Friday, February 2, 2007

Quiet Weekend

Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 717

This is shaping up to be a pretty quiet weekend on the Iowa campaign trail, in marked contrast to last weekend. The Democratic National Committee is holding its winter meeting in D.C. this weekend, so the center of gravity has momentarily shifted in that direction. Among the candidates and potential candidates, Chris Dodd is the leadoff speaker this morning, followed by Barack Obama, Wesley Clark, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Hillary Clinton. Tomorrow will be Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, Mike Gravel, and last, though he hopes not least, Tom Vilsack. Vilsack’s speech, along with the others on Saturday, will be broadcast on C-SPAN, which amounts to major national exposure for the former Iowa governor. Still, the 2003 winter meeting was where Howard Dean made his mark before screaming his way out of contention after the 2004 Iowa Caucus, so anything can happen!

And while it’s quiet here in Iowa simply due to a lull in the campaign schedule, think of poor New Hampshire: the Granite State has been hit with news of campaign trip cancellations from not one, but two candidates. Hillary Clinton is canceling a weekend campaign swing there in order to travel to Arkansas for the funeral of Bill’s stepfather, and Joe Biden is canceling his trip on Monday in order to be present for a Senate vote on Iraq.

And, regarding Biden: I’m thinking there are serious questions about how his campaign is being run. First, the whole NY Observer debacle eclipses his campaign launch and puts him off message from day one, and then later the same week someone looks at the calendar and says, “Oops! Better cancel our first campaign trip to New Hampshire!” Don’t get me wrong: I think it’s laudable that Biden is focusing on his day job, especially when it comes to Iraq, which he is also working to make the signature issue of his presidential campaign. But can you imagine a more bungled first week of a campaign than this?

*glancing at Wesley Clark*

Well, okay. Maybe.


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