Why Edwards For VP-The Growing Logic

by: Paul Rosenberg

Sun Jun 22, 2008 at 20:04


First off, I want to reiterate that I am not personally invested in Edwards for VP.   I am, however, invested in bulding thr progressive coaltion within and beyond the Democratic Party. Right now, there are compelling reasons to support Edwards for VP as a means for building the progressive coalition.  If others have arguments for other candidates within this framework, I will be happy to entertain them as well.  What I want to stress here is the development of arguments that help clarify the strategic options and openings that can help advance a progressive agenda, and those that can make it more difficult, or simply distract from it.

(1) The Deep Reinforcement Argument: Essence.  The basic argument for Edwards is that he would be a deeply reinforcing vice presidential candidate,  Rather than "balancing" Obama in a way that inadvertantly but necessarily highlights his weaknesses, Edwards would reinforce Obama's strengths-just as Chris has argued that a VP candidate should, as first explained in his diary, "On Choosing A Vice-President".   In today's nationally-integrated media environment, every message at least potentially goes everywhere (YouTube, anyone?), thus magnifying the advantages of a reinforcing candidate, while magnifying the downside of a balancing one.  

However, Edwards is not a simple reinforcing candidate, as I argued in my earlier diary, "The Logic of An Obama/Edwards Ticket--"Balancing" AS Reinforcing"....

Paul Rosenberg :: Why Edwards For VP-The Growing Logic
There are differences between the two candidate.  Obama stresses unity, hope and opportunity, while Edwards stresses the barriers that have arisen to divide us.  But in his endorsement speech, Edwards powerfully demonstrated how their two distinct messages complemented one another, creating a deeper underlying unity.  This is, without question the essence of what a deeply compelling progressive vision for the 21at century should be-a combination of the awareness of injustice to be overcome and of our capacity for renewal and transformation.

(2) The Deep Reinforcement Argument: Demographics.  From Chris's 2004 post-election analysis, specifically, the diary "Eureka! Or How To Break the Republican Majority Coalition": What we need to build a center-left Democratic majority is to marry the existing progressive Democratic base with non-ideological reformers-most visible as a block in the 19% that supported Ross Perot in 1992.  These voters were largely brought into the Republican Party via the issues highlighted in the 1994 "Contract with America" that specifically excluded the relgious right agenda.  After almost 15 years of bait-and-switch, this entire block is ripe for conversion to the Democratic Party.

Obama presents us with an unexpected path towards this end-a candidate who has stronger appeal to the independent-oriented reform contingent than to the Democratic base. While this can pay huge dividends in assuring that these independent voters feel genuinely included, it shifts the focus of concern to maintaining the loyalty and enthusiasm of the base.  While Edwards is not necessarily the only candidate who can do this, he is clearly one of the few nationally-known candidates with a record of doing so.  His strength in closing the Democratic swing in the SUSA VP polls, which I blogged about last weekend, is the latest demonstration of this.  This argument was previously developed at length in my diary, "Chris Bowers, Psychic Pundit! (Part I of The Deep Logic of Edwards For VP)".

(3) The "Whistling Past Dixie" Argument.  In his 2006 book, Whistling Past Dixie, Tom Schaller advanced the argument that is was strategically foolish to try to rebuild the Democratic Party on its old foundations, by competing for the Southern white vote that Republicans had captured in recent decades.  He was not arguing that such voters should be ignored, but rarther re-prioritized. Making them more important than the existing base and more important than other prospective prospects, particularly in the West, was a recipe for continued failure, Schaller argued.  The emphasis on the West is compatible with (2) above, since the reformist agenda has its strongest appeal outside the South.

The cartoon version of this argument is simple: Let the GOP have the bulk of those voters on their increasingly rightwing terms, and let them run off a cliff together.  However, Schaller was notarguing that we should wrtite off the South entirely.  He was talking about the building of national coalitions, and he foresaw the opening of opportunities in the South over time as well-but beginning in the outer South where demographic trends were most favorable.

Obama has confirmed Schaller's thesis, at the same time he has capitalized on the New England-based, but westward-stretching reformer demographic that Chris identified in his "Eureka!" diary.

Superficially, this would not seem to be much of an argument for John Edwards.  However, it actually is given that Obama's candidacy has already had unforseen consequences.

Edwards represents an indigenous white progressive tradition.  Thus he combines being a Southern white male-thus conveying cultural comfort to Southern voters-with being an outspoken progressive, thus not serving to undercut Obama as a typical "balancing" southern white male-such as Sam Nunn-would.  The building of local infrastructure, and the promotion of an indigenous Southern progressive movement  are forms of Southern political activity that are entirely consistent with Schaller's thesis.  They do not involve sacrificing the national party's identity or resources in a vain quest to recapture voters who now part of the core GOP constitutuency.  Instead, they are doing the unglamorous work of creating a new South in which we can win on our own terms.  

Edwards would simply accelerates that process in an unexpected way, just as Obama has impact the outreach to the independent reform block in an unexpected way.  In both cases, the basic analytical framework remains intact, but the way the dynamic plays out was unforeseen.  It's actually a confirmation of these frameworks that they still make sense, despite unexpected scenarios.  This shows that their analysis is based on a deeper level of understanding than scenario analysis.

(4) The Electoral Strength Argument.  I have laid out the strength of Edwards as shown in Survey USA's polls at great length.  The strength is so clear and overwhelming that it is pointless to deny it, but a number of excuses have been raised.  Before considering them, however, it's also important to remember that throughout 2007 Edwards routinely did better than Clinton or Obama in head-to-head matchups with possible GOP opponents. For example, CNN reported on a poll conducted December 6-9, 2007:

On the Democratic side, Edwards performs best against each of the leading Republicans. In addition to beating Huckabee by 25 percent and McCain by 8 percent, the North Carolina Democrat beats Romney by 22 percentage points (59 percent to 37 percent) and Giuliani by 9 percentage points (53 percent to 44 percent).

Furthermore, Edwards was the only one who then would be McCain:

The poll also shows that Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona would do best against leading Democrats. He beats Clinton by 2 percentage points (50 percent to 48 percent), ties Obama (48 percent to 48 percent) and loses to Edwards by a smaller margin (8 points) than the other Republican candidates do.

These polls played no part in the nominating process.  What dominated there was the ability of Clinton and Obama to raise much more money than Edwards-hardly a surprise given his strong populist message.  But during a general election, when Edwards doesn't have to worry about that, it is only logical to expect that the strength he showed throuhgout 2007 should continue in 2008.  Thus, the SUSA VP polls should not be seen in isolation.  Rather, they need to viewed as a confirmation that the strength Edwards showed in head-to-head competition in 2007 continues to hold up as a VP candidate in 2008.

The arguments that attempt to minimize the impact of Edwards polling strength tend to fall into three broad camps:

(i) Forget the polls.  Response: (A) Why?  If we want to win, and polls point to an obvious way to do that, why should we ignore them? (B) See arguments 1-3 above.

(ii) The polls only measure name recognition.  Whoever is nominated will have name recognition, so forget the polls. Response: (A) See #i. (B) See my diary from earlier today, "The Case For Edwards-Refuting the "Name Recognition" Canard".  What is being measured is Brand recognition, a much stronger phenomena.  As Blue November explained in the comment that made this distinction clear to me:

I think some people have confused Brand recognition with Name recognition. (Yes, I work in marketing). Brand recognition includes not just knowing what a product's name is or what it does but it also inspires emotion and feeling. Think of the difference between "car", "Volvo" and "Lexus" - a vehicle for transport, a "safe" car, a "luxurious" car. We can apply this to talk show host, Jerry Springer, Oprah or color, yellow, gold. Each word, each idea elicits feelings around it. And the deeper the brand recognition, the more loyal the consumer.  Also, brands build over time and change over time, so it's a bit tricky to refer back to 2004 as a mark against Edwards as his brand as evolved over four years and as more and more people have (sadly) came to see the truth of the "two Americas". It's fair to assume that the power of the Edwards' brand would only increase from now until November.

Anyway, obviously any Obama VP pick would instantly gain increased name recognition.  It is very unlikely, however, that they would be able to generate as popular a "brand" as John Edwards in such a short time (now until November). Companies spend millions of dollars trying to brand products or talent.  And one incident (like Tom Cruise couch-jumping) can undo years or decades of branding. This is also why possible VP picks go through rather intrusive vetting processes. [Which Edwards has been through twice]

(iii) Clinton deserves it. Response: (A) This reasoning has never prevailed in the past, and has to be viewed as an ad hoc ploy.  The only real moral legitimacy it has depends on Clinton's gender, but there are much more substantive things that can and should be done on this score.  (B) Clinton is not a reinforcing candidate, which violates the Deep Reinforcement Argument (#1 above). (C) Clinton attacked Obama in ways that GOP is certain to attack him in the fall.  Having her on the ticket with him will ad considerable to weight to those arguments-a headache that he simply doesn't need.

