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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)

Originally posted to skids on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:48 PM PST.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Hillary is the BIG winner tonight... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeanBoneII, bear83

    After 60 years she finally found her voice.


  •  35 years of experience & she finds voice tonight? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tiggers thotful spot

    I found HRC's found voice comment a a bit puzzling.

    •  her speech (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I thought that was the best line she delivered tonight in her speech.

      It was a pretty good speech, although it really didn't sound like she was using HER VOICE to give it. She was reading. After appearing right after Edwards and Obama's speeches, her speech didn't have that genuine, from-the-heart delivery. She paused at awkward places for applause (waiting too late to let the applause get through - she'd say something about how young people are stuggling for jobs, and instead of pausing at "young people", she waits until after saying "struggling to get jobs", so it sounds like people are cheering that they can't get work. It was awkward.)

      I know Obama and Edwards are very good orators. But, I'm amazed Hillary hasn't improved that much in the past few years, especially as someone who is married to one of the best in the biz. It gives the impression that she's reading, not truly feeling what she's saying in her heart. And, I think she IS feeling it. She just doesn't quite connect when she gives big speeches with cheering crowds.

      Her debate performances are superb - Presidential, polished, and thoughtful. If she can really learn to make her seem more truly connected to the emotional words she's saying, it will help her greatly.

      I remember a time when the American President was the leader of the free world. ****** Repeat after me: "Neoconservatism has failed America."

      by land of the free on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 10:17:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If only saints could talk about poverty... (0+ / 0-) would only get talked about soup kitchens.

    OpenSource volunteers needed to bring election accountability:

    by skids on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:52:42 PM PST

  •  Not too suprising. . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Partially Impartial

    after the Iowa caucuses I heard Obama give a Bill Clinton speech.

    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 think any close observer of the campaign would have to conclude just the opposite -- that populism, at least on the Democratic side, is a losing proposition.  You could argue that the Republican populist (Huckabee) is doing well, but I think that's considerably more on the strength of his evangelical message than his populist one.

    El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz -- Benito Juarez

    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:52:50 PM PST

    •  So then what is the explanation... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoenix Woman

      for the better $/vote figures in the Edwards campaign, if not the message?  His aftershave?

      OpenSource volunteers needed to bring election accountability:

      by skids on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:55:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Edwards has plenty of money. . . (0+ / 0-)

        and he spent a lot more time on the ground in Iowa.  The money didn't matter -- at least, in Iowa.  You'll see his more natural level of support in other states.  The New Hampshire figures are still a bit inflated since it's also a retail state, but as the states get bigger I think you'll see him around 15% -- which I think is the core Democratic constituency for this message.

        Just my opinion, I don't claim to be an expert.

        El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz -- Benito Juarez

        by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:59:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  whether populism sells isn't the point (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Our country is being shipped off to the third world to avoid a century of social progress, child labor laws, environmental protection and others.  Big oil will destroy the planet unless the last drop of oil is sold first. The cost of government has been shifted to those least able to pay and the benefit to those least in need. Having lost decades of elections to democrats who successfully promised a chicken in every pot, the Republican business types successfully countered with a tax cut in every pot (with some pots bigger than others).

      The issue is not whether populism sells candidates.  It is whether we can find a candidate with the backbone and skills to sell populism.  The future of our civilization depends on it.

  •  The mark of a good politician (10+ / 0-)

    is to steal what works.  Bill didn't say much about health care in 1991 or early 1992, then stole it from Bob Kerrey.

    He didn't talk much about the deficit, then stole it from Perot.

    Hillary is a good politician.

    Edwards' rhetoric and passion on the issues (from Iraq to Fox News, to populism) has really left a mark on this race and I hope he continues to keep pushing because it makes Democrats far better to be seen talking about and fighting for these issues.

    God it's so painful that something that's so close, is still so far out of reach. Tom Petty/Al Gore

    by Velvet Revolution on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:53:33 PM PST

  •  yeap edwards' rhetoric is now coin of the realm (10+ / 0-)

    as it ought to be.

    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:53:47 PM PST

  •  Edwards did help Hillary, but how you think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miriam, CC Music Factory

    His ranting and fingerpointing likely pushed support towards her.  

    His attempt to claim part of Obama's Iowa victory not only failed, it backfired.

  •  If Obama could do it, so can Hillary! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SecondComing, bear83

    Steal from Edwards, that is.  ;-)

    •  From Obama it's more convincing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SecondComing, bear83

      and less obvious: at least he doesn't use the EXACT SAME WORDS. Forgive me if this seems harsh but "this is very personal for me."

      "We are building a political movement -- not one that wields the power of lobbyists and corporate interests, but the power of millions... who seek change." --De

      by Jim in Chicago on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:59:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Edwards doesn't own populism. He stole those (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    themes from Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign.  Hillary is stealing them back, fair and square.  Hillary also happens to have a track record of improving the standard of living for the middle class.  Edward has a track record of flip flopping, of talking a lot and doing very little.  

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 09:58:38 PM PST

  •  Hope Edwards stays in the race (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alnc, SecondComing, votermom, jre2k8, bear83

    He keeps the other two honest and focused on the issues that matter. His focus is what Dems need. Without him there is a chance it would be lost.

  •  Buck up Ladies and Gentleman (6+ / 0-)

    We have a platform to build.

    With these three spouting the truth they don't stand a chance.

  •  Votes and Concepts... (0+ / 0-)

    Not an HRC supporter, but can I point out that her votes re: corporate interests indicate that she's been working for the people of NY and not corporate interests? She's got a pretty decent ranking over at Progressive Punch...

    Also...I'm not sure what you mean by "rhetorical theft." Last I checked you can't steal a concept (I'm not even sure which thing your talking about) because there isn't really any ownership.

    If it's the "personal" thing, the "personal as political" has been around since the 1960s. It's part of what movements like Civil Rights and Women's Rights and GLBT movements are based on...the personal.

    Just some thoughts from a person who is glad that the Dems won big today with a record turn out.

    Take that John McCain!

    Proud Supporter of NFC

    by kredwyn on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 10:01:27 PM PST

  •  It's time for new "stump speeches" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    from all the leading Democrats. If Hillary and Obama feel the need to borrow Edwards populist rhetoric, so be it. At the very worst, it moves the proverbial Overton Window.

    A few preemptive shots at the Republican frontrunners for being Bush toadies would be nice too.

    May I have ten thousand marbles, please? - Flounder

    by SecondComing on Tue Jan 08, 2008 at 10:21:22 PM PST

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