down...


Slashdot broke the news on Saturday that AT&T's updated terms of service for its high-speed Internet packages essentially forbid you from criticizing the company on pain of cancellation. The full terms of service are here, and here's the offending passage highlighted, courtesy of Ars Technica:

AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.

This is the exact kind of overbroad legalese that gets companies in trouble in ways they probably never thought of. If I am an AT&T subscriber, for example, and I post derogatory comments about AT&T on a site they own, does this give them leave to terminate my service? What if I post or send a complaint about AT&T to a complaint site or consumer news site, like ConsumerAffairs.Com (whom I write for), and they publish said complaint? Am I liable if I was using my AT&T ISP while writing said complaint? What if I did so while using my laptop at a Wi-Fi hotspot? The mind boggles.

Martin at S&R continues on with other egregious acts that AT&T has committed in the last few years, from cooperating with the Bush Administration on domestic wiretapping to blocking NARAL's text messages. And while Verizon's Terms of Service are no better, this kind of corporate fascism is truly disturbing. Tim Karr has more. Thankfully, I don't use AT&T or Verizon for my service, so I feel comfortable quoting William O. Douglas to them:

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.

Remember that.


Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 4:35 PM | Report abuse

cowards. elementary school kids. Regardless, yourtime is up. I can't wait.

Peanut gallery. You got nothing. If you did you people would post it rather than living your lives worrying about me every minute. I'm not stoppin gyou from posting. Don't stop or hinder me.

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Let's see, Hillary Clinton is a lawyer, as is Barack Obama. Come to think of it, so are Rudy Ju-li-an-i and Fred Thompson. As well as quite a number of also-rans in both parties. So why is being a lawyer only a problem for John Edwards? Because he was a highly compentent one who made actually made a living at it, rather than just draw a salary off the government like Rudy and Fred?

Posted by: Henly | October 1, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, that was funny, JD. But I have to agree I don't get why the GOP is always attacking 'trial lawyers'. I've got several in my community who are wonderful people, who donate a tremendous amount of time to community service.

Posted by: drindl | October 1, 2007 4:27 PM | Report abuse

If Edwards wanted to make an ethical statement, he could tell the voters what he did for his nearly half a million dollar fee from hedge fund manager Fortress Investment Group in New York... whose campaign denotations from employees to Edwards has totaled $167,460 so far, Edwards largest source of support from a single company.

Neither Edwards nor Fortress will say what consulting work he did for them.

The loosely-regulated hedge fund investment industry is looking for continuing favorable treatment from the government. Was Edwards a "lobbyist" for them? Or would that have been unethical since he had invested $16 million in their stock.

Edwards loves to decry the "two different economies in this country: one for the wealthy insiders and then one for everyboy else." If he isn't one of those wealthy insiders, why not tell us about his work for Fortress?

Posted by: Truth Hunter | October 1, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

JD -- OK, THAT was funny. Well played sir. And yes, I can get a little touchy sometimes about the lawyer stuff.

Posted by: Colin | October 1, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Colin, you're right, that swipe at Edwards was gratuitous. Still, you must admit that lawyers are right up there with used car salesmen, politicians, ivory traders and baby seal clubbers when it comes to their public image. And with that, a little humor:

Top Ten Signs You've Hired a Bad Lawyer

Begins every sentence with "Well, as Ally McBeal once said..."

He keeps citing the legal case of Godzilla vs. Mothra.

Just before your trial starts he whispers, "The judge is the one with the little hammer, right?"

He thinks he'll win your case, "because there's a first time for everything"

He once failed to get a conviction of O. J. Simpson.

Whenever he says, "Your Honor" he makes thos elittle quotation marks in the air.

Sign in front of law office reads "Practicing Law Since 2:45"

Begins by telling jury, "You all look like you should be on Jerry Springer"

Giggles every time he hears the word "briefs"

His phone number: 1-600-SHYSTER

Posted by: JD | October 1, 2007 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I have long stood by the idea that Edwards would rise above Obama and HRC on the electability issue but this is not going to bode well for his chances. Although it does give him one more talking point about the fairness of the whole operation.

On a side note, Joe Trippi is a complete and total idiot. He and he alone ruined Howard Dean's run at the white house. Dean had raised 20 million and Trippi spent it all in Iowa attacking Gephart, when Dean should have focused on NH which was more naturally his place to take off from with the proximity to Vermont. Why he got another job is beyond me.

