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Obama Fires Back at Edwards

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INDIANOLA, Iowa -- Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) directly confronted the idea -- pushed by former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) -- that he is "too nice" to bring about change in Washington, dismissing what he called "hot air" and "rhetoric."

Barack Obama
Obama at a campaign event in Newton, Iowa. (Reuters)

"The argument goes that the only way to bring about change is to be angry," said Obama at an event in a church hall here tonight. He quickly added: "I don't need lectures about how to bring about change because I have been doing it all my life."

Less than 12 hours earlier at a rally in Boone, Iowa, Edwards called the idea of sitting down to negotiate with special interests to solve the nation's problems a "complete fantasy", adding: "You can't nice these people to death." [Watch the Video]

Neither man mentioned the other by name when delivering the rhetorical jabs, although it was crystal clear to whom they were referring.

The back and forth between the two men is simply the latest volley in an increasingly nasty battle for the segment of undecided voters who have ruled out Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) as an option.

Obama's strategists long believed that Edwards would fade as the caucuses drew closer, ceding the anti-Clinton vote to the Illinois senator. That has not happened; in fact, just the reverse is true -- Edwards appears to be gaining strength in recent Iowa polls. (Take a look at the slew of Iowa polls out in the last few days; Edwards is tied for the lead in two.)

Edwards's continued strength has forced the Obama campaign to fight with the former North Carolina senator over how each will bring about change.

At the heart of the dispute between the two candidates is what kind of approach is the right one to make change real. Edwards casts himself as a skilled, effective and willing fighter for the middle class; he told a story earlier in the day how his father told him as a boy to never start a fight but if one started to "never walk away."

Obama, on the other hand, has a far more conciliatory approach -- pointing to his years of bringing people together to create change inside (and, more importantly, outside) the political process. "There's no shortage of anger in Washington," said Obama. "We don't need more heat, we need more light."

The philosophical differences between the two men are clear and palpable. Which approach will win over voters in Iowa?

We've long written that Edwards's anger (strong conviction, his campaign calls it) is a dangerous game. Voters tend not to like their presidents angry, preferring candidates who appear above the fray and always looking at the big picture. That conventional wisdom would suggest that it is Obama's change argument that will prove more compelling to undecided caucusgoers.

And yet, the anger and resentment within the Democratic base -- caused and fomented by the Bush administration -- is at historic highs. Progressive voters, are quite frankly, mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. One of Edwards' biggest applause lines of the day was a scathing indictment against Bush's record on science; "George Bush is the most anti-science president in American history," said Edwards to roars from the assembled crowd.

The question is whether that anger aimed at the Bush Administration has fundamentally altered the thinking of members of the Democratic base. Do they want someone who offers a raised fist or someone who offers a handshake? The answer will be clearer by the end of Thursday night.

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 30, 2007; 8:41 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: Rep. Wicker Is Barbour's Choice


John Edwards is the ONE!!! He is the only
Democrat who is a true fighter, like FDR
in the 1930s. Who remembers FDR using the
term "economic royalists" to castigate
corporate America? And it will be a fight to bridge the widening gap between the rich
and the rest of us in America.John Edwards wants to increase union membership greatly.
It was the unions in the past which fought
for and won higher wages, better working
conditions, and better retirement pensions for working men and women. Edwards has the
fight and commitment in him to push these
goals forward. He has the zeal of FDR and
the drive, and he will beat any of the
Republicans in Nov 2008!!!!!

Posted by: donricardo | January 2, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

wtobie, There was nothing in the 2000 race to lead the public to believe that a centrist 3rd party would attract anyone. GWB ran as a compassionate conservative who would reach across party lines as he had in Texas. He opposed "nation building" and said he wanted government to do a few things, but do them well.

Gore ran as a pragmatic populist with a streak of "family values" - remember Tipper and her testimony about the evil of rock and roll?

They ran hard to find a big tent center.

I know, that is so hard to recall now.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 31, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeGOP: I have information about McCain that is, IMHO, will devastate his family and friends should he continue. I will not reval what this is for many reasons, although the attack in 2000 is nothing compared to what is out there. That is my main reason for thinking he will drop out an
d support Mike Huckabee.

Posted by: lylepink | December 31, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Why are they talking about a third party now, why not seven years ago? or four years ago?

Posted by: wtobie | December 31, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Obama- Dodd 08

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 31, 2007 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Some of my favorite former Senators - Nunn, Boren, and Danforth, are behind this meeting in Norman, OK. Lyle, you called Sam and David Ds INO, which of course could be a recommendation to me, an Indie. Biden said on Blitzer's Sunday show that these were his friends and former colleagues and they would not need to wring their hands over polarization if he were the nominee. I suspect that McCain could have said the same were he asked.

I think the Norman meeting will take on a different tone if the parties nominate their more divisive folks. There is enough concentrated centrist clout and money represented to push a third candidacy or to
focus in both parties on the individuals more open to cooperation.

The late Lloyd Bentsen would have approved of Boren's effort, I think. I understand that Bob Graham and Chuck Hagel will be there.

