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According to a 6 May 2005 Marist College Poll of (http://www.maristpoll.marist.edu/usapolls/PZ050506.htm) 1000+ Americans (3.5% margin of error):

The three most popular Democrats vs. the two poll-leading gopers

McCain: 51, Kerry: 41
McCain: 50, Hillary: 42
McCain: 46, Edwards 43

Wow! Edwards is doing by far the best and within margin of error.  Plus, look how Edwards takes down McCain's numbers (probably key swinging independents willing to give JRE a listen).

Giuliani: 48, Kerry: 46
Giuliani: 47, Hillary: 46
Giuliani: 45, Edwards 48

So, ONLY Edwards could beat Giuliani.

As Marist concludes, "For the Democrats, it's John Edwards, not ... Kerry or Clinton who runs strongest against the top Republicans."

More below the fold:

Here's the poll numbers for Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents:

If the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary were held today, whom would you support:

Hillary Clinton: 40%
John Kerry: 18%
John Edwards: 16%
Joe Biden: 7%
Wesley Clark: 4%
Others (Feingold, Richardson, Warner, Bayh, Vilsack): 2% or less
Undecided: 12%

These numbers probably are at least 50% based on simple name recognition, but the interesting part was what else the poll found:

Now I know that some (maybe many) here are skeptical of Edwards, but given that Democrats are unlikely to make the same mistake twice with Kerry or make the mistake of nominating a polarizing figure (without appeal to swing-voters and with a definite perception problem) like HRC, one needs to look at the Democrats further down this list.

I think that Edwards was the ideal candidate to run against GWB, and this time around we probably won't be able to vote on who we think can best beat a particular goper.  Still, I'll give my reasoning behind my support for John Edwards (should he choose to run) in 2008 (this taken in part from a 2004 list I developed):

1.  Biography: Living Proof of the American Dream
John has an American Dream biography - he grew up the son of textile mill and post office workers and was the first in his family to go to college.  Therefore, the concerns of regular Americans are not hypothetical to him, they're real - he's lived them - and people correctly feel that he genuinely "cares about people like me."  Edwards himself was a product of solely public schools and all of his children have gone to public elementary and secondary schools.  Contrast that with many other candidates who are likely to have attended elitist prep schools and have sent their children only to private schools - how can they truly know much of anything about where most Americans send their kids to school?  As with Clinton, Democrats do best with candidates who can contrast their working, middle-class background to a goper's aristocratic life of privilege.  Edwards' message comes from his own life experience, they are not conjured up by political consultants.

2.  Electability: Geography
In general elections since 1960, Southern Democrats are 4-1-1 while Northern Democrats (Humphrey, McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry) are 0-5.  No Democrat has won the White House without winning at least 5 Southern states.  To win the Electoral College the Democratic candidate will have to be able to dominate in the Midwest and win several key battle-ground states in the South.  In the last 40 years, only Southern moderates have been able to move outside of the Democratic core and win in the suburbs and in key states such as Tennessee, Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania.  A SurveyUSA poll February 2004 in North Carolina shows Bush defeating Kerry 53% - 42%, while Edwards defeats Bush 50% - 47%.  Edwards can campaign in most every state and thus put the goper on the defensive and make him campaign and spend money in states they won in 2000 and 2004

3.  Electability: Campaigning Ability
Unlike other Democrats, Edwards is a charismatic, likeable and effective campaigner who reaches voters on a personal level because he comes from a regular working family background and has a vibrant, engaging, warm personality.  He wins over independents and moderate Republicans (according to primary exit polls - especially in Wisconsin - he has a big lead over the other candidate in attracting these swing voters vital to Democrats in November) while he energizes the party's base with an optimistic vision.  That's how he was able to win an upset victory over an incumbent Republican senator in a state previously dominated by Jesse Helms.  Edwards believes the most effective strategy is to run against an incumbents weakness (the economy) and not against his perceived strength (foreign policy).  [This, to me, was the key mistake of the Kerry GE Campaign in 2004]

4.  Not a Washington Insider
John is not a career politician; he was very successful in private life before going into public service.  He has been in government long enough to know how it works, but not so long as to become entangled in the Washington's webs.  Of the top two candidates, only Edwards can legitimately be considered a reformist outsider - a role that worked for Clinton and Carter.  This is even more the case in 2008.