Posted by: Andy R | October 1, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Roo, that's where you're wrong. Everything is about Rufus, for he is the One True Liberal. Everyone else is a moderate or a member of the GOP. Most of us are also Zouk. Everyone's trying to censor Rufus, because they fear his message. Also, he used to be in the Army. And he has a problem with one of the news networks, but I can't recall which. If you're going to post here, you have to realize that this blog belongs to Rufus and the voices in his head.

Posted by: Blarg | October 1, 2007 3:39 PM | Report abuse

rufus--Paranoia and megalomania are bad things. Not everything is about you.

Posted by: roo | October 1, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Where do you stand on the Senate resolution to silecne and demean

How has fox been on the air for 10 years? Rush 20? Why are you defending these people roo and what are you doing to fix the problems that ail this country? Other than pointing the finger at me, an anonymous poster? Everything is my fault I know. I have so much power. Me holding thsi blog down is the sign of the coming of the horsemen :0

You words are garbage to me roo. Sell-out moderates. A moderate is a republcian that hasn't been paid off yet.

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Do you have any political posts of your own roo. do you have any substance other than peanut brain/gallery comments from left feild. Just trying to hold the hypocrites accountable. What are you doing? Allowing the fascists will do be done. What are you doing to help this country tough guy? What have you done? What is your military record? What do you do to make this coutnry/world a better place. You people sure love to attack me. ok, high and mighty. What are you doing to fix things? Roo?

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

The democrat party? And I thought george bush and rush couldn't be joined at the hip any closer?

"The Democrat Party has been trying to demoralize them. The Democrat Party has been trying to lose the Iraq war, the war on terror. They own defeat. They are invested in it. They have failed to hang defeat around the neck of this president, and the presidency that they've been trying to destroy."

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 3:17 PM | Report abuse

I just noticed that I seem to be suffering from word inflation. Words like "smear," "outrage," "hypocrisy," "reckless," "unaccountable," "quagmire" and so on seem completely meaningless and powerless to me, like the petty utterances of a three-year-old throwing a tantrum, easily being held at arm's length.

If a text contains such words, I dismiss it out of hand as whiny and irrelevant. They are just words, tame words, and no power is behind them. They take away from what perceived might the speaker may have had.

Anyone else feel the same?

Posted by: roo | October 1, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

are all his defense of his actions smears on others. Like the rest of teh gop, rather than confronting the issues all they do is attack the messanger. How do you goper's justify your double think. Why are you people not defending your boy? Zouk.

"RUSH: So we have John Kerry insulting soldiers all over the place. His own troops who served with him said that he lied about things that he accomplished. He insulted the intelligence of the troops. We all know what they did to General Petraeus with the ad, we know what members of Congress said to General Petraeus, calling him a liar before he even opened his mouth and before they had even read the report that they demanded be issued about the surge back on the 15th of September. What's going on here is their attempt to deflect attention away from themselves and the same issue, because they have eaten it big time on the Petraeus ad in the New York Times."

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

wow. I know I didn't sign up to fight in iraq or any other war. I signed up to serve and protect my country. Not kill innocent civilians. These people are wackos.

"RUSH: They joined to be in Iraq.

RUSH: It's frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority. I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much. "

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 3:12 PM | Report abuse

JD -- the lawyer crack on Edwards was a bit over the top, wasn't it? There has never been any evidence whatsoever that his clients weren't severely injured. In fact, many of them were children. I know america loves to hate ALL attorneys, but it turns out some of us actually ARE ethical. Including members of the Plaintiffs bar.

Posted by: Colin | October 1, 2007 3:11 PM | Report abuse

you people have balls, I'll give you that.

how do you comabt liars and hypocrites? You put their words out there for all to see. And you watch the snakes wiggle and sqirm and say "I never said that."

Worked in the old days. We have the internet now. As a result teh hypocritical gop is done for a generation.

