Hot off the trail: a summary of the day’s political developments

Bush “running scared”

New York’s 236 elected delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be up for grabs in next week’s Super Tuesday primary, so the remaining Democratic candidates hit the Empire State hard Monday.

Anticipating President Bush’s address to Republican governors Monday evening, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts told supporters at the Alhambra Ballroom in Harlem that the president is already running scared.

“He’s going to lay out what he calls his vision,” Kerry said of Bush’s speech. “I think it is extraordinary that four years into this administration we’re finally going to get what this president calls his vision for the nation.”

Boost for the big apple?

Sen. John Edwards used a lower-Manhattan union hall as a backdrop to pitch his plan to create 330,000 jobs in New York in two years, in part through tax incentives that would encourage companies to put jobs in the United States, instead of taking them overseas.

He also stressed his empathy with the plight of such workers as Omar Alexander, 59, who cut cloth at a New York apparel company for 33 years before losing his job when the company moved positions overseas. Now, a few years from retirement, he’s unemployed.

“What you’re describing is something I’ve seen over and over and over,” Edwards told him, describing how his father worked in a textile mill. “This is not just a paycheck for you. It has an effect on your self-respect and dignity. I take this personally.”

Nader for president, again

Ralph Nader wasted no time getting his presidential campaign up and running. A day after announcing his candidacy, the consumer activist packed his Monday schedule with appearances. He stopped at NBC’s “Today” and ABC’s “Good Morning America,” held a news conference in Washington and hit some of the big political shows, including CNN’s “Inside Politics” and MSNBC’s “Hardball.”

No one was spared during Nader’s news conference at the National Press Club. He had harsh words for both major political parties and the Bush administration. “This is a campaign that strives to displace the present corporate regime of the Bush administration,” he said. “This campaign can also be a factor turning the rudder of these giant political parties toward a more dedicated concern for government of, by and for the people.”

Youngsters can’t wait to move on

Bush’s support among under-30 voters is dropping fast, according to Newsweek’s new GENext poll. The poll, released Monday, shows that 47 percent of the 18- to 29-year-old voters polled said they’d vote for someone other than Bush in the November election. That’s up 13 points from last month. In a hypothetical match-up, Kerry wins the White House, with 56 percent of the young voters saying they’d pick him versus 41 percent for Bush. (Edwards led Bush 53 percent to 44 percent in the poll.)

The economy, unemployment and national security ranked as the top issues for the under-30 set, with 25 percent calling the economy the No. 1 issue facing the nation.

Dean supporters shift focus

The Deaniacs have spoken. Well, some of them, anyway. The Edwards campaign announced Monday that the cofounders of Howard Dean’s official youth-outreach effort, Generation Dean, are endorsing the North Carolina senator. Student groups at Cornell University and the Rochester Institute of Technology also transferred their support from Dean to Edwards.

–Knight Ridder/Tribune