5.  Independence from Special Interests
Unlike other possible candidates, John Edwards has NOT accepted money from PACs or corporate lobbyists in his Senate campaign and this presidential campaign.  Therefore, Edwards can contrast himself with the special interest financing of the Bush campaign - there are now skeletons in his closet.  [this was something Kerry couldn't do because of his special-interest money ties]

6.  Issues
In addition to electability, Edwards has a strong set of key policies.  
My Favorites:
Edwards put forward a "College for Everyone" plan where bright students from high school can earn free tuition at colleges during their first year in return for doing 10 hours of community service a week.  
His "American Dream," tax credit provides up to $5,000 toward the down payment on a first home and paying to send kids to college.  
John's for keeping the tax-cut for the middle-class, but repealing those that went to the wealthiest 2% of taxpayers in order to shore up Social Security and build-down Bush's massive, economy-stifling debts.  

7.  Message Marketing
As Kos said a few days ago "Edwards had the best message of all, talking about the Two Americas." And, I might add, his optimistic, future-oriented One America theme as well.  [Kerry was hampered by a weak slogan - "Stronger at Home, More Respected Abroad"]

8. Effective Experience
Despite what I hear around here sometimes, John Edwards has something to show for his time spent in the Senate.  In a time of crisis for our country, John Edwards was chosen by his Senate colleagues to successfully lead the final floor defense of the President during the 1999 impeachment trial.  John McCain (whose vote was critical) stated that he voted against a guilty verdict in large part because of Edwards' eloquent and persuasive defense.  
In 2001, with Senators Kennedy and McCain, John Edwards successfully led the passage of the Patient Bill of Rights and legislation that made it legal to buy drugs from Canada - both core issues to regular Americans.  
Edwards has foreign policy experience as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee for the last 5 years.  
Also, note that although he may not look it, Edwards is 50 years old.

Now I'll address the two biggest critiques of Edwards I find on dkos:

1.  Lack of Experience
See above
Also: Political experience and a long resume don't get one elected to the White House.
Ask Gore (VP, Senate, House) v Bush (one-term weak governor)
Ask Bush Sr (Pres, VP, CIA, China, etc etc etc) v. Clinton (gov from the 49th best state in the union).

2.  "Edwards didn't help Kerry in 2004 and couldn't even win North Carolina."

The problem with this is that the Kerry campaign never made even a cursory attempt to win NC (though some polls showed only a 5% Bush lead in September).
The Kerry campaign sent Edwards to NC only twice, once in July after the VP announcement and once in October, for a total of 2.5 days.
This is from memory, but I believe Kerry only visited NC once, in July, for a total of about 6 hours.
The total amount of days that the Kerry campaign advertised in NC was only 5 (in July).

So, the Kerry campaign wrote off the South just like they said they would and we paid for it with a loss and the loss of 5 senate seats.  You simply cannot blame JRE for not doing something he wasn't allowed to try to do.

What Edwards was set out to do was win over small and medium size towns.  And ... according to Charlie Cook from Cook Report a week after the election as reported in the National Journal.
"In smaller towns with populations of between 10,000 and 50,000 which represent 8% of the vote, Kerry actually picked up 10 points over Gore, moving from 38% to 48%, while President Bush dropped 9 points, from 59% to 50%.  Among the 16% in rural America, Kerry improved there points over Gore."

So, where Edwards was used, he was quite successful.  The Kerry campaign sent Edwards to small towns and this just happens to be one of just a few places where Kerry did better than Gore.

Thanks.

Originally posted to philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Between those three, I'll take Edwards. (4.00)
    But I prefer Gore and Boxer, in that order.

    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:04:50 AM PDT

    •  I agree wholeheartedly. In that order. (none)
      I loves me some Al Gore, and Barbara Boxer is dynamite!
    •  I'll see your Gore and Boxer (none)
      and raise you Clark and Feingold.

      The fact is though, that we really don't know what the fact on the ground will be in early 2008 when this decision will be made. Depending on where the country is and how desperate things are, different candidates may be most electable and/or best suited to run.