"That comment, "phony soldiers" was posted yesterday afternoon on the famous Media Matters website, which is where all leftists go to find out what I say. I have a website, and I have a radio program that reaches far more people than Media Matters could ever hope to, but the critics of this program never listen to this program. They never go to my website. All they do is read Media Matters and they get the lies and the out-of-context reports. They assume it's all true because they want it to be true, and then they start their campaigns. This has led to me being denounced on the floor of the House. Howard Dean has released a statement demanding I apologize; Jim Webb; John Kerry issued a statement, three Congress people went out on the floor of the House last night and said some things, and it's starting to blossom now in the Drive-By Media. So this is the anatomy of a smear, and this is how it starts. The same group is trying to get Bill O'Reilly into problems because of some innocent comments that he made about going to dinner at a restaurant in Harlem. So the illustration begins with just a sample report from MSNBC whose content is produced almost exclusively by Media Matters for America and This is this morning with the anchorette Contessa Brewer reporting on the phony soldier controversy, spawned by me.

BREWER: Some leading Democrats are attacking radio talk show personality Rush Limbaugh because he called soldiers who opposed the Iraq war "phony." Limbaugh was criticizing the anti-war movement generally and made the comment to a caller.

RUSH ARCHIVE: It's not possible intellectually to follow these people.

CALLER: No, it's not. And what's really funny is they never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media.

RUSH: The phony soldiers

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The hypocricy is so thick I'm swimming through it righ tnow

"They're a Hillary Clinton front group. They will continue to be used as an accredited source by the Drive-By Media, despite the fact that they have now been demonstrated to make things up, take things out of context, and embarrass those who report what they say. They will continue to be a source, because this is the '08 playbook that we saw break down last week, and the Democrats may still introduce their resolution in the House castigating me. I don't know. The House doesn't go into session 'til two o'clock. We'll have to wait and see. I don't know if they will do that or not. If they do it, it is just an effort to try to portray themselves as pro-military because they know they have to because they know the impression they have accurately created is that they're not pro-military, from Jack Murtha to Harry Reid claiming defeat, to John Kerry's lifetime of criticism of the soldiers. So they're going to try to deflect the criticism away from their pet organization,, whose "Betray Us" ad backfired totally on them. It was a Wellstone moment for them, as this will be. But since you will never get an apology from Jack Murtha for mischaracterizing you as murderers, since you'll never get an apology from John Kerry, since you won't get an apology from Media Matters for America or anybody that works there, to all of you in the US Military, I want to apologize to you for them for the, again, firestorm over something that did not happen regarding your valor and your commitment to freedom and democracy last week on this program. I really regret that it happened, and I apologize to you on their behalf since they won't."

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 2:55 PM | Report abuse

If I had to bet, I'd wager that Edwards is doing this because he cannot raise enough money to compete openly, like Obama and HRC can. As a slip-n-fall lawyer, I don't think for a minute that he'd go this route for ethics reasons, so this bit of jujitsu (turning a weakness into a strength) makes for good copy.

Speaking of betting, check out Richardson's chances, a blurb on Slate:

Bet of the Year: Bill Richardson is trading at .60 on Intrade. I think that means his odds for winning the Democratic nomination are currently running 167-1 against. You should take those odds.** 1) He's already at 11% in Iowa, where voters notoriously look around for an alternative to the front runners in the final 10 days. 2) Iowa, they say, is more important than ever! 3) A clear, major policy difference just opened up between him and all three of the candidates ahead of him, when they refused to promise to pull out all troops from Iraq by 2013; 4) The Iowa caucuses attract a small minority of relatively liberal Democrats who are likely to care intensely about Iraq and find Richardson's promise very appealing. 5) He doesn't even have to win to get a slingshot effect from Iowa. Gary Hart didn't win Iowa in 1984--he finished second with 14.8%--but that was enough to propel him to victory in New Hampshire and other early primaries. ...

Posted by: JD | October 1, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

i wnat to Read about poiltics and insted there are al these irlevant posts. Freakin Rufus!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Murtha Faces Deposition Over Haditha Accusations A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition in the case.

Ha ha, serves you right you arrogant, big-mouthed bast*rd. you are now a unique creation - an Ex-Marine.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 2:50 PM | Report abuse

"racist GOP", which of those statements by Michael Medved do you find to be incorrect?

#1 is definitely, undeniably true. #2 is also true, though I'm unsure about the use of the word "briefly"; slavery was legal for nearly 100 years. #3 is also true. #4 is debatable, but it's certainly the case that the North was more economically developed than the slave-holding South. And I'd also agree with #6; modern African-Americans are definitely better off than modern Africans. So the only one of Medved's statements that I disagree with is #5; America lagged behind many other countries in banning slavery, and had de-facto slavery for decades after the official ban.

None of those bullet points indicate that slavery wasn't bad. Maybe that was the point of Medved's article, but I'm not going to search for the article to find out. But if that was the point of the article, the synopsis you quoted doesn't do it justice. Just because slavery wasn't invented by Americans or was only practiced by a small number of Americans doesn't mean that it was okay. And I don't see how pointing out these historical facts could be considered racist.

Posted by: Blarg | October 1, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Rush continues to take zero responsibility or accountability, a la o'liely, for his actions. Gop. Tsst tsst tsst. The whole coutnry is not full of dittoheads. only dittoheads who hate their country believe anything you people say. Most americans see what you people have been doing. Elelmentary school kids. Zero accountability.

"RUSH: I want to apologize to all of the members of the United States Military, both in uniform and out, active duty and retired, for Media Matters for America. They will not apologize to you, and they will not apologize to me. I want to apologize to you on behalf of them. As all of you military personnel know, I, since of beginning of time and since the beginning of this program, certainly 19 years ago, have been one of the most ardent, loyal, in-awe supporters of any and all who wear the uniform -- including those who disagree with the mission. I found a couple of them when I was in Afghanistan on a troop visit. I went over to five base visits in Afghanistan, and did Q&A, sometimes for two hours with assembled troops at the various bases. Not all of them were happy with me in terms of my politics and so forth, but I told every damn one of them that I was in awe of them and that I wanted to come speak to them, and I purposely asked to go on this trip, and I'd been asking for a long time. This is the first time I've been granted permission. But I wanted to go on this trip because at the time this was all happening, Afghanistan had sort of cooled off and there wasn't much news coming out of there, but Iraq was roiling, and the news out of Iraq was -- well, you know what it was.

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 2:44 PM | Report abuse

if he's trying to make an ethical statement which will effect change, then this isn't the way to do it. if he loses, then he lost because money matters in politics (something we need to change). but if he wins, then money doesn't matter (or matter as much as we thought it did) in politics. if edwards wins, he shows that you can win even if you don't have it. and if this is the case, money can't be thought of as counting as a problem, and so then there's no logical reason for changing any policies regarding campaign financing.

edward's move is either move made out of necessity or shows that Edwards's logic is off in thinking about how to fix Washington's problems.

Posted by: steve | October 1, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

cook the books. Like all reports. We got two reports at all times. ReaLity and the gop report. Whether scientific or military or econmic. Two polls one gop and one reality.

Frickin republcians. Zero credibility. Liars. fascists. You may win in the short term, but fascism never wins over the long term.

"Republicans ask Waxman to postpone Blackwater hearing

Seven House Republicans have urged Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) to postpone a hearing about Blackwater USA until the State Department and a separate commission report on the most recent incident involving the North Carolina-based security firm in which Iraqi civilians were killed.

The Republicans sent Waxman a letter Friday, urging him to reschedule a Tuesday hearing into Blackwater's role protecting U.S. government officials in Iraq.

They want Waxman to postpone the hearing until the State Department and the U.S.-Iraq Joint Commission unveil their own separate reports about a Sept. 16 shooting in the Mansour district of Baghdad in which nine Iraqi civilians were reported killed and another 15 were wounded.

"We are just as interested in discovering what occurred during the most recent Blackwater incident, but for that to happen, we need to have all the facts available, which includes the outcome of the ongoing investigations by the Department of State," the lawmakers wrote. "We feel it would be irresponsible for the committee to rush to judgment until all the facts are considered."

The Republicans include Reps. Dan Burton of Indiana, Christopher Cannon of Utah, Darrell Issa of California, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, John Mica of Florida, Mark Souder of Indiana and Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia.

Blackwater Chairman Erik Prince was expected to testify Tuesday along with three State Department officials. The Iraqi government revoked the firm's business license after the most recent shooting.

Last week, the Oversight Committee released incident reports faulting the security firm, in part, for a separate ambush in March, 2004, where four guards were killed and later burned in what became a pivotal event in the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Posted by: rufsu | October 1, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Gah! Mr. Trippi, the past participle of the verb "to slay" is "slain", not "slayed". If Edwards become the nominee, he will have *slain* two of the biggest dragons in presidential politics.