(iv) Obama needs a strong foreign policy/defense running mate. Response: (A) This violates the Deep Reinforcement Argument (#1 above). (B) Obama can handle McCain on defense without VP assistance.  Indeed, McCain is a paper tiger on defense. He had a bad record in the Navy (a reverse ace, lost 5 planes), and has no command experience.  He has supported Bush religious the last two years, and repudiated whatever sound ideas he may have embraced in the past.  He has also been terrible on GI and veterans issues. But perhaps most importantly, he simply doesn't know what he is talking about, and the longer this campaign goes on, the harder this becomes to ignore. (C) Most of the Democratic foreign policy/defense establishment does not have a very good record.  What's needed is a clean break with most of them, not more of the same.  Wesley Clark may be the exception that proves the rule, but his strength on paper has not been tested in polling.  He clearly should play an important role in the campaign, and get a high cabinet post-such as NSC Advisor.  But without strong evidence that he can deliver as well as Edwards, the question is-why gamble?

(v) Obama needs X in order to deliver Y. Response: There are endless variations of this that are simply special pleading by candidate partisans, mindless Versailles spin or both.  The SUSA VP matchups show that Obama/Edwards can crush the best that the GOP has to throw at them.  Nothing more is needed. Why gamble on the unkown, when you don't have to?

(5) The Evolving Dynamic of the Campaign.  Finally, as I noted in my earlier diary today, "Presidential Race Progress--Forecasts May 23 Compared to June 20", over the past four weeks, Edwards home region has clearly emerged as a potential battleground deep inside enemy territory, with two states-Florida and his native North Carolina-moving to toss-up and a third, Georgia, moving from solid McCain to lean McCaind.  There is now no solid McCain state on the East Coast, and only two that are lean McCain:

The softness created on the Southern coast creates yet another strong argument for Edwards as VP. With that region already as soft as it is, Edwards could be used heavily their to keep McCain pinned down and spending incredibly scarce resources defending states that he simply cannot afford to lose. In turn, this would make it virtually a cakewalk to take Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico. That's the election right there. Any Southern coast states that Edwards manaeged to tip over into the win column would be pure gravy. And that's not even considering Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota and Montana, none of which McCain will be adequately funded to defend.

In addition, as was also noted in a Quick Hit this week, both the Hispanic and Black caucuses released lists of their recommened VP choices this week.  Edwards was the only candidate to make both lists.

Conclusion

Summing up all the above, the conclusion is inescapable-as much as humanly possible to predict the future, Edwards is clearly strongly positioned to help us win in November, and he is the only candidate who is publicly proven to do so.   This is a reflection of underlying logic reflected in points 1-3 above, as well as polling and endorsement data from 4 & 5.  The only coherent reason for rejecting Edwards would appear to be either hostility or indifference towards populist economics-at the very least, and possibly an even broader hostility toward progressive politics.  But after three decades of increasing income inequality, hostility or indifference towards populist economics is simply delusional. The argument should be about the best ways to implement populist economics in ways that synergize with other important policy goals.  And the way to ensure that such arguments take place is to have Edwards as our Vice President.


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Bravo! (4.00 / 5)
Now send this to Obama's personal email address :).

All of you guys are really good. (4.00 / 5)
All I can do to thank you for all of your hard work is to promote OpenLeft everywhere I go.  

[ Parent ]
Yeah ... (4.00 / 3)
but I only think he accepts email from Scarlett Johansson at that account   ;-)

[ Parent ]
i get the sense (0.00 / 0)
you are starting to lean "Edwards" as a vp choice.

Ya Think? (4.00 / 4)
Though truth be told, there are other people I could support.  But there just isn't hard data for me to rely on as an advocate.

For example, if Obama has internal polling that shows Clark doing as well as Edwards (I tend to doubt this is so, but say for the sake of argument he did), and he makes his decision for Clark based partly on that, then I would regard it as defensible, and more compatible with my arguments than not.

But, of course, I have no such data.  All I know is that Clark is a progressive, is a critical thinker, and handles himself pretty darned well in public.  Even though it would be more of a balancing choice than I would like, his positives would make it an acceptable choice for me, if it did not diminish our chances of winning a really solid victory in November.

So, the issue for me remains primarily the lack of data. Feingold would be similar.  You show me how he puts the hurt on McCain in North Carolina and Virginia, and I'm there.

"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 ]
Yeah I happen to think Clark would be a good candidate too (4.00 / 1)


[ Parent ]
the more Obama tacks to the center (4.00 / 6)
the more I get behind having John Edwards on the ticket.

I cast my primary ballot for Edwards, so I'm already very comfortable with him as a candidate, and I've also been arguing for Wes Clark lately, who I think brings a lot to the table in terms of helping get Obama elected.

But this FISA decision is no small deal, and Edwards may help keep things honest on some critical issues where, frankly, right now I don't know how Obama will stand if push comes to shove.  


i guess (4.00 / 2)
but doesn't Edwards Senate record suggest some skill at tacking to the center? Hey, maybe he reinforces that part of Obama!

[ Parent ]
nope, just ask President Kerry (2.00 / 4)
Lots of excellent analysis here, and in general I agree with the "reinforcement" theory of the VP selection - see Clinton/Gore 1992.  

Problems:

(1) Selecting John Edwards as VP will be an unoriginal, uninspiring choice - the last thing Obama needs is to be viewed as John Kerry redux - it already drives me crazy that the campaign uses Kerry so often as a TV representative. America (wrongly) views him as a loser.  I know there are passionate Edwards supporters (who are all already going to vote for Obama), but it's possible he'd make a much stronger Presidential candidate than VP candidate.  

(2) Edwards has aptly demonstrated his inability to carry the demographic of white working class voters.  He has failed in two primary seasons.  He failed as a VP nominee in '04. It used to be conventional wisdom that he couldn't have  been re-elected to his Senate seat in NC. I don't quite understand where his reputation as carrying that demographic comes from, except when it was assumed since he was the last white male candidate left in the primary this time that he must have the greatest appeal.

(3) Edwards voted for the war.

(4) Edwards doesn't add foreign policy heft.

(5) The $400 haircut.  

As a Clinton supporter in the primary, I don't really care whether or not Obama picks Hillary. Wes Clark would be a great choice, in my opinion.

Edwards might make a great AG or Solicitor General.


Sigh..... (4.00 / 5)
Have you read any of Paul's posts?

I guess it doesn't matter because you've demonstrated that any evidence we provide won't change your mind because this is a personal emotional decision for you and so facts don't matter.

I will say one thing though, in SC, the only state that had a primary and a large white working class population where Edwards was still competing, he did his best and won areas where white working class voters dominated the electorate.


[ Parent ]
That's the thing about these "community blogs" (4.00 / 1)
It's always safe to defend the poster, no matter how much nonsense is posted, because they run some blog.

For as much as bloggers whine about accountability in the media and wondering why people who said this and that about Iraq would happen, they do a shitty job of keeping score themselves.  

Your crystal ball is just as foggy as mine, my friend.


[ Parent ]
?????? (4.00 / 4)
Is it too much to ask someone to actually read the actual post they're trying to refute?

Your comment is pretty incomprehensible. What the heck does keeping score themselves have to do with any of this?

And as far as a crystal ball....well duh! But that's the whole point of using data in order to inform your arguments. Which Paul Rosenberg has done in spades and which SPMinOH did not at all.  


[ Parent ]
A Good Point In The Abstract (4.00 / 3)
But, really, the comment totally ignored my post.  It's pretty hard to argue with that.

So what's really going on here is not so much the dynamic you warn against, but simply a demand for some standards in argument making.

"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 ]
Yeah if you can explain to me what the haircut comment had to do with this (4.00 / 2)
post then it might matter. I am not agreeing just to agree. Ask Bowers or Stoller that.

[ Parent ]
I am troll rating you for the haircut comment (4.00 / 1)
If you are unable to make an argument at a level beyond that of a 2 year old, then I m going to treat you like one.

[ Parent ]
I LIKED The Haircut Comment (4.00 / 1)
It made things "perfectly clear," as one of America's greatest war criminals would say.

"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 troll rating you for the haircut comment (4.00 / 1)
If you are unable to make an argument at a level beyond that of a 2 year old, then I m going to treat you like one.

[ Parent ]
I hope you feel better. (4.00 / 2)
You obviously don't understand what "troll" means.  Pointing out a political vulnerability of someone, even if it contradicts the poster is not a "troll."

Generally, any argument, even at a purportedly 2 year old level, isn't trolling.

I don't know what you call people who feel like they have to enforce The Rules and defend a few electrons, but I'm sure there's some kind of joke about Napoleon and Viagra in there.

And, I guess if you troll rate for 12 year old jokes, you can go ahead and troll rate me too.  

Don't worry--I'll call 911 if I decide I can't live with the rejection anymore.


[ Parent ]
I am a lawyer too. (0.00 / 0)
I don't like over thinking things anymore because I am in the process of becoming a filmmaker. Sometimes being too analytical can miss the point. If you think that poster wrote that post to have a discussion, then you really believe that old lawyers joke- "Ask an engineer what's 2+2 and they will say 4, but ask a lawyer, and they will say whatever I can convince you and myself it is."  

[ Parent ]
Good Lord! (4.00 / 1)
Is that how lawyers tell that joke?

I head it like this:

"Ask an engineer what's 2+2 and they tell you 4. Ask a lawyer,  and they ask, 'What do you want it to be?'"

Shorter words, fewer words: funnier.
Longer words, more words: more realistic.

Always with the trade-offs.


"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 ]
yeah you caught me- I was trying to remember the wording. (0.00 / 0)


[ Parent ]
CW is wrong (4.00 / 4)
A poll just before the 2004 election showed Edwards beating Burr 52-48.