      Gore, Boxer, Edwards, Clark, Feingold, even the likes of Warner (not my type at all) could be the best at that time. I doubt HRC or John Kerry could be effective standard bearers, but 3 years is an eternity in American politics, as Americans have little memory and are easily shaped by a savvy campaign.

    •  We all want Babs! (none)
      But she isn't going to run, nor is Gore for that matter.
    •  I'll tell you what I want (none)
      A nominee that can win the Presidency. A talented and engaging politician. A principled and inspiring leader. A unifying force.

      I don't see one yet.

    •  with all this War shit.... (none)
      I wish you would rethink our General...Stand up guy...Lots of war backround..from a red state..has an accent....good look. Plain speaking guy. Learning the ropes as I type. I also heart Boxer in a big way..and feel Gore should be running the country now...However, his choice of Protorture Lieberman as Veep, in retrospect, scares the shit our of me.

      *We live in a Nation of LAWS* 11th Circuit

      by Chamonix on Tue May 17, 2005 at 03:11:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards is toast (none)
    To be realistic, he has no platform. Nobody will remember him in 2008.

    I don't believe he's as a strong candidate as I originally thought. He was creamed in 2004 on national security.

    Polls suck. No electability crap please.

    •  it's the other way around (none)
      He had the best platform in 2004 -- "Two Americas" -- but no resume.

      "Let's put our heads together/And start a new country up/Our father's father's father tried/Erased the parts he didn't like" - R.E.M., "Cuyahoga"

      by Adam B on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:10:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No resume and platform (none)
        The platform I referred to is the vehicle he could use to advocate his agenda. He is not a senator anymore, not an elected official. It's difficult to run as an unemployeed ex one term senator.
        •  Ask (4.00)
          Reagan, he did ok as an unemployed politician.

          Plus, running as an outsider is a bonus, not a liability.  And running as a non-politican is also a bonus.

          Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

          by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:27:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  damn! (none)

            i was gonna say reagan but i wasnt sure..he tried in 76 but lost right? and then he basically spent the next 4yrs on the hyper-conservative lecture circuit?

            what about nixon?

            "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

            by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:31:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  edwards (none)

          is the only candidate that DID have a platform, 2 Americas..

          and those 2 americas are gonna be alot more visible in the next 4 years..

          "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

          by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:30:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  but now (none)
          He's working with ACORN's politcal wing GOTV efforts for our candidates--Acorn was a huge force for good in pennsylvania and new mexico, in NM alone, they registered 1 million new voters.

          He's playing smart as far as I can see. But 08 is eons away in political time.

        •  Since when was a thin resume a problem? (none)
          Look at Chimpy McFibber ... dude was governor of Texas, yee haw. I'm from Texas. The Governor has about as much power in that state as I do.

          Bush owned businesses? He ran them all into the ground.

          Resumes like that only matter when you let your opponents define you, like Johnny Sunshine did in the campaign.

          Blog this! Visit me at K Street Blues. It will change your life.

          by AggieDemocrat on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:15:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I liked his stump speech... (none)
        but "Two Americas" was a hook - not a platform.

        "I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

        by ajbender on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:45:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  true (none)
          There was a full platform behind it, however.

          "Let's put our heads together/And start a new country up/Our father's father's father tried/Erased the parts he didn't like" - R.E.M., "Cuyahoga"

          by Adam B on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:01:03 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and No (none)
          Every GOOD campaign has a slogan (or "hook"), but Edwards also had a program -- see the 72 page long campaign pamphlet "Two Americas."

          Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

          by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:09:48 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Read (none)
      Did you actually READ my diary?

      I suggest you read his "Two Americas" platform pmaphlet from 2004.  He was the ONLY candidate to put out such a pamphlet.

      Any evidence for getting "creamed in 2004 on national security"?  Again, Democrats when on domestic pocket-book issues (forgetting this and running on foreign policy and running an ABB campaign is what sunk Kerry).

      Re "electibility crap": yes, we wouldn't want to nominate someone who could actually win would we?