Posted by: Grammarian | October 1, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Scary stuff. first 24 is a documentary. Used to scare the eldery into usbmission. Now I hear Bill CLinotn saying how much he loves it and saying we should torure to get info. The more I hear bill the more he sounds like a republican. Now him touring the world with bush 41 makes sense. THE GOP (clintons) are forcing teh opposition ticket. We have a gop vs gop presidential race. I wonder who will win. Hmm,

"FOX Friends discuss "24" in context of Clinton remarks, but no mention of Keifer Sutherland's legal problems
Reported by Chrish - Mon 2:27 PMI only mention this because FOX has over-covered so many other celebrity issues - does the name Paris Hilton ring a bell? - that the absence of coverage is all the more glaring. Kiefer Sutherland, a.k.a. Jack Bauer, was arrested last week for a DUI and faces possible jail time because he was in violation of probation he's serving on an earlier DUI. This was mentioned on a FOX morning show last week when it first happened, but there has been no typical FOX-driven media diversion, because "24" is a wildly popular FOX TV program and they protect their own, from a corporate point of view.

Posted by: rufus | October 1, 2007 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Edwards is going to find it tough convincing democrats to back him. When you are losing your own state of North Carolina by double digits, the writing is clearly on the wall.

Posted by: O'Ray | October 1, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Loudon Voter writes
"That will give whoever the Dem nominee an excellent shot at those EC votes. I'm sure the Edwards campaign would "explain" that, if asked."

That doesn't really bolster the former Senator's position then, does it? Your argument is that any Dem nominee could get the votes - my question is what states Edwards in particular will win as President, that he & Kerry couldn't win. The question seems particularly relevant, as the Edwards campaign is trying to portray him as 'most electable'. I don't happen to buy into that argument, and thus am looking for them to make their case.

Posted by: bsimon | October 1, 2007 2:17 PM | Report abuse

"So Michael Medved, semi-famous movie reviewer and radio host, who has of late morphed into a weird "Hollywood vs. America" right-wing concern troll, has published an op-ed at Townhall that says that slavery in America just wasn't as bad as all that. No, seriously.

The entire op-ed is too long to cut and paste here, and a snippet would do it no justice. So for your amusement (or if you read the whole thing, as I did-stay away from sharp objects-revulsion), here are the bullet points upon which Medved makes his case, ironically entitled Six Inconvenient Truths:

1. Slavery was an ancient and universal institution, not a distinctively American innovation.

2. Slavery existed only briefly, and in limited locales, in the history of the republic - involving only a tiny percentage of the ancestors of today's Americans.

3. Though brutal, slavery wasn't genocidal: live slaves were valuable but dead captives brought no profit.

4. It's not true that the U.S. became a wealthy nation through the abuse of slave labor: the most prosperous states in the country were those that first freed their slaves.

5. While America deserves no unique blame for the existence of slavery, the United States merits special credit for its rapid abolition.

6. There is no reason to believe that today's African Americans would be better off if their ancestors had remained behind in Africa.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the logic of a 29%er. And they wonder why the GOP doesn't get the African American vote.

Posted by: racist gop | October 1, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I ake John Edwards at his word. He is accepting public funding to avoid accepting money from corporate and other special interests. He is doing it for ethical reasons. Compared to Ms. Clinton and all of the Republcian candidates, he stands in stark contrast - someone who will represent YOU vs. someone who will represent the wealthy and special interests. We already know Ms. Clinton has ponied up to the corporate feeding trough like no other candidate in history. Romney and Guliani and McCain appear to be following (following waaaaayyy behind) her lead. Only a complete moron would consider voting for Ms. Clinton.

Posted by: MikeB | October 1, 2007 2:05 PM | Report abuse

bsimon: Ohio was in play in 2004 and most certainly will be in play this year; in fact, the GOP label might be toxic in that state now.

That will give whoever the Dem nominee an excellent shot at those EC votes. I'm sure the Edwards campaign would "explain" that, if asked.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | October 1, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I agree with The Fix's assessment.

This line deserves comment:
"Edwards has long maintained he is the most electable candidate in the field."

Has anyone from the Edwards campaign yet explained which states they can win in 2008 that Kerry-Edwards did not win in 2004?

Posted by: bsimon | October 1, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Take out H.R. Clinton for us Edwards ... Go Obama!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 1, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

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