I suspect that Warren Rudman is absent only
because of his long term commitment to McCain.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 31, 2007 5:00 PM | Report abuse


I really think you are almost willfuly ignoring data that contradicts your faith in Senator Clinton. Both Edwards and Obama fare better in the polls against the Republicans and HRC trails several of the Republicans.

Incidentally, Jonathon Alter of Newsweek thinks that Obama is the candidate most likely to be able to win by a landslide. Check this article out analyzing the electability of the major candidates.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 31, 2007 4:26 PM | Report abuse

"Any way you look at this race for 08, Obama is the weakest of the top three, and I would go farther in saying he is the weakest except for Gravel and DK out of the entire Dem field."

Unless you look at Iowa polls, in which Obama is either in the lead or tied for first.

Or other early-state primary polls, in which Obama is a strong second, and has gained significantly in the last month.

Or general election polls, in which Obama beats every Republican, outperforming Clinton in practically every matchup.

Or fundraising, in which Obama is either tied for first or leading.

Or his rallies, which are attended by legions of excited supporters.

But if you look at it any other way, Obama is the weakest candidate. Just keep telling yourself that, lylepink.

Posted by: Blarg | December 31, 2007 4:06 PM | Report abuse

First ask yourself these questions.
Do you agree with John Edwards' vote in favor of free trade in China?

Did you know that John Edwards voted for No Child Left Behind?

Did you know that John Edwards voted for NAFTA?

Electability: Did you know that John Edwards lost his home state of North Carolina in the '04 election?

Did you know that John Edwards acted critical of offshore tax shelters for the wealthy in 2004, and then in 2005 he worked as a consultant for the Fortress Investment Group whose hedge funds were incorporated in the Cayman Islands?

Did you know that John Edwards spent $400 on a haircut and that he used campaign money to pay for it?

Do you agree with his taking money from wealthy trial lawyers (a strong lobby in and of itself)?

Did you know that Edwards voted for the Packer Ban and the Right to Work bill?

Do you agree with his vote in favor of the 2001-2002 bankruptcy reform bill which has hurt many lower income families in this country?

Did you know that John Edwards is also a member of the secretive Bilderberg group and he does not agree with Obama that we should have transparency of government?

Is it right for John Edwards to vow not to take public financing and then to conveniently change his tune and force the democratic party to carry his burden? Added to that did you know that he voted against public financed elections?

Did you know that he employs LUC Media (a well known union-busting public relations firm)?

Do you agree with John Edwards vote in favor of storing nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada?

Did you know that John Edwards has the worst environmental record according to the League of Conservation voters ratings?

Did you know that John Edwards missed 40% of his votes in the senate?

Do you agree with John Edwards vote in favor of authorizing the Iraq war...

...And do you think its right that he didn't read the NIE report and lied and said he had at one point?

Obama '08


Posted by: wtobie | December 31, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

CC: Check "The Fix" I cannot access it for the past several hours.

Posted by: lylepink | December 31, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Any way you look at this race for 08, Obama is the weakest of the top three, and I would go farther in saying he is the weakest except for Gravel and DK out of the entire Dem field. I only hope the true Dems realize this before it is to late. there is something about this guy that does not seem to be what he is portraying himself to be, this is the "FEELING" I have and cannot put my finger on, but it happens every time I see or hear him.

Posted by: lylepink | December 31, 2007 3:43 PM | Report abuse

This is rufus blarg, by the way :)

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 31, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"JD, do you know what a socialist is? Do you know what the spectrum of political thought is in other countries? There are only a handful of politicians in America who would even be considered liberals by international standards, and John Edwards isn't on that list. His policies are a fraction of an inch to the left of Obama, who you say you'd vote for. Is Obama a socialist? Are you?

Posted by: Blarg | December 31, 2007 11:57 AM

thanks for your chagne in stance blarg. It's about tiem all americans get free speech, don't you think. Socialism is a boogie man. this coutnry was founded on it, though the word didn't exist. Jesus teaught socialism, thought eh word didn't exists. Why does the word exist? for a boogie man fo rthe fascists.

The red scare of the fifites stole our country. The fact no one was prosecuted, as the gop does not ever face accoutnability, got us here. Like with clinton and bush. think about the future presendence that is being set.

Unless we reject the criminals, of course. But thanks blarg. when I first came here I was not allowed free speech. i believe democracy cannot exist without a form of socialism, and vice versa.

That is my belief. others may disagree due to years of lies and propoganda, but that is my belief. I wish the dem candidates WERE more socialist. It's not a bad word. the year is 2007. the old boogie man the fascist created doesn't exist. internal sabotage. The nazi's were fascists, not socialists. The russians were fascists/communists not socialists.

Fear fascism. Democratic socialism is not a boogie man. It is using our tax dollars to benifeit the country and it's inhibitants. As opposed to our our tax doallers being funneled to teh rich and the gop cult. power back to the people. Tax money to the coutnry. Grwoth for the future. One group is fighting for the future, one for the past. Leave teh fascist gop where they belong, in the past. Render them irrelevant for a generation. Not because I or anyone esle says. But due to their actions incompetance and criminality.

