December 18

Front runner in Iowa


Joe Klein reports on the surprising front runner in Iowa right now. It’s not Hillary. It’s not Obama. It’s…John Edwards!
[Edwards] has been working the state very hard, and Iowans really, really like him. They liked him but thought he was too young in 2004, when he finished second to John Kerry in the Iowa caucuses. They liked him last June, when a Register poll had him beating Clinton 30% to 26%. They liked him a few weeks ago when, according to Yepsen [a local journalist], more than 800 Iowans showed up for a John Edwards book signing. “He’s just a great fit for this state,” says Yepsen. “He’s low-key, down-to-earth, a nice guy.”
Take a look at this video that someone cleverly (and appropriately) set to music. It tells me everything I need to know about this guy.

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  1. That’s pretty entertaining. It reminded me of an old movie called “Spin” made in 1995, which if you haven’t seen, is an interesting piece of work.
    Hi Nathan–
    Thanks for the movie tip.  I’ve never heard of it.  Sounds good.

  2. Frankly anybody’s better than the two triangulators Hilary and Barak. I keep up with Hilary’s speeches and I really feel she doesn’t know that it’s 2006 and not 1995. The way she avoids the war, national security, and healthcare ends up making her look wishy washy.
    Barak, besides not having any national experience whatsoever, is playing too close to the vest, too worried about appearances, and if you’ve seen his pronouncements in print about the things I just said about Hilary you’d see the same wishie washiness.
    BTW, I understand that Obama is a Harvard Law grad and the first black editor of the Harvard Law Review, which speaks to his intelligence, but that’s just not enough to run the biggest power in the world without first taking the time to cultivate experience and contacts in the national political world.
    Edwards has more experience than Obama, and is very clear about his message, which he hasn’t changed since his run in 04 and is not afraid to stand on. He has the courage to stay on message and not worry about the corporate media or supposed public opinion.
    Unfortunately, worrying about your looks in an age of television is necessary. Remember what happened to Nixon when he didn’t take care of his five o’clock shadow when he debated Kennedy.
    Hi LC–
    I agree with you about Hilary and Obama.  She has spent the last 6 years trying not to do whatever it is that’s in her heart, but in trying to ensure her electibility.   He is smart and telegenic and glib, but is a real lightweight in terms of experience.
    I disagree with you about Edwards however.  He may be on the same message and be unafraid to voice it, but he is a plaintiff’s trial lawyer who has resorted to some of the most egregious trial tactics imaginable to flim flam gullible juries.  He used the same kind of tactics in his debate with Cheney (and don’t get me wrong–I’m not a fan of Cheney’s) when he brought up the issue of Cheney’s gay daughter.  He did it in such an unctuous way, implying that he had such great regard for Cheney as a father in his tolerance for his gay daughter, when his real objective was to ‘out’ the daughter in case any of Cheney’s supporters might not realize the situation.  Inexcusable.
    I’m a great believer in character (which is why I would never run for office) because despite what politicians say in debates and on the stump, they will be confronted with totally unexpected circumstances when they get elected (think Bush and 9-11).  At that time all the voters can really count on is the character of the man (or woman) in office.  And based on his actions in the courtroom, I find Edward’s character highly suspect.
    As to his primping…  I’ve been on TV hundreds and hundreds of times, and I’ve never, ever spent more than a couple of seconds fluffing my hair (which is probably obvious).  I think the video demonstrates the definition of narcissism.  And I’m afraid that I’m not eager to have a narcissistic president with little character, no matter how much he stays on message.

  3. Isn’t all the prep pretty standard before a TV appearance/interview? hair is just one part – didn’t they do makeup and everything, too?
    Hi Victoria–
    I’ve been made up for countless TV shows and our own cooking show.  The makeup person typically puts the makeup on, pushes down any unruly tufts of hair and sprays on hairspray.  That’s it.  None of this flipping and primping to get the locks just right.  I’ve been in makeup rooms with a number of male celebs, and I’ve never seen anything approaching the performance of John Edwards on this video.

  4. Very late to the party here, but am bored and scrolling back.
    Mike, when you go on TV to do CookwoRx or an appearance, it’s just a tad different than when Edwards goes on TV. Slightly different audience and slightly different attitude from the viewership. A politico on TV, running for national office, is open to critique on like everything. The wrong tie can lead to an unfavorable view of his morals and his fitness as a candidate. This is why I would never run for public office.
    While I’m sure this isn’t a surprise, the stakes just aren’t as high in your TV appearances.
    On Edwards: I met him briefly, attended a couple of fundraisers, but he’s not my guy. He’s got SOOO much experience as a One Term Senator (BTW, can someone tell me exactly how being a Legislator qualifies someone to be the top Executive?). In fact, he had what, 4 years in office when he ran for president, and maybe 5 years as a politician.
    On Clinton: People really like her, really hate her, or don’t get the other two sets at all. Seems like it’s not the best play for an election in the Era of E! TV (I contend, as a former media studies student, that E! is pretty much the archtype for media coverage of EVERYTHING now).
    On Obama and Everyone Else: I don’t care about experience as much as I care about vision and plans. Experience is something you can hire, either as a VP or in your top appointees. Vision is the rare quality. I dunno if Obama has it or doesn’t, but let’s say, my vote for him or for someone else isn’t gonna hinge on small Senate Experience (again, not that 20 years in the Senate is gonna be “relevant experience” for me. Someone name me the last Senator elected president. Without being either VP or Governor first?… JFK? Yep).
    Hi Max–
    I pretty much share your opinions on the slate of candidates you mentioned, but I disagree with your assessment of Edwards’ efforts to make himself pretty.
    Look intently at how he looks before he spends all the time flipping and primping his locks and tell me if you think he looks one iota different than he did after all the effort.  Only a self absorbed, narcissistic twit would spend that much time to achieve just the right look to satisfy only himself. 

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