robert’s last note from the edwards campaign in iowa

I assume that Robert is either on his way back to Michigan right now, or on his way to New Hampshire. This is his last note from the Edwards camp in Iowa.

The reason I suddenly stopped saying anything right after that last e-mail was because it was rapidly becoming apparent around here that the entire Chicago Get Out The Vote (GOTV) machine was showing up, and I didn’t want to voice my fears about it. That is why I suddenly started asking for more volunteers to come to the state. I posted that desperate plea on many Democratic sites.

I would have never believed that the Chicago machine was so portable. I wonder if it can have as strong an impact out in New Hampshire. After seeing the incredible number of volunteers they had flood into Des Moines in the last 48 hours of the campaign, I hesitate in fear of possibly underestimating them again. The Obama organization really deserves credit. They did something really quite amazing here. I’ll eat crow only on that one aspect of what happened out here.

Everything here actually went very much like I expected them too, except the absolutely unprecedented GOTV the Obama people pulled off. The unfortunate thing for us and Clinton, is that it gives a false impression that our campaigns went wrong in some way. They didn’t at all. For example, Hillary got about 20,000 votes more than the 1st place finisher did in 2004 (Kerry). Also, Edwards got over 31,000 votes more this time than he did in 2004. The total number of caucus-goers almost doubled from 2004, with 110,000 NEW caucus-goers coming out. Like I said, of those 110,000, 31,000 were as a result of our increased efforts. The Clinton campaign probably was responsible for at least 25,000 of those new caucus-goers, and Obama probably as many as 54,000 new caucus-goers.

If we can come together after it’s clear who has the nomination, and fight as one against the Republicans, with all the strengths of each of these very impressive operations, we actually might be able to overwhelm them in the general.

I’m still not ready to count Edwards out… Speaking of Edwards, here’s his speach from the night of the Iowa caucus, after it had been announced that he’d come in second and beaten Clinton.

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  1. Posted January 5, 2008 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    That’s close to what I saw around Dubuque. We were organized at a 2004 level, and they just had the money and organization to get out the vote. I still think most Democrats in Iowa support Edwards, I just think we didn’t do a good job of getting our supporters into the room by 7:00 because of weak GOTC. More at my blog tomorrow. THanks for all you did Robert.

  2. Posted January 5, 2008 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

    I am on the fence between Obama and Edwards. Something about Edwards I like and trust, but would he make a better VP? Interesting debate tonight in NH.

  3. egpenet
    Posted January 5, 2008 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Al …where are you?

    I am, looking for my Gore/Obama button ’08 … it’s misplaced! Yikes!

    I still have a feeling Al will jump in … or get drafted as a more Presidential persona, which he is.

    Back to the search ……..

  4. Robert
    Posted January 6, 2008 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    PhilGoBlue, I saw a little of that in Des Moines too. Our GOTV (or GOTC as they called it in Iowa) was noticibly weak. We still had the strongest second choice support though, and the most savvy precinct captains from what I witnessed and heard. In the precinct in southeast Des Moines where I hung around as an observer, we only had 31 of our folks show up, compared to 61 for Clinton and 63 for Obama. And yet, our precinct captain and her assistants were able to pull enough Richardson folks to get us two of the seven delegates allocated to that precinct. That’s all Obama’s people were able to get in the end, with Clinton’s people managing to grab up the other three. Before the caucusing started, I asked the Richardson captain if he would poll his people on their second choices for me. He didn’t see the point in it, but I was planning to possibly send 5 or so of our people over to them if it was going to mean Richardson got the contested delegate instead of Obama. It turned out that Clinton got enough of the Richardson people to lock Obama out of picking up that third delegate. The Clinton people were dug in well all across the state, and showed great defensive strategy. Edwards people were a little less “tight” but still held together very well across the state. The Obama people were very weak in their convincing of other people to come over to them. They were in fact often a little off-putting to the others in the way they behaved, but they simply overwhelmed us with their sheer numbers across most of the state.

  5. Robert
    Posted January 7, 2008 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    In another precinct, a Biden precinct captain sent a few of his people over to us in order to keep a contested delegate from going to Clinton or Obama. I thanked him personally in front of a lot of the Edwards staff at HQ who I thought could have been much more gracious about many things. We were very fortunate last Thursday in all the gestures of good will toward us. We had a very successful campaign in Iowa. There was honestly nothing that could defend against the Chicago invasion, short of a massive dirty trick campaign on our part, and that is not what Edwards is about.

    If you look at the Iowa map of counties and who won them, you can see there was a massive invasion from the east. Campaigning against the Chicago machine in Iowa was something like defending South Korea against a Red Chinese invasion. Sure, you can be incredibly prepared, better equipped, more strategic and vastly more savvy, but eventually their sheer numbers overwhelm you.

    Mostly. I’m sad there isn’t a mega-opolis of nothing but millions of displaced friendly southern gentleman somewhere in the vicinity of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We could have stopped the Chicago troops cold at the Des Moines River. Last Tuesday I was seriously thinking about blowing all the bridges along the Mississippi.

  6. Edwards Fan
    Posted January 7, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Llody Bridges AND Jeff Bridges?!

  7. Edwards Fan
    Posted January 8, 2008 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know how things are looking in New Hampshire right now?

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