Carol Platt Liebau: The Unwelcome Candidate

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Unwelcome Candidate

Here, Bob Novak discusses John Edwards' widespread unpopularity among Democratic Party regulars -- a sea change from earlier in his career, when he was seen as a great hope for the party.

Given the authenticity questions that dog Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney, it's noteworthy that many of the same concerns haven't been raised about Edwards. After all, for a long time, he was perceived as a Southern moderate/centrist -- and now he's on the left side of the Democratic spectrum on just about every issue. How'd that happen? Of course, there's always the argument that he was always a liberal, and that he needed to seem moderate in order to defeat incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth for his US Senate seat . . . but it's remarkable that the press reports so little about his volte-face on so many issues.

What's more, Edwards has now become not just a left-liberal, but a "people vs. the powerful" populist, as well. That can be problematic, in my view, for a self-made man. People like Al Gore and Teddy Kennedy -- born into great wealth and/or stature -- can get away with it, as long as their expressed concern for the "common man" comes off as compassion, not condescension. But someone like John Edwards, who became enormously wealthy through the employment of his own talents alone, may have a harder time credibly claiming that the system is stacked against "the people." After all, look what he's done himself . . . is he really claiming that others can't do the same thing? And doesn't that come off as an implicit assertion that he was able to succeed in the current "system" because he's just cleverer than the average Joe?


Blogger Earth to Carol said...

After fours years as senator, Edwards figured he was ready to become President. So he has quite an ego by running on his verbal skills instead of experience and a strong and long record on the issues.

It is difficult to imagine he is talking of the people and not himself, when he saves give hope a chance.

12:08 PM  

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