Fully Explaining Why I Am Cheering For Edwards In Iowa

by: Chris Bowers

Fri Dec 28, 2007 at 16:46

In the extended entry, I attempt to fully explain my decision to cheer for John Edwards in Iowa, a decision about which I feel pretty certain now. This is, of course, my decision alone, and is not meant to reflect on anyone else on Open Left.
Chris Bowers :: Fully Explaining Why I Am Cheering For Edwards In Iowa
I basically agree with Matt's post from Tuesday that the Democratic field of Presidential candidates is not addressing, or even really mentioning, some of the most crippling problems we face as a country: American Empire / national security state, and the war on drugs / cradle to prison superhighway. In looking for a candidate to support, those are two enormous issues that I would like to see addressed. That no one, except maybe Kucinich, is talking about those problems is a real disappointment in the Democratic field. As such, while I will support and work for no matter who wins the nomination, I also won't delude myself that that candidate will accomplish what I think needs to be done to fix the country. At the same time, I have also listed what I see as the positive qualities in several of the candidates., and how I will be dissatisfied with the nominee since we can't find them all in a single package.

Further, I have also explained in the past that I was seeking to evaluate the three leading contenders for the Democratic nomination on a core list of seven policy issues that, collectively, would tackle the underlying causes that led us to war in places like Iraq.  On those issues I think Obama and Edwards are about as good as each other, and both better than Clinton. However, throw in health care, and I have to conclude that Edwards is my policy favorite among the top three.

In terms of electability, I understand that Edwards will be handicapped in the general election by accepting matching funds, while Obama and Clinton will not be. However, Edwards starts ahead of Obama and Clinton in terms of general election polling, so I think this front is basically a wash. Clinton might be slightly ahead of Obama in this category, given current polling, and Obama might be slightly ahead of Edwards, given the financial situation, but the margins are narrow and difficult to determine based only on polls and financial figures. Besides, I think that all three look good electorally unless McCain is nominated on the other side, in which case it will be difficult no matter who is nominated. Obama versus McCain might be a problem area, but I actually don't see a path for that matchup to occur. If Obama does well in Iowa, then McCain won't win New Hampshire, and thus won't win the nomination. If Obama does not do well in Iowa, then McCain might win New Hampshire, but it won't matter because Obama won't win the nomination. We might get Obama or McCain, but we won't get Obama and McCain.

Also, electability is why I am only looking at the top three Democrats right now. At this late date, I don't see how anyone except Clinton, Obama or Edwards can win the primary. I also don't see how an endorsement of anyone else can promote progressive power in such a short time span.

In My Gut
Apart from policy and electability, I have long sought a candidate who would be able to forge the rising, younger, progressive, non-white and / or non-Christian coalition about which I have written, and a candidate who will work with, and use the language of, new progressive media. The former is clearly Obama, at least in terms of potential, as I have written on numerous occasions for quite a long time now. The latter is clearly John Edwards, considering his campaign's frequent use of the word progressive, adopting terms like neocon, not firing campaign bloggers when they were attacked by right wing media, and talking about fighting corporate interests. (Again, I am only looking at the top three here.) Clinton understand the threat of the conservative movement, and even coined the term "vast right-wing conspiracy," but during the campaign Edwards has been more vocal in the type of language I seek.

So, do I go with a figure who could potentially catalyze the type of coalition I seek, or with the candidate who stands with, and uses the language of, new progressive media? As I discussed a couple weeks ago, this is a difficult choice, and not one I with which I will ever be fully satisfied. However, in the end, I once again side with Edwards. Basically, this is because I don't think Obama is trying, or is even wants, to put together the non-white and / or non-Christian coalition I am talking about. While I want both goals, I feel as though improving the rhetorical position of progressivism is more achievable in this cycle, and I feel as though John Edwards is better at that than Obama and Clinton.

