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Edwards: 'The People's Candidate'


John Edwards at his first post-Iowa event in Manchester this morning. (AP).

By Dan Balz
MANCHESTER, N.H--John Edwards rolled into New Hampshire hoping that his anti-corporate populist message will triumph over the money and celebrity appeal of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

At an early morning rally in an old mill building, the son of a millworker said Iowa voters sent a message for change and now voters must decide which change-oriented candidate they prefer.

"I am not the candidate of money," he said. "I am not the candidate of glitz. I am not the candidate of glamor. I am the candidate for president of the United States who is the people's candidate."

Elizabeth Edwards introduced her husband as the Seabiscuit of the Democratic race and the candidate quickly embraced the metaphor. "On Tuesday we're going to surprise American" he said, referring to next week's primary.

By Washington Post editors  |  January 4, 2008; 7:42 AM ET
 
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Comments

In this paper, and other media outlets, there IS an apparent bias in favor of the "Clinton/Obama" race... while I like Obama, I also like and admire Edwards a lot. He has done pretty well considering the fact that he has been so outspent. By cutting him out so early of a fair share of coverage, and putting the limelight on Clinton who steadily falling behind him, you are failing in your sacred duties as journalists. If you want to be a respected newspaper, you must report, not influence the outcome.

Posted by: gioni | January 7, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post, along with the rest of Big Media, is showing a pronounced corporate bias against John Edwards.

Corporate media doing everything it can to discount John Edwards, who is most assuredly the candidate most representing the people.

No wonder the sales of newspapers are plummeting....the newspapers in this country are not serving the public interest anymore.

Posted by: starwomanspirit | January 6, 2008 4:00 AM | Report abuse

I agree with all of the numerous other commentors here about the unfair coverage given to John Edwards. Every time Obama or Clinton sneezes,we hear about it all day long. John Edwards is a viable candidate who deserves the attention of the media. I know that he is against big corporations and that most of the media is controlled by these groups, but this is to blatantly obvious. Please make a promise to your loyal readers that you will print no more words about Clinton or Obama than you do about Edwards.

Posted by: JPOWERS2 | January 5, 2008 11:30 PM | Report abuse

I agree the Post should cover all the leading contenders and especially John Edwards who has shown this with an Iowa win. The Post has been severely lacking in coverage,past time to provide fair coverage to Edwards.

Posted by: ktritenour | January 4, 2008 8:32 PM | Report abuse

I have written to the Washington Post Ombudsman:

ombudsman@washpost.com

I encourage all those who feel there has been inequality of Edwards media coverage compared to Clinton, Obama, and the top tier GOP candidates to do the same!!!!!

Let your voices be heard by the person the Washiongton Post has designated the "peoples representative."

Posted by: bahabalyn | January 4, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

I want to see fair, honest coverage of the top tier candidates. Let Washington Post become a leader of election reporting.

Posted by: cjpete | January 4, 2008 6:19 PM | Report abuse

John Edwards and his courageous wife Elizabeth are prime examples of the best that America has to offer. They have done well in life based on merit and "smarts" and despite hardships.
Attacking the corrupt status quo guarantees they won't get a fair shake from the MSM. FDR and Harry Truman definitely were fighters, and so was Bobby Kennedy who rattled the "establishment". John Edwards will not fade quietly as long as people search for the truth and really listen to what each candidate is actually saying. This is why the Internet is a breath of fresh air compared to newspapers or TV networks!

Posted by: pskrobacky2300 | January 4, 2008 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama won Iowa because as this campaign has worn on, he has co-opted and copied much of John Edwards' message, going so far as to lift entire sections of Edwards' foreign-policy essay, complete phrases from Edwards' stump speeches, etc. Edwards has led on the issues, Obama has followed, and manages to convince the voters that he is the change agent in this election. What a joke.

If Obama truly wants to get special interests and money out of politics, then why did he not eschew funding by Wall Street special interests to take public funding, as Edwards did? He is attempting to buy an election, rather than standing on priciple and disavowing the millions donated to him by millionaires. He can't change the system if he's paid for by the system. And he has the "audacity" (pun intended) to grip about the union 527s advocating for Edwards, while there is a 527 in California working on behalf of Obama. And he (Obama) has not ruled out accepting 527 help in the general election. So, the 527s are bad when supporting Edwards, good when supporting Obama. The hypocrisy is stunning!

Obama talks a good game, but he's not the guy walking the walk; it's Edwards who is. Wake up, Democrats, or we're going to lose another general election!

Posted by: amc6541 | January 4, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we need to do like they did in the movie, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with Jimmy Stewart. In that movie when the corrupt bosses, who controlled Washington much like the lobbyist do today, got their cronies in the media to keep the truth from getting out about Mr. Smith, his supporters printed flyers to tell the truth. They then got little kids in the neighborhood to deliver them to the people so they could see what was REALLY happening.

Hey, Washington Post is that what we have to do now to make sure the media covers this election fairly?

Posted by: pmorlan1 | January 4, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

The link listed below is the best source of news for those who are sick and tired of the corporate media filtering of the news.


http://www.buzzflash.com/

Posted by: lgvalliere | January 4, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

At one time I held the Washington Post in very high regard.... sadly that is no longer so.

WHY ISN'T THE WASHINGTON POST'S OMBUDSMAN LOOKING INTO THIS MATTER OF LACKING EQUAL COVERAGE FOR JOHN EDWARDS IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COMPARED TO THE OTHER TOP TIER CANDIDATES?

If this is so obvious to all of us, surely it should be obvious to this paper, too.

