Edwards campaign in full swing



Until this morning, John Edwards didn't even have a tag here at BlueNC, that's how far removed he's been from North Carolina politics. After serving only two-thirds of a term in the Senate on his way to an eventual vice-presidential bid, John Edwards was at once both an inspiring hope for the future and a hard disappointment. One one hand, he brought an important new dimension to the national political debate, but on the other hand, he didn't help Kerry win North Carolina and he didn't help Democrats retain control of the US Senate.


Newsweek today reports on his most recent trip to Iowa where the run-up to his 08 presidential bid appears to be underway. They say he's charming and focused, conducting an 'un-campaign' that is attracting lots of attention and support.

His under-the-radar strategy is paying off, in Iowa at least. A June Des Moines Register poll of likely Democratic caucus-goers had Edwards leading a pack of potential presidential candidates that included other widely known names like Clinton, 2004 ticketmate John Kerry and even Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. Edwards is certainly not the only candidate hustling in corn-country—Warner and Bayh visited within days of his most recent visit—but with 10 trips to the state since the beginning of 2005, he's logged more time there than any candidate in either party. This time, they're counting on Iowa, which brought John Kerry's candidacy back from the dead in 2004, to propel them into New Hampshire, and beyond. To win, Edwards must leverage his 2004 visibility, shake off the disappointment many Democrats felt at the campaign and emerge from Kerry's shadow as a worthy candidate in his own right.

And then over at Daily Kos, there's a diarist named meanboneII who is a strong Edwards supporter and may even be with the Edwards campaign. In any case, there's clearly a ramp-up underway to reposition the former Senator properly for the next big dance.

I've met John Edwards on four occasions and while we're not friends, I know many people who adore him and his wonderful wife. I trust their judgment and am more than willing to grant that he is a great guy with his heart in the right place. His focus on poverty in America is long overdue, and his ability to connect with people is legendary. I've supported him in the past with large contributions and volunteer help.

That said, I'm not on the Edwards bandwagon for 08. At this point, I'm not sure he could even win his home state, and I don't see him doing much much to rebuild his base here in North Carolina by supporting guys like Larry Kissell. Sure there's a lot of time between now and 2008 - but there's also a HUGE election in just five short months. That's where I'm putting my focus, and I wish aspiring presidential candidates would be focused on it too.

Comments

Off to camp today

We're driving up to Virginia to drop our sweet daughter off at drama camp today, so I won't be around to staunchly defend my ambivalence.

Peace.

Have a safe trip....

Your sweet daughter will be just fine. Does she want two companions? I have two drama queens in residence. :)



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Too Bad Kissell's HQ is 10 miles from Robbins

That's a long way from Iowa.

I happen to think an association with a real small town mill worker and educator would actually help Edwards more than Kissell.

But I guess Edwards still has time.

*cough* August 5 *cough*

I have an account

at One America...or whatever the hell Edward's blog is. I guess I need to do a post making sure the good exSenator knows he's invited.

He does need to be there August 5th. I know I will be.



***************************
Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Woo Hoo!

Rally in Raleigh! Ya'll are invited!

i love edwards... i really do...

and i would love nothing more than to see him run in '08, but i'm afraid that his association with john kerry has rendered him damaged goods to the public at large.

I was/am an Edwards supporter since his first

steps towards the White House. I think he could change the face of politics if he is elected. I agree with everyone that a few strong swings through the 8th and 11th could do a lot to revive his image here in NC. If and when he runs, I'll still be on the bandwagon, in whatever way possible.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I agree with Robert

I too believe that Edwards can change politics if elected. A member of my family who was on welfare for a number of years and who had never voted before 2004 saw Edwards speak and took note. She felt he spoke the truth; he talked about an America she lived in, one defined by the bigotry of Reagan's policies and the disregard of those with "more important" things to worry about, like tax breaks for people with money. After hearing Edwards talk about two Americas, she asked me to help her register to vote, which I did. She brought two of her friends to vote for Edwards, too.

What was amazing was it was solely his words that sparked her political flame.

I know that my story is just anecdotal, but I can't help but think that Edwards' optimism is contagious. I can't help but be attracted to his populism. I can't help but want what he says to become a reality.

And when I look at the preliminary field, I can't see anyone who thinks as much like me as he does. And I can't see anyone who can excite the apolitical and make them political like Edwards can.

