I think by now it is established that both the Obama and Hillary campaigns realized that populism sells, watching Edwards do what he did in Iowa with much less cash. I have been watching the language slowly morph and it is fascinating for those of us who really like to parse.
Depending on their demeanor, Edwards supporters (I am one) are either irked, or just point to it as Edwards having a positive influence on the campaign. Talking about poverty, it seems, is OK even for a rich guy to do, and no amount of accusations of hypocrisy will kill that message.
Especially when Edwards is savvy enough to string the media along waiting for the Iowa "concession" sound-bite they so desperately wanted, reclaiming some of that lost airtime they have been denying him.
So now that's settled. What's next?
For me, what's next is watching CNBC to see whether the business class is comfortable with this language going out over the microphones of all three Democratic candidates while the ranks of Democratic voter rolls grow. We can debate whether these are sincere beliefs being rediscovered and re-expressed by Obama and Clinton till we turn blue, and we should. But I'll be interested to see what those people think, because if it makes them nervous, I get free giggles.
Something tells me the stuffed suits who coax dollars out of spreadsheets to parasitically feed off society, since they have no useful skills, will not actually be savvy enough to suspect empty rhetoric. I mean after all half of them are about to go bankrupt as their leverage recoils in their face. How smart are they really?
Because Hillary's anti-corporation and "for the people" sound-bites are getting the majority of the minutes in the excerpted version, at least as I am now watching on MSNBC.
So now all but the most adroit the corporatist sycophants may not view either of the Obama or Hillary campaigns as particularly "pro-market" -- no more safe haven there.
And in the end, they are a minority, and one the voters are allowing to influence them less and less.
Anyway, to my point. The "theft" of rhetoric can be done by any party. Including Edwards. And the time for him to do so is now. With small and medium business owners.
So Elizabeth, if you read this, please tell hubby that he might want to try a few thought experiments where the "good businesses" he tried, a bit less elegantly than usual, to cite in the debate, are in the "underdog" role.
After all, the damage psychopathic corporations do is not confined to our families. They also ruin the market, corrupt the system that is supposed to keep business ethical, and step all over anyone trying to run a fair business strategy. Never would I suggest putting the needs of any business above that of a single citizen, of course, but the SBOs and mid-level management need to hear John saying something that sounds like he will help their meal ticket... they are mostly not partisans but as it is, they fall for Republican tripe playing on their bad experiences with a few of the less well implemented government programs.
And thereby is John's inroad into the Independent fence sitters, because if the other campaigns -- even one on the other side of the aisle -- can siphon off votes from the working class, you can certainly raid their chamber of commerce votes -- and with the right message, the ones you can live with. The good people from that segment.
(And no, I don't own a business)