Tag Archives: john edwards

South Carolina And CNN: The Undecideds

CNN had 17 undecided South Carolina voters rating the candidates throughout the debate. At the end, according to CNN, they thought Edwards had won the debate but “half” of them were going to vote for Obama because they felt he had the better chance of winning the nomination.
Don’t they understand that if everyone who felt that way actually voted for Edwards, he might have a realistic chance at winning? This is an amazing and historic primary campaign, but also a supremely frustrating one.

The South Carolina Martin Luther King Day Democratic Debate

For the next two hours I hope to bring you some of my thoughts on how this debate is going. I am an Edwards supporter, but I will do my best to be fair analyzing their debate performance. The format is very interesting and CNN is basically allowing a free form debate!
10:04-I think this debate gave the people of South Carolina a great deal to think about. My analysis, for what it’s worth is that Obama and Edwards gained and I think Edwards could seriously make a strong 3rd place showing. Hillary didn’t really seem to have “it” and even got boo’d! This is probably the most exciting election cycle in my lifetime.
10:01-Good answer by Edwards, great one by Obama. Tepid applause, however.
10:00-Wow. Last question by Wolf: If Dr. King were alive, why would he endorse you?
9:59-Edwards makes a very strong foreign policy statement.
9:55-The “lobbyist” issue rears its ugly head. Hillary is simply wrong on this.
9:46-Edwards makes a very good case that if McCain’s the GOP candidate, he is the only one who can whip McCain’s butt. And you know what? he’s right.
CNN’s Bill Schneider is blogging this debate quite well over on CNN’s main 2008 election site.
9:36-Obama points out the difference between his race and the very real problem of race in America. Very good points. Again, Edwards is “just the white guy.”
9:30-Joe Johns asks Obama: “Do you think Bil Clinton was our first black president.” Gives him a chance to bridge the races.
9:27-Edwards is becoming the butt of “white male” jokes.
9:22-Now we’re getting into race and the question facing Edwards and Clinton: Should people of color vote for white people if they’re voting in their best self interest?
9:11-Break
9:10-This issue, Iraq, isn’t enough to differentiate these three candidates all that much.
9:05-Edwards on Bush thinking that the surge in Iraq is the means to a political end: “If Bush recognizes it, then man it’s really got to be out there.”
9:03-Hillary says there’s no military solution to the war.
9:01-Here come the war questions…
8:56-All three give good answers on their healthcare plans. Obama really does differ from Clinton and Edwards on this.
8:49-Suzanne Malveaux tosses Hillary a softball about HIV/AIDS.
8:47-Edwards places himself above the frey, but doesn’t let Obama respond.
8:45-Hillary is treating the viewers like idiots. Like we don’t know why senators sometimes vote against bills that on the surface seem good but don’t go far enough. She also attacks Obama on some of his votes and is slammed again.
8:43-Hillary gets boo’d! Amazing. She looks like she’s going down in flames!
8:40-More sniping between Obama and Clinton. They really don’t like each other, it seems.
8:34-Edwards outright calls the economic power structure in the United States racist.
8:31-Edwards starts to separate he and Obama from Hillary and brings some humor into the debate: “Let me finish because lord knows, you let them go on forever!”
8:30-Edwards pulls the debate back on track.
8:26-WOW! Obama just delivered a huge uppercut to Hillary re: her stint on the board of Wal Mart and clarifying his statements about Ronald Reagan very well. This debate is degenerating.
8:22-Obama launches the first serious shot across Hillary’s bow by claiming things she say aren’t true. Goes after Bill Clinton, too. So far this is Obama’s best debate performace.
8:20-Obama and Edwards spar a little bit on free trade and economic stimulus. I still think Edwards and Obama are a natural team, come November.
8:15-Edwards gives a good position but doesn’t exactly answer the question. Looks bad denying an immediate cash payout to poor people.
8:10-Hillary gives a decent answer to the question.
8:08-First question on the economy from Joe Johns.

An Important Speech On Poverty And Uniting America

I know the mainstream media has written him off and I know many of you reading this have, as well. Those of us that support him have not. We can not. We will not.
In a recent interview on local South Carolina TV news, Edwards supporter Harry Belafonte points out that while the other candidates consistently discuss the plight of the middle class, Edwards is the only one to talk about the poor. That’s an important distinction, in my opinion.
After the debate, please take a moment to watch this video of John Edwards speaking today at the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina.

