Friday, December 29, 2006


In a more forthright manner than any Hillary or Obama thus far, John Edwards announced his candidacy for President on Thursday morning in the heart of Katrinaland.

Sure, he's only been a one-term Senator, but for the past two years he's actually been leading organizations fighting poverty in America. He's the only major candidate talking about that issue. Is that a message that is going to resonate enough to capture the Democratic Party's nomination and, beyond that, win a spot in the Oval Office?

While by no means do I feel he's a lock, I do think it foolish to underestimate John Edwards. Here's a self-made guy who's made a successful living defending individual citizens against corporations, been nominated Vice President, with an awesome wife (Elizabeth Edwards would be a brilliant First Lady -- with a direct line to The View, no doubt), and the tragic character builder of losing a 16 year-old son.

Strategically, Jon Stafford has a majorly informative comment on this DailyKos posting on Edwards in New Hampshire today (overflow crowds), saying it could be Edwards' race to lose:
Say Al Gore decides not to get in. Barack Obama may very well turn out to be a flash in the pan. In fact, one could argue that anyone getting so much attention THIS far out is bound to crash. Remember, at this point in 2003 Howard Dean was picking out cabinet members. And I think Hillary Clinton is going to surprise a lot of observers by how badly she does in the primaries.

And about those primaries (and caucuses)? It goes Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, in that order. Edwards has a huge lead in Iowa, where he's been working the labor vote since, well, 2004. And he practically wins South Carolina by default. If he wins those two, then either does well or wins in either Nevada or New Hampshire (or both) he has HUGE momentum going into Feb. 5, where 4 out of the 8 contests (Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, and Missouri) are places where he would be expected to do very well. Hell, if things went right, he could be practically unbeatable by early February.

It's just one scenario, but it's very plausible.

Chris Matthews and his commenters are also in the don't underestimate camp. Already rocking in Des Moines. Collected $262k and counting at Act Blue since Thursday morning (where to go if you want to give an early boost to his campaign).

I haven't always been a huge fan of Edwards, but he's reputed his vote to authorize El Presidente Bush to attack Iraq and is spreading the meme that the Bush/Cheney/McCain/Lieberman "surge" should be called by its true name, "escalation" like we did back in Vietnam at the same juncture(s).

Assuming Al stays out, how about an Edwards/Obama ticket? Too callow for these terrorist times, or maybe the breath of fresh air that Bill & Al delivered -- a youthful countenance, a system reboot for America -- something no GOP candidate can deliver?

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