One could certainly argue based on that datum that the VP has very little influence on election results (and I do think that in the end Edwards' (and Sebelius', Rendell's, etc.) net effect would be only a few percentage points, not the outsize changes seen in SUSA VP polling.) But it's hard to argue that Edwards wouldn't be to at least some degree an electoral asset.

Given that he'd also make a pretty good president, that has to make him one of the best VP candidates we have,

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog


[ Parent ]
Burr (0.00 / 0)
Wow, that's some kind of esoteric poll. Aaron Burr was VP 200 years ago and I think he's dead. So what if a living Edwards beat a dead Burr in a hypothetical poll.

[ Parent ]
Did you forget your "snark" tag? (4.00 / 2)


[ Parent ]
Burrs (4.00 / 1)
Richard Burr was elected as a Repiblican in 2004 to the US Senate.  According to Wikipedia, Richard is a twelth cousin of Aaron Burr.  Wonder if he's related to Dick Cheney?

[ Parent ]
Oh but see that's the problem (4.00 / 1)
"Given that he'd also make a pretty good president, that has to make him one of the best VP candidates we have,"

these guys don't like Edwards and like someone else. But they can't just be intellectually honest and say that.  


[ Parent ]
I'm surprised that the future Prez argument didn't make it here... (4.00 / 1)
I think Bush picking Cheney, who said from the get-go that he never intended to succeed Bush to the presidency (and his polling numbers certainly square with that) has diminished the idea of picking someone who can step into the presidency in eight years. That tends to be the historical pattern at least (Bush I into Regean's shoes, Gore into Clinton's shoes if it hadn't been for the hanging chads).

So many of the proposed VP candidates would be McCain's age by the time eight years rolled around, and while the jokes may be funny on one's opponent, they might not seem so funny in 2016.

I somehow believe that Bush picked Cheney specifically so that he could spend all of his political capital without having to think about the future of his party or his VP's election chances, but, as sane people, we have to be thinking, "Who is going to succeed this revolution when Obama's eight years are up?" Do you want it to be a reinforcing person, who will carry on the fight in the same vein, or a balancing person, who will then shift the country in whatever direction he or she differs from Obama?

That is, unless, we want to be beating the bushes in eight years to come up with someone strong enough and well-known enough to unseat the 2012-2016 VP in the primaries, a definite risk.


[ Parent ]
I think (4) is the only valid criticism here. (4.00 / 3)
As for (1), Obama's differentiated himself from Kerry in enough other ways that a single decision -- even an important one like this -- won't be perceived by voters as Kerry II.  Besides, McCain's already pushed the "Carter II" mantra enough that flip-flopping from Carter to Kerry would be obvious.  

(2) I've never been sold on the idea of partitioning up the electorate into pat, well-defined boxes, like "white working-class voters".  Using Edwards' overall lack of success in the primaries as evidence of his performance with a particular demographic requires more evidence than you've presented here.

(3) That's true, but nearly everyone voted for the war, and if 50% of the Democratic primary voters were willing to vote for Clinton, who not only voted for the war, but refused to admit the vote was wrong; this is hardly a weakness for Edwards.  

(4) Tip of the iceberg:  Not only are both Obama and Edwards lacking in foreign policy credentials; they overlap in nearly every other area of experience -- both were once lawyers; both were senators for a single term; both have taken university positions; etc.  You call this a "problem"; Paul Rosenberg considers this a strength; he calls this "reinforcing" vs. "balancing".  I believe it's neither a strength nor a weakness, but a trade-off.  

(5) I agree with other posters that the haircut remark was uncalled-for; how nice it would be if the price of a haircut were in the top five of every politician's problems!


[ Parent ]
The Haircut proves Paul's point (4.00 / 5)
Everyone knows about the haircut and the house and many many people (from David Letterman to Jay Leno to Mike Huckabee) have made jokes about Edwards' vanity.  He's been called Breck Girl and the Secretary of Hair Dressing and there's the infamous youtube video.  So my point is that, EVERYONE knows Edwards "weakness" regarding him being seen as someone who is too into his appearance and yet people STILL want him to be Obama's VP.  That is a true testament to the power of Edwards' brand.  You know what's not great about it, but you still think that, overall, the brand has value. We know that Edwards has been able to withstand the critiques on his appearance. And we know that Americans think this rather harmless stuff.  We don't know how women will react to Webb's past comments, for example, which is why he presents an element of risk that Edwards does not.  

[ Parent ]
This same thing has been said of Obama (4.00 / 2)
that the primary not only built up the Democratic brand, but provided innoculation from certain attacks which were already vetted in the primary such as Wright, etc.  

[ Parent ]
damn post- let me try again (0.00 / 0)
Clinton./Gore 1992? Both lawyers. Both running on a change agenda (well for 1992). Both SOuthern white males. etc.

[ Parent ]
Clinton/Gore 1992 (0.00 / 0)
was a very special case, in that there was a significant independent candidate that year.  Perot was strongest in so-called "red" states: of the ten states in which he did the best, three (Maine, Oregon, Minnesota) were "blue", and seven (Alaska, Utah, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming) were "red".  Perot pulled enough votes from Bush in these states that Clinton carried Montana and Nevada (as well as a number of states not in the top ten).  Perot did not draw enough votes from Clinton to swing any of the traditionally blue states into the Bush column.  

For this reason, I'd say that comparisons with 1992 would have to be taken with a skeptical eye -- it's hard to isolate the effect of Clinton's choice of running made from the effect of the independent spoiler.


[ Parent ]
Fair critique (0.00 / 0)
But, it doesn't per se mean that one must approach politics from a  balancing perspective alone. My main point about Clinton/Gore is that its not unprecedent as an idea. I think Rosenberg is over selling when he talks about reinforcing (because its presenting these ideas as opposites when they may not be). I don't think its either/or. To me, that's where Bowers makes his err. the either/or formulation.

I think the strongest argments are where Edwards will have an appeal can be seen as both balancing and reinforcing. The SE seaboard is certainly a powerful one when one realizes that in 2004 it wasn't a toss up area in terms of the polling data. But now it is, and therefore any small percentage change at the very least puts McCain on the defensive.

I also think that I would use a different term than balance or reinforce. I would say Edwards provides clarity or enhances. What I mean by this is that when Obama talks of change, for the voters who are persuaded by these sorts of arguments, Edwards provides the economic populist argument for what change to Obama means. It puts some meat on the bone in way that a 5 month campaign may not.

Its the first time voters will see a window other than verbiage into what Obama , the future , President means. That can comfort them or create concern. He's right about the comforting factor. Voters need reassurance.

That's where the numbers to me at least matters- that we already know he comforts enough of them to at least leave them open to Obama. These arguments aren't ultimately to me about whether Obama can win with out Edwards. He can. In fact, he can probably do well with Clark for example, but the question is how do we create a landslide so that Obama will govern with a mandate and the confidence not to fall back on centrism like he's done this week with FISA.

I also don't think that the defense issue is a real one. Not because I don't think defense doesn't matter, but because I think McCain has the lead brick of his own party's failed brand dragging him down. Policies that he has refused to give up for failure of losing the 30 percent of his base.  I know some crazy Republicans, and most of them are against the war and look at him with "huh?" When he makes his arguments about iraq


[ Parent ]
I think we agree here. (0.00 / 0)
But, it doesn't per se mean that one must approach politics from a  balancing perspective alone. My main point about Clinton/Gore is that its not unprecedent as an idea.

I agree with this; in fact, Gore/Lieberman strikes me as an excellent argument against over-balancing.  Lieberman was such an obviously calculated politics-as-usual choice that it drove a number of idealistic voters over to the truly progressive Green Party platform, and their, er, not so progressive empty-suit nominee. . . with disastrous results in several swing states.  :(  

I'm just saying that the special circumstances in 1992 make it dangerous to rely on Clinton/Gore as an example of success in reinforcing.  (Much as I hate to say it, Bush/Cheney -- two southwestern, oil executives and war-hungry psychopaths who lie as naturally as breathing -- provide a better case for reinforcing than Clinton/Gore does.)  


[ Parent ]
I Think You're Conflating Some Different Things Here (0.00 / 0)
And creating a picture of some confusion that didn't really exist:

But, it doesn't per se mean that one must approach politics from a  balancing perspective alone. My main point about Clinton/Gore is that its not unprecedent as an idea. I think Rosenberg is over selling when he talks about reinforcing (because its presenting these ideas as opposites when they may not be). I don't think its either/or. To me, that's where Bowers makes his err. the either/or formulation.

There was a sequence of arguments advanced.  Chris was the one who framed it in terms of balancing vs. reinforcing.  It's fine to say it's not either/or, because that actually is what I said, and that's the twist I put on Chris's original argument.

But you sort of logically have to go through that progression--first you draw a distinction that hasn't been made before, and once you've gained a certain understanding of that distinction, then you can talk about how it's not an all-or-nothing thing.  But if you don't understand the distinction in an all-or-nothing way in the first place, then you don't have a clear-cut theoretical framework for analzing it, so the whole process is very likely to just be very muddled.

So that's what Chris did--he drew a distinction and explained its logic.  That almost had to be the starting point. Then I came along and worked with it in a more nuanced way.  But I did so in response to a very specific occurance--Edwards' endorsment speech.

So you had the theoretical framework in place, and then you had a specific event to look at using the framework, and because I had the two categories to work with, then I could say, "Well, it strikes me as balancing in this way, but reinforcing in another."

More specifically, I wrote:

My proposition here is that there actually were differences between the two men [Clinton and Gore], but they were relatively very minor compared to what they shared.  This was immediately obvious to anyone in politics at the time, because of how it was commonly contextualized.  This was a fairly simple matter revolving around cutlural identity and geographical politics.

Similarly, I would argue, the differences between Obama and Edwards are also relatively very minor compared to what they share--but this is not immediately obvious to anyone in politics today.  Again, the reason for this is because of how our politics is contextualized, but it's due to a more complicated matter of contextualization.  It's because our politics is so cramped, so distorted, so lacking in vision, so trapped in the failures of the past, and so out of touch with the root sources of past successes.   This is essentially the same critique that the two men have shared, but they have made their critiques using different terms, different arguments, different examples, and different angles of attack.

Yet, dig down deep enough and both are saying something very similar: Our politics is deeply broken, and betrays the promise of what America should be.  The things used to divide us need to be overcome and set aside, because we have important work to do together.

I go on to talk about their differences in ways that I think are quite compatible with, though not quite identical with the differences you draw.  And I think that both how you put and how I put it are both true.

So, in short, I think there's a lot more continuity from where Chris started this whole line of discussion to where you stand, because I see myself as very clearly drawing on Chris's original formulation, but if you look closely at what I've written it's very close to what you're saying now.

"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 agree. (4.00 / 2)
To say that Edwards "provides clarity and enhances" is of course to get at the heart of what a successful brand must do.
Instantaneous legibility is clearly fundamental to the operations of a brand.
        I similarly would argue that part of the Edwards VP polling success has to come from the fact that their brands not only overlap and reinforce but also expand upon one another. "Change" is a better brand when considered in light of "Two Americas" and vice versa. So their brand essences exist in a Venn diagram-type relationship; one that very nicely includes a wider swath of the voting public.

[ Parent ]
ugggh (0.00 / 0)
As much as is kills me to uprate this, I must because is simply isn't troll-worthy....even if it's stupid.

[ Parent ]
Those criticisms are late to the game here (4.00 / 1)
Personally, I don't want Edwards to be on the ticket and I have a personal blog devoted his family and their causes as their causes were my causes (or at least most of them, a few exceptions).

That said:

If one had read MyDD or the Big O at all last year, one would have discovered about Edwards:

1) Won his re-election seat.  Conventional wisdom my foot, it's your wisdom, not the exit polls which gave him a 5-6 point advantage on Election Day in 2004. I'm not bothering to put a link, you can find a Fox News poll if you put it in Google.
2) Kerry's campaign pulled all of its resources out of the south, except maybe Florida, thus you cannot win if you don't compete.  There was not one ad in NC.
3) Foreign policy "heft".  Hmm, he just met with the President of Spain a couple of weeks ago.  If he had no foreign policy "heft", think the President of Spain would have met with him?
4) The three "H's".  Well, the Republicans aren't populist enough, and while McCain probably doesn't pay top dollar for hair styles, I gladly gave $$ to the campaign anyway. It was an FEC reporting error, and McCain is in hot water with the FEC over worse things than that.


[ Parent ]
Don't forget Mushareff (4.00 / 1)
I was very impressed that Edwards spoke Mushareff soon after Bhutto's assassination and insisted that the elections still take place (which they did). It was telling that Mushareff went out of his way to speak to him. There was a notable passage of time (a week?) before any of the other candidates spoke to Mushareff.  

[ Parent ]
Still (4.00 / 1)
"First off, I want to reiterate that I am not personally invested in Edwards for VP"

No, you've just staked your reputation on a bunch of posts claiming why it's right.  That disclaimer lets you off the hook when it doesn't happen.

Last time, you dismissed the comment that Edwards did a bad job as a running mate just because the Kerry people said it.  That doesn't make it false.  And neither does the fact that the Edwards people deny it.

Explain this: how does picking the same running mate over again square with the "change" them.  How does a pro-AUMF voter, even a repentant one, bolster Obama?

If Edwards was such a powerful candidate, he would have done better in the primaries in this year of 2004, take your pick.  And he rush of bandwagooneers jumping his ship for the S.S. Obama around Iowa time shows that his support was never intense.

Say what you want about Clark, Nunn, or Webb, but they were all against the Iraq war.  But I want to reiterate that I'm not personally invested in any of them for VP.


Truly CLUELESS (4.00 / 3)
You have no idea what makes me tick, so this is particularly silly:

"First off, I want to reiterate that I am not personally invested in Edwards for VP"

No, you've just staked your reputation on a bunch of posts claiming why it's right.  That disclaimer lets you off the hook when it doesn't happen.

I'll focus on it, because it's the only new thing you've written.  I haven't staked my reputation on anything.  The posts I care most deeply about are not the Edwards posts at all.  The Edwards posts are a public service to do what I can to clear the air.  If decisions are made for questionable reasons, I want that to be as clear as possible, and this will be a very big decision.
But, as I noted above, there are other people I could gladly support--I just can't argue for them on the basis of data that isn't there.  If my consistency offends you, then so be 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 ]
But see... (4.00 / 4)
He/she's got a crush on someone else and they think Edwards is a phony. So we're not dealing with rational arguments. Just "gut" and emotions. Which is kind of funny, because if you look at all the SUSA polling and what not, peoples' "guts" and emotions are telling us that they want Edwards.

[ Parent ]
How does someone do a "bad job" as running mate? (4.00 / 4)
A "bad job" is when you commit gaffes by saying stupid things (like Quayle), or have shady business dealings (like Ferraro), or seems too old for the job (like Stockdale).  The VP nominee's job is to go out there and campaign and shake hands and kiss babies. The only real "criticism" I've read about Edwards is that he wanted to us the word "hope" instead of "help".  That's very small potatoes. (And considering Edwards own working class roots, one can easily see why he would find it patronizing.) Polls after the Edwards/Cheney debate showed that Edwards won it (even though many of us, myself included, wish he had done better at calling Cheney out). He only campaigned in NC twice during the contest and still NC was the only Southern state where the Democrats picked up a little in 2004 compared to 2000.  Kerry's complaints about Edwards are laughable and just further illustrates how clueless Kerry was and still is. Think about the fact that Kerry screwed up his own chances for running again in '08 with his silly "joke" about the troops. John Kerry did make a mistake in picking Edwards -- he should not have chosen someone who would outshine him.  But that's on Kerry, not Edwards.

You use the AUMF as relating to "change" and I would argue that the Change in the election is not about the war or even the economy.  It's about PROCESS. John Edwards was the first candidate to talk about change and he specifically tied it to being anti-Lobbyist and anti-PAC. That type of "change" is what Obama picked up and ran with in creating his people-centric campaign (no lobbyists, no PAC money.) What an Obama-Edwards ticket can do is appeal to the former Perot voters who want a CHANGE IN PROCESS. They are the people who are not really Republican or Democrat but rather people who are Reform minded and want a new way of doing business.

And you are implying that Clark, Webb, Nunn, etc are better VP picks than Edwards because Obama is a better presidential pick than Edwards.  That doesn't make sense.  They are two entirely different scenarios.  Obama is presumably a better presidential pick than Clark, Webb and Nunn -- so does disqualify them from being considered as VP picks?  I certainly empathize with your desire to someone who did not vote for the war on the ticket.  In an ideal world, I would love to see Obama/Feingold.  But that's just not smart politics.  The case for Edwards is about smart politics, not political purity.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, if I recall (4.00 / 4)
I don't remember people after the election going, "man..Edwards really screwed that thing up. If only Kerry had picked someone else!"

I don't recall Edwards doing things like wind-surfing on the cape, and making verbal gaffes about voting for something before voting against it.

Also, Terry McAulliffe seems to back up Edwards's account of the campaign by laying bare into the Kerry campaign for not letting him go after George Bush's war record and for not going after the swift boaters agressively from the start. Now if they wouldn't let Terry go after GW, wouldn't that make one think that they also would put a leash on Edwards?


[ Parent ]
The VP debate (4.00 / 1)
Edwards let Cheney beat him in the VP debate.  The Radical Right has more Cheneys where that one came from, and I don't want any Dem candidate who can't slap them silly when the appear.  Edwards has shown he is NOT up to that job.

sPh


[ Parent ]
Except that polls after the debate (4.00 / 5)
showed that a majority of voters thought Edwards won the debate.

[ Parent ]
There You Go With Your Polls, Again! (4.00 / 2)
Evidence, schmevidence!

Can't you just trust your gut, like a real Amurican?

"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 ]
Only Liberal Bloggers think that (4.00 / 3)
We wanted a full body takedown.  We didn't get that.  But regular Americans polled after the debate thought Edwards won.  Offline, all of my friends thought Edwards won.  We had high expectations though, so it was disappointing to those of us who were more politically active. Still, it certainly wasn't a bad performance and certainly no worse than Kerry's performances against Bush. I do think Edwards has gotten a lot sharper over the years.  By the time he got to his last debate in South Carolina, he was on fire.  People grow and learn.  He is certainly a brilliant debater today.  

[ Parent ]
The Kerry Campaign Was SOoooo Terrible (4.00 / 7)
it's obvious why he would want to spread the blame.

All you need to know: he hired Bob Shrum.

That says it all.

"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 ]
actually it was a bit more than that (4.00 / 2)
a) In 2004, Kerry ran a strategy that included a small subset of state. For lack of a better phrase- let's call it the battleground state strategy. The argument regarding Edwards being underused isn't simply a he said-he said discussion. Afterall witness testimony isn't always the best right? Well, there also the fact that the strategy Kerry choose to use backed up by Washingon CW didn't bother to go outside of the battleground states. I was one of the foot soldier going into one fo the state (which by the way was totally disorganized) working on poll monitoring. Kerry simply isn't an indicator of whether Edwards fits in 2008 because Obama isn't running Kerry's campaign. But this has been said ad nausuem, and from reading your post, it seems you have read the arguments so I am a little confused when you are saying that the only argument is based on Kerry.

b) I see you are taking what I call the Todd Beeton (the guy from mydd) approach to arguing change. "Change" only means a different guy (or woman). It can't mean that in 4 years the person as changed at the voter sees him differently. In all sincerity, are you kidding with that one? There have been a lot of people who have lost, and come back to win based on a different view of politics. Not sure what you think change here means other than what you personally think it means. The polling data (again just an indicator not an absolute) certainly brings into question your thinking.

c) As to the "if Edwards would have won the primary" blah blah blah. Look, it's apples and oranges. Historically, you have examples such as Bush Sr (the candidate) becomes the VP nom for Reagan the guy who beat him in the primary. Bush SR called Reagans economic ideas (as I recall) voodoo economics. Guess who else ran as a Presidential candidate (hint: 1988). Let me give you another hint- this evidence may present you with more inconvientient truth. Gore ran for the presidential nomination in 1988. He lost as the Southern centrist. You can look that up. Outside of the other hisotrical examples I can give, you argument just doesn't make much sense on the "well he didn't appeal enough to be president, and therefore he can't appeal to a subsegment of the vote enough to matter." That's your argment in a nutshell. Not sure, how that makes much sense. Isn't that the argument that can be made for any Democratic choice -- for Clinton, for Biden, for Clark (who also ran in 2004 so he shouldn't be a choice either by your own logic). Neither should CLinton because  after all - she lost the primary. Nope, that means we must choose people who are totally unknown nationally because that's the way to build on a brand.

d) You need to stop claiming you are not "personally' invested because your talk about AUMF pretty much shows you are vested in your postion. I mean its find that you are but don't insult your audience with silliness like that. Just be intellectually honest. For example ne of your alternative Clark was against the war, but by one of your arguments you contradict yourself because he also ran in 2004.  You in all likelihood a single issues voter and assume the rest of the population is. I make this leap because you mentioned twice the same issue in a very short post by yourself. So 2+2 as I mentioned above tends to equal 4.


[ Parent ]
Well Done! (0.00 / 0)
Not much to add!  It is indeed a compelling case.  

Particularly, I like the balancing/reinforcing argument - Obama has said he is a bit of a Rorschach - a balancing/reinforcing candidate solidifies the picture.

BTW - I especially appreciated the analysis of the "non-ideological reformist" set - I belong to that set at least somewhat, and certainly voted for Ross Perot in his first run.

QT

Visit the Obama Project


WindOnWater.net




Evan Bayh (0.00 / 0)
Obama despises progressives, and has just been nodding and smiling

Obama will screw progressives every chance he gets

starting with VP


I doubt he'll pick someone (0.00 / 0)
who doesn't even vote for the Democratic budget. Doesn't portend well for someone acting as a surrogate on your behalf.

[ Parent ]
Why would be choose Bayh? .. (0.00 / 0)
Bayh is milquetoast ... bland as can be .. is he an attack dog? .. besides .. Bayh is a DLC corpo-crat .. what exactly does Bayh bring to the table?  

[ Parent ]
Despises? (0.00 / 0)
Based upon what?

QT

Visit the Obama Project


WindOnWater.net




Although you personally maybe making valid attempts at arguments, (0.00 / 0)
and I believe that you are, not everyone is.  I question, for example, whether Kos of D Kos or Mydd (which has been pushing Clinton as VP) would be coming at this honestly.  

[ Parent ]
We Get It (4.00 / 1)
You like Edwards for VP. We heard you the first time.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

A Comment of Support (0.00 / 0)
I don't want to engage in any comments debate with anyone, but I just wanted to state that I agree with your argument here, Paul, on pretty much every count, and I'm appreciative and delighted that you're making it.  

Still not persuaded (0.00 / 0)
I like and admire John Edwards.  If he had been in the race for the Ohio primary I might have voted for him, and at a minimum he would have been my second choice.  I think he should have a prominent role in an Obama administration.  I just don't think choosing him would enhance our chances of winning.

He "reinforces" certain aspects of Obama's candidacy, but he contradicts others.  For example, his Iraq war vote.  Another example is his support of public financing for elections.  Another example is just the fact that he's a white, male Senator.  So yes, in the sense he is "progressive" that reinforces Obama's campaign, but so do many other possible nominees.  

Current polls that show Edwards' effects on the race can be explained as much by name recognition and familiarity based on his primary runs, and past VP nomination.  

Choosing Edwards would be an uninspiring, been there done that, selection.  Obama needs to distance himself from the Kerry 2004 campaign, not appear in any way to be repeating it.  It certainly doesn't "reinforce" Obama's campaign theme of change to renominate the same person as in the previous election.  The choice needs to be an exciting, perhaps trailblazing, one.  

Edwards was assigned the states of Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Indiana in the 2004 campaign.  I remember how many stops he made in the white, working-class parts of Ohio and West Virginia, and John Kerry didn't carry any of those states.  

Finally, Edwards' support in the 2008 Democratic primaries was NOT from working-class voters, just the opposite.  Despite the fact that he spent enormous time in both Iowa and South Carolina, he didn't break through with that group of voters.  Here's some "evidence" from the Columbia Journalism Review:  http://www.cjr.org/campaign_de...

"In Iowa, entrance polls didn't ask about educational levels, which is how working class has generally been defined this primary season. But they did ask about income. And Edwards's best income demographic was those making over $100,000 a year-the richest group. His second- and third-best performances were among those making $50,000-$75,000 a year and $75,000-$100,000 a year. His three worst showings came among the three groups making less than $50,000 a year.

New Hampshire's results are slightly more mixed, but they still don't offer support for the idea of Edwards as a working-class hero. Edwards performed just as well with college-educated voters as with non-college-educated voters. Looking again at income, his strongest performances were with voters making $50,000-$75,000 a year or $75,000-$100,000 a year. He did as well with voters making above $100,000 as with voters making below $50,000.

And in South Carolina, his best performance by education level was among those with a post-graduate degree. And he did better among voters with a college degree than those without. In terms of income, by far Edwards's best result was with voters who made more than $200,000 a year."

My previous comment about the "$400 haircut" has been misunderstood, and that's my fault for not explaining it a bit more fully.  Personally, I couldn't care less how much he pays for his haircuts.  But I do know this, lots of other people do - particularly the working-class voters that are supposedly his strength.  I've heard many people say something along the lines of "How can I guy who is running on a platform of reducing poverty and helping the working person get a $400 haircut?"  

I'll stand by my suggestion of General Clark as one possible preferable choice.  



You Do Not Refute Arguments By Refusing To Listen To Them (4.00 / 2)
I know it would be simpler if things worked that way, but they don't.

"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 ]
for example (4.00 / 1)
the "Edwards is just name recognition" doesn't work very well when the polls I've seen has him doing far better than Rendell in PA and Sibelius in KS.

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

[ Parent ]
Use your brain, please (4.00 / 1)
You don't like Edwards - fine.  Ignoring Paul's COMPREHENSIVE argument is childish.

Why don't you instead do some real work and make your own comprehensive argument for Clark?  I like Clark -- I am sure most of here like Clark.  But no one here has yet seen a compelling argument for him as VP outside of pure feeling.  If you have some honest-to-goodness reasoning for your choice, why don't you sit down and write it up and share your wisdom with us?  


[ Parent ]
gotta laugh (4.00 / 2)
Do you guys enjoy uprating each other's comments?  

Anyhow, I may not be invested on this issue enough to cross the threshold you guys have for "refuting arguments" or not being "real work" but yet "childish", but I certainly made a few points that neither of you has addressed yet.

For instance, the argument that Obama should pick someone exciting, or trailblazing, in order to "reinforce" his theme of transformative change - and that the person who was John Kerry's (yawn...)(and failed) running mate can't do that.

For instance, that John Edwards has several areas of relatively fundamental difference from Obama to the point where it calls into question whether he truly is "reinforcing" - something that the lengthy front page post seems to take by assumption, not proof.

For instance, that John Edwards has an outsized reputation for being able to appeal to working-class voters.  To the extent that is part of your COMPREHENSIVE argument, it is false.  I provided evidence for that from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and from his 2004 GE efforts.

Relying on the currently existing surveys that show Edwards superiority as a running mate have been pretty thoroughly discredited as evidence on the previous post.  It's name recognition, based on the only measured candidate who has run a national campaign.  The data don't systematically compare Edwards to Clinton, Richardson, Clark, Biden, Kerry, Gore.  Those would be far more relevant.  As it is, the current data is basically useless for meaningful analysis.  You guys were getting clowned on this in the previous front-page post.  

Clark's virtues are pretty obvious, but I didn't realize it was necessary to present a "comprehensive" case for someone else to begin to question the "comprehensive" arguments made for Edwards.  

