(Blogger's note: Note to those who missed it - last week I took a break from presidential politics to count down the Top 25 Greatest Americans in History.)
Weekly Presidential Politics - 7/25/07
The ’07 Seven Candidates of Summer Series
"This is the cause of my life," said John Edwards. "When I die, if I've done something serious to help eradicate poverty, I'll die a happy man." Someone forgot to tell him poor people don't vote.
"(We can do what it takes) to make it right... and actually end poverty in America within the next 30 years." Hey, John Kennedy's dead. Politicians don't make promises like that anymore.
John Edwards is an idealist, and that will probably cost him the election. He's addressed that poverty is not a "vote-winning issue," but rather a "moral issue" facing America.
Talk about a Democrat.
So is he a single issue voter? No. He came out swinging on Monday's CNN/Youtube debate with an issue that is as esoteric as it is crucial in politics. "I think the people who are powerful in Washington -- big insurance companies, big drug companies, big oil companies -- they are not going to negotiate. They are not going to give away their power. The only way that they are going to give away their power is if we take it away from them. And I have been standing up to these people my entire life. I have been fighting them my entire life in court rooms -- and beating them."
The guy is as liberal of a candidate as there is in this 2008 race, save the unrealistic Dennis Kucinich candidacy. He was the first to come out with a detailed universal health care plan, but since he came out with it so early (Feb 5), Democratic voters have already forgotten about it. He's been the most radical on the war on terror, specifically saying that it's a "bumper sticker slogan," used to "bludgeon political opponents" outlining the old Republican tactic that says if you were against the war, you were un-American. (I say "old" Republican tactic because many Republicans are backing off their formerly patriotic position.) It's what all candidates want to say, but it wasn't politically wise. He said it anyway. He also blasted the Fox News Channel as a right wing agent, and was the first to pull out of the Fox News debate in Nevada. The rest of the candidates followed.
Yet the liberal Democrat from the south, who doubles as the least unalluring candidates to the Republican base in a general election, stays at a distant third in the polls.
He has two options moving forth, as Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been solidifying their status as frontrunners in the Democratic nomination process.
1. Shake it up, take swings at Obama and/or Clinton. (Not advisable.)
2. Sit tight, let Clinton and Obama attack each other, win Iowa, ride the momentum, and always be there as the alternative to the top 2.
Pay attention to the Edwards' campaign strategy. He's not out of this and he's the only one with the potential to make a run at the top tier fundraisers. How long can he sit still? We'll see.