Peace and good will. MAybe this year will offer the same promise the last year did, which was squndered by fascist party loyalist red coats.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 31, 2007 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"a Biden/Obama ticket would be tough to beat and plus if they won, they would be able to govern the country because republicans may not agree with them on most issues but they respect them and could work with them."

bhoomes - I agree and you could substitute McCain for Biden/Obama and democrats for republicans. I frankly think that quality trumps most everything else for this election. Biden is my first choice, but I would also see Obama and McCain as quite acceptable.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 31, 2007 2:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm talking about domestic policy, not foreign. Socialism has nothing to do with foreign policy. For that matter, traditional liberal/conservative party lines also break down when it comes to foreign policy, unless you think JFK was more conservative than Ron Paul. When you whine about how Edwards is an uber-lefty socialist, that's a complaint about his domestic policy. (And it's obvious you think "socialist" is an insult, unless a comparison to Hugo Chavez is a compliment.)

There's nothing in Edwards' domestic policies as extreme as the Great Society or New Deal. No Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. So was LBJ a socialist? How about FDR? How about Barack Obama?

Posted by: Blarg | December 31, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"I think that Obama is a very attractive candidate, but I do agree with many of the posters that he needs more experience. Also--I wish that this was not so, but I'm afraid racism is the U.S. is not dead, especially amongst older Americans who grew up in a different era but who also tend to be faithful voters.

Posted by: Anndougherty | December 31, 2007 12:13 PM

Racism will be dead after obama wins. to me it will be. their will still be racists of all stipes. But at least they will not be mainstreamed. They will be called what they should be called. RASCISTS. I can't wait for the fascist nazi's to show their face once Obama wins the nom. It will show all americans living in 2007/8 what these backward people in the gop really think.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 31, 2007 2:35 PM | Report abuse

They are both right. compromise. Compromise. Compromise. We need to start moving the coutnry left. Start is the word. We can't change the world over night. But the current status quote is borderline criminal. Edwards is 100% correct in what he says. But a large percentage of people are still chained in the basement of willful ignorance. We may not be able to have edwards type change now. MAybe in four/eight years. But the key is to start moving towards that goal.

Obama-Dodd 08.

Posted by: JKrishnamurti | December 31, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, you gotta be kidding me. Or maybe you're too young to understand. I don't know.

LBJ and JFK aggressively used the military to protect this country. You think Edwards would have continued to prosecute VietNam? Have threated the Cuban Missile Crisis? JFK dramatically lowered income taxes; you think Edwards is planning on doing that, with his soak-the-rich tax plans and universal health care schemes?

And I never said Socialist is a 'bad' word; you did. I just think that, from the American electorate's point of view, Edwards is quite out of the mainstream with most of his proposals.

Posted by: JD | December 31, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

No, it does matter. In other countries, "socialist" isn't a bad word. There are Socialist parties and politicians, and they're often the ones running those countries. And they wouldn't want Edwards lumped in with them. Like most Democrats, he'd be considered a center-right moderate anywhere else. Since there is no definition of a socialist in American politics, you need to use the definitions of other countries. And Edwards doesn't fit that definition.

You also say that Edwards is an "uber-lefty". That's still wrong, but not laughably so. By the standard of modern American politics, he's fairly far to the left. But that's only because the spectrum is so narrow, and it doesn't make him a socialist. Compared to what JFK and LBJ were doing in the 60s, or what FDR was doing in the 30s, nothing in Edwards' platform is all that liberal or shocking.

If you actually put them side by side, Edwards' platform is only slightly more liberal than Obama's. They agree on most of the issues, and differ only in the details. Does that make Obama an uber-lefty socialist Chavez lookalike also?

Posted by: Blarg | December 31, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

No offense Blarg, but we're not in 'other countries', we're (at least, I am) in America.

I don't care if Edwards would be considered centrist in France or Cuba. In America he's an uber lefty, and moving moreso all the time.

By socialist, I mean the typical Marx doctrine, from each according to his means, to each according to his needs. you look at virtually every Edwards proposal, and that's the theme.

Get it?

Posted by: JD | December 31, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I like Edwards'leftward point of view more than the other candidates'; and I actually think that this would have been the year to run on a true populist platform and really re-sell an unapologetic liberalism to the electorate.

But I just don't think Edwards is the guy to pull it off. He's sort of inauthentic and I don't think he quite has the intellect or eloquence.

A bit of a wasted opportunity with this field. This was not the year to capitulate and run a centrist.

Posted by: spitpeasoup | December 31, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

lylepink, you need to stop this silly mantra of yours about anyone "dropping out". When Sam Brownback dropped out, you uttered not a peep. Was there some scandal there that you failed to inform us about, as you seem to be the self-appointed gossip guru here. If you are so concerned with the R primary, then try to focus on the issues at hand instead of repeating scurrilous completely unsubstantiated, Clintonesque attacks couched in that hush-hush, breathless tone of yours. Just remember, the Clinton team will have no problem throwing you or anyone else under the bus if you screw up. Just ask Bill Shaheen.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 31, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

ednyo2000: lylepink IS paying attention. A lot of you folks are NOT dealing with "REALITY". vbhoomes is shaking in his boots any time Hillary is mentioned. Most likely he has nightmares as well. proudtobeGOP: I saw the Rasmussen Report and mentioned it somewhere, and I saw some place that Rudy is falling like a rock in Fla., where he has been concentrating most of his efforts. I think Truth Hunter will keep us posted on how Iowa turns out and I am thinking Mike Huckabee will win or come in a very close second. I watched Meet the Press twice yesterday and Russert was softballing more than I have seen him in some time. Fla. appears to have the distinct position now in just about naming the GOP nominee, should Mike Huckabee win there, it is almost over wih McCain dropping out and supporting Mike. A lot will depend on how McCain does in NH, and this could be the time for him to drop out as I have predicted he would at some point in time.

