Sunday, December 31, 2006

Merry New Year!

Hope everyone has an appropriately hazy and safe New Year's Eve tonight and a gloriously hungover and football-filled New Year's Day tomorrow.

As a present, here's a video clip of the politician who gives me the most hope and optimism for the future -- John Edwards. I have a ginormous man crush on this guy, and I endorse his presidential campaign to the utmost. I can only assume that'll guarantee his victory.


MR said...

I think Edwards is great but I just don't know what has changed since 2004 except that he is two years older. The more I think about the Dems in 2008, the more I think the nomination is Al Gore's to lose: he was robbed in 2000, has been consistently right on Iraq (unlike Hillary), and will not have a problem with either cash or name recognition... I wrote a story on this at

Otto Man said...

I'm pro-Gore, but I don't think he has a chance for many of the same reasons Hillary doesn't -- the Beltway Heathers have already decided the media narrative, and many voters have already accepted it. It's going to be much too tough to convince people that the accepted wisdom about Gore is wrong, especially when that accepted wisdom is that Gore Is a Politician Who Keeps Changing His Image to Win Votes. Edwards doesn't have that baggage, and that means he can get out of the gate much, much more quickly.

And I do think a lot has changed since 2004, and not just the fact that Edwards will be writing his own script this time instead of following the bungled one written for him by the Kerry campaign. After Katrina and the loss of New Orleans, the "Two Americas" theme of Edwards 2004 primary run looks incredibly prescient and his focus on poverty seems sincere, and not a finger-in-the-wind effort at catchup.

In the end, Edwards strikes me as the candidate with the best grasp of what the country needs now *and* the best chance of getting elected.

Studiodave said...

Otto, I couldn't disagree with you more on Edwards as a viable candidate in 2008. I was a big Edwards supporter but the night Cheney debated him and made him look like a child - I lost hope.

Also, I don't think 2 Americas is a successful general election strategy. First, it would require a bulk of the population to recognize their not the winners (aka wealthy and powerful) or, secondly, it would require the population to think of theyselves as having some kind of responsibility to being their brother's keeper.

Oddly enough, for a nation which likes to consider itself Christian - it seems to have a real issue with it.

I think Obama because Oprah will tell her minions (ex. my wife) and they will follow. I'm being serious though it soun ds like an Onion article.

Personally, I'm a Gov. Bredeson (D-TN) but according to the sportsbooks Al Sharpton has a better shot.....

Anonymous said...

I suspect Hillary Clinton has already got dibs on many of the money sources and much of the campaign talent Gore would otherwise be able to count on.

I like Gore a lot. He's more than capable of being an excellent president. But as a campaigner, as O.M. notes, he's insanely uneven. I think he had too many strong/pro voices around him in 2000 and listened to too many of them, serially.

At the same time, I think Gore never developed a solid base of loyalists to talk to — and listen to. That deficit played out another way as well. He failed to win his home state, evidently for lack of having gone back there enough while V.P. to keep friendships and alliances going.

If Gore ever runs again, I wish he'd enlist Tipper or his spectacularly bright and beautiful daughter as his sole image advisor, to the absolute exclusion of all others.

All that said, I doubt Gore will enter a crowded field of entrenched, promising contenders. For one thing, I don't think he enjoys the long slog of campaigning through all the primaries and then for the election. He's hinted he would accept a nomination by acclimation, which is a nonstarter.

Anonymous said...

Edwards is a topnotch prospect. His Two America's theme is obviously where his heart is, and so he should probably run on it. Gore mostly suppressed his environmentalism in 2000, probably partly helping his campaign to be so all over the place.

SD has a good point, though, about many Americans not wanting to relate to Two Americas. Let us hit on really hard economic times for awhile and it will be different, maybe, but right now it's a hard sell.

I just heard Bobby Kennedy Jr. on Air America saying he read that a surprising percentage of working- and middle-class, middle-management-type people 25-35 years old say they expect to become upper middle class or wealthy. That's admirable, but in reality, less than half of 1 percent (or something like that) are ever going to make it.

Meanwhile, the terror war in general and the Iraq quagmire in particular are likely to completely roll over concerns about New Orleans and have-nots. That's especially so if Republicans can whip up some good ol' hawkish paranoia — one of the few things they're good at.

I think the public has caught on to the fact the U.S. is considered something of a bully and rogue superpower by most other countries. Edwards had better have a ready, credible message about repairing our foreign relationships.

Norbizness said...

I will vote for him if he pledges to start pronouncing "my" correctly. Hint: it is not "mah." As for the primaries, I make no predictions, except to say that Vilsack may not win. Controversial, I know.

Otto Man said...

I've had just about enough of your Vilsack bashing, young man.

Mike said...

Edwards-Dean, Dean-Edwards, Edwards-Clark, or Dean-Clark are my dream tickets for '08.

Emphasis on Dream.

Otto Man said...

I know you've been hung up on the 2004 VP debate for a while now, SD, but you're probably only one of three people who remember that.

I think the Two America strategy makes sense, as more and more people are starting to see themselves as being left behind economically. This isn't Gore's "the people against the powerful" populism, but more of a Lou Dobbsian rebellion against the "war on the middle class" *and* a post-Katrina focus on poverty. There's a real anger out there about what's going on, and Edwards can tap into it well, just like Clinton in '92.

And the way Edwards frames it -- as getting people involved to make their world better, not just government -- is a shrewd angle. It plays to Americans' self-image of getting it done themselves, while promoting positive action by the government too. After Bush, I bet that plays well.

InanimateCarbonRod said...

Edwards should get the nod. Every post-WWII presidential contest has been decided on the quality of the candidates' hair.

It's true -- you can look it up.

S.W. Anderson said...

"Every post-WWII presidential contest has been decided on the quality of the candidates' air."'

Hmmm. Dewey had dark, wavy hair, Truman was balding.

Eisenhower was nearly bald, Adlai Stevenson marginally much less so.

Goldwater had more and better hair, albeit white in color, than Lyndon Johnson.

I don't think this theory holds up very well.

Otto Man said...

iRod tends to get most of his historical information from the back of oatmeal packets.

Mr Furious said...

I know you've been hung up on the 2004 VP debate for a while now, SD, but you're probably only one of three people who remember that.

That only leaves one unidentified person then, because I remember the same thing as SDave. Edwards was not ready for primetime then, and I see little that proves otherwise.

His "Two Americas" theme resonates with thoughtful liberals and that's about it. The rest of the country doesn't want to face either a) that they are poor and have no hope of becoming rich; b) that they are rich and should feel guilty about it; or c) that America isn't as great as the Chevy ads portray it.

He might be right, but no one wants to hear it.

I never thought he was anything but VP material then, and it holds just as true, if not more so with him out of office, in '08.

Gore/Edwards? Bring it on.

Gore/Obama with Edwards as AG? Better still.

ORF said...

I know I'm late on commenting on this, but I was on the John Edwards bandwagon ages ago. I've got the campaign stickers on my computer as well as a sh*tload of spare buttons to prove it. If anyone wants one...

But yeah, here here, Otto!!