Skip to comments.Why Edwards Hurts Kerry
Posted on 07/06/2004 8:37:51 AM PDT by tellw
Why Edwards Hurts Kerry: Hes weakest on issues that matter most.
For several months during the Democratic-primary season, the political chattering class swooned over Sen. John Edwards's "Two Americas" speech. But the speech which may have been the single most important factor in earning Edwards a spot on the Democratic ticket was carefully crafted to win the support of the Democratic core voters who dominate state primaries. Now, in a general election, the speech and the man who delivered it may come to be seen more as a good performance, and the work of an able politician, but an unsatisfactory answer to the problems facing America at this moment.
Perhaps the most notable thing about "Two Americas," at least as it delivered from Iowa to New Hampshire to South Carolina and beyond, was that it said nothing literally nothing about the issue of terrorism. Nor did the speech cover the war in Iraq, which Edwards voted to authorize. Nor, for that matter, did it discuss foreign affairs in general. In fact, the only mention of foreign issues in "Two Americas" was Edwards's promise to restore America's image in the world to "the image we used to have, America as the shining light on top of the hill, beacon of freedom, democracy, human rights."
A look at exit polls conducted after Democratic primaries shows just how little Edwards appealed to voters concerned about national security. In New Hampshire, for example, among voters who felt the war in Iraq was the major concern facing the United States, just three percent voted for Edwards, placing him barely ahead of fringe candidate Dennis Kucinich. Among those who felt that terrorism/national security was the top issue, just five percent voted for Edwards. The results were much the same in several other primary states.
Doubts about Edwards and national security were also suggested in another exit-poll question which asked voters which single candidate quality most influenced their vote. Of New Hampshire voters who answered that having the right experience was most important, just three percent chose Edwards, again placing him barely in front of Kucinich. Of voters who said they most valued a candidate who stands up for what he believes, just five percent chose Edwards. None of that bodes well for Democrats' efforts to cast Edwards as a credible commander in chief.
Party strategists will undoubtedly answer that in the general election it is the presidential candidate who really matters, and that in the area of national security, voters placed much more trust in John Kerry. That's true. But given that the war in Iraq, and to some extent the larger issue of national security, will likely dominate the fall campaign, it's also true that Kerry has chosen a running mate who is extraordinarily weak on those issues that matter most
Economic populism is the only weapon the Democrats have against the overwhelming strength of the GOP on social issues. The more the subject is "Jobs" the less the subject is "Gay Marriage".
so will this CIVIL lawyer consider the war on terrorism, a "war" on terrorism which is really a law enforcement issue for the courts?
Edwards is so Carter-esque.
Well, it's clear that Kerry has changed his thinking and feels the south actually does matter. They'll try to put the economy and jobs front and center, and continue to deny we're in an upswing.
I think Edwards was a better pick for Kerry than Gephardt and might put a couple of southern states in play.
the thought of edwards wearing "the daddy pants" with
al quaeda on the loose terrifies me.
This is the "all special interest ticket". The #1 senator in special-interest contributions has chosen the #1 special interest: trial lawyers.
You are exactly right. If the issue is the latter, then the dems are not going to win a single state in the south. But if they make outsourcing a big deal, which it almost seems they are not, then they might have a shot.
Washington insiders are less impressed with Edwards than the media and the party base (that includes the GOP, which for many think Edwards is a formidable opponent). Apparently Edwards "Two Americas" speech did not resonate with swing voters during the primaries, according to polling data.
I can't believe Kerry picked this guy. He's as shallow as they get in politics.
"People hate lawyers, and this guy is the quintessential lawyer. His "work" is so easy to tie to rising insurance and health-care costs that he is easy to taint. Add in the fact that people hate hearing stories of class action suits where the lawyers get rich, and the "victims" get nothing, and Edwards will really hurt them in the long run."
Look for Breck Girl to lose in every state that has a medical malpractice crisis that is forcing doctors to flee (PA, FL) He's toast.
I've got a friend whose law firm has worked on a number of cases in which Edwards was involved, and he tells me that if you read the court transcripts of his arguments you get the impression that you're dealing with a loony-tune.
Not a chance! Edwards barely got elected to the Senate and was polling so bad and has such high Negatives in NC that he abandoned any thought of trying to get reelected this year. His presence on the ticket put NC even more firmly in Bush's column.
ALA, Miss, Ga are solid Bush.
Edwards couldn't even win SC Primary - he will be no help there. Ditto Tenn.
Florida - Edwards Who?
Edwards might have an effect in border states such as WVa and Missouri, but even that is doubtful.
court records are public. Someone with some time to do research might find some good info for the 'drudges' of the world.
I've got a friend whose law firm has worked on a number of cases in which Edwards was involved, and he tells me that if you read the court transcripts of his arguments you get the impression that you're dealing with a loony-tune
Is it legal to use those in a campaign ad.
as a lawyer who is probably a member of the ABA, Edwards is very vulnerable on homosexual marriage.
If he tries the "nuance" (aka weaseling) of civil unions he is still retorically finished.
Kerry wants to raid social securtiy to give to the homosexual recreational sex partners. Perhaps they should reformat it to call it social sexurity, providing goverment assurance of your orgasms.
Edwards is different in that he will try to give the middle/lower class a voice without going against the elite. Gore used the class warfare which Edwards does not do exactly. OK, this I heard from that fat guy who ran Dukakis campaign on Fox News this morning but it sounded good.
civil case transcripts are not kept perpetually if not ordered. just FYI
What does this say about the power of the unions...nada. They've lost their pull even within the democratic party. Kerry picked Edwards because his base of looney lefties wanted Edwards, and with Nader running he can't afford to lose them. Obviously the Unions cannot exert enough voter control over their members any longer to mattter.
What is amazing to me is that if you look on DU they are passionate about Iraq and gay marriage. Not a word about outsourcing and globalism.
How tone deaf is the left ?
If Kerry continues to back away from outsourcing he will lose big. I used to think this was a partisan issue. It isn't. It splits both parties between nationalists and globalists.
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