In the face of DNC efforts to push New Hampshire third in the 2008 presidential nominating events lineup, Secretary of State William Gardner assured his state that he would not allowed DNC political posturing to diminish New Hampshire's role in the process, reports John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Union Leader. &LINK
"DNC's New Caucus Plan Riles NH," reads the Boston Globe headline: LINK
"This fight isn't over. In the end, I am confident that New Hampshire and its first-in-the-nation tradition will prevail. The DNC did not give New Hampshire its primary, and it will not take it away," a muscular-sounding Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) said in response to the Rules and Bylaws Committee vote. LINK
South Carolina hopes to be the one primary state added to the pre-window period after New Hampshire, reports The State. LINK
If John Edwards becomes a strong presidential candidate in 2008, historians and strategists will long study the progress he made in 2006, much of it under the normal radar.
In a must-read that gets at a full 65% of the basis of Edwards' forward motion, Bloomberg's Roger Simon has Gordon Fischer, the former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party, saying Edwards has great support in Iowa and that the Edwards' apology on Iraq "made a big difference to Democrats here.'' LINK
In contrast with the "old-style" populism of Kerry and the "cautious middle" approach of former Gov. Warner and Sen. Bayh, Charlie "The Kicker" Cook tells Simon that Edwards is "now offering a hybrid of populism and liberalism that works."
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey (D-NE) (who saw HRC as untouchable a year ago) says if Edwards wins Iowa, "he will be No. 1 in New Hampshire, and the people in New Hampshire are very smart when it comes to presidential politics."
Per Simon, Edwards is planning speeches on energy costs and education to follow yesterday's speech on poverty.
Note well the Big Labor angle too.
Per the Washington Post's Dan Balz, "On a day when the Senate defeated two Democratic amendments aimed at forcing President Bush to begin pulling out of Iraq, Edwards told a National Press Club audience the administration has made a mess in Iraq. He said he favors an immediate withdrawal of 40,000 troops and called for all combat forces to be gone in the next 12 to 18 months." LINK
Barbara Barrett of the Raleigh News & Observer highlights Edwards' comments on Iraq too. LINK
Tim Funk's coverage of the Edwards speech gets some space in The State in South Carolina - not unimportant, that. LINK
"Democrats thinking hard about a White House bid warned party activists on Thursday that a viable 2008 nominee must be able to relate to middle-class voters on faith, national security even NASCAR," writes the AP's Philip Elliott. LINK
The Wall Street Journal's Wirey John Harwood has an aide to Dr./Leader/Sen. Frist saying that the Senate Majority Leader is directing committee chairs to produce energy legislation by July 14 that would make gas gouging a federal crime, give the Administration authority to overhaul autos' fuel-efficiency standards, and provide tax incentives for renewable energy. What's not on the agenda? ANWR drilling. "'We're going to look at . . . what we can pass on the floor,' an aide says." The Journal Notes that the push for Paulson's Treasury confirmation may keep the Senate Finance Committee from hitting Frist's target date.