I hope that this post comprehensively explains my decision-making process in voting for Edwards, and why it isn't a clear enough, or satisfying enough, choice that I am willing to take it to the level of activism in the primary. Granted, I have conducted some activism, since I donated to two Presidential campaigns this cycle, Edwards and Richardson, and since I appeared in a television commercial for Bill Richardson.

The nature or level of this endorsement probably won't satisfy anyone, including Edwards supporters. I should also note that my order or support hasn't changed at all in about two years. During 2006, Feingold was my first choice, and Edwards was consistently my second choice. An Edwards-Feingold, Edwards-Spitzer, or Edwards-Sherrod Brown ticket would work for me. I don't really worry that waiting this long reduces my influence on the process, because I'm happy with the impact I made on residual forces in the campaign. There is only so much one person can focus on in a campaign, and if I had to do it all over again, I would still focus mainly on policy and progressivism in general. For me, those are always more important than any single candidate. Besides, I honestly was undecided during most of the campaign, variously moving between Dodd, Edwards, Obama, Richardson and unsure, not to mention frequent changes in my second place choices (which, at different times, briefly included Clinton and Kucinich). If a blogger loses his or her honestly, then she or he loses everything.

I don't begrudge people who are undecided, generally dissatisfied with the field, and / or who support different candidates. If Al Gore had run, I probably would have supported him. If Feingold had run, I probably would have moved to Wisconsin. If Dodd or Richardson had gotten more traction, this entire equation might have changed. If it comes down to Clinton vs. Obama, I think I will cheer for Obama. On the morning of January 3rd, I'll put up the one and only Open Left poll on the Democratic nomination.

It was a difficult decision to make. In the comments, feel free to offer alternative rationales.

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Would that most DKos candidate diaries (0.00 / 0)
reflected this much thought.  Some compelling rationale here.  I'm very slightly leaning toward Obama because I have a sense he's playing a deeper game here with his holding progressives at arm's length.  Not real comfortable with basing my decision on such intuition but as you sort of infer, there's no one in the field making a completely airtight case for progressives.

Evidence? (4.00 / 1)
I have a sense he's playing a deeper game here with his holding progressives at arm's length

Just out of curiousity, what leads you to this conclusion?  Other than wishful thinking (no disrespect intended).

[ Parent ]
He Hates Us, Ergo He Must Be Smart! (0.00 / 0)
Because Karl Rove hates us, too!

(That damn sure must be intuitive, because there isn't a whit of logic about it!)

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Lol (0.00 / 0)
I hope I get to meet you someday, Paul.  You are right on.

[ Parent ]
I started off with Hillary, now support Obama, but I also am cheering for (0.00 / 0)
Edwards right now.

I don't think he's viable for the long slog toward the nomination and he's probably dead in a general because of campaign finance limits.  Thus, realistically, it's really between HRC and Obama.  And, of course, I'd rather "roll the dice" and see if the unknown Obama will turn out to be progressive, than pick Hillary, knowing for certain she's not a progressive.

But, insofar as my issues are concerned and what I feel is best for our movement, not to mention the addition of the excitement factor, I would LOVE to see Edwards win this thing in Iowa.  It would be fun if Edwards finishes first.

For some reason, it seems that Obama has some pathological and deep-seated psychological need for Republicans to like him.  Seriously.  It's weird.

It will be interesting to see .. (4.00 / 2)
where the money-cons put their money ... I thought it would be Romney ... but if it's not him ... then it will likely be McCain(since they want to stop Huckabee) .. problem with that is McCain has the same handicap as Edwards .. It will be interesting to watch ... I don't think the whole accepting matching funds deal is the big deal people are making it out to be .. does anyone really think commercials are going on air before September?  Why waste money.  Who ever wins on our side, it will be important to get out the vote.  Also, didn't Edwards promise to make campaign stops in all 50 states if he won the nomination?