I'm on the fence

First let be me upfront to everyone here at BlueNC. Now I don't have to but I value the opinions of the progessive online community more than the talking heads I see everyday.

I was the Edwards bandwagon. Day 1 I was there volunteering till we lost in November. I was an intern, started NC State's Edwards for Pres chapter, volunteered for almost full 2 years every week.

And now two years later, I don't know if I'd do it all over again. Why? Because all the talk of changing politics with Edwards, a new progessive candidate, is all talk to me. This campaign is the same as any other. They want to win. Period. Will he flip flop, yes. Will he not take a stand because the polls are against it, yes.

Will he help NC? No, atleast not know. Nothing in the years of connection with that campaign, since it hasnt ended in 04, has shown to me that they care about the South or NC. Why? Because it won't win them the election by the Election guru's method. Its still the same used and abused win the solid blue states and HOPE to win an Ohio or Florida.

That being said, if he was the candidate in 08, I'd be there. Heck maybe if there's changes over there I'd be on board earlier.

But can he win? Depends. It all depends on how we all come out in 08. We need a new vision and a new path to victory. The same ole good boy routine will not win us anything with JE.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Similar to my thinking . . .

If John Edwards is the candidate in November 08, I will be working my ass off to help him win. Because no matter who shows up on the Republican side, John will be 1000 times better for America. Can you imagine John McCain as president? A guy who has sold out everything he stands for in recent years to curry Bush's favor? Or Bill "Terry Schaivo" Frist? God help us.

One Huge Factor For Me

One huge factor for me is that Edwards has been a success in other parts of his life. He beats into the ground his humble upbringing, but it is important to note that he came from a poor family and worked his ass off to become one of the best trial attorneys in North Carolina (legends about his closing are still told in some classes at UNC Law). Contrast that with Bush, who was born with a silver spoon and tons of connections and yet managed to fail at everything that he ever did. Or even Kerry who did more than Bush, but certainly had a huge head start of the rest of us and did not accomplish much at all outside of politics (yes he went to war and had a little cookie shop, but he needs to do more than that).

This is why I always supported him.

I've been in the position, as a kid, that he was in as a kid. I've seen the jobs disappear and my parents stare down bills with no income. My dad hunted for food one winter when there were no jobs and we had more rice dishes than I care to remember. Then, there were the "Generic" brand groceries, which weren't considered smart purchases, but what the Po' people bought.
You don't forget that. I don't care how big his new house is, or whether it has tennis courts, pools, and a full-sized nanny wing. You don't forget how you were brought up, you don't forget that look on the face of your mom and dad. You just don't, and because of that, you don't let down the working class. You just don't.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

A little history helps

Frankly, it's laughable that a critique of Edwards is that he couldn't help John Kerry win NC and that he might not win NC at the top of the ticket. It would be more funny if it didn't sound like a typical NC Republican critique.

First, 8 of the last 9 Democrats, including Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton didn't win NC. Second, the Kerry campaign dominated the decision-making as far as the key resources of money and time went, and they wrote off NC and the rest of the south as soon as they had secured the nomination.

It's a pretty much asking for a miracle to expect that NC voters, looking at a Presidential candidate who is a windsurfer from Massachussets to be very concerned about the southerner "a heartbeat away" from the Presidency. And if your criteria is who is sure to win NC's electoral votes, then take your ball, go home, and find a new hobby. I fear politics is going to leave too much of a mark to bear for a naive dreamer.

Edwards could spend some more time in the 8 and the 11th, and keep calling on him to do so. But please remember, NC has decided to make it's presidential primary practically inconsequential and it was NC Demorats fretting that helped push Edwards to give up his Senate seat. There are five months left too! how much voter turnout do you think a July visit is actually going to generate?

I'll take naive dreaming

over seasoned cynicism any day.

Everyone knew Windsurfer Kerry didn't give a shit about the south in general and North Carolina in particular from the get go, which makes it all the more ironic that Edwards abandoned the Senate at such a critical time.

And as to "fretting" NC Democrats pushing Edwards to give up his Senate seat . . . exactly who are you talking about? I don't know Edwards personally, but it's hard to imagine anybody in NC pushing him to do anything he didn't already want.