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:26:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  hehe, tell that to Howard Dean (none)
      about "that electability crap"

      www.ydaz.org Young Democrats of Arizona " Kicking ass and taking names "

      by Dour on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:46:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well of course, it's all fantasy (none)
    who knows what slime they have in store for Edwards?  This is all untested speculation before any actual campaign dynamic kicks into gear.
    Besides, where's the 'vs. Jeb Bush' option?
    •  Slime? (none)
      Hard to slime such a likeable guy (it was easy for Kerry unfortunately), especially with that incredibly likeable family!

      The Helms-establishment in NC tried to slime Edwards with the "trial-lawyer" stuff as BC tried to do a bit, but it didn't stick -- his cases are too sympathetic.  Read his book "Four Trials."

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:23:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Warner or Feingold (none)
    Mark Warner or Russ Feingold would be our best presidential candidate.
    •  Reply (none)
      Feingold is DOA. He recently got divorced... for the 2nd time. It's hard running for President without a First Lady. Plus, I seriously doubt the Internet will embrace him, considering he wanted to regulate blogs and the like.
      •  disagree (none)
        While I agree with the divorce sentiment, I think he would be the netroots favorite.

        If he gets remarried, he could be back in the picture.

        •  Rapid remarriage (none)
          I think a rapid remarriage would look contrived and opportunistic, going against Feingold's whole squeaky clean image. I think being engaged might be beleivable by that time, but remarried already would make him look like he was either cheating or just went and found a convenient wife.

          Personally, I feel lucky to be represented by Russ in the senate and would be slightly inclined to support him for POTUS in '08 barring a strong early campaign by Clark (or maybe Gore or Dean). The optimist in me thinks that the kind of people who would not vote for him becasue he's divorced, might also not vote for him because he's Jewish, because he's northern, because he's liberal or whatever. It will hurt, but ultimately it's the whole package that matters for better or for worse.

      •  Not more of this (4.00)
        It's hard running for President without a First Lady.

        Tell that to Hillary and Condi.

        Look, the people that wouldn't vote for Feingold because he is not married or because he is Jewish weren't going to vote for him any way. Enough with these "electability lithmus tests".

        I don't know what all this about Feingold regulating blogs is about, but as far as the internet not embracing him, look around, there are many who do.

    •  Why (none)
      Would you like to elaborate on that?

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:21:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Warner (none)
        Warner is progressive enough to satisfy the base, but appears moderate to the average American.

        He has done wonders for the Virginia budget and economy, bringing jobs to areas with traditionally very high unemployment. He has turned a huge deficit into a surplus and made health care more affordable for needy children.

        He raised the state income tax but increased the exemption amounts. He also recently signed legislation lowering the state food tax.

        Governors win presidential elections and I think Warner is our strongest governor.

        •  Warner (none)
          He also has a strong family, no military baggage (too young for Vietnam), and is seen as a unifier in Virginia. He could appeal to a lot of moderates.
        •  warner is good (none)

          warner is definitely a good candidate

          "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

          by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:32:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Progressive enough" (none)
          How is he progressive enough?  And don't start telling me about abortion, etc.  Exactly how is he progressive on economic issues?

          This guy's just another Jimmy Carter.  Except Carter, at least, had the advantage of being a true southerner.

          Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. Thomas Frank.

          by Paleo on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:48:32 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards is heads and shoulders above the other (none)
    Dems.  The other candidates cherry picked their positions from his real solutions for america policy book.  He's the only one who has the ideas, energy, and integrity, and the issues to win.  He is the most competitive person available to the Dems, a complete winner.

    When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

    by Sargent Pepper on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:07:49 AM PDT

    •  It's Edwards (none)
      I agree.  He has a head start on the 2 americas slogan.  He should mix it with some anti-free trade language, and with his looks and accent I see no-one on the GOP side who can take him.
      •  Edwards on Trade (none)
        Edwards is for putting Labor and Environment standards INSIDE trade agreements.  He voted against the Free Trade of the Americas program and the Free Trade with Chile act.

        Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

        by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:56:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Uhhh (none)
      Well, I'm hoping it's either Gore or Clark.

      Just saying.