Posted by: lylepink | December 31, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

this blog is actually intelligent, cogent and rational today. What is different than the other days -

No pack of angry drindl jackels.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 31, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I think that Obama is a very attractive candidate, but I do agree with many of the posters that he needs more experience. Also--I wish that this was not so, but I'm afraid racism is the U.S. is not dead, especially amongst older Americans who grew up in a different era but who also tend to be faithful voters.

Posted by: Anndougherty | December 31, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"If Romney beats Huckabee in Iowa, I think that might stop Romney's slide in NH"

I would argue that, among candidates and especially Rs, John McCain has faced more scrutiny, more withering critcism and attacks from his own party than anyone else in modern times. And yet, intelligent, thinking voters continue to return to him because he is an honest, honorable, principled individual who has served this country and tried to do what is right for decades. McCain has been willing to buck the party line at times to champion tough issues in the Senate, so I believe that he can withstand any desperate attempts now in these last few weeks of primary politics.

Actions speak louder than words, and the voters in NH can see right through Mitt Romney, having had an up-close view of his track record in MA. I don't think the voters in NH will be swayed to any large degree if Romney wins IA; they are not known to be followers up there.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 31, 2007 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Mark, I agree that Edwards has made a sudden shift to the left, as part of a calculated campaign strategy. If his personal beliefs have really changed so much since 2004, then I don't want him as president, for fear of how they might change in the future. I like a lot of his policies, but I don't like him as a person, and wouldn't vote for him in the primary.

JD, do you know what a socialist is? Do you know what the spectrum of political thought is in other countries? There are only a handful of politicians in America who would even be considered liberals by international standards, and John Edwards isn't on that list. His policies are a fraction of an inch to the left of Obama, who you say you'd vote for. Is Obama a socialist? Are you?

Posted by: Blarg | December 31, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Proud, I'm glad to see McCain is coming up in the polls - he's an honorable man and I think he's been ill-treated by many in his party. Even though I'm leaning democratic, I'd like to see qualified, decent candidates from each party get the nomination.

But the rest of the article you referenced didn't seem quite so positive about McCain and I still wonder if he can get enough republican votes.

If Romney beats Huckabee in Iowa, I think that might stop Romney's slide in NH - not good for McCain. So even though I don't think he's qualified to be preseident, I'm hoping Huckabee holds on for another few days!

Posted by: -pamela | December 31, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Bhoomes, I saw your reply to me about Mitt; thanx.

You wrote:

"I have no problem using our Military in pursuit of our National Security but not for somebody's ego."

Even DK, your OH buddy, agrees with that.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 31, 2007 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Blarg you nitwit, edwards wife's health is an issue. If he should be elected next year and she only has several more months to live, there is no way he can be a President or a good husband. He would to choose.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 31, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Jim, saw your replies to me; thanx.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 31, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Hi Blarg -

I will avoid lame insults, but I too think Edwards turn from centrist southern D to protectionist-populist is a "left" turn I would not want to follow.

However, I am more critical of Edwards for his attempt to play the 50% + 1 game.

I know that no President will be as enlightened as I, or you, or JD, or bsimon,
or bhoomes, or Jim. The Prez must be OUR Prez, and I forgive left and right turns from where I sit if I know that the pol is honorable and smart and open to the ideas of others and willing to work across party lines, issue by issue.

The "old" Edwards did work well with others, but the "angry" Edward sounds like any other pol who wants to cast half the country as the "enemy."

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 31, 2007 11:25 AM | Report abuse

More good news ... MN Gov Tim Pawlenty has endorsed John McCain for president.

And the Sunday Rasmussen poll showed some John McCain in the lead with 17 percent of the vote. It was the first time all year that McCain led the poll.

"Careful observers will note that on Sunday, the year 2007 was 364 days old. Years don't get much older than that. Romney and Huckabee trailed McCain by a single point at 16 percent, and some guy named Giuliani stood at 15 percent. Fred checked in with 12 percent.

"My apologies. That crack about Rudy wasn't fair. But his plan to win the nomination--get beat like a rented mule for the first month and then win Florida--was so half-baked and poorly conceived, the people who came up with it should have their licenses to politically consult suspended through the 2012 election. At least. Make a list of those consultants' names. They are the Ed Rollinses of tomorrow."

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 31, 2007 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Blarg, to correct you:

- I'm not terrified of Edwards at all. I think a trial lawyer would be a huge target in the general. Your opinion may differ; we'll see.

