The NY Observer is reporting that Hillary Clinton's "Iowa predicament can be summarized in two words: John Edwards." Steve Kornacki says:
Consider yourself excused if you haven’t kept tabs on Mr. Edwards since 2004. Now an exiled former Senator based out of Chapel Hill, N.C., he has been toiling under the radar, and the opinion-shaping class in Washington sneers at his prospects. But look for yourself and you’ll find a new Mr. Edwards emerging before your eyes: an unreconstructed, Potomac-phobic crusader for economic justice who has persuasively repented for voting as a Senator to send America to war.
Chuck Todd sees John Edwards as a candidate who may naturally benefit from the new DNC primary calendar for 2008:
Think of this primary calendar schedule as a "draw" and then match up the candidates best positioned to run the table in those states.
Suddenly, you come up with another front-runner with Clinton: and his name isn't Mark Warner or Evan Bayh or John Kerry. It's John Edwards.
Organizationally, Edwards is in the best shape of anyone in Iowa. His close ties to the hotel labor workers give him an interesting leg up in Nevada. South Carolina is a primary he's already won once. About the only state where Edwards is weak is New Hampshire. And, frankly, if he wins Iowa and Nevada, New Hampshire support will gravitate to him. He's planted plenty of support seeds in the state, but he's just never been anyone's 1st or 2nd choice.
But let's forget geography for a minute and look at who is best positioned on the two biggest issues Democrats will debate between now and 2008 -- Iraq and electability. Edwards has become an unabashed opponent of the war and liberal activists in Iowa will remember that. That should play well in New Hampshire as well. He's also heavily courting labor and someday labor is going to matter again in a Democratic primary; at least that's what labor keeps telling itself. But the combination of labor and Iraq positions Edwards very neatly to Clinton's left, where she'll leave a vacuum since she's trying so hard right now to make herself electable in a general.
Fox News is reporting that Americans are giving John Edwards "a second look" for 2008 and they show how, in an August Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton's lead is diminishing while Edwards' is raising:
Thirty-five percent of respondents said [Hillary Clinton] was the Democrats' best bet compared to 24 percent who said former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards would be a winner. Seventeen percent backed former Vice President Al Gore and 13 percent pointed to Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the party's presidential candidate in 2004.
In June (June 1-4), the Gallup poll reported Hillary Rodham Clinton had a 36% rating among Democratic voters and John Edwards had had only 12%. Edwards has doubled his support among Democrats in two short months.
In the August Gallup poll, the gap between Clinton and Edwards is even smaller when the Republicans' opinion on the chance of a Democratic candidate defeating a Republican candidate comes into play.
In the following poll question, you can see that those who choose Edwards are firmest in their belief that no other Democratic candidate would prevail against a Republican in 2008. This shows strength in voter confidence toward John Edwards.
If you asked Americans, I'd wager that a significant amount of them would be ashamed to know that, after Katrina, many families who rented apartments in New Orleans will never be able to afford an apartment in New Orleans again.
[..] Before the storm, [Tina Moore] paid $415 a month for an apartment. Now those few available apartments are going for nearly twice that amount.
"I don't make that kind of money. Neither does my husband," she said. [..]
[..] According to a report released Wednesday by the Mississippi chapter of the NAACP many Gulf Coast residents like Moore who lost everything in the storm stand little chance of getting any of the billions in federal recovery dollars streaming into the region.
Nearly half of Gulf Coast residents were renters, not homeowners. Most of those residents, many of whom make up the Coast's working poor, are not eligible for a share of the $5.1 billion in Community Development Block Grant funds allocated to the state last December.
The report, which was produced in conjunction with the Rutgers University School of Public Policy, found that renters and low- to moderate-income residents face more hurdles to recovery and risk falling prey to predatory lenders.
The report praises the philanthropic efforts of charities and faith-based groups, but concludes those efforts are not enough to plug the gaps.