[ Parent ]
You're right. It could be really fun on both sides. (0.00 / 0)
If McCain looks good on the GOP side, then we have zero risk whatever in nominating Edwards.  And, of course, if the GOP sees that WE may nominated Edwards, it makes it easier for them to take a chance on McCain.

It seems to me that the GOP does not want to nominate McCain, but will do so in a heartbeat to stop Mike Huckabee.

I actually cannot think of a way this race on both sides can get any nailbiteier.

For some reason, it seems that Obama has some pathological and deep-seated psychological need for Republicans to like him.  Seriously.  It's weird.

[ Parent ]
McCain's fundraising certainly has picked up as of late (0.00 / 0)

[ Parent ]
I, of course, like your choice (0.00 / 0)
But yeah I find  your post light on why you choose who you choose. It's not because I wanted a ringing endorsement, but again because I found you didn't cover indepth your reasoning and that I think helps others on a deeper level.

Someone above attacks D Kos, but here is one of the best diaries on a candidate I've seen a while, and it's over at D Kos:


Nice shortcut (0.00 / 0)
I criticized candidate diaries on DailyKos.  You infer it to be an "attack" on the entire site.


Now you see why criticism of candidate diary authors is a teensy bit valid?

[ Parent ]
glad to see thats the most important (0.00 / 0)
take away for you about my comment- how it relates to you.

[ Parent ]
I provided links (0.00 / 0)
To several diaries that more fully expand upon my reasoning in each of the areas outlined above.

[ Parent ]
okay sorry didn't realize with the blue (0.00 / 0)
forget soemtimes those are links

[ Parent ]
on that subject... (0.00 / 0)
...I thought this one made one of the best and most fundamental cases for Obama: http://www.openleft....

[ Parent ]
I agree (0.00 / 0)
I would have expected a little more analysis.

The central question that any progressive has to answer is why they are supporting someone who voted for the War.

I struggled with this question ALOT. 

Equally important, I think the significance of someone from the left beating Clinton is enourmous.  In fact, I actually think this is the nomination fight of this generation.

[ Parent ]
you make a BIG mistake by having the war as a prog litmus test. (0.00 / 0)
I am against the war, but it isn't my number one issue.  in fact, i'm way more of a UHC and trade voter than I am a war voter.  and i am pretty lefty.

don't project YOUR definition of the left onto everyone else.

For some reason, it seems that Obama has some pathological and deep-seated psychological need for Republicans to like him.  Seriously.  It's weird.

[ Parent ]
This article (0.00 / 0)
Plus the links to the other articles where I discussed my thoughts on this process come out at over 10,000 words.

I'm sure what level of detail you want from me. This is mainly a summary of my thought process, with supporting links to several other longer articles I wrote on this subject. Those explain each point in more detail. 

[ Parent ]
Because The Future Isn't In The Past??? (4.00 / 3)
The central question that any progressive has to answer is why they are supporting someone who voted for the War.

With the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, everyone in the Senate but Wayne Morse and Ernest Gruening supported the Vietnam War, along with everyone who voted in the House. So all the Senators and congressmembers who later turned against it were just what?  Chopped liver?

George McGovern, in particular.  How could any progressive supoport him in 1972?  He voted for war in '64!

The fact is, people can make horrendous mistakes, and still be good people, and still go on to do great things.

I can't for the life of me understand why we want to simplify our thinking to the point where we're as stupid as dittoheads.  If you want to do that to yourself, then fine.  But please don't try to tell the rest of the progressive universe they have to be equally simpleminded.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
frankly, and this will come (4.00 / 1)
across as insulting to those who do simplify it as you describe, I feel this is less about the vote, and more about justification of candidate choice after the emotional fac of whom they support.

[ Parent ]
I am for Edwards (0.00 / 0)
But I find the vote Iraq of singular importance, since it set in motion a series of disasters. 

The '64 vote was far different: opposition to the War was much more widespread in 2003 than in '64.  There are plenty of potential candidates who voted against the Iraq War. 