- If you don't see his stated policies as highly socialist, you are either unintelligent or intellectually dishonest to yourself.

- I'm not a Republican, I may very well vote for Obama in the general, if he's running

Posted by: JD | December 31, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

bhoomes, why is Edwards' personal life your business? If his wife doesn't mind him running, it's not your job to be upset on her behalf. Don't pretend you care about Elizabeth Edwards or her children.

Honestly, the more I read anti-Edwards rhetoric from Republicans, the more I like the guy. JD and bhoomes are terrified of him; they're bringing out all the oldest and lamest insults. Ooh, he's a socialist! He's a metrosexual! He's too ambitious! (Unlike other presidential candidates?) Edwards isn't my favorite candidate, but sometimes you can judge a man by his enemies.

Posted by: Blarg | December 31, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Edwards is basically a straw man designed to 'take votes away'.
He is not viable past the early states. He is an already beaten candidate as far as the Republicans are concerned, they would love have him again. Sadly he has become part of the 'kitchen sink' being hurled at Obama, who clearly has earned a second look in New Hampshire and the Feb 5 states on a fair and level playing field.
The Iowa race has been skewed because of the bizarre presence of a former president on the stump snipping from behind his wife's pantsuit. Obama can't hit him back and he knows it. Hillary is alright. He is not and has very little if any honorable place in this race.

What Iowa voters need to know is that either they will move the real race forward and electrify the world, with the thought of American possibility, or they will easily fall for an ex's old tricks and traps, thus making the most powerful of closing arguments for denying them the privilege and duty of going first in future presidential contest.

Elements of the 'national frontrunner's campaign are already making this argument. They have sought to downplay and dismiss Iowa's importance, to cover their bet. Objectively Obama does the most for Iowa. Thursday will tell the tale of Iowa and say volumes, good or bad, about the modern American character. The race can and will 'fairly' sort itself out in the later states.

The voters of Iowa need to make us look good as a people right now.

Posted by: empireport | December 31, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you Pamela, a Biden/Obama ticket would be tough to beat and plus if they won, they would be able to govern the country because republicans may not agree with them on most issues but they respect them and could work with them. If Hillary won by some fluke she would not be able govern because she is just to polarizng and unlikeable.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 31, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Have you been paying attention?There's no way in hell HRC can win the GE. First, half of the electorate is already dead set against her. Second, she can kiss the black vote goodbye because of the racist, stereotypical slurs she threw at Obama. She could have at least shown some respect to a sitting senator, who by all objective accounts, has done better legislative than she has.It would have been ok to go after his record, but for her to send her henchmen out there to denigrate him is beyond the pale.Black people have had enough of this B.S. and should not put up with it anymore. The democratic party big wigs want to shove HRC down our throats by trashing the same people they usually beg for votes. They pretty much take the black vote for granted. They should be taught a lesson once and for all: in case HRC or JE is the nominee, blacks should not take part in the elections. The most regrettable thing is none of the race peddlers out there came out to even defend Obama. If those slurs came from the republican side, there would be an outrage. The moral of the story is: Only democrats should be allowed to be racist.I truly hope that HRC or JE will not be short 1 vote in the GE, if either is the nominee. They've already lost mine.

Posted by: ednyo2000 | December 31, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I understand why Edwards is angry - I'm angry at what Bush, Rove, Cheney, Limbaugh and their ilk have done to this country. I sympathize and even agree with much of what Edwards says - I'm tired of a small number of republicans playing the rest of the country for fools. I especially like the idea - as Edwards has said - that it's time to be patriotic about something other than war.

But I'm also tired of the brand of politics that leads to polarization - maybe the time is right for a candidate who would really "unite" the country - and Obama may be the best choice. To quote JimD: "A black candidate who campaigns as a uniter actually appeals to the better nature of lots of folks who want to believe that racism is totally a thing of the past."

However, 8 years of amateur hour is enough and while I respect Obama's judgment and leadership skills, this time around, I think we need a more experienced candidate. Bush has succeeded in waging a war that impacts so few Americans that it's easy to see why domestic issues seem to be the major concern of many democrats. But foreign policy impacts domestic issues and can't be ignored.

Therefore, I'm supporting Biden. I think he has the strongest foreign policy credentials. He also has shown an ability to work with republicans, but if you listen to him, you'll hear little bit of Edwards's fire. I know he's a long-shot, but I think he's the best shot - and a Biden-Obama ticket would be strong.

Posted by: -pamela | December 31, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

jiffykeen, I agree with your comments that we need a fighter since handshakes no longer work in DC.

However, I think the fighter we need is Biden. I would trust him to stand toe-to-toe with anyone.

The country needs more than anger and lawyering. We need someone with the grit, judgement, experience, intelligence and abiilty to reach across the aisle to get us on the right track again through ACTION, not just talk. Biden's the one who fits the bill.

Posted by: Truth_Hunter | December 31, 2007 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I do not even consider Edwards to be a serious candidate even if he should win Iowa because he has no place to go after that, and most men would not vote for a metro-sexual. Plus saw his wife on TV yesterday, she is obvioulsy dying from Cancer, so the jerk needs to put the interest and welfare of his children over his insatsiable ambition.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 31, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

ttj says, "Edwards ... will make the best effort at re-uniting the country."

