Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Kerry, Biden and Others Woo N.H. Firefighters, and More '08 Chatter

PoliticsNH has a story on John Kerry and Joe Biden addressing the New Hampshire chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters on Monday, as potential '08 candidates. Kerry has not confirmed that he will run as of yet, but it's great to see him out there talking to the members of the IAFF who did so much for him in '04. The IAFF was an early endorser of John Kerry during the 2004 primaries and Kerry credits their help with helping him to win the nomination.

(AP Photo/Jim Cole)

Two Democratic U.S. Senators all but asked one of the state’s most powerful unions for their support today in the first day of what will be several of a politically impressive convention of firefighters.

U.S. Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Biden (D-Del.) each laid out their differences with President Bush and attempted to take the maximum credit for bills that provided more money for firefighters in the past.

With just 2,000 members in a traditionally non-union state, the New Hampshire chapter of the International Association of Fire Fighters is not the biggest union in the state, but it’s dedication and savvy has made it arguably the most powerful.

Others addressing the group Monday alone were Gov. John Lynch (D-Hopkinton), U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro), and State Sen. David Gottesman (D-Nashua).

Their power, if ever questioned, was proven in the fall of 2003. They had backed Kerry in the Democratic primary and he was fading quickly to irrelevance with the rise of Howard Dean. But it was at that very time, when many were writing him off, that the firefighters suggest they hold chili feeds in firehouses around the state.
It was a new Kerry at these chili feeds and he came back to win Iowa and then New Hampshire and then the nomination.

"I think the firefighters were critical to my being the nominee," Kerry said. "They helped me to create a climate for listening and helped to change the dynamics here so I am eternally grateful to them."

Biden recalled that he has had many unfortunate experiences where he has relied on firefighters including a car wreck where they saved his son and his house on fire.

“I want your support, but the truth is, either way you have me,” Biden said.

Incase you missed it, Bill O'Reilly (uh-huh) gave Kerry a plug yesterday, there's more on that here. And while we're on the subject of potential '08 candidates, Hillary has drawn some flack for an upcoming fundraiser being hosted by Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media mogul. Feeling the heat from the liberals, Hillary defended her decision to have Murdoch host a fundraiser for her Senate-election campaign, saying: "He's my constituent and I'm very gratified that he thinks I'm doing a good job." The Financial Times reports that "Mrs Clinton has worked to tone down the liberal image she won during her husband's presidency." Hmmm...


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