I am for Edwards.  But before I came to that conclusion I had to get comfortable with his vote for the AUMF.

Frankly I am surprised I have to defend the importance of that vote in deciding whom to support. 

[ Parent ]
I am somewhere in between you two (0.00 / 0)
I'm an Edwards supporter who first had to come to terms with his war vote. I didn't even give him a second look in 2004. It was only after his apology in 2005 that I even looked at him very closely, and it took some time for me to believe he was serious about wanting to end the war. Edwards' support for Kerry-Feingold (while Obama criticized it) was probably a turning point in that regard.

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

[ Parent ]
Well, Sure! (4.00 / 3)
I'm not endorsing the fact that Edwards voted for the AUMF.  I think there's a very significant difference between  Edwards and Clinton in this regard.  And I think it's precisely the issue of how people respond to tragic mistakes that should concern us.

If Obama hadn't triangulated himself into the bosom of the Versailles punditalkcrazy with his slaps at the anti-war movement, his beligerance toward Iran, and his undermining of efforts to defund the Iraq war, then he would have retained a clear margin of moral authority over Edwards on the issue.  But he not only squandered his moral authority, he gave people good reason to question his judgment and his intentions going forward, at the same time that Edwards gave good reason to believe he'd learned his lessons.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Bad Comparison (0.00 / 0)
If I didn't respect you as much as I do, Paul, I would think you were being intentionally disingenuous here.

The problem isn't that Edwards voted for the bill because he thought it was the right thing to do.  The problem is he voted for it, at least in part, for political cover, just like Kerry and Clinton.  He as much as admitted that in his biography.  And this was an authorization for war.

BTW, I don't know if you've seen this, but the Boston Globe published the responses of all the presidential candidates to several questions about their positions on the constitutional prerogatives of the executive.  Here are the responses of Obama, Clinton, and Edwards (login required).

I don't know exactly what Edwards was going for but I have to say I found his dodginess a bit disconcerting.

[ Parent ]
Which biography is that? (0.00 / 0)
Shrummy made this charge in his own biography, a charge that John and Elizabeth, along with other staff, strongly dispute.

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

[ Parent ]
Sorry (0.00 / 0)
My bad - it was Schrum.  But it's still a shallow comparison.

[ Parent ]
No, It's NOT A Shallow Comparison (4.00 / 1)
Though it would be, if I were using it differently, to be sure.

The situations do not have to be identical for my point to be valid: the significance of past mistakes--even tragically bad ones--has to be understood in terms of how people deal with them going forward.  The ways in which they learn from, and atone for past mistakes are a vital part of how we rightly judge their probable future performance.  And that future performance is what elections ought to be all about.

You would be perfectly justified in calling it a shallow comparison if I were trying to draw more specific and/or determinative lessons.  But I'm not.  I'm not doing the "Oh my God, this is Hitler, and you're all Neville Chamberlin!" thing. The lessons are ones that should not even need an example in the first place.

Again, recall the context.  fladem wrote:

The central question that any progressive has to answer is why they are supporting someone who voted for the War.

This is what I was responding to.  And as a response to that claim, the comparison was not shallow at all.  Years after a war was started under false pretenses, the central question for any progressive was not why they were "supporting someone who voted for the War."  The central question was about the future, not the past.  The past must always be reckoned with (cue William Faulkner), but how candidates have evolved is part of the past as well.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Holy Karl Rove! Is this an Obama supporter accusing (0.00 / 0)
Edwards of acting out of cowardice and political expediency?????? Witha all that moxie, you should consider running yourself! Between the bankruptcy bill, PATRIOT Act extension, Iraq funding, and or course the de facto declaration of war on Iran, your guy has turned U.S. senate waffling into a high art. He makes Mitt Romney look principled and resolute. Thank you for the comic relief. ROTFLMAO!

