Car Loads of Dodd in Iowa

Nov 27, 2007 7:31pm

ABC News’ Donna Hunter Reports: In Iowa back in 2004 it was "Car loads for Kerry," in 2007 it’s "Car loads for Dodd".

The International Association for Fire Fighters General President Harold A. Schaitberger is hoping lightning will strike twice and Senator Chris Dodd D-Conn., can pull an upset and grab one of the top seats in the first caucus state. On Thursday the IAFF will begin the largest caucus get-out-the-vote effort by a labor union this year. The 22 city eight day bus tour is the latest push by the IAFF to drum up support for the Senator’s presidential campaign.

With over 2100 members in Iowa the IAFF will have it’s job cut out for them convincing voters to back the under dog Senator from Connecticut but Schaitberger says they’re up for the challenge, "Fire fighters are at their very best when they are told that something is impossible to achieve, that characteristic is what makes them so politically effective."

In 2004 the IAFF was credited with securing Sen. John Kerry’s win in the Iowa caucus leading to his parties Democratic nomination. Since the IAFF endorsed Dodd’s campaign back in August, he has continued to struggle from relative obscurity in Iowa polls but things could change over the coming days and weeks as his biggest union endorser takes to the streets. This time around, instead of asking fire fighters to bring 5 non union members to caucus for Dodd, Schaitberger is asking members to bring up to 10 people to help secure the Senator a top spot.

When January 3rd gets here Schaitberger believes that Dodd will be a viable candidate with as many if not more caucus goers than his second tier counterparts, Governor Bill Richardson and Sen. Joseph Biden D-DE. On the flip side if Dodd is not a viable candidate come caucus night there’s no backup candidate yet says Schaitberger, "Our strategy is to make sure that doesn’t happen, as the days get closer that may be a discussion that may have to take place but for now there is no backup plan."

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