Thursday, January 10, 2008

[indyweek] Day 1 in N.H.: Heat and light

by Matt Saldaña
Photo by Matt Saldaña
January 5, 2008

One day after Barack Obama’s resounding victory in the Iowa caucuses, the Illinois senator received a near messianic reception at a high school gym in Concord, while John Edwards told a more subdued convention room audience in Portsmouth that his nominal second-place victory proved he could “stand up to monied candidates.”

“We went into Iowa and finished between two $100 million candidates. The reason it worked is we took on the establishment. We took on power and we won,” Edwards said, adding new emphasis to his 0.3 percentage point edge over Hillary Clinton in the caucuses.

Edwards’ “town hall” speech in Portsmouth, delivered with precision and humor, was far from Obama’s frenetic performance in Concord. While both candidates largely stuck to their stump speeches, Edwards talked about his opponents more openly and carefully outlined their differences in policy. (Unlike Edwards, Obama did not mention his opponents by name.) Notably, Edwards acknowledged that his and Clinton’s health-care plans were nearly identical, while arguing that Obama’s plan, which would not require health insurance of all Americans, was not truly universal.

[View the entire article at the Independent Weekly.]