[ Parent ]
What's Dodgy About His Answers??? (4.00 / 1)
You're going to have to point out some specific examples, because I just don't see it.  What he was going for was pretty damn, clear, so far as I could tell.  For instance:

7. If Congress defines a specific interrogation technique as prohibited under all circumstances, does the president's authority as commander in chief ever permit him to instruct his subordinates to employ that technique despite the statute?

It is hard to believe that the president and his supporters are engaged in a debate about how much torture we should have. The United States should never torture, for several reasons: because it is not the American way, because it undermines our moral authority in the world, because it places our troops at risk, and because it does not work. I strongly oppose George Bush's possible veto of the Congressional bill prohibiting torture.

A four-pronged stance against torture, covering morality and pragmatics, concern for our own core values as well as the opinons of humanity.  It seems pretty clear what he's going for here:  a complete repudiation of the Bush Administration.

Oh, wait....

9. Do you agree or disagree with the statement made by former Attorney General Gonzales in January 2007 that nothing in the Constitution confers an affirmative right to habeas corpus, separate from any statutory habeas rights Congress might grant or take away?

I disagree.

Now, that's dodgy!

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
With Hesitation (0.00 / 0)
Paul, I will respond to your question but not without first asking you to please apply the same critical standard to his responses that you would apply to any candidate for president, Democrat or Republican:

Question number 7, that you quote, is a perfect example.  The question is about the president's authority as commander in chief relative to statutory law.  Nowhere in his response does Edwards address that question.  He says he can't believe we're even having this debate; he says the United States should never torture for various good reasons; and he says he doesn't like the idea that George Bush might veto a Congressional bill proscribing torture.  But he never answers the fundamental question about the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches.  And he does this to varying degrees on all but question 9, also quoted in your post.

All of which begs the question: why is he so carefully dancing around the structural aspects of presidential power?

There may be a benign explanation for his approach, but I can't find a reading of his answers that doesn't strike me as either disturbingly opaque or patently condescending.  Frankly, they seem uncomfortably similar to something that would come out of George Bush's press office in the way that they subvert primary purpose with emotive deflection.

[ Parent ]
Edwards did apologize .. (0.00 / 0)
which is a start .. and besides .. it might be a bigger issue if more than one of the major candidates was against it from the start

[ Parent ]
Welcome aboard the Freedom Train! (0.00 / 0)
Edwards is the best and brightest of the candidates. He also has the best executive skills as witness his campaign has not put foot wrong.

Edwards understands that NOW is the time. We cannot wait any longer to start implementing the well-known solutions to you five symptoms.

Edwards/Obama 08!

The ReThug party of Perverts, Thieves and Murderers won't know what hit them!

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

Obama ain't never gonna be anyone's veep pick. (0.00 / 0)
He doesn't want the number two.  So you might as well change your sig.

For some reason, it seems that Obama has some pathological and deep-seated psychological need for Republicans to like him.  Seriously.  It's weird.

[ Parent ]
Gee..... (0.00 / 0)
And here naive, stupid me thought that Senator 'Hope' was all about bringing 'healing and compassion' to the country so we could all live together in peace and harmony!

Damn, how could I have missed the fact that, like Clinton who no longer takes questions from the audience, this election thingy is all about the candidate's monumental ego!


Look again that ain't my sig line pal.

Peace, Health and Prosperity for Everyone.

[ Parent ]
generational shift (0.00 / 0)
I think that you are on the wrong side of a generational shift that is underway and if successful will usher in a new era in American politics.

However if Edwards were to win I will happily support him. If Hillary prevails, I may quit the party altogether.

I've written about that shift at great length (0.00 / 0)
And, as I noted, I don't think Obama is pushing for it himself, even though he clearly is the candidate with the most potential to pull it together.

[ Parent ]
Twentysomething for Edwards! (0.00 / 0)
Count me as part of a generational "shift" that will actually result in CHANGE, rather than image.

God, I hope Edwards wins.  Please!

