Edwards: "I'm the Underdog"

(CBS)
From CBS News' Aaron Lewis:

NASHUA, N.H. -- John Edwards returned to New Hampshire today and embraced his position in the race following a second place showing in the Iowa caucuses.

"I'm the underdog," Edwards told reporters following an organizing event in Nashua. "There's no question about that."

At both a rally in Manchester this morning and the event in Nashua this afternoon, Elizabeth Edwards played into the horserace analogies of the presidential contest by comparing her husband to the legendary racehorse Seabiscuit.

"Seabiscuit was the horse of the working class, you know, owned by a bicycle repairman, and ridden by someone who wasn't supposed to be able to make it," she said in Nashua. "But that's what this campaign is about, isn't it? The dog who wasn't supposed to be able to make it."

Having come in second in Iowa behind Barack Obama and ahead of Hillary Clinton, the Edwards campaign now focuses more intensely on the theme of change.

"What we learned last night is that the status quo is yesterday," Edwards told the crowd of over 350 people at the rally in Manchester. "Change is tomorrow and tomorrow begins today."

The grueling campaign schedule over the last 72 hours may be taking some toll on the former senator's performance. Edwards's voice was hoarse at times during the rally and he kept remarks at both events under 10 minutes long. Edwards also did not take questions from the audience at the Nashua event. Campaign spokesman Dan Leistikow said this was not due to any lack of rest, rather it was an "organizing event" with supporters and there was never any intention for Q & A. But at organizing events during the 36-hour marathon in Iowa on January 2nd, Edwards did, in fact, take questions from supporters.

Leistikow did say, however, that Senator Edwards will take questions from audience members at the town hall meeting in Portsmouth tonight.

Finally, in an effort to push their momentum, the campaign says it is on track to break a record for their biggest single-day fundraising total. The campaign did not release a hard figure, but said that half of the contributions were from first-time donors and over 90% of contributions were under $100.
  • Aaron Lewis

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