More is Better

2008 is still two and a half loooog years away. As democrats, we should be cheering the leaders that stand up and talk about what they believe in and campaign for issues that matter most to them. What has always impressed me about John Edwards is his optimism and positivity. Rather than constantly pointing out what the current administration does wrong--which we all would agree is a long list-- Edwards talk about his vision for how things should be, and how we as a nation are going to get there together. We in the Democratic party are hungry for leaders with like-minded ideals to talk about these things. We should not summarily dismiss anyone doing so just because they lost an election for Vice President with two hands and two feet tied behind his back.

And that is exactly why he's DC now

The former Senator is inside the beltway now, and your post arcbender just proved it. Now we are all on the same side here, and please don't take it personal, but that is why the Edwards 08 campaign sucks.

NC has decided to make it's presidential primary practically inconsequential

Typical Electoral College rhetoric. Its your freaking HOME state, you get more people at home to do those primary calls, make those Iowa trips, raise that cash cow on good ole tabacco road, and NC turns for you regardless of whose first.

it was NC Demorats fretting that helped push Edwards to give up his Senate seat

And instead he waited till the last minute because his talking heads wanted him to make it look like he cared. To quote Anglico "it's hard to imagine anybody in NC pushing him to do anything he didn't already want." And what happened? We have George Bush Jr. as our Senator. I'll forgive him for that, but we wont forget.

Frankly, it's laughable that a critique of Edwards is that he couldn't help John Kerry win NC and that he might not win NC at the top of the ticket. It would be more funny if it didn't sound like a typical NC Republican critique.

But its true. I won't shoot holes in his Senatorial role, but his lack of apperance lately..err.. since 2004 in NC can speak a lot of truth to that.

Writing off something thats not a slam dunk, ie NC and the south, will kill any 08 campaign. John Edwards has the greatest chance of turning it all around and bringing everyone up together. The JRE camp knows this and knows better than to become the DC Insiders.

just because 8 of 9 Democratic victorys did not include NC, is not a valid reason why #10 should be the same. We are the inclusive party. But from what I'm hearing, unless youre a sure thing, its outside you'll be.

Be just, and fear not.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

if by Beltway, you mean Ridge Road, chapel Hill, sure?

Umm, actually, the Senator has spent the last year or so at UNC's law school. Not exactly abandoning the state is he?

"Typical Electoral college rhetoric"????

You know, if you're going to quote something, perhaps, reading it would help. I'm not saying that NC's electoral college votes are inconsequential (the hint was the fact that I referred to NC's primary). Edwards is first running for the primary nomination, and nearly three years away from wrapping it up.

"its hard to imagine anybody in NC pushing him to do anything he didn't already want."

Well not, if you've actually been told (by folks close to both Edwards campaign and the State party) that NC state party leaders were in fact pressuring Edwards to get out. The person they chose to actually run for that seat is Erskine Bowles, and scaring off his potential primary opponents. That should give you a pretty good idea of how mealy-mouthed and timid those folks might be. If you realize that's how afraid they were - to select a one-time loser to replace a strong incumbent - you begin to understand why NC is such a tough row to hoe for Democrats that actually are progressives. (And that's what Edwards is. Why in God's name is BlueNC calling itself progressive and then going out of its way to go after the only presidential candidate fronting ideas like a minimum wage hike, free college tuition and housing vouchers?)

Regardless, one has to acknowledge almost all of Edwards success is due to whom?...Wait for it... wait for it....John Edwards himself! If Edwards' first run for President had been dependant on what NC democrats thought of his chances? Well, we'd have a pretty unknown Senior Senator. But John Edwards made himself into national office material.

It's true that Edwards might not win in NC. But, if you're trying to assess who the right person to choose to support for president is, then, who might not win NC's electoral votes is about one of the most useless metrics you could possibly find. Jesus Christ himself, might not win the state's electoral votes. Since Brown v. Board of Education it's just rarely been done.

Edwards isn't forsaking NC. Anglico is forsaking Edwards chances of winning NC. Why? Apparently because Edwards hasn't done enough for Larry Kissell. But, as a loyal Democrat, I have to ask myself this question.

Does John Edwards have value campaigning in places outside of NC? And the indisputable fact is that he does. So, I for one am not going to cynically be attacking him for failing to show up here. I might even think for a second that perhaps Edwards is campaigning for Democrats in places besides Iowa, but the media isn't paying attention when he's somewhere else.

