Tuesday, December 18, 2007

John Edwards, Listen Up

I've made some pretty strong cases against the Hillary Machine, and to an extent they seem to be more and more reflected in the public view of her, "Getting To Know You" isn't working well for that campaign. Obama's campaign seems to be the beneficiary of this process and while he seems a "nicer" guy than Hillary, there are some real problems going on - and I don't mean drugs and inexperience - I mean political stance. I don't like Hillary Clinton's record as a Democrat and I don't want "Hillary-lite;" and that seems to be Obama. So I'm kinda getting pushed into John Edwards, with a certain reluctance. The reluctance centers around guns and illegal immigration, I'm not going to get illegal immigration addressed by any Democrat (mind boggling) and Richardson is the one with the best gun record. Sadly Richardson just cannot seem to connect at all with Democrats and I have no idea why.

My reluctance aside, Edwards wins in a cakewalk against Republicans. Not get that one, his populist message wins. But the deal is, he's trying to be nice about it, IT AIN'T NICE. It's a body blow against business as usual and most of us are past being tired of it. Paul Krugman in an NYT OpEd puts it pretty well (I know, I just recently blasted the NYT):
There’s a strong populist tide running in America right now. For example, a recent Democracy Corps survey of voter discontent found that the most commonly chosen phrase explaining what’s wrong with the country was “Big businesses get whatever they want in Washington.”

And there’s every reason to believe that the Democrats can win big next year if they run with that populist tide. The latest evidence came from focus groups run by both Fox News and CNN during last week’s Democratic debate: both declared Mr. Edwards the clear winner.
Now Edwards may have been the winner, but there's no evidence the wider range of voter is taking it seriously and there are a couple of reasons for this. Krugman notes one:
But the news media recoil from populist appeals. The Des Moines Register, which endorsed Mr. Edwards in 2004, rejected him this time on the grounds that his “harsh anti-corporate rhetoric would make it difficult to work with the business community to forge change.”

And while The Register endorsed Hillary Clinton, the prime beneficiary of media distaste for populism has clearly been Mr. Obama, with his message of reconciliation. According to a recent survey by the Project for Excellence in Journalism, Mr. Obama’s coverage has been far more favorable than that of any other candidate.
This is certainly an element of the equation. There is a question Krugman asks that begins to address my other concern.
As a result, drug and insurance companies — backed by the conservative movement as a whole — will be implacably opposed to any significant reforms. And what would Mr. Obama do then? “I’ll get on television and say Harry and Louise are lying,” he says. I’m sure the lobbyists are terrified.
What terrifies me is a continuance of business as usual, particularly with a Democratic Party controlled Legislature. And this is exactly where we're headed according to national polls. Edwards is short in the money race and he's not getting any of mine until he shows me something. That something is a part of a November post of mine and I'm real sure it has something to do with the national polls as well. The media coverage doesn't help with this part, the feeling that Edwards isn't honest about it. You cannot take such a stance and be low-keyed about the choices faced by voters; it is too extreme. If voters are to take seriously the proposal to end business as usual they expect some fire to accompany it, and there is no fire involved in Edward's debate performances. Edwards is caught in a bad position, corporate big business media portrays him as a pretty boy light weight and he doesn't do what is required to off-set that apparently out of fear that he'll look mean to the other candidates. Well I've got news for you John, they're gonna kick your butt if you keep this up, if you want my money and time - Listen Up.


Torrid said...

Edwards will win Iowa, Chuck. Book it.

Stephanie V said...

I sure hope you're right, TJ.

Steve Culley said...

Edwards might win Iowa but there is a general election to worry about even if he got the nomination. Two things you mentioned ,immigration and guns. Immigration is right behind the economy as an issue and by the time the Supreme Court hears the DC case it will be front burner. Edwards might be the right guy for taking on big business but middle America is going to vote borders and guns.
NPR radio recently had a program about how the gun issue hurt Al Gore and John Kerry. Democrtas have slow learning curve.

Chuck Butcher said...

the national polls show Edwards wiping the R field, totally kicking all butts. There are issues with Edwards, there are with anyone.

Steve Culley said...

National polls mean nothing right now. The American public is faking it when pollsters call. Most couldn't even name the candiates, let alone have an opinion. That will change a bit after hollidays, then even the press will have to get on the DC case, already been a lot of editorials. Immigration is really heating up, Pheonix especially. Nope this thing is wide open.

Larry McD said...

Borders and GUNS? Are you serious? Not Borders and Health Care? Not Borders and a freakin' WAR IN IRAQ? Not Borders and Religious Freedom? Borders and F*/@#^ GUNS?

Mebbe with 20% of the voters who wouldn't have voted Republican come hell or high water, but you can't be literate and think that GUNS is the number two issue with Democrats and Independents... unless your secret identity is Right-minded Fred from Salem OR.

Steve Culley said...

Got it off of CNN, I think, national poll across the board not democrats or Republicans, just American voters, if I remember the numbers right, economy#1, immigration #2 health care #3 and Iraq#4,
Guns will never be an issue with democrats, until it hurts, again, during election. Timing of the Supreme Court case is not good for the democratic nominee, a hearing in March, a decision in June. The selected candidate will simply have to answer questions about the case and democrats have a problem with the second amendment.

Zak J. said...

Here's a bit of a round up of Edwards's 2nd Amendment statements.