Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain

Iowa's state flag reads “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

What a fitting motto for the state that tonight will serve as the proving ground for the Democratic field.

In little over a year, a new President will be sworn into the Oval Office. That person will be tasked with many jobs from Day One, but perhaps none is more important than the restoration of our Constitution following eight years of abuse at the hands of the Bush administration.

While Iowans spend the last three hours or so before the caucus pondering which candidate they will stand with, I hope they take the time to look at their state flag. Re-read their state motto. Then make their decision.

Only one candidate has made standing up for the Constitution central to his campaign.

Only one candidate authored a book this year about our nation's proudest moment standing up for the rule of law.

Only one candidate left the campaign trail to return to Washington and stop another assault on our rights.

Only one candidate has pledged that on the very first hour of the very first day, he will restore the Constitution of the United States of America.

Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.

Iowans, the time is now: Caucus for Chris Dodd, because he, above all others, will use his presidency to not just maintain our rights, but restore and protect them. We know he will do that in 2009, because he's already doing it now, in 2007 and 2008.

So stand by your state's motto and please stand for Chris Dodd tonight.

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On the Ground in Iowa

On January 3rd Iowans will be making a critical choice on behalf of the nation. The people here helping Chris Dodd are taking part in history here over the closing days before the caucus. I'm going to try to tell that story over the next week and give you a window into the Dodd campaign. Throughout our campaign I've covered hundreds of Dodd events. For the most part, I've eschewed writing the typical campaign blog posts cheering on how great the events are or how positive the crowds response is, because frankly, I think it's better to let the video from Dodd events do the talking for me. Now, though, I want to use my time in Iowa to show as much as I can what's happening on the ground.

After a hectic day of travel filled with missed and delayed flights, I arrived in Iowa last night to a bustling Dodd Headquarters in Des Moines. “Bustling” is a word you'll hear bandied about a lot when campaigns talk about the activity in their offices around Iowa this week, but to be honest it hardly covers what's going on. The winding halls of Dodd HQ were filled with staffers and volunteers fulfilling a range of tasks – planning the events between now and the caucus, calling Iowans to ask them to support Senator Dodd, honing the closing argument for Chris Dodd, keeping our web presence dynamic, and much, much more.

They love Dodd at Lucky's

Last night Senator Dodd was on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. A bunch of staffers watched his appearance at Lucky's, the bar next door to the office. We weren't the only ones, though — there was a buzz from people responding to Senator Dodd's mature leadership talking about the Benazir Bhutto's assassination. The next President is going to encounter issues that we haven't talked about in this campaign, and the question Iowans are going to be asking themselves “who do they trust to know what they are doing when that happens?”

This morning we awoke to snow in Des Moines. A few inches fell overnight and it's continuing to come down steadily. Fortunately for me, Erik Moe, our art director, is a Minnesotan with a lifetime of experience driving in the snow and muck, and he ensured the trip to the office this morning was a safe one.

Dodd and Browner-Hamlin talk FISA

First off the bat, we recorded two videos with Senator Dodd (which you'll be seeing shortly). Tim Tagaris took   this picture of Senator Dodd and I talking about the response online to his efforts to stop retroactive immunity from being part of FISA legislation. The Senator was humbled by the scale of support he received from the netroots in this fight and is committed to continuing it when the Senate returns in January. This is a team effort and together we can win this fight for good.

As I write this post now, people are working hard to prepare for a rally that will be taking place at our HQ in just a few minutes. We'll be posting pictures and video from at just as soon as we can, so you'll be able to see what the mobilization for Chris Dodd in Iowa looks like even if you can't be here to take part.

Stay tuned for more updates at The Dodd Blog.

Disclosure: I proudly work for Chris Dodd's presidential campaign.

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Have You Read the Headlines?

Have you seen the headlines?

The squabble to be first in deciding the nation’s fate is intensifying. Early states are cleverly inching their primaries in a race to secure voting influence for their citizens. By the end of February, we’ll know who the presidential finalists are before more than half the nation gets a chance to vote, let alone meet the candidates. Sound Fair?

Check out the primary schedule.

The heavily frontloaded primary schedule does all of America a disservice. Leaving the power to decide who the next president of the America can be to a handful of people is just not right. The demographic make up of all the early primary state, even combined, does not accurately represent the American population. For instance, isn’t New Hampshire the third wealthiest state in the nation?

With less than a month left, there seems like there’s no hope. The Washington Post reports that the American people are being tempted by pessimism, and are losing faith in our political system. But, not to fear.

Register to host a caucus at www.nationalcaucus.com and get involved.

It seems like there’s no hope but to accept the circumstances. However, I came across this website, the National Presidential Caucus, that looks to give voters a fair chance to voice their opinions before the primaries kick off. It’s not a national primary or anything like that, don’t let the name mislead you.

Here’s how it works:

1) Post your caucus online

2) Meet offline with some friends, neighbors, whomever to discuss candidates and issues

3) Post your results from your discussions online

It’s as simple as that. It’s really just an effort to encourage and empower civic engagement and voter opinions. So why not…

How can we claim to go across seas to build a democracy, when our own political system at home is suffering? Get involved. sign up to host a caucus in your neighborhood today.

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Congressman Bruce Braley Endorses John Edwards

Today in Waterloo, Congressman Bruce Braley is to endorse John Edwards for President.

“Today, I’m proud to endorse John Edwards for president,” said Braley.

“Throughout this campaign, on issue after issue, John has proposed bold ideas to end the power of special interests in Washington and restore our government to the American people.  John is the only Democratic candidate who grew up in rural America, and he has most specific, most progressive and most far-reaching ideas.  I truly believe he is the best Democratic candidate to lead us to victory in 2008. With his leadership, I believe we can make his vision of One America a reality.”

Congressman Braley is the first of three Democratic Iowa Congressman to announce an endorsement for President. This key endorsement builds on the support Edwards continues to gain in the state. As href=”http://www.mydd.com/story/2007/12/2/221148/539″>Jonathan Singer suggests:


First off, this could be the big piece of news in the statewide media Tuesday, and perhaps more importantly it could prompt the national media to remember Edwards, who they have been perhaps too quick to forget given their focus on the scuffles between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. What’s more, a Braley endorsement could bring some of the organizational support and expertise that helped put Braley in Congress last fall. All in all, tomorrow should be a good day for the Edwards campaign.

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Stakes are too high, Caucus today!

 

If the media and early states get their way, the presidential nomination finalists will be decided by the end of February before more than half the nation gets a chance to voice their opinions. Sound fair?

 

The stakes are high in the next election and we can’t sit idly. Join the National Presidential Caucus (NPC) effort to confront the heavily compressed primary schedule we’re facing today. NPC is hosting a National Caucus Day on Dec. 7th and we’d love if you’d join us in organizing caucuses in your area!

www.nationalcaucus.com

To encourage voters to form opinions before the early primary states and the media determine who the leading candidates will be, NPC is asking people like you to host caucuses in their communities. It’s a great way to get your candidate and issue out there.
Here’s how it works:
-Post a caucus on the website
-Meet offline on December 7th to talk about issues and candidates that matter TO YOU
-Post your results on our website with all the other caucuses from across the nation

  Hosting a caucus is as simple as getting some friends, family, or whomever you want together. It's really easy to do!

What if every state's caucus and primary were weighted equally? I don't know about you, but I'd call that democracy. 

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