Posted by: bahabalyn | January 4, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

If the media had given Edwards the coverage he deserves, Edwards would be leading. This neglect raises serious questions about the independence of the media and its ties to big businesses and its dependence on big business advertising. John Edwards is a high principled, high-class person with the interests of all segments of American society at heart. He does not wear race or religion on his sleeve. He deserves a fair hearing.

Posted by: CyberCitizen | January 4, 2008 4:05 PM | Report abuse

I take objection to the minimal and dismissive coverage John Edwards received before, during and after the Iowa caucuses. He is a serious candidate, who scored higher than Clinton. However, it was Clinton who got the coverage, not Edwards, which is annoying, unfair and puzzling to me. Please give appropriate coverage to Edwards and his campaign from here on. Your paper will be the better for it.

Posted by: bizplanwizard | January 4, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't spend a lot of time of WaPo blogs, but does anyone know if the author typically chimes in? 77 comments, most of the passionately written on the same subject - seems like now would be a time for Dan Balz, or someone from WaPo, to contribute a word or two.

Posted by: voodoo_doc | January 4, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Just want to throw in my support for the disgusting lack of coverage Edwards, and for that matter all the other Democratic candidates. Hopefully Hillary finishes third in NH too and then we can stop hearing about her period. Make no mistake this is an Edwards Obama race and they deserve EQUAL coverage. And do not forget that Richardson and Kucinich and Gruvel have not conceded yet.

Posted by: mcgratsp | January 4, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I agree with much that was said here. I'm usually not attracted to Democratic politics. But John Edwards has a message that resonates with normal working people, that corporations are dominating our lives, workplaces, and (although he is too smart to say it) the media. Of course someone criticizing moneyed interests is going to piss off these corporate hacks (maybe journalists should take an occasional glance at their Code of Ethics http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp).

The fact is that Obama's vague rhetoric is downright Clintonian. There's nothing to his comments, and there's no backbone, he does provide easy soundbites and celebrities for lazy journalists. Edwards is right when he says that this is a crisis of the Middle Class, that they are disappearing into corporate blackhole of greed and corrupt politics. Edwards is the only one willing to stand up for working people, for the disenfranchised, and no wonder these elite journalists who went to fancy schools can't quite figure out why he is so competitive or how to cover him.

Posted by: coll0229 | January 4, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

echo what everyone else has said.... give him more coverage

Posted by: Eyeonu92 | January 4, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

the posts on this board are Very Encouraging. Keep it up America!

I will also say that it was good to see you move the from the "angry man" to the "People's Candidate".

John Edwards understands that what makes a nation great today is different from made a nation great in the past.

In the mercantile past, the amount of gold in a national treasury was a good yardstick. The balance of payments was also a good barometer of national well-being.

But today there is a new reality out there...

In this incredibly complex global economy, that old thinking is dead.

Today the best way to measure national greatness is by the quality of life of it's citizenry.

Edwards understands this.

It is an abject travesty that a nation with a $13 trillion GDP has over 47,000,000 citizens who lack even basic health care.

ALL our people should have health insurance.

We have ample resources, we should lift up our poor -- through education and training -- and we should give our working class and our middle class a FAIR DEAL.

That's what Edward's stands for: a FAIR DEAL for ALL Americans.

Not just the pre-ordained wealthy, but ALL Americans.

History shows, again and again, that the more evenly wealth is distributed throughout a society the more stable and prosperous is that society.

When wealth congregates amongst the few, trouble is brewing...

I vote for America for the "long haul". We are a Great nation born of a Great concept (Jefferson's Declaration of Independence); let's do what needs to be done -- now -- to insure our future Greatness.

John Edwards' Fair Deal for All Americans will do just this!

Posted by: AdrickHenry | January 4, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

It's time to step it up. WaPo, NYTimes, Fox News, CNN...etc...Your lack of coverage of "second-tier" candidates is appalling. GET WITH IT!

Posted by: tmahedy | January 4, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more about your ignoring John Edwards. No matter how slim the margin of his second place showing, it still was a second place showing. To disregard that smacks of trying to drive the NH race rather than report on it. It is unfair, unprofessional, and disappointing.

Posted by: chayami | January 4, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

I agree the WaPo and much of the rest of the media are consciously contemptuous of and working as hard as they can to melt down Edwards's candidacy. Look at the language that's been used about him over the past weeks: he's always "angry," "bombastic," or other adjectives to that effect. I don't hear that at all, and I wonder if we're even listening to the same person; I hear a democratic, moral voice trying to get this country to work for everyone, not just the wealthy elites. C'mon, media, dump the bias and try to tell an even-handed story.

Posted by: dljm | January 4, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Agree with Kreiser and you

Posted by: Yamila | January 4, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Edwards isn't new, but does that mean he shouldn't be covered? Tabloids only go for the newest thing when it comes to celebs, but does that mean a respectable paper like the Post should do the same when it comes to political figures? The news media has a responsibility to report the facts and even to educate the public. Instead they all too often find an easy to sell narrative and push the facts to fit into that. That narrative would seem to be change versus experience this time around. It's an easy sell-- familiar and not too complicated. Whereas Edward's narrative-- the erosion of the middle class and a group of elites gaining more and more power-- is a bit too complicated. One might have to follow money trails and even put up some statistics to evaluate that. It isn't just Edwards whose suffered. Remember Clinton's answer about the licenses? I loathe Hillary Clinton, but I thought it was a good answer. It wasn't her business, she isn't the governor. But the press had decided that the narrative about her was that she was too calculating and so fit her answer into what they'd already built. The press in this country is just lousy to be honest. The Post, Times, and Wall Street Journal won't insult one's intelligence, but they pale in comparison to Die Zeit, The Economist, and (I'm told by friends whose French is better than mine) Le Monde.

Posted by: slduncan79 | January 4, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Wow you guys really have a Mutual Edwards Hatred Society going on in the "press". The guy works on a shoestring budget taking matching funds which will limit him to six figure spending in each state vs. endless millions and he BEATS HILLARY and runs competitive with $Obama and doesn't even warrant any mention! It makes all the stuff about the candidates being chosen and promoted look absolutely valid, especially when you see it nationally. And the guy is also being beaten up by some serious internet work which requires manipulation of search engines. Maybe you should pretend to cover him now and then so it doesn't look like he is being penalized in a coordinated fashion for his Pro-Union, ANTI NAFTA, Anti-Neoliberal, Anti-Neocon positions and his comments about the Middle East. He is of course but you should PRETEND.

Posted by: myland | January 4, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm one of the few people who actually think this is a two man (sorry no pun intended) race between Barack Obama and John Edwards. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton may have the $$$ to spend at her leisure but what people are reminded of with her is the gross negligence and misconduct of her husband, former President Bill Clinton while in office. The impeachment trials that came with his time in office along with Monica Lewinski is just something people will never get out of their minds when deciding on Hillary. Makes you wonder how much different is her agenda is from Bill's agenda when he was president. It is clear the american people want change, want a fresh start, new face who isn't bound by the same ole same ole good ole boy politics and that clearly is what Edwards and Obama represent. Now the question remains, who is more ready to assume leadership of this country? I think Edwards is probably more seasoned and ready to take command than Obama. I think four more years of seasoning in foregin policy would actually help Obama as we are still unclear just where he stands on foreign policy, the war on terror and how to get the United States back to being a trustworthy, respected by all abroad nation that has severely disappeared under the Bush Administration.

Posted by: rmattocks | January 4, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes... it's totally unacceptable how coverage is blinding us and still no making comments on all the three democrat candidates and focusing only in Clinton and Obama... it seems media feels that the real anti-system candidate is Edwards and that's why they dont give him the credits for his succesful campaign

Posted by: henraf4 | January 4, 2008 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Look. Edwards is not covered because he offers nothing new, not because the media dislike him. He is the same white, southern candidate he was four years ago. Obama is black, so that's new for the media. Clinton is a woman, another first. Edwards is just a trial lawyer who made his millions representing "the people," who likely saw pennies on their return for participating in his courtroom successes. He is not, though, new, and so he does not get covered. That's it.

Posted by: alterego1 | January 4, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

The collective media determines who will become our next President based on draw (our first black President! or our first woman President and a Clinton!), marketability and return for the media. If the media focused on viable candidates including Edwards, people might not be interested in tuning in. It's a sad statement for our culture and society.

The media also has a budget and is unable to cover everyone. Edwards had less money to spend and is not as exciting as Obama and Clinton.

Posted by: sbirnbaum100 | January 4, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Completely agree with the puzzlement and frustration expressed above. NOT an Edwards supporter. Was just completely confused that he'd managed to tie Hillary despite relative spending and over-all media disdain and to read headlines focused ONLY on Obama. What gives? Half the story on the democratic side is literally being ignored and not just in this paper -- true of Times, LAT, what have you. Are you just reading and repeating each others' headlines???

Posted by: pbin21 | January 4, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

JakeD,
Unfortunely, this report and headline only appear on the WaPo blog, not the print edition. Only political junkies are reading this.

Posted by: allisonmy | January 4, 2008 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Some metrics on the media blackout:

The MSM blackout of John Edwards: Some metrics
by JedReport
Mon Dec 31, 2007 at 12:12:58 PM PST

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2007/12/31/141617/72/752/428416

Posted by: LiveOakVA | January 4, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

For the "liberal" party, judging from the posters, there sure seem to be a lot of closet racists among Dems. But I knew that already.

Iowa voters clearly said, they want an end to the demagoguery. They are tired of the politics of fear and hate, and that fear and hate has been on both sides, and is within the party now. Judging from these posters, it seems impossible for them to promote their candidate without denigrating another. Obama is no media creation, he is a gifted politician, in tune (apparently alone) with the electorate's fatigue with the politics of hate. Edwards is a good man, I like him a lot. But he would not be able to change the paradigm. Repubs would demagogue him, and Dems would demagogue the Repub, and half the electorate would stay home. Same with Hillary, only more so. An Obama candidacy offers the hope of a campaign where each side talks about what their candidate offers, and lets the voters decide who is best for the country. Because in THAT kind of campaign, we can unite behind the winner, instead of engaging in four years of bitterness.

Finally, this: if Iowa wasn't all that to HRC, why couldn't she be honest and say so? Why didn't she simply skip the state ala Giuliani? I think she's lying now. It is too bad Hillary doesn't think the masses are sophisticated enough to hear the truth from her. Wonder what her excuses will be next Tuesday.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 4, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

For the "liberal" party, judging from the posters, there sure seem to be a lot of closet racists among Dems. But I knew that already.

Iowa voters clearly said, they want an end to the demagoguery. They are tired of the politics of fear and hate, and that fear and hate has been on both sides, and is within the party now. Judging from these posters, it seems impossible for them to promote their candidate without denigrating another. Obama is no media creation, he is a gifted politician, in tune (apparently alone) with the electorate's fatigue with the politics of hate. Edwards is a good man, I like him a lot. But he would not be able to change the paradigm. Repubs would demagogue him, and Dems would demagogue the Repub, and half the electorate would stay home. Same with Hillary, only more so. An Obama candidacy offers the hope of a campaign where each side talks about what their candidate offers, and lets the voters decide who is best for the country. Because in THAT kind of campaign, we can unite behind the winner, instead of engaging in four years of bitterness.

