Friday, December 28, 2007
Edwards Iowa Surprise
-- David Gergen, 360 Contributor

360 Program note: Anderson Cooper interviews John Edwards live at 10p ET

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto, potentially leading Pakistan to the brink of a civil war, would seemingly give a last-minute lift to candidates with experience in national security, especially Hillary Clinton and John McCain and, yes, Joe Biden. But Iowa may have its own dynamic heading toward the caucuses -- a good reason to keep your eye on John Edwards as he appears on AC 360 tonight.

Iowa polls show that Edwards, once the darling and then the candidate who faded, has been rising recently, now virtually deadlocked with Hillary and Barack Obama. More importantly, Edwards has practically lived in Iowa so that he has built up a veteran organization, may be ahead in rural areas, and is a strong second choice among potential caucus goers.

For Hillary Clinton, the nightmare of Iowa would be an Edwards surprise accompanied by a strong showing by Obama. She can probably afford to come in second in Iowa but to finish third would be highly dangerous. Howard Dean came in third last time out and he was on his way to the showers. So, even as we watch the Clinton-Obama duel, keep a close eye on Edwards.
Posted By CNN: 2:18 PM ET
  10 Comments
Hello Mr. Gergen,

Let me begin by saying that I truly enjoy the insight that you bring to Anderson's program. It is always exciting to me when you are on the broadcast.

That being said, I completely agree that we not count John Edwards out yet. To me, the front runners come off like comets. They flare and shine at first, but they burn out quickly. Could this be what is happening with Clinton and Obama? Very possibly in my opinion.

Clearly they are scrambling over each other to comment on the Bhutto tragedy; making false accusations and snap judgments. It makes them appear very foolish. The only good thing about this situation is that we see how they act in a crisis.

So far I am very unimpressed and underwhelmed.

Great to see you blogging Mr. Gergen, please do so more often.
Posted By Blogger Pati Mc : 2:44 PM ET
So this is how it's going to be...Bhutto hit her head in the car and died....then why did they have the need to bomb her after that? That's my quetion. To save a man's soul in the eye of allah, a very insignificant man who was used as a dispensible pawn to kill bhutto, they lie now about her not being shot, and we Americans are going to buy this nonsense! We support Pakistan in good faith that they will bring the Al Qaeda down...yeah right, all we're doing is arming them with more weapons to fight India. If America really wanted to capture Osama we would have done it by now.
We are supporting a tyrannical militant government and downing democracy, something I thought we Americans highly regarded, but now I have my doubts because Musharaf is getting away with murder...and we Americans are buying his excuses. It's sad.
Posted By Blogger Sarbani : 2:47 PM ET
Hi David,
This is certainly another indicator that the nominations for both parties is anyone's game. I will be interested to hear John Edward's plan for how to help Pakistan during this volatile time. I also am curious to know what his thoughts are on the impact for the rest of the region.
Posted By Blogger pamina : 3:56 PM ET
David,
Actually if I had to pick between the three I'd rather have Edwards get the nod for the Dems choice for prez.

It doesn't suprise me that he is moving back up I mean look how ridiculous the other two have looked with their childish bickering!! They need to get over it and discuss the issues and not attack each other so much!

Cynthia, Covington, Ga.
Posted By Blogger Cindy : 4:03 PM ET
I used to have great respect and belief in your independent political comments in the past. But with all due respect, I think you have been loosing that unbiased staus of yours lately. I have a feeling that you are trying to spin things in anti-Clinton direction as of late. I might be wrong on this, but it seems to me that you have a fall-out with the Clintons for some reason.
Posted By Anonymous J, Ca : 4:47 PM ET
Prof. Gergen,
Thank you for you apt and insightful comments concerning the Iowa Caucuses and John Edwards' prospects. I completely agree with you, and I will do you one better: I believe he will get the nomination and the win. Iowa Caucus voters will overwhelmingly support Edwards because he has the strongest message, the boldest and most specific policy vision (which the other candidates have followed), and is the most electable. He even provided the most appropriate and presidential response to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto with his call to Musharraf for allowing independent international investigators to pursue the matter and urging Musharraf to continue Pakistan's democracy endeavor. An Iowa victory will give him the momentum to capture the other early states, just like Kerry, who came back from an 18-point deficit to win NH after his Iowa victory. I hate to prognosticate, because anything can happen. And I certainly am not foolish enough to write off the other candidates; but I do believe that, despite what the mainstream media says, this election is Edwards' to lose.
Posted By Blogger Julian : 4:54 PM ET
First of all David, I was very happy to hear that you have officially joined the CNN team. Your perspective is always intelligent and interesting.

We Iowa democrats have a huge responsibility and a tough decision to make. I know that many American's are unhappy with the role that Iowa plays in these elections, but as most Iowan's do, I take our unique role very seriously and I want to make my choice count. I've invested a lot of time and effort into making an intelligent and appropriate choice.

I'm still wavering between Obama and Edwards, as I think many people are. I've heard them both speak, researched their issues and I like some things about each candidate. With Edwards trailing, I thought my decision was made for me and that I should support Obama. Now I'm back to indecision. I guess my choice will be made when I walk into our precinct caucus on Thursday. Wish me luck!

Carrie, Iowa City, IA
Posted By Anonymous Carrie : 5:31 PM ET
Iowa will be exciting to watch. IMO anything can happen. Mr. Gergen is right...better keep a eye on Edwards. He is still in this thing.
Posted By OpenID TimALoftis : 5:58 PM ET
Right now the polls show Clinton, Obama, and Edwards in a dead heat - all within the statistical margin of error to each other. Any of the three could win. Perhaps Edwards will win; he seems to be more in touch with the people and he seems to stand more for the politics of hope than the candidate that coined the phrase.

This election is an interesting one - but I'm like one of the previous commenters; for the most part the candidates leave me unimpressed and very disappointed. At a time when our country needs a leader of greatness, I keep looking to the wings to see if one will emerge.

AnnieKate
Birmingham AL
Posted By Blogger Annie Kate : 7:39 PM ET
Dear Mr. Gergen,
Thank you very much for mentioning Joe Biden in your blog. For the life of me, I cannot understand why most of the press is ignoring Biden.
I think the record will show that it was Joe Biden who first mentioned Pakistan during one of the National Democratic debates. He knows the dangers we face better than ANY other candidate. Yet, he is ignored.
Thanks again!
Posted By Blogger gapiper : 8:08 PM ET
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