Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2008 | 10:50 a.m.
Presidential candidate John Edwards makes his first campaign stop in Nevada at 12:45 p.m. today at The Egg & I, 4533 W Sahara Ave. He'll present himself as a dark horse that can steal the Democratic nomination away from the two front-runners.
The former senator from North Carolina has been laying the groundwork for his Nevada campaign for months, his advisors said, clininging to the top tier after a second place finish in Iowa behind Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and a distant third place finish in New Hampshire behind New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, the winner, and Obama.
Edwards and his advisers spin his challenges as testimony of his populist
appeal, and say they¹re waiting for the front-runners to pick each other off
while trusting the appeal of their message of power to the people.
The Edwards team describes Clinton and Obama as the "two anointed celebrity candidates" who get the media attention and have raised so much money they're the "$100 million candidates."
"We are no more the underdogs than the millions of working Americans and the people who are underdogs to corporate power and the voices in Washington that block progress for the American people," said Joe Trippi, senior advisor to Edwards.
The Edwards team is not talking about the Nevada caucus in terms of a win, but promises that their grass roots efforts to organize voters will lead to a strong showing.
Edwards was endorsed months ago by the United Steelworkers Union and United Brotherhood Carpenters Union, and their early support has allowed time to organize for Saturday¹s caucus. In contrast, the relatively recent labor endorsements of Obama have not given volunteers the same time to rally voters, the Edwards team claimed.
This past weekend, Edwards volunteers contacted about 15,000 people, an estimated third of probable caucus-goers, said Congressman David Bonier, Edwards¹ campaign manager.
"We feel that things have really come together well for us here in Nevada," he said.