You're kidding, right? Listen to his speeches. His rhetoric is non-stop with "the rich are bad, the meek will inherit the earth, attack big oil, big pharma, big business, etc". He's Hugo Chavez with a better haircut.

Posted by: JD | December 31, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

ttj1, are you aware that Obama has significantly more government experience than Edwards? I don't know how an Edwards supporter can make the experience argument; John Edwards has the least experience of any major presidential candidate I can name.

Posted by: Blarg | December 31, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Obama appears to be a nice, bright fellow, but he has little experience and would get eaten alive in Washington...aside from the fact that he would probably lose first to the Republicans. Edwards knows the playing field from ALL angles and will make the best effort at re-uniting the country. That, after all, is the central theme of his platform. It's interesting that the blog post above points out that Edward's "continued strength" is causing concern with his rivals. They didn't expect that...they expected that with all their money, Edwards would fade...But the fact is, Edwards talks straight with the voters and they recognize that. Call him a "phony" a "hypocrite," a "Breck Girl," or whatever you want, but then take a second look at his biography and his platform and see if you will stand by those hollow criticisms...

Posted by: ttj1 | December 31, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

It's not surprising that Obama is going after Edwards like this. The latest Iowa poll just released this morning has Obama fading and Edwards has some major momentum:

Posted by: campaigndiaries | December 31, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we have yet another Cilliza column talking down Edwards. What a surprise. Let's see the last one we saw was...oh, yeah..yesterday.

Sorry Chris, we know you have been pumping up Obama in the last few weeks so this Edwards' surge doesn't quite fit into your previous predictions but do you have to use the "angry man" narrative? I mean really, that one has been so overused by anti-Edwards columnists that voters are no longer falling for it. As more and more voters actually hear Edwards they see passion not anger. I guess you and the rest of the media "stars" will have to find some other way to stop Edwards. The "angry man" narrative no longer works it's magic.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | December 31, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Edwards' desire to fight for the Democratice party is a fairly recent development: he wasn't much of a fighter when he was the vice-presidential nominee, and he walked away from his Senate seat, thus turning it over to the Republicans.

Posted by: gmcduluth | December 31, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

JimD, you are absolutely correct in your thoughts about the degree of racism these days in this country. And you're even more right about the Democrats exaggerating it to further their own agenda.

And I wonder how many votes Obama will get because he is black; there's a substrain of whites who feel guilty about not having a black president. While they would vote Dem in any case in the general, I'd guess that they will go Obama in the primary to try to assuage some of the liberal guilt they've been carrying since the 60s.

Posted by: JD | December 31, 2007 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Elections in this country are generally won in the middle, especially for Democrats. According to most polls I have seen, about 20% of the population self-identifies as liberals while about 33% of the country self-identifies as conservatives. Republicans might be able to win a narrow victory on a Rovian get out the base strategy, but Democrats cannot. I think Edwards would be a disaster for the Democrats.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 31, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I cannot see how anybody of the Pacifist persuasion would consider voting for Hillary. She loves power and having her friends & foes fear her. Which means she will use America's military power at the 1st drop of a dime to prove how tough she is. I have no problem using our Military in pursuit of our National Security but not for somebody's ego.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 31, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Also, anyone who would vote against an African-American candidate on the basis of race is not likely to vote for a Democrat of any race.

Some people took offense at this comment when I posted it in an earlier thread. The pollsters stated that this was their opinion.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 31, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Edwards on this one. Not only does he poll consistantly better against the GOP candidates than Obama or Clinton, but he;s the only one of the three that is standing for democratic and Democratic principles. Obama might as well be running from the Higher Broderism school of bipartisanship. And that's something we just don't need in America now.

Posted by: havok26 | December 31, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I do not understand how the Clinton supporters can continue to maintain she is the most electable when the polls show her performing worse than Obama or Edwards in the general election.

There are a number of posters who have claimed that this country would never elect an African-American president. Was listening to a symposium of pollsters on POTUS-08 XM radio channel, and they state that polls show Obama could (not will) win. Furthermore, they were discussing a study of recent polling on elections with African-American candidates that reveals that the vote for African-American candidates, win or lose, has been accurately reflected in the pre-election polls over the last several election cycles. During the 1980's and early 1990's there were several elections in which prominent African-American candidates' performance was significantly below pre-election polls. It would appear we are past that problem. Also, anyone who would vote against an African-American candidate on the basis of race is not likely to vote for a Democrat of any race.

I think some liberals like to believe that the country is more racist than it actually is, it helps sustain their sense of moral and intellectual superiority. . Racism still exists but it is nowhere near as pervasive as it was 40 years ago. A black candidate like Obama or Powell is, IMHO, very electable. Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson would not be electable. A black candidate who campaigns on racial grievances is polarizing. A black candidate who campaigns as a uniter actually appeals to the better nature of lots of folks who want to believe that racism is totally a thing of the past.

