Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Are these John Edwards' Friends?

After reading this, I wondered, "Does John Edwards know these guys?"


BruinKid said...

Oh c'mon. If you really want to know who's susceptible to be influenced by the hedge funds, look at who's getting all the money from them. That's a pretty significant gap from the top 5 to everyone else.

What's with all these right-wing attacks on John Edwards all of a sudden?

Curtis said...

I can't dispute the facts, and I think your point is more than fair. But I think you're missing my larger point: for right or wrong, Edwards is trapped under these attacks. This, I believe, makes him far less electable than other candidates in the field. A serious candidate for President of the United States cannot run a campaign rooted in populism after being a consultant for a hedge fund. Likewise, it's very easy to forget Edwards' humble beginnings because today he is a multi-millionaire who gets $400 haircuts. I'm sure you're thinking that none of these criticisms have anything to do with policy. On that account, you are right to a large extent. It's terrible that the political dialogue is reduced to such drivel. And that's exactly why I think Edwards is a terrible choice for the nomination. I fear that we have another Al Gore (circa 2000)or John Kerry on our hands--a candidate who has the right stuff, but simply can't withstand the media gauntlet. For whatever reason, the media loves to point out all of these candidates' inconsistencies. Meanwhile, their message and campaign go by the wayside.

Believe it or not, the first vote I cast for a presidential candidate was for John Edwards in the 2004 California primary. I don't doubt his sincerity or his passion. I just think he is doomed to get bogged down in ridiculous criticism if he gets the nomination in 2008.

I should have been more clear about the point I was trying to make with that post. For that, I sincerely apologize. Everyone should click on the "getting all the money" link in bruinkid's comment. You'll see that Edwards is actually taking less money from hedge funds than the leading candidates in both fields. He certainly deserves credit for that, but as I have argued here, do you really think the media elite will give it to him?

BruinKid said...

That is one of the biggest problems: the media. Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic admitted that the media is trying to "bury" Edwards. It worked on Al Gore; see his The Assault on Reason on the complicity of the media in giving us the current White House of Horrors. (I'm copyrighting that phrase, LOL.)

Still, here's the thing. Back in 2000, there were no such things as blogs. In 2004, blogs were still in their infancy, so to speak, and didn't wield any power in pushing back against corporate media messages. The playing field has dramatically changed since then. We've witnessed the power of the blogs now in influencing key Senate elections in 2006, as well as several House races. And when Teamsters president James Hoffa stood on stage with Markos Moulitsas at Yearly Kos last month, several people commented that that was the right-wing's worst nightmare, having the unions combine forces with the blogs.

NYU journalism professor (and blogger) Jay Rosen wrote a piece for the L.A. Times two weeks ago detailing just a few of the examples of real journalism regular bloggers did that the traditional media simply didn't do. And even when bloggers don't do journalism, they do a whole lot of fact-checking for the media, and have had numerous cases where the media was forced to retract what they had written and issue updates or apologies.

I'm just not convinced the attacks on Edwards are going to have the same kind of effects as they did on Al Gore back in 2000. The key is fighting back against the smears. And now that Edwards has purged Bob Shrum from his consultant list, and how he's already pushed back against Fox News and Ann Coulter, he's not going to make the same mistake Shrum did in telling Kerry not to fight back against the Swift Boat attack ads.

One example: the haircut. At the CNN/YouTube debate, Edwards introduced the Hair commercial, which got rave reviews from all over, ranging from Beltway pundits like Roger Simon to Tom Schaller to the gay community to Americablog's John Aravosis.

After that, we've seen a lot less mention by the right-wing about the haircut, as they realize he just neutralized the issue by circumventing the media.

I await to see what he says about the SUV.

Curtis said...

Yeah, the blogs did a great job of setting the record straight in 2004.

Kyle said...