Dick Gephardt on the Campaign Trail

Gephardt told ABC News that if Howard Dean wins Iowa and New Hampshire, "everyone else is toast." Over one of his favorite meals, a Wendy's single burger with pickles and a chocolate frosty, he also spoke about the differences in this year's race vs. 1988. "Today, there are more cameras. I mean, satellite trucks were a brand new thing in 1988 and there were no cable stations. Now, everyone knows your every move!"

Gephardt campaign preps for more attention

Oct. 28 — While Gephardt campaign staffers on the ground in Iowa have heard tales of Wes Clark's chartered media planes and Howard Dean's "rock star" attention on the campaign trail, the number of reporters following Gephardt from town to town in Iowa has, until now, maxed out at four (and sometimes there has been just one). So, it's being met with enthusiasm and a bit of anxiety that there will suddenly be 20 reporters in tow for the weekly whirlwind Iowa tour that begins today with a fresh health care policy speech in Des Moines.

Since last week's Washington Post article reported that several top Republicans view Gephardt as the greatest threat to Bush's re-election, Gephardt has been enjoying more press — and more positive press. The campaign is quick to dismiss the sudden onslaught of attention as a major turn in Gephardt's popularity with the media or with voters. While pleased with the high interest level on their candidate, they say the attention could be here one day, gone the next. Slow and steady, like a tortoise, is their motto. "You need to enjoy the good media weeks but be prepared to weather the bad ones too," one staffer in Iowa said.

On the endorsement front, with its 2,300 members, Iowa Local 234 of the International Union of Operating Engineers endorsed Gephardt Monday. "Gephardt has been a friend of working families his whole career. We are proud to support him and we are ready to put our friend in the White House," said Rick Lane, business manager of Local 234.

Gephardt makes whirlwind of church stops

Oct. 27 — If Congressman Gephardt hasn't made it to services at the Baptist church in St. Louis where he grew up in a while, he more than made up for it in Detroit on Sunday. While other candidates made an appearance or two at black churches around the city, Gephardt had a whirlwind tour of five Baptist churches in four hours. In and out, in and out … and on to the next. The churchgoers who saw him today were generally receptive to a slightly spiritualized version of his stump speech. Gephardt seemed to feel right at home.

At each stop, Gephardt humored the crowd by telling them that he was taught to love his friends and his enemies as he would love himself. He said to one enthusiastic crowd, "Loving my friends as much as myself was always easy, it was the enemies part that was tough. Especially, when I got to Congress and I met Newt Gingrich."

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