Finally, this: if Iowa wasn't all that to HRC, why couldn't she be honest and say so? Why didn't she simply skip the state ala Giuliani? I think she's lying now. It is too bad Hillary doesn't think the masses are sophisticated enough to hear the truth from her. Wonder what her excuses will be next Tuesday.

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 4, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

gilmiller:

The headline "Edwards: 'The People's Candidate'" (despite the fact that Obama won) was not gushing enough for you? What would have satisfied you: "Obama and Clinton Should Concede and Give all their Campaign Cash to Edwards"?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I abandoned the Washington Post long ago as far as a source for unbiased (read fair) political reporting.
I checked in today just to see how DC United was doing in the off-season and caught the Edwards piece enroute.
I've become an Edwards supporter during this campaign (I started out with Obama)because I honestly believe he's right for the country.
C'mon guys he beat Hillary. Give that the press it deserves.
I wouldn't mind seeing an Edwards/Obama ticket in the Fall.

Posted by: gilmiller | January 4, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

The reason that Edwards does not get the coverage you believe he deserves is that being the vicar of the economic illiterate does not constitute viability. Once the ensuing primaries have their say, you will see his irrelevance confirmed.

Posted by: crocea.mors | January 4, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that John Edwards has been completely mistreated by the American media.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

No mystery as to why the media elites ignore Edwards. They're part of the top five percent of incomes -- a group three times wealthier than they were a generation ago, while middle class families are working longer hours for the same wage (after inflation).

The last thing they want is a president who might end their gravy train with a fair distribution of society's bounty. And, of course, the rest of the media follow their elites like sheep.

Posted by: threedy | January 4, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Edwards showing over Clinton is a victory for him. He merits more attention from the media. I am impressed with his persistence, consistency and tenacity. I love his commitment to not take money from lobbiests and PACs. Thanks, WP, for giving him some rare coverage. Please give him more.

Posted by: darren | January 4, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Well of course the WaPo and other media corporations are going to do their best to keep the Edwards message from reaching the people; do you think the corporations want to help release their slaves? The media is, after all, just a propaganda distributor for the corporate elite. Boycott Fox and the Super Bowl!

Posted by: halifar59 | January 4, 2008 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I'm so glad to hear this unanimous support for the idea that John Edwards has been completely mistreated by the American media. I have been saying it for months, it is incredibly frustrating.

The haircut thing was shamefull. He put out his healthcare proposal first, no one covered it until Obama and Clinton copied it almost word for word.

He was the vice presidential candidate on a ticket that lost a very close election in the last cycle. He should have been the front runner that the media likes to annoint. But his message wasn't popular with the suits that control our media.

That is the only explanation for this, corporations control the media, and corporations are scared to death of a John Edwards administration. Is it any surprise that they direct their propaganda machines (the media) not to cover him?

Thank God for the internet, and the alternative media that is available to all of us now.

I am thrilled with last nights results. Obama or Edwards will make a great president, a president that will really shake things up in this country and give us the change of direction we need. I'm thrilled that people are finally moving on from the do nothing politics of the past (ie Clinton's and Bush's).

Washington Post - show you are still a legit news organization and start covering John Edwards!!!

Posted by: geor0113 | January 4, 2008 11:57 AM | Report abuse

samonds and doug:

Romney outspent Huckabee 20 to 1.

Posted by: JakeD | January 4, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Just under 70% said no to the past, and yes to the future.

Edwards deserves deep credit for defeating Clinton.

The press should now frame the race as which of the two new future candidates can deliver their message.

Edwards victory and national standings in the race are significant news.

Posted by: siralden | January 4, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Come on WaPo, give Edwards the coverage he deserves as repeatedly pointed out in the previous posts.

Posted by: stroghilas | January 4, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

If you think the coverage of Edwards has been thin, what do you think Biden, Dodd, and Richardson think of the absence of any coverage of their campaigns?

Sadly, as one poster already said, as long as most of the general public's attention span is that of a gnat's (except, of course, for "important" stories like Brittney's latest fax paus or missing teens in Aruba, which affect no one except the stories' subjects themselves), all we are ever going to get is "horserace" coverage on the pre-coronated "frontrunners", and little if any on the issues. This year is no exception--Biden, Dodd, and Richardson (in that order) are all more qualified, or at least have had more relevant experience, for the nation's highest office than the three Dem frontrunners. Now two of them are out, and Richardson is likely to follow suit pretty soon. Bad for the news, and bad for the country.

Posted by: pcpatterson | January 4, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I need to respond to danielhancock who states that John Edwards is no longer a "fresh face."
Four years ago John Edwards had the same message and very few of us scratched beneath the surface to discover anything about this new populist candidate. I feel now that we did him a grave disservice by not looking more carefully. We were so wrapped up in Howard Dean's surge that John Edwards' message, which was much more progressive than Dean ever dreamed of, got lost in the shuffle.

This cycle is very different. We have learned that we do NOT get our information with any accuracy from the media and we have learned to do our own research. WE are the freshies here. WE are the beneficiaries of John Edwards' message. In so many ways he becomes our only hope for true forward momentum. Forget this MSM snub and go directly to www.johnedwards.com and discover for yourselves what fresh new ideas are coming from this campaign.
We need to elevate the Edwards campaign ourselves in this country and rediscover what living in a true democracy can be. We need to look carefully at his message and own it.