Clark: charismatic, intelligent, Southern ("indigenous"), progressive, opposed the Iraq war from the start, foreign policy credentials, outsider, leader, great President.  

In short, Clark better meets the "reinforcement" strategy for a VP choice than Edwards - and provides the same Southern base.  But at the same time Clark isn't a rehashed national candidate and would balance one or two of Obama's main weaknesses.

Whether or not Clark would be a great VP candidate is not the main point of my comments, which was to refute the "growing logic" (I suppose as measured by the inches of front page blogging done on it at this site) of Edwards as VP.

You guys can now get back to your mutual admiration society and irony in action (calling someone names like "childish" or "two year old" is pretty ironic, don't you think?).

 


[ Parent ]
Incorrect (4.00 / 1)
He was not assigned NC.  Wrong.  See my comment upthread.

And he won an electoral vote in Minnesota.


[ Parent ]
Reply (4.00 / 1)
For instance, the argument that Obama should pick someone exciting, or trailblazing, in order to "reinforce" his theme of transformative change - and that the person who was John Kerry's (yawn...)(and failed) running mate can't do that.

Exciting is subjective.  But more importantly, WHY is it more important to pick someone "exciting" than someone familiar?  How does that help Obama win more votes?  We are talking about what helps Obama in November, not our personal preference. My preference is Feingold but I don't see how he helps Obama win more votes so I don't waste keystrokes on making the argument.  Let us know when you are able to demonstrate why/how Biden or Clark or someone else is more "exciting" than Edwards and also how selecting an "exciting" VP helps a young northern African-American candidate with a Muslim name win over Jews in Florida, working class whites in Ohio & Michigan & Pennsylvania, and rural folk in Iowa and Oregon.  When you can show how this works, please share with us, oh wise one.

For instance, that John Edwards has an outsized reputation for being able to appeal to working-class voters.  To the extent that is part of your COMPREHENSIVE argument, it is false.  I provided evidence for that from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and from his 2004 GE efforts.
Relying on the currently existing surveys that show Edwards superiority as a running mate have been pretty thoroughly discredited as evidence on the previous post.  It's name recognition, based on the only measured candidate who has run a national campaign.  The data don't systematically compare Edwards to Clinton, Richardson, Clark, Biden, Kerry, Gore.  Those would be far more relevant.  As it is, the current data is basically useless for meaningful analysis.  You guys were getting clowned on this in the previous front-page post.  

Survey USA Michigan did one poll in which Edwards was compared to Richardson, Clinton, Clark, Gore, Biden, and Webb against a McCain/Romney match-up. Every pairing (except Edwards) lost ground, Edwards is the only one who helped Obama. Granted, it's one state but certainly a place to start.

And you are willfully missing the point.  The point is not whether or not John Edwards is the darling of working class whites.  The point is does John Edwards, unlike the other options, bring new voters to Obama? If you look at the cross-tabs of the many polls conducted, John Edwards has a singular ability to bring new voters (predominately white and male) to Obama.  SUSA doesn't poll income, so you're right, there's no way to know if they are working class.  But who cares?  They are WHITE MEN -- a group Obama has had some difficulty attracting, especially in the later primaries. Whether or not these white men have money is fairly irrelevant.

And then you presented a list of reasons why Clark makes a great VP. No one here disputes Clark's virtues.  I would think that all of us here like Clark and admire his politics.  The question is whether or not Clark helps Obama with voters.  Just because Wesley Clark is a great guy doesn't mean he attracts new voters to Obama.  His virtues may be obvious to you and me and the rest of us at Open Left but there is no guarantee that the American public (who voted for Bush twice) will be as discerning as yourself.  


[ Parent ]
Edwards spent a ton of time (0.00 / 0)
in Minn, Wisc and Pennsylvania, and Kerry won all of those.

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

[ Parent ]
one question for Edwards VP fans (0.00 / 0)
Can Obama trust him?

You have to be able to answer this question convincingly before discussing the electoral politics because John Kerry is whispering in Obama's ear that Edwards goes his own way.  

 


Not hard to believe (4.00 / 1)
Yeah, I believe Kerry would go and do that. And as far as I'm concerned, Kerry can go f*ck himself regarding whatever the hell he thinks of John Edwards. His credibility on that subject is nil.

Sure, I don't know all the details of what happened in the 2004 campaign, I'm no insider. But I do know who couldn't roll over fast enough after the Ohio election day debacle, and who was willing to fight.  


[ Parent ]
Boy Howdy! (0.00 / 0)
I really thought that my opinion of Kerry had declined significantly from the 1980s, but this is ridiculous.

The idea of Kerry badmouthing Edwards now for 2004 shows one thing above all: Obama has very poor judgment to be listening to him at all about anything.  He ought to say, "Thank you very much," and stop returning Kerry's phone calls.

I realize, of course, that that's not really practical.  But, it's what he ought to do.  

"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 ]
Only Obama can answer but (4.00 / 3)
What is exactly would Edwards do to "betray" Obama?  As far as we know, the worst thing Edwards did was disagree with Kerry on a stump choice and advise him to not appear to flip flop on the war. (And in retrospect, Edwards seems right). I am not sure exactly what Edwards (or Biden or Clark or anyone) would exactly do that would make them a non-starter for Obama.  They all want the same thing, and if we look at Ohio, Edwards seemed more interested in Kerry becoming president than Kerry did. I find this "trust" issue weird because it's not like any Democrat, even Hillary Clinton as VP, would work to make Obama lose.  In my limited opinion, John Kerry is displaying George W Bush like tendencies were he is confusing loyalty with being a "yes-man".  Does Kerry think Obama should pick Scotty McClennen as VP?  This is a bit ridiculous, isn't it?  

Obama had said he is willing to listen to different opinions and he seems to be honest about that.  I think he would even consider Hillary Clinton, someone he disagrees with quite a bit, if he thought she was the right person for the job.  


[ Parent ]
Kerry screwed up Kerry's campaign (4.00 / 3)
Rather than asking people here who you think are biased to convince you,, do your own research regarding the running of the campaign 4 years ago. I don't mean specificially about Edwards that's to easy a game to play- I mean the Kerry campaign in general. How Kerry got rid of his overall staff at one point and brought int he Clintonites because his previous staff couldn't get their shit to gether, how he focused only on the battleground, his failure regarding waiting a month to respond to the swiftboating, waiting until the last minute to organize in the battle ground states (I remember one article about him being surprised to find out the GOP was sending in organizers into Ohio for example- and I was like- why the hell would anyone running your strategy be surprised at that?), and on and on it ran. To me, Edwards is irrelevant to 2004. The fact is despite their disorganization they barely lost, and if they had been more organized they may have won.  Let me ask you- how old are you or were you involved in politics then- do you remember how everyone was hoping Kerry would pull it through in the debates because we were all worried that his campaign wasn't doing enough to fight? Do you remember ABB? Do you remember the convention in which Kerry came up with the idea that one shouldn't mention Bush?  

[ Parent ]
Kerry screwed up Kerry's campaign (0.00 / 0)
Rather than asking people here who you think are biased to convince you,, do your own research regarding the running of the campaign 4 years ago. I don't mean specificially about Edwards that's to easy a game to play- I mean the Kerry campaign in general. How Kerry got rid of his overall staff at one point and brought int he Clintonites because his previous staff couldn't get their shit to gether, how he focused only on the battleground, his failure regarding waiting a month to respond to the swiftboating, waiting until the last minute to organize in the battle ground states (I remember one article about him being surprised to find out the GOP was sending in organizers into Ohio for example- and I was like- why the hell would anyone running your strategy be surprised at that?), and on and on it ran. To me, Edwards is irrelevant to 2004. The fact is despite their disorganization they barely lost, and if they had been more organized they may have won.  Let me ask you- how old are you or were you involved in politics then- do you remember how everyone was hoping Kerry would pull it through in the debates because we were all worried that his campaign wasn't doing enough to fight? Do you remember ABB? Do you remember the convention in which Kerry came up with the idea that one shouldn't mention Bush?  

[ Parent ]
Interesting theory (0.00 / 0)
In that Edwards changed his position on accepting the vice presidency from this:

April 3, 2008
LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards said on Thursday he would not accept the nomination for U.S. vice president as he did four years ago. Link

to this:

On June 15, 2008, Edwards stepped back from his initial outright denial of the position of the Vice President, leaving some openness to the idea saying, "I'd take anything he asks me to think about seriously, but obviously this is something that I've done and it's not a job I'm seeking." [57]. On June 20, 2008

LInk

Being one who was never a John Edwards fan, I must admit I was really impressed with his speech, endorsing Obama. However, I believe Obama's choice will be someone who is strong on national security (the one area which is Obama's supposed weakness, like Jim Webb or Wes Clark.


It's really worth (re)listening to Edwards' Endorsement (4.00 / 1)
speech to really get at what Paul means by

But in his endorsement speech, Edwards powerfully demonstrated how their two distinct messages complemented one another, creating a deeper underlying unity.  This is, without question the essence of what a deeply compelling progressive vision for the 21at century should be-a combination of the awareness of injustice to be overcome and of our capacity for renewal and transformation.

The full transcript of Edwards' endorsement of Obama so you can follow along.

And here's my live report from the endorsement in my Grand Rapids.