Posted by: jimd52 | December 31, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Obama has positioned himself nicely to go negative and people will say good "He is tough enough for the job" See how the Hillary folks are playing the race card, they are ruthless, we give them that. But if Bloomberg jumps in the race it will not matter who you nominate because Bloomberg will split the liberal vote to give the GOP the election. Bloomberg had better watch his back with the Clinton folks or he may end up with a self-inflicted wound on a park bench.

Posted by: vbhoomes | December 31, 2007 8:36 AM | Report abuse

The Dems have been offering handshakes for the past 7 years and nothing comes of it. For real change, in getting us our of Iraq, in getting us universal health care, we need someone who is willing to fight for what the people want, not back down. So I think that Edwards is more realistic as to what needs to happen for progressive change. The Dems have been like Charley Brown, always thinking Lucy won't take the football this time and always surprised when they get snookered by Bush and the other Reps.

Posted by: jiffykeen | December 31, 2007 8:32 AM | Report abuse

I think even though Edwards is a nice fella, and says his comments with a smile with that southern voice, he uses words like "fight" and others, pretty much saying in words sounding like he's angry with corporate greed. I think he and Obama believe in fixing the system, however I've seen in my personal life that coming to the table ready to swing causes the other guys (corporations) to be more on the defensive.

Posted by: gentlegiant | December 31, 2007 7:54 AM | Report abuse

FirstMouse, to paraphrase Miss Teen South Carolina, I personally believe ... HRC is a deceitful, conniving witch. I would vote for whackjobs like Ron Paul or Art Bell before I voted for her. However, let's be fair; you can't rightfully say that she voted to use force against Iran. She voted to declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. Big difference.

In fact, you could argue that she was using rhetoric, diplomacy, and sabre rattling instead of JDAMs to accomplish the objective, letting Tehran know we're serious and to stay out of Iraq, etc.

Posted by: JD | December 31, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Reality2- seems like you are living in the past with your racist (12 percent black) statements. Obama has a huge majority of non-blacks that support him, because they see him as a person, not just a black guy running for President.

Posted by: gentlegiant | December 31, 2007 7:48 AM | Report abuse

With her vote to authorize Bush's war (and another to sanction an attack on Iran), her endorsement of the same old same old establishment figures, and her personal aloofness while campaigning, shown for instance in her refusal to take questions from Iowa voters, Hillary looks like 2008's John Kerry.

However there will be some Democrats who will refuse to roll the dice and instead to choose another Democrat if his polled prospects against various Republican candidates appear positive.

Posted by: FirstMouse | December 31, 2007 7:37 AM | Report abuse

It is misleading to describe Edwards as angry. In fact he is simply being realistic in that there is a power struggle in the United States for who controls the wealth, and the poor and lower middle class are losing badly. He has comprehensive plans to address these issues. He is the only candidate that offers hope to these groups. Please note that recent polls have consistently shown Edwards as very electable, much more so than Clinton. If the Democrats expect to effect progressive change they have to elect a candidate who actually believes in it, rather than talks about it.

Posted by: ecurbyrf | December 31, 2007 7:16 AM | Report abuse

Populist Edwards '08 simply does not jibe with DLC Edwards '04, much like Romney '08 is the polar opposite of Romney (for Senate) '94. A general election between Romney and Edwards could easily be billed as the Breck Boys' contest for the best hair between flip-floppers...

...and I'm sure that Edwards still doesn't want people like us coming down there telling him what to do.

Barack boma ye!

Posted by: biteme | December 31, 2007 7:11 AM | Report abuse

Obama cannot win, America is only 12 percent black. Stop believing in majic okay folks? Edwards is too shaky. If Kerry, a war vet couldn't beat bush, then Edwards wouldn't. Hillary is the best bet, she can get the women vote. She's tayloring her message to the middle because you cannot win without the middle. Anti-greed/corporation is good but it doesn't win elections. Hillary is smart enough not to sound too liberal as to lose the general election. Lets think presidency folks, don't get caught up in listening to what you want to hear from Edwards and Obama.

Posted by: Reality2 | December 31, 2007 6:51 AM | Report abuse

You democrats are soo stupid, you believe in hope and republicans believe in facts. If Kerry cant beat bush, then Obama cannot beat any republican, don't get fooled by those polls. Edwards might have a shot, but Hillary is the best chance. Republicans concentrate on picking a presidential winner. Democrats get bogged down in picking who says what they want to hear. its about who can draw the middle and Hillary is tayloring her message to get the middle. Edwards cannot win with the anti-greed message. Too many republicans, poor and rich, will not vote against corporations. So like what Edwards is saying or not, its not a winning message. After 8 years of republican rule, you dems should really start wisening up and drop the hope and sunshine game.

Posted by: Reality2 | December 31, 2007 6:47 AM | Report abuse

We need a President capable of using intelligence and skills to fight corporate greed, not anger. America has had enough violence and we don't like who we've become in the eyes of the world. Senator Barack Obama has a track record of success in defeating corporate interests working in a bipartisan way. Obama worked with Russ Feingold (D-WI) to eliminate gifts of travel on corporate jets by lobbyists to members of Congress and require disclosure of bundled campaign contributions under the "Honest Leadership and Open Government Act", which was signed into law in September 2007.[76] He joined Charles Schumer (D-NY) in sponsoring S. 453, a bill to criminalize deceptive practices in federal elections. Obama walks the walk.