Barbara Jones

Posted by: behome | January 4, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Comments are wrong: the Post DID mention Edwards, on the very EVE of the Iowa caucus, in a typically hypocritical "FactCheck" by a "journalist" called Michael Dobbs who was obviously on a search-and-destroy mission. A recent "FactCheck" by the same Dobbs questioned global warming by emphasizing some minute details of Al Gore's "Inconvenient Truth." Fascism has many faces.

Posted by: bush.en.prison.et.vite | January 4, 2008 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I'm so relieved to discover I'm not alone in my frustration with the media's virtually non-existent coverage of John Edwards, despite his SECOND PLACE FINISH.

I'm sorry for the pundits that Edwards' success doesn't fit into the Obama-Clinton narrative they've invested so much in, but the fact is that more Iowans voted for Edwards than for Clinton. The media would do well to observe and report on the way things are in reality.

Posted by: paulwbrantley | January 4, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Someone made a very good point about
Hillary Clinton, last night. Iowans have
had full coverage of who Mrs. Clinton is
and what she is all about. This first
caucus reflects, more than anything else,
that more than 70% of Democrats...

DO NOT LIKE HER!

We still have more to learn about Edwards
and Obama. It will not be long before
all the people that have thrown millions
of dollars and hours and days and months
on Hillary... it is a waste of time and
money.

Posted by: im_timmaaay | January 4, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Please! Did anyone see MSNBC's (in bed with WaPo) last night??? ALL NIGHT they claimed "Clinton, Edwards Vy for Second" but in reality, ALL NIGHT John Edwards was in, and held onto, 2nd place..sometimes by a thin margin. All night! I was shocked they never changed the tagline! It was obvious he was going to come in 2nd, but couldn't get a fair shake from the almighty media. Its disgraceful. If he wins New Hampshire, the headlines will be "Edwards Loses 2nd Place!"

Posted by: DaveB2 | January 4, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Has anyone been to the Union Leader newspaper, yet. I just read a shockingly fascist Op-Ed titled (((Edwards the loser: Backing total defeat in Iraq))) - has our country truely sunk to such filth and fascist opinion? John Edwards - if anything would halt the War Contractors from influencing our congress with gifts of money and otherwise. Until the day comes when it is illegal for War Contractors to bribe our politicians to think along their interests - there will be no resolution to the unrest in the Middle-East.

Posted by: im_timmaaay | January 4, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

It is a commentary on the lack of professionalism by the Washington Post that it continues to treat Hillary Clinton as the designated Queen and Obama as the favorite son. Afterall, Clinton had enormous advantages. Her husband was the last elected Democratic President. She is a nationally recognized name. She and Bill Clinton raised enormous sums of money. The Press feed at her feet and treated her as having already won Iowa before the first vote was counted. Edwards was a far lesser known name. The press all but ignored him.
Clinton and Obama outspend him $12 to $1. The real news is not only that Clinton came in third, or that Obama didn't receive even 35% of the vote; the real news is Edwards. He is in as good a position as Obama and Clinton to win the nomination.

Posted by: doug | January 4, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The "Peoples Candidate" my foot, Edwards is far from being a man of the people. His a tort lawyer - aka ambulance chaser - and hedge fund exec. Two of the least admirable occupations in this country.

At least he hasn't trotted out the "log cabin" business a certain candidate did in a previous campaign, you know, the one who invented the internet.

Posted by: dyanez | January 4, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Why can't you cover this campaign honestly, Washington Post? Is it any wonder that the politically conservative WAPO editorial board has influenced the way news is presented as well? Edwards is a real fighter, and clearly the man who most boldly challenges the presumptions of Fred Hiatt/George Bush/Dick Cheney conservatism. Is it any wonder that you've treated him unfairly?

I would suggest that your ombudsman take up this issue and pen a critical article exposing WAPO's bias against Edwards. But it is as clear as daylight that WAPO's ombudsman does nothing but cover up for precisely those biases that she is supposed to be exposing. So I won't be holding my breath for her to do her job.

If I'm wrong, surprise me. Let's see her write about this horribly biased reporting that slights Edwards. How 'bout it?

Posted by: sbgoldrick | January 4, 2008 11:25 AM | Report abuse

This is the first time i've read the comments section in full agreement with most of the posts! Edwards has captured the mood and minds of a huge portion of the electorate...those of us who've felt disenfranchised by elected officials over the last 7 years...and who are angry over the abuse of power we've seen. He's the ONLY one who's concretely addressed these problems...

Yet...when i went to look at the caucus results this morning...i could find little more than a short blog note on Edwards second-place finish. I found more references to Edwards in the articles about Clinton...but nothing substantive that covered his take on the issues.

PLEASE start covering his campaign in a substantive way.

Posted by: las100 | January 4, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I have to laugh at all the progressives who support Edwards over Obama, who argue that we can't get together to talk about things. Of course not, and diplomacy never works. That is why Bush took us to war. He didn't want to talk. And so Edwards wants to fight, fight, fight, but that will mean gridlock in the Senate. Edward would never get anything done. Shame on you progressives who criticize Bush for not talking, but then criticize Obama for wanting to talk things out. That is why I really don't like Edwards. He hasn't got a clue how to get things done. He would make a great Attorney General who really can prosecute criminals and use all that fight rhetoric in the courtroom. He just has trial lawyer instincts, but they aren't Presidential.

Posted by: goldie2 | January 4, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

I completely agree that it is long past time to give Edwards serious coverage. He is talking about the issues, and has been all along. WHY is the media so enthusiastic about only 2 candidates, and STILL reporting on Hillary like she's a star, when Edwards has been showing his stuff the entire time?

