Yesterday I received five phone calls and four knocks at the door from several campaigns that are pulling out all the stops to win the Iowa caucus.  With the caucus coming up this Thursday, January 3rd, I wanted to highlight all the major candidates with some video footage of speeches.  Today I will feature the Democrats and tomorrow I will feature the Republicans.  I have added a little bit of commentary on what I observe in my own neighborhood but I am not endorsing any particular candidate. 

Joe Biden – Not considered by many to have a chance but has picked up some key endorsements in my neighborhood – including some republicans.  His affinity for foreign affairs and experience are his biggest assets. View video here.

Hillary Clinton – Either you love her or you don’t.  Some in my neighborhood are concerned about her electability in a general election.  If nominated, will it just drudge up the same old issues that haunted Bill Clinton’s presidency?  She has tremendous political skills and has some major political endorsements in Iowa.  Leading national polls but Iowa is more of a struggle.  Still running neck and neck with Edwards and Obama.  View video here.

Chris Dodd – His daughter spent the last couple of months in my son’s kindergarten class.  An extremely personable and likeable guy.  (I doubt Connecticut voters appreciated the move to Iowa but I admire someone that puts his family first).  Long on experience (33 years in Washington) but short on momentum.  Worked to enact Family and Medical Leave Act.  A class act.  View video here.

John Edwards – probably has the most momentum right now of any democratic candidate.  Spoke to a huge crowd at East High School the other night.  While the polls are extremely close he appears to be gaining and moved ahead in certain polls.  Populist message appears to be resonating with Iowa voters.  Needs a victory in Iowa to continue on.  Those I talk with doubt that second place will be good enough this time.  View video here.

Barack Obama – Has given two of the best speeches of any candidate during the entire campaign.  His inspirational message of hope and change makes him a force to be reckoned with in the caucus.  Position that he was against Iraq war from the beginning sets him a part from the other candidates.  In a virtual tie with Edwards and Clinton for the lead.  Very charismatic.  View video here.

Bill Richardson – A substantial resume and a charming person.  I am not hearing a lot about him.  Vows to bring troops home now. A finish behind Biden or Dodd could spell doom for this campaign.  View video here.

Tomorrow:  The Republicans.