Sunday, April 08, 2007

Salon on Edwards

Playing it safe is not the plan for the Edwards campaign. Instead, big, bold, transformational change is at the heart of his agenda. He is taking risks, like telling voters that universal healthcare is worth the money it will cost them and again being the first Democrat to tell Fox News that he will not participate in a Presidential debate they sponsor or co-sponsor.

"Unraveling Edwards' subtext does not require a Derrida-spouting graduate student. Hillary Clinton is the obvious apostle of these "cautious, incremental steps," while Barack Obama is the undeniable master of feel-good rhetoric. What is most intriguing about the Edwards 2.0 campaign is how a once carefully calibrated, pro-war, mainstream Democrat has fashioned himself into the candidate of "big, bold transformational change."

Shapiro goes on to point out that Edwards has staked out the left-flank on domestic issues, especially on universal healthcare and poverty. Despite that, he is holding the support of conservative Democrats and swing voters who were on his team last time, and simultaneously attracting the support of progressive voters. Amazing what telling truth can do.

In short, Edwards has decided not to play it safe and instead to say what he thinks and then carefully, honestly and openly defend his positions, trusting that the truth is something that voters not only can handle, but will find refreshing. How many times in the last year have you heard someone say that Democrats have complaints but no plans? Edwards is the antidote for that poison. He set the bar for the Democrats by putting forward the most detailed platform statements of any of the candidates, and he did it early.

My opinion? The first time Edwards ran, he fell victim to consultants who convinced him to play it safe, play it down the middle and get elected. That approach may be safe but it does not embrace the change we need. And it did not get him elected. This time, he will dare to lead.
This is cross-posted at Georgia Votes Edwards.

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Tina said...

I think it's going to take someone with a clear "new deal" to capture the public imagination. Lately there is so much fear-mongering and so little common sense that a winning candidate will have to present a significant degree of directness that the public can grasp and agree with. Eisenhower won by saying "I'll bring the boys home from Korea." Nobody is going to win by saying "On the one hand blah blah blah, but on the other hand blah blah blah." I think it will be hard for the Republs to win with their current repetition of "Give war a chance...." but the Dems will have to be brave and offer a clear alternative even though the whole situation, as we currently find outselves in the midst of it, is somewhat murky.

benny06 said...

I think Edwards is right to do this, and now Obama and Clinton are falling in line.

Amy Morton said...

I appreciate the fact that he sees where we need to go and is leading us there as opposed to trying to figure out where we are and meeting us there.