Posted by: gret49 | January 4, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse


About this Ambulance Chaser and Tort Lawyer MSM diatribe!
The first class action suit that I filled out forms sent to me was for demages incurred by purchasing microsofts' embedded
browser in Win95. Upon attempted removal, Win95 code crashed my machine (a cloned 386).
Take Bill Gates and his billions to court on my own, yeah, we all know that's BS. Yes, all I recieved were two coupons.
One was for microsoft code to remove EI.
The other was for a Netscape or Java browser.
On my own I would have had to eat Gates' crap!
All this baloney about tort lawyers is coming from two corners. The corporate cabal and stupid people whipped up by the corporate cabal's smearing of the tort lawyers who took money from them!
Class action suits are a necessry control on CORPORATE THUGGERY!!!!

Posted by: harried | January 4, 2008 11:05 AM | Report abuse

My first reaction after surveying the Post headlines was exactly the same as many above. On its face, Edward's second placing, above Clinton, the long presumptive frontrunner, merits more lead coverage. The power of middle class anxt/outrage that Edwards, Obama, and Huckabee tapped is getting attention, but Edward's ability and potential to tap it is not. Puzzeling, disappointing coverage.

Posted by: critzeff | January 4, 2008 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Not only should Edwards' 2nd place at the Iowa caucus be described in more accurate terms, but the differences between Edwards & Obama & Clinton need to be drawn. Edwards is the candidate of change because he recognizes that only be taking on entrenched power does change occur. Obama remains too idealistic in his belief that "We can all get together." and discuss it. If discussion worked, change would have happened, i.e., the Democrats election in 2006 to remove our troops from Iraq -- look how far those discussions & maneuvers went. Clinton doesn't even have a clue as to the "big picture." Give Edwards credit for defining the real change that needs to take place.

Posted by: emjaybee | January 4, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Hey advertisers...do you really want to advertise your product in a newspaper that treats it's readers so poorly?

I was talking about this issue with people in my office. We have a cross section of people & parties represented and to a person, everyone agrees that the media has gotten too big for it's britches. They were all appalled that the corporate media would freeze out the candidate that came in 2nd in Iowa while promising to cover the candidate that came in third. The Republicans in the office were just as upset as the Democrats and Independents.

Hey Corporate Media - Looks like we finally have an issue that brings together people of all political stripes.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | January 4, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

WaPo, we want more! Like so many others have posted...please stop simplifying the news for us. Despite what seems to be the current trend in reporting, seems like folks really can read and comprehend information about more than two candidates per party.

Posted by: katrinacfhm | January 4, 2008 10:52 AM | Report abuse

I love hearing people say: "I like Edwards, but I won't vote for him cause he has no chance to win." Although I lament the absurdity of the comment, it is true that the news outlet will make sure Edwards does not win. So maybe whe should just stop reading pre-fab election coverage by the Washington Post and other big news outlet. Lately, I find it difficult to find anything interesting to read on this website; It is all so biased and predictable.

Posted by: henryhoople | January 4, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

I'll tell you one thing if this BS by the media continues I think we should start picketing their offices. We can start with one and move onto the next and keep doing it. They don't care about the American people and they don't care about fairness for accuracy.

They've ignored our pleas this entire election, maybe we need to hit them in their wallets in order to get them to pay attention.

What other holdings does the Washington Post have? Should we be boycotting them? I'm serious people, this is the last straw for me. They may have hung the "angry man" label around Edwards neck to harm his chances but if they want to see real anger, wait until they see the people's anger.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | January 4, 2008 10:43 AM | Report abuse

By the way, my favorite insight at big time media feel for Edwards came from the NYTimes. Their public editor wrote a piece where he acknowledged the paper wasn't covering Edwards. The paper's response two long, long background pieces on Edwards.

They ran on 12/25 and 1/1! I laughed at Abe and Bill's cynicism, but, they really should be lined up against the wall! Viva la revolucion! ;)

Posted by: LeRiverend | January 4, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The reason that WaPo does not cover Edwards , except in pieces like Dana Milbank's "HAIRCUT" smear is obvious.
Edwards knows how to "LEGALLY" get after "SPECIAL INTEREST" groups, and WaPo is definitely in bed with CORPORATE PIRACY.

Posted by: harried | January 4, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Let me stand in agreement with the above comments. I know journalists are supposed to keep the story simple, but when your story is WRONG, at least take a moment to change the storyline.

The storyline out of Iowa (for both Dems and the GOP) is the rise of people-powered candidates. The establishment (that means you WP) candidates were crushed by the insurgents. It is also a story of a huge Democratic landslide. Dem candidates captured well over 60% of all votes cast.

The GOP side is just as interesting where Paul and Huckabee picked up nearly 50% of the total GOP vote. The GOP poobahs are having strokes in the boardrooms of NYC and the McMansions of N.Va.

But the biggest story of all is that John Edwards has really driven the agenda for 2008, and he did it while being reviled by the media.

Posted by: LeRiverend | January 4, 2008 10:31 AM | Report abuse

You readers might also be interested in this piece I found in The Street.com. It is spot on in it's explanation of why they want to freeze out Edwards.