Besides the needs of his favorite house candidate Anglico doesn't have any goods on John Edwards. Just a bunch of BS based on conventional political wisdom ("he can't even win his home state") which doesn't account for the fact that a VP candidate has precious little opportunity to dictate where the money goes for the ground game.

The only difference between cynicism and naivete is the perspective with which the lazy man begins.

A Bender.

Let me just clear up some of your bullshit right now. I have more than enough of my own words to offer without you putting any of yours in my mouth.

I said I'm not on the Edwards bandwagon. BFD. It's two years out.
I said I wish he had stayed in the US Senate. I still think that.
I have contributed many thousands of dollars to Mr. Edwards in the past.
I said I would support him all the way if he were the Democrats nominee.
I never said Kissell was my 'favorite' House candidate.

I'm assuming you're a big John Edwards supporter. Go for it. But don't think giving me a hard time is helping to build your case.

A

PS You suck at sarcasm. Try another angle.

I had to tell this to another political camp

Attacking the very people you are eventually going to want on your side isn't a good idea.....actually, it's downright stupid.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

As a wise man (who has disappeared from BlueNC) once said

I think we have more in common that we have differences. First, BlueNC is a collective, there is no BlueNC Candidate. I heart John Edwards and if they offered enough money for me to have health insurance and pay my mortgage, i would go to work 100 hours a week for the campaign right now. So, at least this BlueNCian is all for John Edwards. Alas, I think that targeting Anglico was a bad, bad, bad mistake. Beyond the money given to John Edwards by himself, I am sure he has probably hosted events much like those for Larry Kissell for the Senator or VP candidate. He and his illustrious wife are part of the heart and soul of OCs Progressive movement. So, you are way offline in attacking him and his credentials.

I think many of us wish now that JRE had stayed in the Senate race and focused more on NC politics. But, don't forget that he spent a lot of time in PA, which Kerry nearly won, and as a former resident I can tell you that it was EDWARDS AND EDWARDS ALONE that turned many indys to the Democratic Party. My mom, a Carolina native Dem now living in Pennsyltucky, got political for the first time because she believed in his message. Without him, we lose Pennsylvania and the race isn't even close.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Robert,

Robert,

i appreciate your calm analysis, and you are certainly right that more flies are caught with honey, rather than with vinegar. But I'd refer everyone back to my first post and compare it with some of Anglico's gems - the posts previously entitled "Whores", his reference to Carter Wrenn as the "Boy Pundit", his repeated references to the Puppet Master, and alas to his return fire to my post, that I was “cynical”.

Perhaps I should help Anglico's memory, because he seems to forget that less than a month ago (6/12) he referred to Edwards as a "two-time loser" in a post entitled "No thanks." He also claimed on behalf of NC voters that Edwards had lost their support "by being a one-term, half-baked Senator"

So, when for the second time he attacked Edwards based on what is the worst possible interpretations of his performance both as a Senator and a Vice Presidential candidate, I think I should be excused for assuming that Anglico just doesn't like Edwards, and whatever attack is near he will avail himself of.

And, after several posts calling Larry Kissell, including calling him "the real deal", it seemed a logical decision to use a little hyperbole (and that's what it was, not sarcasm) to get the point across that Edwards can be helping Democrats take back the house while not being campaigning for Kissell in a state with one of the last presidential primaries and that as a North Carolinian, I'm okay with it, because I see that Edwards has got gifts we can’t claim to have made for him.

As for my “bad, bad mistake.” I only have the time and effort I put in helping candidates and the time I put forwards as a low-paid public interest attorney to help my meager political stature, and I recognize it is pretty damned inconsequential. So, I hope that if I am so badly mistaken that his mind was open on the subject of Edwards, Anglico at least won’t withhold helping Edwards with his money and power because of little ‘ol occasionally blogging me.

I'm sure Anglico has a beautiful, loving wife, his earlier post about her were very sincere and touching. But, I also hope there's enough democracy at BlueNC to accept that occasionally a poster's thinking will be challenged, perhaps a little tartly. If BlueNC is to be of much use to the progressive community, it has to be tolerant of dissent and debate.

That said, I apologize if I have offended anyone. I'd love to enjoy a refreshing exchange of ideas and information again in the future.

