Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John Edwards

At best, I've been a casual observer of the presidential campaigns. I recently changed my party registration back to Independent, so I won't be able to vote in the primaries and I probably won't be voting in the general. But I am a little sad that John Edwards is withdrawing. Outside of the beyond-the-margins candidates, like Kucinich and Ron Paul, Edwards would have been the one I'd have most liked to see as President. He's made class and poverty a key touchstone of his campaign, and that takes balls to do. And he actually practices what he preaches; he meets with these people and actually interacts with them. The fact that someone like him can be so utterly put in the background so that these 2 corporate Democrats (I'm referring, of course, to Hillary and Obama) can hog the spotlight is sickening and part of why I left the party in the first place.

Obama and Hillary are bickering like children over race and gender, and Bill Clinton is joining in on the fun, and Edwards stayed above the fray the entire time. And the media ate up that Clinton and Obama were sniping at each other, and totally ignored Edwards. I'm sure that wasn't a concidential oversight either. In the eyes of the corporate-owned media, talking about the issues that Edwards was raising is taboo, and must be relegated to the sidelines as often as possible. I'm not saying that Edwards is in the same league as a Kucinich or a Ralph Nader. But I saw him as standing apart from the Clintons and Obama as well.

So let me put on my pundit hat for a moment. The thing that confuses me, is why now? Edwards may not have been a contender for the presidency, and he was significantly behind Obama and Clinton, but he still has a good number of delegates, and he's been consistently getting around 15 to 2o percent. That's a "kingmaker." In this close race, he could have made a huge impact. He probably still can. The timing's significant, a week before Super Tuesday. If he endorses Obama, that could be a pivotal blow to Clinton. But I still think he could have had a greater impact if he'd stuck around to the end, especially if it leads to a brokered convention. However, it's probably a very simple explanation: he might have just ran out of money.

On another note, it's fascinating how Guiliani just totally collapsed. I never take stock in polls, as they've been wrong so many times, but I thought he would have done better in Florida. Not enough to win, but I figured he'd have gotten more than the 15 or so percent the pollsters were claiming. But he didn't, he barely beat Huckabee, who didn't even campaign in the state.

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