Huckabee, Edwards take on the establishment
And the establishment isn't taking their populism lightly

By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last update: 4:50 p.m. EST Jan. 3, 2008

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Iowa seems an unlikely place to launch class warfare against the rich and powerful.
It's not that Iowa doesn't have its share of working-class heroes - farmers, factory workers, nurses and retirees. It's just that the elitist format of the Iowa caucus is stacked against a populist rebellion.
If either John Edwards or Mike Huckabee does well in the Iowa caucusing on Thursday night, we may find out just how stacked the national political system is against their message of fighting for the underdog. We're likely to see an intensification of the attacks on these two presidential candidates, not only from their party rivals but also from the political pundit class, that will make the swift boating of John Kerry look like a day at the beach

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/huckabee-edwards-take-establishment/story.aspx?guid=%7B2420E82C-34FA-4EFC-8E94-A07AF4D81FFD%7D

Posted by: pmorlan1 | January 4, 2008 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Completely agree that Edwards, deserves more coverage, but I also realize that the Washington Post is a member of the Eastern Establishmet and part of Washington-New York "Power Elite" Club. Therefore, they certainly are not going to give any serious column space to any politician that would attack the "status quo" that many in "Eastern Establishment" hold so dearly. Truth is, any politician who's message is somewhat populist and appeals to the blue-collar and working middle class in American and ia critical of "corporate American" and "Big Goverment" will either get very little column space in the Washington Post, or if they get space, it's to see how fast the Post can "tear 'em down". Message to the Post, your "bias" is showing.

Posted by: sibwalker | January 4, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the comments about the media not covering Edwards and unless we all band together and do something about it they will continue to do it. Here are excerpts from the LA Times and a Roger Simon piece from Politico.com. They pretty much tell us they are going to freeze Edwards out even though he finished ahead of Clinton.

"The results are especially damaging for Edwards, the former North Carolina senator. Even though he barely edged out Clinton for second place the Democratic race is very much a two-person contest, pitting Obama against Clinton."

http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-na-demassess4jan04,0,5159166.story?page=1&coll=la-home-center

"Even second place sometimes is not good enough in Iowa. Ask John Edwards. He came in second here in 2004 and expected that "bounce" to help him win in New Hampshire. But it didn't.

Why? The media had a better story. They had Howard Dean's scream.

As Edwards' then-campaign manager Nick Baldick put it: "Instead of headlines that said, 'Kerry Wins, Edwards a Surprising Second' it was all about [John] Kerry winning and the Dean speech. We were the seventh paragraph. That did not give us a New Hampshire bounce."

And Edwards might face the same problem this time. If he comes in second and Barack Obama comes in first, the headline could be: "Obama Wins, Hillary Third."

The trick for candidates is to exceed media expectations. If you can do better than expected, you might be able to earn a continuing look -- even if it is just a glance -- from the press. "

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0108/7680.html

I think if Obama is truly running a new kind of campaign that he should be asked if he supports the media picking our nominees by freezing out candidates they don't like. As a voter I really want to know where he stands on this issue. I don't care who is running, I'm sick of the media only covering candidates they think should win. They did this to Biden, Dodd, Kucinich and now Edwards. They've been doing this for years and they are only getting worse. It used to be only the marginal candidates weren't covered. That was bad enough but this year now they plan on excluding the 2nd place finisher in the race while promoting the 3rd place finisher! This HAS TO STOP! If we don't speak up now then we deserve the crummy coverage we get.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | January 4, 2008 10:26 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely. Don't forget that you can balance the scales by making a donation to the politician you favor.

Posted by: LouisTheRogue | January 4, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Gosh WaPo, I'd love to see your headline for this line of comments!

One doesn't need to be an Edwards supporter - just a minimally observant voter - to note that there's been a problem with coverage of the Edwards campaign to date.

For quite some time now, the media has been quick to cite poll after poll showing a very tight three-way race in Iowa, yet stories have covered -and clearly, continue to cover- the race as if Obama and Clinton are the only two serious Democratic candidates running for office.

Coverage of the Edwards campaign has been minimal at best, often relegated to second-tier, and frequently, omitted altogether.

Yet, anyone who has ever worked near a campaign can tell you that there is no lack of opportunity for the media to get information regarding candidates' schedules, platforms or campaigns. They don't call them 'press releases' and 'media advisories' for nothing. So what's up??

One has to wonder:
1. Would Hillary Clinton have received the same level of coverage had her last name been anything-but-Clinton, and

2. What might the outcome in Iowa have been, had the coverage of the THREE leading candidates had been more evenhanded?

Please, do your job as befits a free press in a democratic society. The American public deserves accurate and balanced information from serious journalists. Save the punditry for the OpEd pages and Sunday talk shows.

Turnout last night in Iowa proves you'll get the ratings.

Posted by: wcdemspicnic | January 4, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I agree with the other readers: The Post's coverage underplays -- and therefore perhaps undermines -- the showing of John Edwards. We want fair coverage.

Posted by: Bristolite1 | January 4, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yes Yes Yes and Yes! WHY DON'T YOU START COVERING EDWARDS SERIOUSLY, HUH? WHY HAVEN'T YOU BEEN COVERING HIM SERIOUSLY UP THIS POINT, HUH? START DOING IT!

Posted by: schmetterlingtoo | January 4, 2008 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Did WaPo change the headline? Looks like it.

Nice job, advocates of fair play!

Posted by: leajones99 | January 4, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Edwards will never have a better opportunity that he did in Iowa. He actually lost ground in comparison to 2004 when he lost to Kerry 37 to 33 percent.

Clinton has money and organization to fall back on and Obama has the momentum as well as money and organization as proven by his victory last night.

Organization and money will become increasingly thin for Edwards as the campaign moves into the other states. Another second place in New Hampshire won't be enough even if he is ahead of Clinton again.

Edwards is no longer a fresh face although he tries to act like he is one. It is almost like he is trying to go back in time to 2004 by giving speeches about his dad working in the mill and the product liability cases he won.

I don't see how it can get any better and this campaign now seems like a redo of 2004 for Edwards where he loses by attrition to a better funded and organized candidate.