      I just don't feel like following Edwards.

      endeavor to persevere

      by wetzel on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:32:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, we are dems after all, (none)
        it is our strength and our weakness.  Gore is great in person,I really like him, but doesn't translate well through the media.  Clark is ok in person, but my preference is non-military, because I don't think politics and military mix, there are too many built-in conflicts of interest. We need a strong civilian leader is what I'm looking for.

        When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

        by Sargent Pepper on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:02:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Of course the biggest problem with that poll (4.00)
    neither McCain nor Guiliani have a snowball's chance in hell of getting the nomination.

    Yeah? At least YOUR Congressional District has elected a Democrat sometime in the last 124 years. (TN-1)

    by FleetAdmiralJ on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:08:32 AM PDT

    •  Excellent point. (none)
      I think McCain has an outisde chance (way outside) if the GOP is image savvy and cares about retaining the white house. Giuliani is poison to cultural right-wingers who are oh-so-important in GOP primaries. He has about a 0.5% chance at best of being the nominee. The real question ought to have been who runs well against J Bush, Owen or Frist.
    •  I agree (none)
      even wrote the following in my draft, but then couldn't find a place to put it in the final version.

      "Not that I think Giuliani will ever be the gop nominee (I think its Jeb or Frist or as a darkhorses Hagel - who would be tough to beat - or Haley Barbour - who probably would be easier)."  

      I'm guessing that your reasons are similar to mine:

      1.  McCain is seen as too much of a maverick in a party that loves loyalty.
      2.  Guiliani is pro-choice, and that would split the gop in two.  Same with the gropenfuhrer.

      Still, it is interesting to see Edwards doing SO well against gop moderates.  That portends EVEN BETTER numbers against gop extremists.

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:16:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  you got it (4.00)

        "Still, it is interesting to see Edwards doing SO well against gop moderates.  That portends EVEN BETTER numbers against gop extremists."

        id like to see a frist v. edwards poll, but these pollsters dont have the guts

        "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

        by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:34:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The only other (none)
          numbers mentioned in news stories I saw were:

          Hillary 55%, Jeb 38%
          No numbers for the other two Dem leaders vs. Jeb.

          FYI, the gop's favorites were:

           Rudy Giuliani    27%   
           John McCain    20%   
           Jeb Bush    10%     
           Newt Gingrich      8%   
           Rick Santorum      3%     
           Bill Frist      3%     
           George Pataki      2%     
           Mitt Romney      1%     
           Chuck Hagel      1%   
           Haley Barbour      1%

          Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

          by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:40:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  they'll push hillary (none)
            b/c they know she cant win

            sorta like kerry

            "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

            by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:31:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Giuliani has other issues too (none)
        I think the whole Kerik mess was a move by Rove to make him look bad. I think Rove wont run the campaign in 08, but he will be choosing the candidate, and I dont think he likes Giuliani, he'll use him as a prop at a convention or on the trail, but on a ticket. Plus, Giuliani was divorced twice, his current wife(and potential first lady) was his mistress, he stayed with  gay couple during divorce. Not to stereotype(since I am a southerner) but I dont think they will like that. They'll take a good-looking, well-spoken southern boy like Edwards over Giuliani.

        Being called partisan and vindictive by Tom Delay is like being called ugly by a frog- Ronnie Earle

        by jj32 on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:38:27 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  it shows (none)

      that most republicans are to the left of who the GOP puts up--but they vote for those guys--and "approve" of them, anyway

      "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

      by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:33:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  nice Analysis (none)

       Recommended. Everyone should read it. I was a big fan of Edwards last year. I'm not hardcore for him yet, but he's certainly high on my list.
  •  Too Early. (4.00)
    Unfortunately my first choice for a presidential candidate is now head of the DNC and unavailable, and my second choice, Paul Wellstone, is Dead.

    Come to think of it, my 3rd choice, Mo Udall, is dead too?

    BTW, have any other guys with only one eye played in the NBA?

    The Dream involves 4 sets of identical twins, 2 gallons of Cool Whip, 5 quarts of chocolate syrup, 2-1/4 pounds of strawberries, satin sheets, a magnum of champ

    by msaroff on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:09:46 AM PDT

    •  But both Mo and Paul (none)
      Live on in our hearts. And as Garrison Keillor has said, there's already a Minnesota city named after Wellstone (St. Paul).