Posted by: Katy7540 | December 31, 2007 3:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm for Obama all the way but Edwards wouldn't be a bad second choice. I don't dislike him the way I do Hillary. In fact, Obama-Edwards would be a great ticket. I just don't see how Edwards can turn an Iowa victory into victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina the way Obama would. Obama is the best chance at defeating Hillary so she won't go on to lose to the Republican.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | December 31, 2007 2:07 AM | Report abuse

Obama tells it like it is without cheap tactics of inciting democrats to class warfare. We need a president who is rational about change, not John Edwards' economic version of the the 'bring 'em on" mentality of a George Bush We need a president who can say things clearly and means them but doesn't have to take them back 1 year later, 4 years later, or 6 years later. Edwards is overstating this 'fight" thing just to rile voters up. It's a smarmy political trick, please don't buy it.
Obama is the only candidate we can count on, to solve problems in a reasonable way. Plus he is the only truly electable Democrat in the field. Edwards has changed his positions on so many issues from NAFTA to Iraq that he cannot be trusted. He made millions through hedge funds on the same corporations that he now condemns. Also, please fellow Democrats, don't be fooled, he will be trashed in the general election because of his flip flopping. We cannot afford to lose again. Only Barack Obama can be trusted bring our party to victory and bring real hope and change to America and the world.

Posted by: vitaletti101 | December 31, 2007 1:31 AM | Report abuse

"You can't nice these people to death."

It was actually "you can't knife these people to death." Seriously- they are immortal.

Posted by: jsu8233n | December 31, 2007 1:15 AM | Report abuse

If Edwards wins in Iowa, the nomination will go to Hillary.


Obama does the best against republicans...

Posted by: johnk | December 31, 2007 1:10 AM | Report abuse

Democrats are tired on democratic leaders always backing down to the republicans as they steal more and more.

The republicans steal a yard, and then give back a inch, leaving them still almost a yard more than they should have.

The yard is at the expense of the American people. We are SICK OF IT!


You will Yhursday!

Posted by: river845 | December 31, 2007 12:48 AM | Report abuse

EEEEk!!!! I mistyped!

It's way worse than i thought!!!


oh my god....

Posted by: julieds | December 30, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Another poll, out today, shows Obama the most electable in the general. (Hillary loses to 2 republicans).

Posted by: julieds | December 30, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Chris I have it on good repore that you are not wearing a hat.

It is very cold in Iowa.

You have to wear a hat. Just go buy one somewhere. They are all over the place. Don't worry about how your hair looks. Just go buy a hat and put it on. You will be warm that way.

Posted by: Miata7 | December 30, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

Edwards didn't screw over the poor people or endorse those actions, or know about them. He took his money out of the Hedge Fund. Unfortunately, if you work for almost anyone or invest money almost anywhere, you are complicit.

Edwards will begin to challenge the status quo, and make it possible for the poor and middle class to raise their standard of living. Without a challenge there will only be more victims.

Hey, I was a teacher for 22 years at a wealthy private school. My salary was essentially being paid by some of the people who earned their money ripping others off, and who knows where the school had its money invested.

Posted by: pulciano | December 30, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

Pulciano, would you call working for a hedge fund that screwed over poor people in New Orleans Cooperate greed? It sure isn't this populism he has latched onto.

Posted by: wmgude | December 30, 2007 10:25 PM | Report abuse

Edwards isn't anti-business; he's anti-Corporate Greed. Those are two different things. Try telling all the people who have had their jobs downsized, or who have lost their pensions, or who don't have healthcare coverage, or who can't afford a home on their small salary, that we don't need a fighter.

Yes, it is going to be complicated learning how to evolve in this growing global environment, but Corporate Greed is a Black and White issue that is putting all the peoples of the world at a disadvantage, ensuring poverty for the many and wealth for the few.

Look back at the history of world development. Those in power have never given it up without a fight, and the power holders in this time period are the large Corporations.

Posted by: pulciano | December 30, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Either Edwards or Obama would be a disaster for the Dems in the General in 08. Hillary is the only Dem that can win, and you can take that to the bank. lylepink has spoken. Yea!! Go Hillary.

Posted by: lylepink | December 30, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

I hope Obama wins this nomination. Edwards as managed to fool the people of Iowa for a second straight nomination process. The last time he was the nice guy now he's the angry fellow. Americans through our history as never elected an angry president and boy is Edwards really angry. I hope the good people of Iowa wouldn't be fooled by this fraud Edwards. You know what they say, fool me one shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. I hope the people of Iowa won't be shamed for voting for the phony Edwards. It'll be a disaster.

Posted by: lumi21us | December 30, 2007 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Or do they want someone who can put the kettle on for a cup of tea?

Methinks handshake wins this one.

Posted by: Boutan | December 30, 2007 9:15 PM | Report abuse

I personally believe that Edwards would be a disaster. I fondly remember the late Senator Paul Tsongas who said "you cannot be pro-jobs and anti-business".

Posted by: jimd52 | December 30, 2007 9:09 PM | Report abuse

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