Posted by: danielhancock | January 4, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I have to agree with the previous comments. Why did Edwards, Biden, Richardson, etc. receive so little coverage over the last many months compared to that given to Clinton and Obama? This soap opera horse race offered up by the press is a joke (Weekly polls with candidates constantly moving up or down depending upon the questions fed to respondents). The media's job is to report the news, not to create it. Washington Post editors, I hope you are reading these comments from all of us...

Posted by: tklann | January 4, 2008 10:09 AM | Report abuse

When do you ever see this many people in agreement?? You're coverage of this election stinks, which is pretty much status quo for what you've been doing all along. John Edwards is a viable candidate who came in second in Iowa and beat the invincible and inevitable nominee of Hillary Clinton. He deserves better; but just as important, your readers and the American people deserve better. Do your job and cover ALL the candidates, not just the ones you deem "rock stars."

Posted by: skpedersen | January 4, 2008 10:04 AM | Report abuse

WaPo, are you reading these comments? When there is near-unanimous agreement among board posters, you'd better sit up and take note! (When else does that happen!) The press wrecked Al Gore in 2000 by portraying him in a biased manner and focusing on his negative personality traits rather than his positive traits and what he had to say. Now you are, I believe, giving Obama and Clinton an unfair advantage by focusing your coverage on them. We're adults here. You don't have to simplify the race down to two candidates. Act like the newspaper which so long ago, covered all the convoluted aspects of Watergate. Live up to your reputation (or might I say, save your reputation, because your coverage has been getting pretty weak lately). If we want watered-down simplicity, there are plenty of other news outlets to which we can turn.

Posted by: MHinNC | January 4, 2008 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Attempting to define this election in old political terms will miss the mark. This is about a general attitude of disdain for the status quo of the past three decades.
Ohg
http://thefiresidepost.com/2008/01/04/an-american-revolution-2008/

Posted by: glclark4750 | January 4, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Remembering how atypical Iowa and New Hampshire are of the country, Edwards's strong showing in Iowa indicates that he is a much stronger candidate nationally than the pundits have forecast. Clinton and Obama may just knock each other out, leaving Edwards with the nomination.

Posted by: Dogooder1 | January 4, 2008 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Agreed. It's ridiculous that the second place finisher is mentioned only in a small sub-bullet, having beaten someone who just a few months ago was considered the shoe-in nominee.

Posted by: robmck1 | January 4, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Ditto, ditto earlier comments. John Edwards beat Hilary - no one saw that one coming. It is time that he got the same amount of coverage as Obama and Senator Clinton. I wonder if it's because his election won't make history in the same way that Obama and Hilary would?

Posted by: mhays-mdi | January 4, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

To expect the corporate media to give fair coverage to a candidate so critical of corporate behaviors is simply unrealistic. As long as the electorate has the attention span of a gnat, nothing will change.

Remember the last presidential cycle. Edwards won the Wisconsin primaries even after the corporate mouthpieces declared it was a "two person race." The fix is in. But it will only stick if we are inattentive.

Posted by: BobKalk | January 4, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

The headline reads, "
In Iowa, Obama Wins, Clinton Concedes."

May I suggest to the headline writer, "In Iowa , Obama Wins, followed by Edwards, then Clinton."

Not as flashy, but at least you acknowledge second place by Edwards.

Come WP, you can do better than this.

Posted by: dbphotos | January 4, 2008 9:22 AM | Report abuse

As maligned as the primary system is, perhaps this is the one area where it serves as an advantage. The national media, including the Washington Post, seems entrenched in the "horserace" style of journalism. Because these national stories long ago framed the Democratic primary as a race between Obama and Clinton, the stories about the Iowa Caucus have stayed with the same themes. This is why Edwards' success has been so ignored in the first stories since the Caucus results.

But on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire and other early primary states, the news stories cover more than just the recent poll results. Americans in those areas get to interact with the candidates and the campaigns more than the rest of the Americans ever will. While the preference in the national media to dwindle the field down to two candidates certainly affects the primaries, hopefully the more substantive dialogue that takes place will afford other candidates the proper opportunity to succeed.

Posted by: gc12 | January 4, 2008 9:02 AM | Report abuse

This has been my major complaint all along. The establishment media have "annoited" their favorites very eary on in this race and have abused their "gatekeepers" privilege. John Edwards is not out of this race yet. He ran an underfunded, and largely ignored populist campaign and still beat Clinton. Obama's support is weak and unreliable in the long run. Obama is a flash-in-the-pan. Edwards is the real thing and the voters of New Hampshire have a chance is separate the chaff from the wheat.

Posted by: danabuckingham | January 4, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

What has been said so far is oh so true. The media appears to flock to the hot hand or the media star and forget the steady campaigner who maintains his position and beliefs no matter what the others are doing. The comparison to Seabiscuit is right-on and I surely hope the result is the same.

Posted by: gpo42416 | January 4, 2008 9:00 AM | Report abuse

People should take note of the fact that Obama outspent Edwards 3 to 1 in Iowa, and Hilary outspent him 2 to 1. Not a bad showing for Edwards. He definitely deserves more serious press than he has been getting.

Posted by: samonds | January 4, 2008 8:58 AM | Report abuse

I am an Obama supporter but I totally agree with Kreiser and Democrat2. This is not fair.

Posted by: muahmu | January 4, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Kreiser. Pleae start covering Edwards as a serious candidate who beat Clinton in Iowa.

Posted by: democrat2 | January 4, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

I have one complaint. After a long hard fought campaign, John Edwards came in second in Iowa and still your newspaper along with the major networks continue to give all the press to Obama and Clinton. This has been going on through the entire campaign. What is up with this? Seems like the news media helps or hurts the chances of the candidates they select instead of reporting on what is actually going on.

Posted by: Kreiser | January 4, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

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