      And the Arctic Refuge's coastal strip will deisignated the Morris Udall Wilderness Area if the dems retake congress soon. The bill's been introduced every year since Mo's death ten years ago.

      Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

      by Ed in Montana on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:01:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent Diary (none)
    But I am predisposed towards Edwards anyway.  For all the above reasons but especially the likeability factor and the impact I personally saw him have on republicans that I spoke to.  They liked him.  They liked his populist approach.  They believed him when he spoke.  

    Edwards is unquestionably the best we at this point to reach out to the great middle ground and bring back the "Clinton republicans."

    "Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." - FDR

  •  Though Edwards leads (none)
    those polls numbers are all close enough (within 10 points) to make any of them viable.  It's all about the campaign.
  •  Whoever we run had better have run (none)
    a national campaign before.

    No more rookies.  

  •  That poll and a dollar, (none)
    is worth a dollar.  (quoting our Armando ;)

    (woeful results for Kerry though!)

    ...Don't sweat the petty things, and don't pet the sweaty things....

    by PhillyGal on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:12:45 AM PDT

    •  Yep (none)
      certainly no one will get elected in a poll of 1000 three years out.  But, it is a snapshot of where Democrats and democratic-leaning independents are RIGHT NOW.  Will new names emerge and current names fall away?  Sure.

      Still, it should be remembered that good poll numbers in the hypethetical Kerry-Bush race in after Iowa may have been KEY to Kerry winning the nomination (the sad thing for Edwards supporters is that he too was leading Bush in those polls, but it didn't make the news).

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:20:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  polls (none)

      were actually pretty close to predicting the election in 2004.

      its not perfect, but its informative if you know how to read it

      "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

      by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Electability" (4.00)
    I don't want to hear that word ever again. WTF do polls this far out mean anyway?

    May the best candidate, not the most "electable," as win.

    •  Best (none)
      The "best" candidate has to be "electable" otherwise what are we actually doing in the primaries?

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:29:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  let me be clear (none)
        about what I mean by "electability."

        Choosing based on "electability," to me, means choosing the candidate who you think other people will like the best. It's an overly analytical decision based on things like geography, biography, resume, race, gender, or religion. Baseball-card stats.

        Not that these are not important aspects of any candidate, they are, but they should not be the primary basis on which we vote.

        Every voter in a Democratic primary should support the candidate they feel would make the BEST candidate and the BEST president, period. Hopefully those two things coincide. If not, then make some calculation. But to choose based on your guess of other people's future opinions is counter-productive.

        Because if our nominee cannot speak to the base and for us and inspire us to get out and work, how the hell is he or she going to do the same to swing voters (or whichever demographic we are basing a strategic "electability" choice on)?

        •  OK (none)
          I've made my points on electability, I think they stand the test of logic, I'll leave it to others to decide.

          However, make no mistake, I think Edwards would be the best President as well.

          I'm especially interested in National Service (college aid for volunteer service), which I think would reinvigorate a sense of Community Service (what Clark called "New Patriotism") in the USA.  Community service is what the Stoics and the Founders refered to as (in part) Virtue.  I believe that Democrats ought to push PUBLIC MORALITY (as JRE does, note the recent push on poverty as a moral issue, same with the One America theme) to contrast ourselves with the so-called Private Morality or the gopers.  By reinvigorating Americans sense of Virtue, we get to the heart of gopism -- that we're each an island in the marketplace without any ties to each other.  That would make peoples lives better AND make the Democrats a permanent majority!

          Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

          by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:48:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Electibility Means Something (none)
        in a race for President because it is unlike any other political race in that substance is less important and intangibles more important.

        The facts are that facts don't matter.  You can talk about issues all you want but they're just not as relevant as you would hope.  The more likable candidate always wins.  It's not scientific.  It's not political.  

        Electibility in presidential terms is a fungible but tangible formula, the first line of which is charisma/likeability.  Whether one likes it or not it exists.

  •  National Security (none)
    His Achilles Heel.

    Otherwise, there is no doubt that Edwards is tremendously appealing.

    You make a strong case.

    "Just say no to torture." -Semi-Anonymous Blogger.

    by Armando on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:22:06 AM PDT

    •  terror #s (none)

      one of teh interesting #s in this poll is the terror approval #s---but is at 48%..