John Edwards For President

oac-blog-ad-150x200.jpgYou might have noticed that a John Edwards for President ’08 badge has appeared on this blog. It’s there because I’ve made my decision. I am supporting former senator John Edwards (D-NC) in his campaign for president of the United States. Of the three leading Democratic candidates (the others being senators Hillary Clinton and senators Barack Obama) I have decided that John Edwards most closely represents my positions on the core issues of the day and more importantly, I have absolutely no doubt that in a general election, he is the most electable candidate.

N.B. This is not a traditional endorsement. There will be no long-winded reasoning about why I like senator Edwards. I realize you kinda deserve that, but my piece is more about why you should listen to him, Dodd, etc. I plan on updating you guys on Edwards’ qualifications and positions on a regular basis, however.

When I mention to friends that I am supporting Edwards, I almost always get “Edwards is so far down in the polls, why bother?” or “Hillary has it locked up.” This kind of attitude drive me absolutely batshit insane. A response like that, writing off the rest of the field 14 months before election day and a year before the nominating conventions is incredibly stupid and undemocratic. Not only that, it’s damn dangerous. Many of the same people that write off Edwards concede that he’s likely the most electable candidate from either party and the one most likely to kick the snot out of the GOP, whomever they run. Why then, do people (and irresponsible so-called news organizations) continue to defraud the people of the United States by trying to force the campaign into a match race instead of acknowledging the field?

1167608823_6678eb4026.jpgThe national media also seems intent on cutting to the chase as soon as possible. In fact, Slate ran a piece on how Newsweek was already calling it a two-horse race back in December of 2006! The mainstream media are all running national poll results, a problematic approach at best. Why? At this point in the campaign nation polls are almost completely irrelevant. Even the polls comparing one Democrat and one Republican in a mock national election are more or less pointless. We don’t elect presidents using the popular vote, so any polls besides state-by-state polls are dubious at best and harmful at worst. Even then, the number of undecided voters are often high enough to render even state-by-state polls useless. The problem is, most of the country gets their news from the mainstream media. CNN, Newsweek, Time and the others are pimping the Clinton v. Obama race for all it’s worth and as a result are committing a fraud against the American people and if I were you, I wouldn’t stand for it.

Why is it fraud? Let’s take the example of Dennis Kucinich who by any realistic measure doesn’t have a chance in hell at winning the election. That said, writing him and other candidates off so early in the race deprives the electorate of hearing his views and the public debate suffers. Whatever money he has will dry up because Time, Newsweek, etc. have decided he’s a nobody and his donors will migrate either to the next left of center candidate still in the race or more likely, take their wallets and sign boards and go home. With Kucinich, Richardson and Dodd still in the race and debates, you get to hear varying positions on issues ranging from gay marriage to the war in Iraq to healthcare and that’s the whole point of lengthy campaigns. [Ok, ours are obscenely long and maybe we ought to do something about that, but that’s a different post.] We need to hear Richardson’s opinions on immigration and Edwards’ thoughts on the labor movement and poverty and we need to hear Kucinich’s opinions on everything, to be honest. The longer these candidates are in the public eye, the better for everyone.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter was “Jimmy Who?” until he surprised everyone by winning in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida and Illinois and Bill Clinton didn’t even declare his candidacy until October 2nd, 1991, the equivalent of about month from now. In February 1992 I traveled to Dover, New Hampshire to help a friend of mine who was working for Iowa senator Tom Harkin in his run for the presidency. Clinton was still a fringe candidate and was rapidly becoming a scandal-plagued joke. Even as late as the eve of Super Tuesday (which in 92 came in mid-March) most of us didn’t think Clinton was going to win. Of course he ran the table in the southern states and was effectively the nominee after March 10th. What I’m trying to say is, assuming the race is over is a negative and potentially self-fulfilling prophecy. Let them run!
What’s my point? Let’s give the American people the right to choose from a full state of candidates. As individual, politically-minded, voting Americans, you owe it to your country not to write anyone off. Is your local paper doing that? Drop them an email and point out that they are cheating their readers of the chance to be a fully-informed electorate and might just be contributing to cheating the country of the best president it can get. The next time one of your friends ignorantly tells you that “so and so doesn’t have a chance,” point out that history may prove them right, but let’s make sure it’s for the right reasons. Let’s make sure the American people get the best-possible government that’s actually chosen (albeit indirectly) by the people and not by the media, special interests or the Supreme Court.
Photo of John Edwards by George P. Stern