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


Well, it was a very moving speech. (0.00 / 0)
He certainly was able to inspire those in attendance. However, I can't help remembering Edwards uninspiring stump speeches during the Kerry campaign and his less-than-stellar debate against Cheney. Also concerning, was his vote in favor of expanding the War Powers Act, enabling Bush to invade Iraq (along with Hillary Clinton and John Kerry). I believe that if Obama really wants to drive home the "change" message, he will select someone without that baggage. That's where Wes Clark, Jim Webb (both would also stifle McCain's military credentials), Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sibelius might excel. However, if Edwards is selected, I will wholeheartedly support him!  

[ Parent ]
No, it's the slickness. (0.00 / 0)
"The only coherent reason for rejecting Edwards would appear to be either hostility or indifference towards populist economics."

That statement is way overblown. There are many other reasons for rejecting Edwards.

I liked what Edwards said in his campaign. But I had some trouble liking him personally and trusting him. As Russ Feingold said, he "voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war... He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record."

Many people in 2004 and 2008 saw Edwards as a slick and smooth-talking snake-oil trial lawyer salesman peddling cheap "My daddy worked in a mill" stories. I don't buy into that characterization. But that impression is out there.

I see strong potential in Edwards to negatively reinforce the "Smooth talker" narrative about Obama. An Obama-Edwards ticket would invite a lot of questions about "What they have done except deliver fancy speeches?" That is ridiculous, of course. But it will be the GOP narrative, and I think it is a dangerously strong one.


With respect, this is why we turn to polls (0.00 / 0)
No politician is loved by all or hated by all. George W Bush still has over 20% of the population who thinks he's just peachy.  And if you lived in Waco or Midland, you might think Bush is totally beloved. I respect your opinion that Edwards is "slick" or maybe you think Clinton is "mean" or Obama is "all talk" or McCain is "grumpy" or Romney is "robotic". These are thrown around. But the reason why we turn to polls and try to learn from them is that it's not really important what you think or what I think -- what matter is what the American people think.  And these Survey USA polls indicate, at the very least, that the Edwards' brand is a positive one and helpful to Obama. That in spite of SOME folks calling him slick, it hasn't really stuck with the general public.  I believe Paul's series has really been about looking dispassionately at the polling and seeing what it tells us about what can most help Obama in November.  He is trying to advise us to rise above our personal preference for/against someone and to think coolly about how to best win a mandate.  

[ Parent ]
This Bears Repeating (0.00 / 0)
Me:

"The only coherent reason for rejecting Edwards would appear to be either hostility or indifference towards populist economics."

People have offered all sorts of subjective reasons for not liking Edwards, and ignoring the data-based argument I've presented.  Of course they're entitled to their own opinions.  We all are.  But they're not entitled to their own facts.

Your opinion is that "slickness" is a problem. You have no data to prove that, and indeed we have good reason to believe that it's false.  This narrative about Edwards is already well known, yet he continues to poll better than anyone else he's pitted against as a VP.  That's part of what's meant by the "Brand Rocognition vs. Name Recognition" argument.  His brand survives those sorts of attacks.  (In fact, it may actually be enhanced by them, coming as they are from a bunch of very privileged white dudes cluelessly trying to tell ordinary Americans how they think.)

Others have other opinions that aren't backed up by data.  I don't deny the sincerity of their opinions.  But the willingness to cling to opinions and ignore facts cannot simply be attributed to the opinions alone.  Something else is at work to go beyond merely holding an opinion to engaged in denying and/or ignoring facts.  And while different psychological and cognitive factors are certainly involved at an individual level, the only broad-based explanation that makes sense continues to be indifference or hostility to populist economics.

This is true of your own position as well, since you are implicitly arguing that the perception of Edwards' "slickness" matters more than both the poll-based data (both 2007 head-to-heads and the SUSA VP polls) and the reality of Edwards' economic populism.  In the end, it does not matter what you say to rationalize your position, because the argument I am making is precisely about the sort of thing that motivates such rationalizations.

Finally, I have to say that as individual candidates I could readily support Feingold or Clark.  Both bring very good assets to the table.  But neither has a data-based argument supporting them, and Clark does serve to undercut Obama as a "balancing" candidate.

More than anything however, their presence on the ticket in place of Edwards would serve to downplay the importance of populist economics, and I believe that that is a particularly unwise thing to do, both for our party and for America.

"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 ]
Reply to the reply (0.00 / 0)
You stated and asked:
Exciting is subjective.  But more importantly, WHY is it more important to pick someone "exciting" than someone familiar?  How does that help Obama win more votes?  We are talking about what helps Obama in November, not our personal preference.

I agree "exciting" is 100% subjective.  You'll find my answer to "WHY" in the middle of my sentence to which you refer: "in order to reinforce his theme of transformative change"

You went on to say:

Let us know when you are able to demonstrate why/how Biden or Clark or someone else is more "exciting" than Edwards

Never said Biden was more exciting.  Clark probably isn't much either, although he doesn't have the triple-loser baggage that Edwards does.  And he is a better "reinforcer" than Edwards because of their history on the Iraq War.

You ask:

(Let us know) how selecting an "exciting" VP helps a young northern African-American candidate with a Muslim name win over Jews in Florida, working class whites in Ohio & Michigan & Pennsylvania, and rural folk in Iowa and Oregon.  When you can show how this works, please share with us, oh wise one.

You've apparently lost sight of the original "reinforcement" argument.  Perhaps I believe in Paul's view on that more strongly than you do.  I fundamentally agree with Paul's  notion that the VP selection should reinforce Obama's main qualities - it's gravy if the person can also balance an Obama weakness.  Your question, with all its demographic categorization, implies an old-school notion that the VP should primarily "help" with certain weaknesses of the nominee.  I thought we rejected that premise from the start.

And if you were really serious about using the "help with demographics" criteria implicit in your question, obviously no other person besides Hillary Clinton should even be considered. And that would be fine with me (see previous references to "exciting" and "transformative change").

Meanwhile, you have, willfully or otherwise, ignored my point that Edwards won't reinforce so much as contradict Obama's campaign. It's at least a close call, one that should be analyzed, not simply assumed.  

In all the current polling data that you cite, Edwards certainly brings out voters that other people do not - but that still might be a function of his past role as VP, and how that process enhances his image.  These benefits would almost certainly be accrued by any person Obama nominates for the VP slot.  Are you seriously suggesting that polls today adequately measure the national attractiveness of an alternative nominee after they have received the benefit of a positive roll-out for a VP selection, plus the buzz from their convention speech?

You conclude with this:

No one here disputes Clark's virtues.  I would think that all of us here like Clark and admire his politics.  The question is whether or not Clark helps Obama with voters.  Just because Wesley Clark is a great guy doesn't mean he attracts new voters to Obama.  His virtues may be obvious to you and me and the rest of us at Open Left but there is no guarantee that the American public (who voted for Bush twice) will be as discerning as yourself.
 

You're right, of course.  Clark is unproven in this sense, but so is anyone else besides Edwards (he's been proven to NOT be a vote getter in the GE).  By this reasoning, Obama is an unproven GE vote getter himself.

The reason I like Clark is because of what his selection would say about Obama.  In the end, I think that's what really matters in a VP selection, even more than the "reinforcement" or "balancing" - what does the choice say intangibly about the Presidential nominee.  Edwards is a big "been there, done that" yawn.  It says nothing about Obama more than that he has no greater imagination than copying John Kerry.

Choosing Clark would demonstrate that Obama valued intelligence, competence, progressivism, experience, and outsider status, while not being afraid to choose someone with more foreign policy credentials.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Clark is the only possible person who could meet this criteria.  Hillary herself would (except for the "outsider" part) also be a stunningly exciting choice.  

And her selection would say mountains about Obama's progressive vision.  


Hillary? (0.00 / 0)
I respect Hillary Clinton tons but how is she a progressive? Even though it would cost Obama votes, I would be personally thrilled with Feingold, a true progressive.  But Hillary Clinton? She's center right. If she were the nominee, I would obviously support her but I am not sure how she moves Obama towards a progressive vision at all.

I agree "exciting" is 100% subjective.  You'll find my answer to "WHY" in the middle of my sentence to which you refer: "in order to reinforce his theme of transformative change"

Yes, and I previously said, (in another post), that Edwards reinforces CHANGE if one sees CHANGE as process -- which is exactly the kind of CHANGE Obama is talking about. No Lobbyists. No PACS. Political power in the hands of the people.  Obama & Edwards are completely aligned in this regard, with Edwards having an even better record than Obama on this issue. In my opinion, when Obama and Edwards talked about CHANGE this is exactly what they meant.  Look at Obama on the issues -- he's fairly centrist and was pretty similar to Clinton and Biden and to a lesser extent Edwards and Richardson.  Why would Obama be the agent of CHANGE if he was talking about ISSUES?  No. He was talking about PROCESS.


Never said Biden was more exciting.  Clark probably isn't much either, although he doesn't have the triple-loser baggage that Edwards does.  And he is a better "reinforcer" than Edwards because of their history on the Iraq War.

To you, Edwards is a loser. To the folks polled, he is a someone they know and like who would help Obama.  And you know what, it's possible to be both.  Politics is like sports. Teams lose, players lose and then teams win, players win.  That's like saying Kevin Garret never won in Minnesota, so he should give up his quest for a ring. And YOU are making the Iraq war the issue but the VOTERS do not place Iraq as their top issue. The top issues are all economy related (jobs, gas prices, trade, health care.) Now, we can lament that America does not put Iraq first.  But it doesn't.  Do we want to see the world as it is or is we think it should be?