      MUCHHHHHHHH lower than ive ever seen him

      "You will determine whether rage or reason guides the United States in the struggle to come. You will choose whether we are known for revenge or compassion. Yo

      by AmericanHope on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:34:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks Armando (none)
      Is he the IDEAL candidate from Utopia?

      No, it'd be nice if he was the governor from NC (however Mike Easley, a Democrat, was just re-elected for another 4-year term in office).

      Would it be nice if he had also been a war hero (but he was 18ish in 1973), or a UN ambassador or something?  Yes (he only has foreign intelligence committee as his FP resume)!  But, that could be overcome (as it was for Bush and Clinton with a VP nominee and/or promise of a Secretary of State and/or Defense).

      But, such an ideal candidate doesn't exist.  And, for the reasons I've stated, as of now, he still looks the best.

      We've discussed (no ... argued) about this before.  Our fundamental difference is that I don't see 9-11 as such a huge watershed in American politics and therefore continue to believe that Democrats win national office on bread-and-butter issues rather than homeland security issues.  [I think 9-11 wasn't a major issue because compared to the Cold War, which threatened the immediately destruction of the entire country in 30 minutes, the war with Al Qaeda is small potatoes).

      I know you're currently a Clark supporter, I should note that I thought and still think that Clark would've and would make the best VP for a Edwards GE run.

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:37:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ... and that showed in the Cheney debate (none)
      I expected to see more eloquence and more of an attacking style from him in that debate, and I was a bit disappointed. I'm open to being persuaded on Edwards, but I need to see some fire and just a bit of moral outrage. When you get right down to it, that's what Kerry lacked.
      •  see my comment above on meeting him last night (none)
        I think he was under orders from the Kerry campaign and being a good soldier. I think it will be different if he calls the shots. Notice the change from his primary to general election style.
        •  you are absolutely right, Kerry (none)
          was reigning him in, afraid he'd overshadow him? Too bad if that was the issue, but most importantly is that his wife Elizabeth is the most singular amazing and wonderful person in the world.  no exaggeration.

          When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

          by Sargent Pepper on Tue May 17, 2005 at 11:08:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I still think if Giuliani gets the nomination... (none)
    he wins around 40 states.

    "I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him." - Booker T. Washington

    by ajbender on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:40:28 AM PDT

    •  not when the shit starts coming out (none)
      there are more horror stories we can slime him with- you have no idea. The guy is so dirty, so corrupt, so bad-  John Kerry's swift boat vets will look like childs play.

      You heard of the James Byrd ads in Texas right? Imagine that but with four seperate horrible acts down under Guiliani in NYC, and there are entire precincts willing to campaign against him. He is hated by the cops, the fire fighters, the building trades, the cabbies....

      Guiliani is crazy if he runs.

      www.ydaz.org Young Democrats of Arizona " Kicking ass and taking names "

      by Dour on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:43:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think Hillary beats Rudy (none)
      if those are our final 2
    •  Giuliani could never be their nominee (none)
      If only for his marital shenanigans.
    •  no way (none)
      how does he win the republican nomination? the religious fanatics will hate him,divorced , carrying on an affair, pro abortion,pro gun control pro gay rights.if he somehow gets the nomination it would be a close election.i really believe if a moderate like mccain or giuliani wants a chance they would have to run as a third party.plus his name is to long and hard rto spell!
    •  Yep (none)
      IF Giuliani gets the nomination, which is nearly impossible, he would be a very tough competitor unless the Dems went with a southern moderate who could pry loose Arkansas and a couple others.

      Of course Giuliani can only be the GOP nominee in an alternate universe where the unforgiving, hypocritical 'Christian' far right doesn't dominate the GOP primary. And I am grateful for that this one time, since I tihnk Giuliani, long term, would be more damaging to civil liberties and open government than even Frist, Owen or Jeb Bush.

  •  I'm a Kerry guy first and foremost, BUT (none)
    I fear the day he thinks he can run again in 2008, cause he'll pull the rest of us kicking and screaming down with him... Also, I was in iowa for JK and i was yelling down to the last 2 weeks that JRE was coming up and coming fast, but few listened, until of course caucus night.

