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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Did Edwards cost Clinton the nomination? Maybe not.

By John Deeth | 08.11.08 | 12:37 pm

A top aide to Hillary Clinton says if revelations about John Edwards’ extramarital affair had come out before the Iowa caucuses, Clinton would be the presumptive nominee today.

That’s impossible to definitively answer, of course. But a caucus night survey indicates that most Edwards caucus goers had a second choice other than Clinton, and his absence would likely have meant a bigger Iowa win for Barack Obama.

“I believe we would have won Iowa, and Clinton today would therefore have been the nominee,” if Edwards had dropped out before Iowa, former Clinton Communications Director Howard Wolfson told ABC News.

Iowa’s delegate totals — the Democrats refuse to release actual vote counts — were Obama 37.6 percent, Edwards 29.7 percent and Clinton 29.5 percent. Wolfson’s assertion assumes that two-thirds of Edwards’ supporters had Clinton as a second choice, rather than Obama or one of the second-tier candidates.

Wolfson said internal Clinton polls showed “our voters and Edwards’ voters were the same people. They were older, pro-union. Not all, but maybe two-thirds of them would have been for us and we would have barely beaten Obama.”

University of Iowa political science professor David Redlawsk conducted a caucus night survey on second choices. “We asked people ‘If your candidate is not viable, what will you do?’ 82 percent of Edwards supporters said they would support another candidate and 18 percent would not,” said Redlawsk. “When we asked which candidate they would then support, 32 percent said Clinton and 51 percent said Obama. Had this actually happened statewide, Obama would have been even further ahead of Clinton.”

“As the campaign progressed few Edwards people gave any indication that Clinton was their second choice,” said Redlawsk, who was himself elected as an Edwards national delegate and now supports Obama. “And obviously a campaign without Edwards would have had a totally different dynamic, with different foci, with different media coverage for all of the candidates, and so on. The great thing about Wolfson’s quote is that it seems like it might be right, but of course can never be proven one way or the other.”

Clinton’s Iowa campaign emphasized her experience and a “ready to lead on day one” theme, rather than the economic issues Edwards emphasized. Clinton shifted toward economic themes later in the campaign, after Iowa.

While attention in the late primaries and early general election campaign has shifted to the economy, the Iraq War was on the front burner a year or so ago when Iowa’s party activists were making their choices. Edwards and Clinton took different approaches toward their October 2002 votes authorizing the war. Edwards explicitly apologized for his vote, saying, “I was wrong to vote for it. I have to take responsibility for that and I do.” At the same time, he said, “There’s not a single voter in America who doesn’t understand that their president is human, and their president will sometimes makes mistakes” — ironic in retrospect.

Clinton merely said she would have voted differently on the war if “I knew then what I know now,” and in February 2007 said, “If the most important thing to any of you is choosing someone who did not cast that vote or has said his vote was a mistake, then there are others to choose from.”

Edwards also tried to emphasize his electability, but dropped the argument after he was accused of subtle racism and sexism. But the electability theme was still on the minds of many of his supporters. The evidence may be anecdotal, but at an October Edwards debate watching party, viewers seemed more hostile to Clinton than toward Obama, at a time when Clinton was still the national frontrunner. The comment, “she can’t win” was overheard more than once.

Edwards was out of the race by the time Iowa county conventions met in March, but in many counties the Edwards group stayed together. In places where they didn’t, the shift was overwhelmingly toward Obama. In Marshall County, the Edwards group en masse joined the Obama group.

Edwards himself endorsed Obama in May and was considered a long-shot possibility as a running mate, or more likely for a position in an Obama cabinet, until news of the affair was revealed Friday.

Comments

  • rose

    The tragedy is that Edwards voters were hoodwinked, and I don’t know why. All the signs of his vain personality were there. Now, we can see that the media failed to properly vet him when even the Enquirer was shouting from the rooftops about his secret life.

    Also, John Edwards is not stopping Elizabeth from talking about breast cancer. Elizabeth allowed John to lie to voters and misrepresent himself as a family man when she knew in 2006 that he was a cheater.

    Elizabeth, thanks for the enabling your cheatin husband John Edwards to hide his girlfriend with baby from the voters. That stuff wouldn’t have gone down very well in Iowa. It made it easy to steal Hillary’s votes!!! I’ll bet Elizabeth would not have supported her husband if she knew that Rielle Hunter was trashing her in front of John. Now, go buy some diapers.

    Hillary Clinton should take on Obama in Denver on the convention floor. What’s she got to lose? Nada!

  • rose

    The tragedy is that Edwards voters were hoodwinked, and I don't know why. All the signs of his vain personality were there. Now, we can see that the media failed to properly vet him when even the Enquirer was shouting from the rooftops about his secret life.

    Also, John Edwards is not stopping Elizabeth from talking about breast cancer. Elizabeth allowed John to lie to voters and misrepresent himself as a family man when she knew in 2006 that he was a cheater.

    Elizabeth, thanks for the enabling your cheatin husband John Edwards to hide his girlfriend with baby from the voters. That stuff wouldn't have gone down very well in Iowa. It made it easy to steal Hillary's votes!!! I'll bet Elizabeth would not have supported her husband if she knew that Rielle Hunter was trashing her in front of John. Now, go buy some diapers.

    Hillary Clinton should take on Obama in Denver on the convention floor. What's she got to lose? Nada!

  • http://donotvoteobama.net NoObama
  • http://donotvoteobama.net NoObama
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  • Ann Marie

    Where was the media? They even said that they knew about it. Why did they keep quiet? Why did they allow so many to volunteer and follow Edwars? The “Most Trusted Name In News” has to get their news from the National Enquirer. I think we need to hold the news media accountable. Easy enough with all their past footage. So, if John Edwards did cost Hillary Clinton the election than let’s demand more oversight on a part of a media that is nothing more than spinners who forgot to be journalists and investigate and ask questions. I feel so bad for his family that this had to come out this way now. So, much heartache could have been avoided if the media had done their job. He was a candidate that professed moral values and ending poverty. Yet, he lived right across from a trailer park. This was never reported either. The real question is Why didn’t the media report it? And who will his delegates vote for?

  • Ann Marie

    Where was the media? They even said that they knew about it. Why did they keep quiet? Why did they allow so many to volunteer and follow Edwars? The “Most Trusted Name In News” has to get their news from the National Enquirer. I think we need to hold the news media accountable. Easy enough with all their past footage. So, if John Edwards did cost Hillary Clinton the election than let's demand more oversight on a part of a media that is nothing more than spinners who forgot to be journalists and investigate and ask questions. I feel so bad for his family that this had to come out this way now. So, much heartache could have been avoided if the media had done their job. He was a candidate that professed moral values and ending poverty. Yet, he lived right across from a trailer park. This was never reported either. The real question is Why didn't the media report it? And who will his delegates vote for?

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