And just to make sure there isn't any doubt as to how indebted I am to the Edwards campaign. Know that the only sticker on the back of my car is for the Drive By Truckers and Walken 2008. I'm still open, if y'all can find a certified to win NC progressive - I'll join in with both hands and two feet, and perhaps a brave Beagle. Until then, I'll try taking an extra second to aim if everyone else will.

Arc

I have no problem with inflammatory language or attack posts. Sometimes politics gets hot, no problem. Maybe I should have left my post at "You guys have more in common than you do different" and let you work it out from there.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

p.s.

A quick glance through the FEC database will show you that I too am a small money donor (I don't even show up). If anything, I would guess your passion for Edwards is just what we need around here, just as S.D. and Anglico have great passion for Kissell. 2008 is just around the corner.

Now, TarGator, about those local races...

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

What about them Robert?

I think they will start heating up as the session winds down. And I am going to need the community to pull the bulk of the weight as th ebar examine is just a couple of weeks away. We some things in works, so hopefully they will pan out and then spur those in our community to start posting on their local races.

As a good start on local elections...

Perhaps we could get Schorr or Jerry Meek to write a post highlighting our most highly competitive seats. Give people something to feel fiesty about.

Anyone want to use their well-placed contacts?

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Ed Ridpath for instance.

Welcome Ed. It's only through a Google search that I knew you were running, not having memorized every candidate. How about a post telling us about your race?

p.s. It was only through the DFA button in the bottom right hand corner that I knew you were a Democrat. SAy it loud, say it proud!

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Mr. Bender

I apologize for being a jerk.

My frustration these days knows no bounds, but not because of your challenge to me personally. I've put myself out there and I consider myself fair game. You were right to call me on my comments about John Edwards. I know I push too hard sometimes, and you have every right to push back, of course.

My frustration stems from far bigger issues than the Edwards campaign. It stems from the entire system we operate in where a trip to Iowa two years before an election is front-page news. Where NC's elected officials happily grovel at the trough of Big Oil so they can get more money for the insanity of beach renourishment. Where all but one NC House member votes for a new law about the pledge of allegiance because a conservative member gets a dozen emails from a bunch of theocrats.

You were right to defend Edwards if you believe in him, and I admire you for doing so. In fact, the debate about Edwards has been inspiring to me. I'm not ready to jump on his bandwagon, but I am more than willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. My wife and I helped raise $145,000 for the Kerry Edwards campaign and I will work hard for almost anyone the Democrats choose to run in 08, including John Edwards. I am not quite a Yellow Dog Democrat, but I'm pretty damn close.

Finally, you make valid points about my rhetoric and I will do my best to aim more carefully, as you suggest, exercising restraint where appropriate. Just remember though, one of my goals in life is to make my progressive friends and colleagues appear more reasonable by comparison. Looks like I'm doing a good job, eh?

:)

no biggie

As Robert says, the fur is going to fly every once in a while. I can take it, and hope to be helping with dishing it out, my own writing has been pretty much snuff out lately because of personal obligations.

This whole thing reminds me of how I first came to experience the interactive net, about 8 years ago. From my occupation at the time as a bartender, the back and forth reminded me of the typical banter that develops over a few beers among customers. But one difference on the internet is that you aren't looking at the person disagreeing with you. The check of physical interaction is lost, and visual cues of what people's words actually mean are lost.

i rely on a good southern mother to tell me when I haven't put things in the most polite, but also effective manner.

And I've dealt with a lot worse. you didn't challenge my faith or patriotism, as Marcus Kindely did once.

I hope you will look at Edwards as I continue to do. But you do have a point, in addition to working for Democrats in Iowa, Pennnsylvannia, Ohio and other places he ought to help Larry Kissell give north carolinians good representation. If I do get the chance to say hi, I will ask him to do just that.

Thanks.

n/t

John who?

This guy is running for president because there is no office he could win in his home state.

He has a record of 1-0

In his election attempts in the state. And when I was working as a poll monitor during the last election, I would ask people whether they needed help with the ballot and the response was quite often "I am just here to vote for Edwards".

And 'Anonymous' is posting

fright wing talking points because he doesn't know how to think for himself.

Oh, how I wish he would prove you wrong...

and run for Governor. A stint as Senator, a stint as VP candidate, a stint as Governor of a Southern State - all before the age of 60. Even if a Dem wins, he would be running for President at a young age of 65ish.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me