[ Parent ]
Really Good Dope (0.00 / 0)
I think that you are on the wrong side of a generational shift that is underway and if successful will usher in a new era in American politics.

I think you are smoking some really good dope, and I want to know where to get some.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
I am VERY worried about the question of electability (0.00 / 0)
In my view the likely nominee of the GOP is McCain. 

This will be a tough fight that will have to be won on populist grounds.  The candidate best positioned to make  that race is Edwards.  Clinton cannot - issues like NAFTA will make it difficult for her to be creadible on the issue.  Obama is, I think, just not comfortable with running a populist campaign.

But any discussion of Edwards and electability needs to meet head on the question of how well he will do among African Americans.  Edwards did poorly with this group in the 2004 primaries, and I worry about his ability to generate the turnout necessary to win key states like Florida.

You Do Realize That Edwards Is A Southerner, Right??? (4.00 / 2)
And that Florida is at least, oh about 50% a Southern state?  Which means that he could lose every single Southern state, and still force the GOP to spend so many resources pulling it off that he waltzes away with virtually everything else.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
My hope (0.00 / 0)
would be he runs better in the Panhandle and rural Florida than either Clinton or Obama.  For a Democrat to win Florida heavy turnout among African Americans is a must.  This cannot be taken for granted: the last two Democratic Candidates for Governor struggled to get excite this group.  On the whole I think Edwards is the best candidate in Florida, but it is important to mention his possible weaknesses as well. 

Florida is trending mildly Republican, and I think it will be tough to win, though it is far more winnable than any other state below the Mason-Dixon (with the possible exceptions of Virginia and Arkansas). 

[ Parent ]
Having Lived In Gainesville For Several Years In the 70s (0.00 / 0)
I think it's pretty well a given that he'll run better from the Panhandle, all the way down into Alligator Alley.  That's because I think it's a given that he'll run from the Panhandle, all the way down into Alligator Alley.

As for the African-American vote, I do think he will have to work on it.  But given his whole "two Americas" theme, I don't think that his success with African-Americans is going to be significantly distinguishable from his campaign as a whole.

Florida will be specifically tough, since the state-level Dems in Florida seem to have been particularly inept in dealing both with their minority legislators and the issues impacting minority communities.  I don't know what they're doing.  Trying to make California look good by comparison?

But I think Edwards should easily overcome that, or else there will have been deeper problems with his campaign.

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
Many black people have a well-founded mistrust for authority and (0.00 / 0)
consequently tend to be very astute political consumers. Pointing out the fact that Obama's campaign has shied away from the issues that most closely affect us as a group (See, e.g.,"critical" Obama supporter Cornel West) would be a good way to chip away at any irrational exhuberance for a corporatist establishment candidate in populist drag.

[ Parent ]
He DID win South Carolina, taking the largest cohort (4.00 / 1)
of non-white women and the second largest cohort (after Kerry, of all people)  of non-white men, with Al Sharpton on the ballot.

Which reminds me of something Sharpton said during the 2004 campaign. When asked if he thinks he could "deliver the white vote" he wondered out loud why he should be held to a higher standard than his opponents, pointig out that white Democratic candidates have been unable to deliver the white vote (at least not in the South) for decades without ever once being taken to task.

[ Parent ]
SC was the exception to the rule (0.00 / 0)
Edwards is the first major southern candidate to lose the african american vote to a white northerner (Carter won it in '76, Clinton won it in '92 ).  Kerry beat him everywhere but SC, and by larger margins that he did among whites.

[ Parent ]
That's because Edwards had to split (0.00 / 0)
the Southerner candidate with Wes Clark in Tenn and Virgina, the two other Southern states.

West Michigan Rising: Progressives On the West-End of the Third Coast

[ Parent ]
Jaded (0.00 / 0)
Edwards is best on paper and it's hard to say what he'd do in the case of a Democratic trifecta barring unforeseen Republican bullshit. The problem is there's always unforeseen Republican bullshit and I don't think he's tough enough.