You've apparently lost sight of the original "reinforcement" argument.  Perhaps I believe in Paul's view on that more strongly than you do.  I fundamentally agree with Paul's  notion that the VP selection should reinforce Obama's main qualities - it's gravy if the person can also balance an Obama weakness.  Your question, with all its demographic categorization, implies an old-school notion that the VP should primarily "help" with certain weaknesses of the nominee.  I thought we rejected that premise from the start.

No, I did not. Obama is a solid Democrat. But some people are not too keen on him. Maybe it's because he's new, he's Black, he's from the north, his Muslim name, his preacher. Who knows?  But by aligning himself with someone who is well-known and accepted by the very people who are wary of Obama, it sends a message that underneath his funny sounding name, Obama is actually very similar to Edwards. And if you like Edwards, then you'll like Obama. Edwards is a bridge to these unsure voters. Once they give Obama a second, more fair-minded look, they see that Obama & Edwards share the same message and same vision for reforming the system so that all Americans can prosper.  It's not VP as "balance" but VP as "bridge" on the road to reinforcement.


And if you were really serious about using the "help with demographics" criteria implicit in your question, obviously no other person besides Hillary Clinton should even be considered. And that would be fine with me (see previous references to "exciting" and "transformative change").

Look, I am willing to say that HRC can help.  But I've seen mixed polling for HRC. Democrats are excited by her but Conservatives are not.  If/when I see any polling that Hillary is better than Edwards at helping Obama, I'll join you in advocating for her.  But I strongly suspect we will NOT see that because for every Democrat Hillary brings back home, there's likely to be an Independent or Liberal Republican who turns away from Obama.  But that's just my guess.  If I'm proven wrong, I'll admit it.

Meanwhile, you have, willfully or otherwise, ignored my point that Edwards won't reinforce so much as contradict Obama's campaign. It's at least a close call, one that should be analyzed, not simply assumed.  

I still don't see the contradiction at all. I see total harmony, with a sum greater than its individual parts.  The chemistry between them during the debates and especially during the endorsement was palpable.

In all the current polling data that you cite, Edwards certainly brings out voters that other people do not - but that still might be a function of his past role as VP, and how that process enhances his image.  These benefits would almost certainly be accrued by any person Obama nominates for the VP slot.  Are you seriously suggesting that polls today adequately measure the national attractiveness of an alternative nominee after they have received the benefit of a positive roll-out for a VP selection, plus the buzz from their convention speech?

Yes and No.  It's possible that a newcomer to the scene could generate that kind of Brand and give Obama a bump.  But would it stick?  Would it last until November?  It depends on the person. My feelings (and these are just feelings) tell me that Clark might build such a brand.  But I wouldn't bet more than a hundred bucks on it.  There's too much uncertainty. And you truly fail to appreciate how stunning the numbers are for Edwards. Against 3 famous GOP options, he did amazingly well.  You completely ignore Paul's point about how well Edwards did compared to Rendall, Sebelius and Pawently in their own states.  And you are a bit optimistic to think that the American people are as obsessed with politics are we are.  It takes a long time to get information to the America public.


Clark is unproven in this sense, but so is anyone else besides Edwards (he's been proven to NOT be a vote getter in the GE).  By this reasoning, Obama is an unproven GE vote getter himself.

Edwards got more votes than any Democratic vice presidential candidate in American history. Kerry/Edwards ran against a sitting war-time president. People are used to seeing his name on the lever and half the voting public already pulled it for him. How can you say he's not a proven vote getter just because Bush/Cheney got more (under suspicious circumstances)?  

Don't get me wrong, I don't think Clark is the only possible person who could meet this criteria.  Hillary herself would (except for the "outsider" part) also be a stunningly exciting choice.  

And her selection would say mountains about Obama's progressive vision.

Just be HONEST.  You like Hillary. You like Clark.  You are biased.  But Paul's series is not about how Edwards is the second coming of Buddha.  His series is about the merits of Edwards electorally and he uses rather compelling poll data. Are you part of the Clinton campaign? Did you volunteer for her? Is that why your unable to see that Paul has made a really good case for Edwards?  Because I get wanting someone else more for idealogical reasons but I don't get blindly rejecting a rather thoughtful analysis on Paul's part.  


[ Parent ]
quickly (0.00 / 0)
I'm OK with a lot of what you have to say.  Though, overall I remain pretty skeptical of the polling data that we have now.  It's not that I think Edwards would be a disastrous pick, just derivative.  

I am a proud Hillary supporter, worked for her, donated money to her.  But I'm not a "Hillary or Bust" person in terms of her being on the ticket.  My advocacy of Clark and happiness with several others (Richardson, for example) is evidence of that.

Nonetheless, what many (not saying you do) fail to understand is the level of enthusiasm that many of Hillary's supporters had for her. That energy - not just votes - is a valuable asset in the GE.

Hillary is not center-right.  She's to the left of Obama on most domestic issues, and I don't think at the end of the day there will be much daylight between Obama and her on Iraq.  His backpeddle on FISA is just a preview of coming attractions that his supporters have to suffer through.

But her politics are NOT the reason her selection would be progressive - it would be Obama's support for a woman on the ticket that would be represent a substantive progressive vision.  That's the real reinforcement of the transformative nature of Obama's campaign that Paul's analysis argues for.  That's REAL process.  The special interest/PAC money issue is ephemeral.  Obama has plenty of shortcomings in that area.  But destroying that glass ceiling of a woman VP would be huge, both here and for women globally.  

The "electricity" between Obama and Edwards in the debates dissipated once Obama became the front-runner and they weren't unified in attacking Hillary.  Remember how Edwards went after Obama on (1) health care, (2) special interest money and (3) the "present" votes in the ILL legislature in his last debate?  It's all situational.  The "electricity" would be there regardless of whom Obama chooses.  Hillary and Barack have looked pretty good together, at times, the Califonia debate would be a good example.

Plus, I must say that I think Obama is forfeiting some of his "reform" theme by his flip-flop on public financing of elections. You're right that Edwards is (now far) to the left of him on that.  I'm with Edwards on that one, strongly, btw.

Anyhow, I've made my points. It has been educational and interesting having this discussion. It will be interesting to see how the VP selection plays out.

If Obama picks Sam Nunn though, I'll be sick to my stomach.  


[ Parent ]
Nunn is not a good choice (4.00 / 1)
He might flip Georgia but I think he'll make Obama look callow and inexperienced next to him.

You are right about the passion people feel for Hillary.  The issue is whether or not those who love Hillary are greater in number than those who hate Hillary. That's why we need more polls.  What's the end result?  I don't know.  It could go either way.  She's certainly the most polarizing person in politics today and unfairly so.  In my own experience (and I only speak for myself), the Democrats I know like or love Hillary and would be pleased to see her on the ticket. (These same people are also happy with Edwards as a second choice if Obama doesn't pick Hillary).  But the independents and Republicans who crossed over for Obama despise Hillary.  It's crazy.  I have tried to talk them out of it many times to no avail.  Every single one that I asked about Obama/Clinton told me they would not vote for Obama with Hillary on the ticket.  But that is JUST MY EXPERIENCE -- I could be alone in this.  That's why I want real polls for all the swing states. I am ready to believe that my experience is not indicative for a greater truth.

I can respect your view about the effect of a female VP.  Clearly that would inspire many young people and that certainly has merit.  I VERY STRONGLY disagree with your dismissing the power of lobbies and PACS.  I won't say which one, but I work for a major corporation and I have seen upfront the corrosive power of PACS.  If Hillary had been anti-PAC and anti-LOBBY, I would have been thrilled with her.  But I can't ignore her flaws just because I admire her tenacity, fight, and status as a feminist icon.  True feminism is being judged on your merits.  And in that one vital area, she was a great disappointment.

Another issue with Hillary, and the real problem, IMO, is the issue of Bill Clinton.  There's a real danger of him becoming a distraction and taking away from Obama's message.  I am not saying it's fair to Hillary Clinton.  It's not fair that Hillary should have to pay for her husband's lack of discretion.  But it is the reality of our gossipy press age. People have bad memories of Monica-gate and White Water and the Lincoln Bedroom and all those pardons. In a close race, Bill Clinton could be a drag on the ticket. (While in a close race, Elizabeth Edwards would undoubtedly be a real plus). Like I said, not fair to Hillary but something we cannot ignore.  Also, I don't know if you know this but HRC wanted to be Kerry's VP and she did not pass HIS vetting process.  I don't know what that entailed (maybe Kerry was being impossibly strict) but it could be a sign that Clinton might have a problem passing Obama's vetting process.  

All that being said, I respect Hillary Clinton as a politician and as a feminist icon. And I believe that Bill Clinton cost her the election -- not Barack Obama.  As a person, I have sympathy for her.  As a Democrat, I am unsure about her impact on the ticket.  Obviously, I will be an enthusiastic supporter of the ticket should Obama choose her.  And he certainly could do a lot worse than Hillary.  


[ Parent ]
Yes, Reality Is Soooo Outdated! (0.00 / 0)
Data, schmata!

Karl Rove told me, so it must be true!

Feel the future!  It's all new and shiny!

"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


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