Thursday, January 17, 2008

John Edwards setting the agenda

The Nation has a great piece on John Edwards,
Populism's Candidate by Christopher Hayes

New Hampshire proved that writing off campaigns or predicting outcomes is a mug's game. But no matter who wins the Democratic nomination, the fact remains that the Edwards campaign has set the domestic policy agenda for the entire field. He was the first with a bold universal healthcare plan, the first with an ambitious climate change proposal that called for cap-and-trade, and the leader on reforming predatory lending practices and raising the minimum wage to a level where it regains its lost purchasing power. Edwards's rhetoric has started to bleed into his rivals' speeches as well. "Too many have been invisible for too long," Clinton said in her victory speech Tuesday night. "Well, you are not invisible to me. The oil companies, the drug companies, the health insurance companies, the predatory student loan companies have had seven years of a President who stands up for them. It's time we had a President who stands up for all of you."
Edwards may do better than expected in Nevada this Sunday. He just needs to meet the viability threshold (15%)to pick up delegates as he's done in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Some recent polls have show the Nevada race as a statistical 3 way tie so he may wind up far better than expected. So far the delegate count is Obama 25, Clinton 24, Edwards 18. A candidate needs a total of 2208 out of 4275 to secure the nomination, so there is still a long ways to go. This race is far from over for John Edwards. If neither Clinton nor Obama have 51% of the total delegate count then Edwards may very well go into the Democratic convention as king/queen maker. Then again? If Edwards manages to stick around, picking off delegates here and there, the narrative may become, "why won't this guy just go away?" He is after all, the most feared candidate by the corporate elite.

This is all just speculation of course with many ifs. However, it's clear that the Edwards campaign is playing for broke. Have a look at this new Edwards' ad. He directly challenges the msm's two horse race narrative. The implication is that both Clinton and Obama are part of the corporate media conspiracy to shut out the people's voice. One lesson from New Hampshire was that "the men" mustn't be perceived as attacking "the lady." Edwards gets around this nicely, implicating Obama and Hillary together. Absolutely brilliant.