Sunday, February 26, 2006

John Edwards is the solution to everything

That's basically the theme of my posts today over at Ezra's blog. First, I've got a post on red-state regionalism and how not to respond to the South Dakota abortion ban. (Justin, I've copied your November 2004 comment yet again.)

Then I've got a post on how to beat John McCain. This is the post with more Edwards content, so my fellow Edwards fans might want to look at it first.


Blue said...

Al Gore was a moderate southerner vietnam vet who had been part of two successful presidential elections.

If we only list the good things, we can always make the candidate look good and like they have qualifications that specifically fit the times. Especially for something as unscientific as cultural signals. We risk Edwards boosters flooding us so much with his good qualities, that we forget his bad qualities, much like with Kerry, and we get creamed again.

Edwards was an insurance lawyer, quit the Senate after one term, couldn't make Dick Cheney look bad in a debate, and is pretty far from the mainstream. He's still my favorite, but he is not the solution to regionalism identity politics that have been killing the Democrats for decades.

Neil Sinhababu said...

Well, we've got the polling data on our side. His favorability numbers beat any other Democrat. I see a lot of my cultural signal / regionalism arguments for him partly as a way of explaining the poll numbers.

Blue said...

Then really the point is "Edwards does best against McCain nationwide", which says many things, but certainly not all you want it to say.

For instance, McCain is one of the worst Republicans when it comes to the south and those heartlands, and it is because of the South that he lost. Can Edwards hold his role as a good ol' Southern boy against a Republican who actually does the Southern thing?

Regional polling data (how Edwards does against McCain or anyone else in South Carolina) would be much more useful.

Anonymous said...

What in the world is an "insurance" lawyer.? Edwards was a plaintiff's attorney who specialized in personal injury cases.

And, the idea that he is "pretty far from the mainstream" is espoused by people unknown to me. I live in the heartland, surrounded by republicans, and they all have had one thing on their mind since '04: we would've voted for a democrat if Edwards was on the top of the ticket.

I like how Edwards is criticized by the left-wing purists for not being progressive enough and being a moderate, and at the same time, he is criticized by others for not being "moderate" enough... that tells me one thing: if he can find people on both sides to criticize him, he can probably find people on both sides to support him. Which is precisely what happened in the '04 primaries: Edwards had the largest percentage of independent and crossover republican primary votes.

And, yes, Edwards is the solution to regionalism identity politics... people don't see him as a "liberal" even though he is on a lot of issues. His persona is all southern and he can make people see his side of the issues as a validation of American values.

check out this latest article where Edwards got a round of applause from Michigan republicans (many belonging to an elite economic club) for, out of all things, recommending a raise in the minimum wage: