12/30/07

Socialist celeb endorses SEIU-backed Dem

After the 2004 election, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards devoted himself to building relationships with the nation's labor unions. While that effort has paid off with some labor support for his 2008 presidential bid, Edwards also picked up another important endorsement during that time.

Actor Danny Glover toured the country with Edwards last year during a campaign to organize service workers. He said he came away from that tour convinced that Edwards is the best candidate to fight for the disadvantaged.

"What I was really impressed with was his ability to listen to their story and to talk with them from a framework in which he was committed to working with them and bettering their wages and working conditions," Glover said in a telephone interview in between campaign stops in Las Vegas on Saturday.

"Fighting on behalf of working people and the disadvantaged, that's the legacy of the Democratic Party. We'll only get back to that by an intense dialogue of ideas around the critical issues. I believe John Edwards represents the values of those past presidents."

Battle of the Chucks

Democrats aren't the only ones with celebrity endorsements.

Two Republican presidential candidates have some big-gun Chucks behind them.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee last month unleashed a humorous television ad in Iowa featuring martial arts master Chuck Norris.

"My plan to secure the border? Two words: Chuck Norris," Huckabee said into the camera.

"Mike's a principled, authentic conservative," Norris said.

How does that stack up to the other Chuck, retired Air Gen. Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the speed barrier

sixty years ago?

Yeager has been joining Republican Duncan Hunter on the campaign trail. The families of the two men have been friends for decades.

Yeager's daughter Sharon owns the Right Stuff Ranch near Fallon.

While Norris made a name for himself with his fists, Yeager, 84, was known as one of the most skilled fighter pilots in World War II.

"When I was 6 years old, I could shoot the heads off of squirrels and rabbits," he said during a Reno campaign stop last week. "It was a source of food for the dinner table."

Iowa or bust?

Several presidential candidates have said their campaign likely will be over if they don't win or place higher than expected in Thursday's Iowa Caucus. But not Republican Duncan Hunter.

Hunter has pretty much written off Iowa, saying that you need to have money, a commodity he has little of, to compete there.

Instead, he said he's concentrating on states he thinks reflects his political beliefs, which include Nevada and Wyoming.

Unbeknownst to many, Wyoming has the second Republican nominating contest in the nation on Saturday.

Odds and ends

In his quest to be the candidate with the most field offices in the state, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama opened up an 11th Nevada outpost. The Incline Village office opened last week.

The campaign will be holding open houses in each of its offices across the state from now until the Iowa Caucus on Thursday.

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton will launch the first Nevada-specific television ad on Monday. The ad, a slightly altered version of an ad running in South Carolina, features Nevada landscapes, the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump and Nevadans Clinton met while campaigning in the state.

(news.rgj.com)

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