    But i have to say... as long as we can keep JK out of the damn primary, i was very happy with JRE's performance overall on the campaign- but i honestly think he needs to take this time now to bone up on policy and debates-cause he got slaughtered by Cheney.

    But of that group, I would support and work my ass for JRE in 2008 over anyone in that group- as long as you keep JK out. But your forgetting the usual suspects that are DEF running- Richardson and Biden.

    www.ydaz.org Young Democrats of Arizona " Kicking ass and taking names "

    by Dour on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:41:36 AM PDT

    •  Richardson and Biden (none)
      were in the poll:

      Biden 7%
      Richardson 1%

      Personally, I think Biden's too old and hasn't really been an effective Senator.
      Richardson certainly has the resume, but the scandal at Los Alamos is probably a killer.

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:53:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  FYI (none)
      I think 3 our of 4 polls after the Edwards-Cheney debate gave it to Edwards.

      In the debate he was able to tied together the themes of corruption and incompetence in Iraq, jobs, etc, that Kerry was never able to do.

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:54:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I talked with Edwards last night (4.00)
    I was at a small reception for him before he spoke at a law school commencement. He was very impressive in a genuine way. He greeted everyone there, including and especially the wait staff individually.

    He comes across as genuine and the kind of guy you really would want to shoot the breeze with. And as a former trial attorney myself, I sort of pride myself on sizing folks up. He really passed the test.

    His talk was fabulous. He got applause during it - rare for a commencement speech and a couple standing ovations. The talk was on community and the need to care for all members of our community. He spoke against self-righteous individualism that looks down at people who haven't done well. He gave examples of friends of his from childhood who are good hard working people who have had bad luck and deserve our care - not our condemnation.

    I had the sense that he was really held back while running for veep. I would love to have someone like him - or him - speaking this way to and for our nation.

    •  Contrasts (none)
      "He gave examples of friends of his from childhood who are good hard working people who have had bad luck and deserve our care - not our condemnation."

      Bush would and COULD never do that.  Unfortunately, neither could Kerry.  We're better off with a candidate that can draw contrasts on all levels: personality, biography, character, issues, etc.

      Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

      by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:24:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  love this rating system (none)
      These are the most ratings I have ever gotten - and all for having talked with someone famous. Must seek the glitterati much more often.

      BTW, if you love this, look at my diary from this am on the right wing think tanks campaign against the minimum wage - something Edwards supports and suports raising.
      http://www.dailykos.com/story/2005/5/17/92150/1532

  •  Shamless Plug (none)
    Even though it's gotten 60+ comments, this conversation is going to come to a screetching halt in about 10 minutes if this diary isn't recommended by y'all.

    Everybody talks about John Edwards' energy, intellect and charisma -- Bill Clinton

    by philgoblue on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:51:09 AM PDT

  •  As Master Yoda would say (none)
    "Victory you say? The 2008 primary wars, they have begun!"

    Dang how I miss those heady days of 2003 here at Daily Kos! Flame wars breaking out in every thread, Clarkies versus Deaniacs versus Johnny Sunshine supporters (dang few John Kerryites in those days). And massive carpet bombing every time a Naderite would raise their delusional heads. Sigh... those were the days.

    All I can say for 2008 is go Johnny Sunshine! Unless General Clark announces first.

    Governor Brian Schweitzer: "He's sort of our Howard Dean on the ranch."

    by Ed in Montana on Tue May 17, 2005 at 09:52:49 AM PDT

  •  Agree (4.00)
    Of all the possible candidates, Edwards is the one who makes the most sense, and would be the strongest in '08.  Two key reasons:  geography and economic populism.  Edwards understands that to overcome the social wedge issues, we must emphasize the economic populism we long stood for under the DLC and the Clintons got a hold of the party.

    Democrats must confront the cultural populism of the wedge issues with genuine economic populism. Thomas Frank.

    by Paleo on Tue May 17, 2005 at 10:02:29 AM PDT

  •  Edwards/Clark (none)
    or Clark/Edwards - either way its a win.
  •  It doesn't matter who runs. We lost already (none)
    unless we repair how voting happens.

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