Obama's sexism and homophobia even if it's just his campaign managers is an extreme turnoff.

I'm not as idealistic as everyone here and would be satisfied with a continuation of Clinton/Gore. The country was going in the right direction especially if a Gore administration had kicked in and I get the sense eight years of Hillary Clinton would be more progressive than Clinton/Gore. She would also never throw women and minorities under the bus, i.e., she wouldn't put women and minorities issues on the back burner like our first 43 presidents did. Is Edwards different in this regard? Would Elizabeth Edwards make a difference? The first 43 presidents had wives too.

Banned for posting five straight diaries.

Message (0.00 / 0)
I wrote this a year ago regarding Edward's courting of the progressive base:

John is slick. He's polished. He voted for the war, the Patriot Act, and other legislation that just bothers me. He is a consummate politician. That's why I hate it that he's my favorite. He's been through this before. He's been vetted. He's got a really good message in "two Americas." But why he's the guy I'm backing until someone shows something a great deal better is that he's chosen to embrace the base. He's been the most outspoken in this cycle of the candidates going after Bush and the war. He's changed the vocabulary of the debate by adding the "McCane Doctrine" to our lexicon. He's come right out and said his vote for the war was a mistake. No equivocating. No justification. Just that he screwed up. That's a big sloppy wet kiss for the base.

Is all this talk to the base genuine? I don't care. He's a politician running for office. He's chosen to take the left road, not the middle. He's embracing the ideas that get the base excited. In this we see if the Democratic base can elect a president just as the Republican base did. He may prove to be no better than Bush was for his own base, but of the above candidates, I can't help but believe if he runs on a base-friendly platform and doesn't deliver he will be shown to be a charlatan fairly quickly and shamed into some sort of base friendly action. But the DLC centrist "electability" candidate model will be dealt a harsh, if not mortal, blow should he get the nomination

I'm less skepticle and more comfortable with Edwards today than I was a year ago. Many of my fears and reservations, especially the "slick" part, have been addressed to more than my satisfaction to the point that an Edwards nomination makes me very hopeful for our future. I sure hope he can pull through in Iowa in such a way to get a significant bounce in NH.

A year later, Edwards is now solidly my candidate.

If teaching is so easy, then by all means get your degree, pass your certification test(s), get your license, and see if you can last longer than the five years in the classroom 50% of those who enter the profession never make it to.

This Is A Very Good Point (0.00 / 0)
You start off saying, "Well, at least if he's pandering, he's pandering in the right direction, and doing a pretty good job of it."  Which I can understand--a sort of jaded realism. You are clear about your own doubts, going in with eyes wide open.  A year later you are much more comfortable. Comfortable enough to share the doubts you had coming in.

I would respect this sort of post coming from any candidate's supporters if it actually rang true.  But given Obama's dodginess, his supporters would have a particularly hard time, since his strongest progressive credentials came early, and it's been inceasingly... nuanced, shall we say, as time goes on.  (Cue homophobic preacher routine.)

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

[ Parent ]
You hit the nail on the head (0.00 / 0)
I would prefer someone who started somewhat further away from positions and who is now moving towards me over someone who started out close to me but moved away.

Join us at the Missouri community blog Show Me Progress!

[ Parent ]
Chris, you've followed my trajectory exactly! (0.00 / 0)
I was supporting Obama for most of the month. I was even going to go to New hampshire for him. I'm still going to New Hampshire...for Edwards. As much as I like Obama, he is holding progressivism at arm's length. I understand this, particularly as he is black and will face an extra magnitude of criticism because of it, but it disappoints me nonetheless.

Edwards, as well as Kucinich, has driven the field to the left on health care, Iraq (yes, John was first to take a hard line on getting us out), and really most of the issues. Even if the odds are against him, we NEED TO RAISE AWARENESS on these issues.

Cheers, and good luck to the party.


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