The Edwards Difference, Part II

Hillary Clinton is simply not more tied to the establishment in any profound way than other major candidates.

                                                                                                  --Chris Bowers

I don't mean to pick on Bowers. Okay, maybe I do, but aside from the increasingly incoherent Taylor Marsh, he's probably done more than any other blogger to help Hillary blur the differences between her and the more progressive candidates, including and especially the one I support, John Edwards. The statement above is demonstrably inaccurate. It's hard to understand how a good healthy brain could produce such a steaming pile of crap. The difference between Clinton and Edwards in this area is nothing if not "profound."

I suppose it would be helpful if we had a working definition of "establishment." Howzabout: "the established centers of powers." Will that do? In the case of politics, we're talking about the mainstream media, K-Street, Wall Street, DC thinktanks, DC-based consultants, Congress, and the political parties themselves. It's perhaps too easy to demonize the establishment--there are some good people and good groups inside the establishment--but as a general rule, the more anti-establishment, the better. Put another way, the more entrenched you are in the established order, the less likely you are to change it: common sense.

It's hard to imagine a more establishment candidate than Hillary. A few google searches give you pages upon pages documenting her ties to Wall Street, Corporate Power, media moguls like Rupert Murdoch, and establishment "thinkers" like surge architect Jack Keane and surge apologist Michael O'Hanlon. She's tied via her closest advisor, Mark Penn, to notoriously criminal corporations and notoriously awful members of the GOP establishment.

She may be doing well among unmarried women, but her real base is composed of wealthy Washintonians:

The level of support here for the junior New York Senator approaches what an incumbent president seeking re-election might expect.

The people and organizations run the gamut: Togo West, former Secretary of Veterans Affairs and CEO of The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the nation's premier black think tank; Elizabeth Bagley, former US Ambassador to Portugal whose Georgetown home has been the gathering place for countless fundraisers; Elizabeth Birch, former head of the Human Rights Campaign, and her former partner, MSNBC and CNBC commentator Hilary Rosen and, of course, former DNC chair and money-man extraordinaire Terry McAuliffe.

Those names only touch the surface of Clinton's support among the Democratic establishment.

Take Matthew Bernstein, a prominent Hillary-backer. He is a classic Washington success story. Once a lowly legislative assistant to former Senator Howard Metzenbaum, he is now a lobbyist whose clients paid his law firm $1.98 million during just the first half of 2006, according to reports filed with the Senate. Among those clients is the Estate Tax Coalition seeking permanent elimination of the burdensome levy placed on the nation's wealthiest citizens.

And then there is Vernon Jordan, one of this city's highest-profile wheeler-dealers, who is now a Clinton $100,000-plus bundler. And Vernon is not the only major bundler in the Jordan family. His wife, Ann Dibble Jordan is also a $100,000-plus bundler whose credentials as a player in Washington include past or present board memberships at Johnson & Johnson, Automatic Data Processing, Citigroup, and Catalyst; service as a trustee at The Brookings Institution, the University of Chicago, WETA (Washington's PBS affiliate), and the Phillips Collection; and chair of the Board of Directors at the National Symphony Orchestra.

You could argue that the Clintons used to stand somewhat outside the establishment, back when the atrocious Sally Quinn was chastising them for soiling her lovely town. But they are now the quintessential insiders, linked socially, financially, and politically to every important pocket of power. This is a fact, one that Bowers would have to concede. His claim, in any case, is not that Clinton isn't part of the establishment but that Edwards is just as much part of the establishment. It's an absurd claim, one that makes you wonder which presidential race Bowers is watching.

It's not that Edwards doesn't have connections to the establishment. Of course he does. He raises money from Wall Street execs and rich DC lawyers. Some of his advisors are establishment figures. But his connections aren't defining, unless you consider Big Labor and Trial Lawyers part of the establishment. In any case, both unions and trial lawyers generally advocate policies that benefit people outside the establishment. The same goes for JRE's campaign manager, David Bonior, a longtime Congressman who championed proworker policies.

What's amazing, in fact, is the extent to which a former senator and vice presidential candidate has broken free from--and run against--the traditional power centers. Considering our political system, ruled as it is by money and access, Edwards is about as anti-establishment as a viable presidential candidate could be.

Even as a senator, Edwards wasn't popular among the establishment. Maybe it was his refusal to play the game, or his anticorporate lawyering, or his populist bent, or his working class background, or the way he wore his ambition and his money or his sleeve, but Beltway elites never considered him one of their own, and the wariness was mutual. His distance from the establishment only grew when he spent the years after his 2004 campaign working with labor unions and grassroots antipoverty organizations like ACORN. It was clear that he was running for president, so why he wasn't spending his time raising money and courting elites? That's what you're supposed to do. Said the National Journal (subs only):

Perhaps most bewildering to some inside-the-Beltway Democrats is that Edwards doesn't seem to care whether they think he's making all the wrong moves.

Speaking to Ezra Klein, Chuck Todd, himself a DC insider, marveled at the mutual dislike of Edwards and DC elites. If this doesn't make you like Edwards more, then I'm not sure the sphere is the place for you.

...[F]or some reason he's pissed off half of DC. I can't tell you why, I don't know. But half of the Democratic elite here in DC just hate John Edwards. It's amazing, some of it's irrational, and the Edwards people know it and see it as a badge of honor, somewhat. Maybe they feel like it's because he didn't play ball, maybe they feel like he forced himself onto the ticket, that he was too brazen in how he campaigned for that second slot. There's no one rational reason, but there's a not insignificant clique of elites in DC who are not Edwards fans, and who are borderline irrational about it. It's not unlike that sort of clique of Republicans and John McCain.

But it's his distance from one particular part of DC that is particularly exciting: that redlight district known as K-Street. According to an article in the Hill several months ago, he has "little discernible support" on K-Street, and his moves in recents months have done nothing to change that. Edwards has never taken money from federal lobbyists, and this summer he went one better, calling on all Democrats, including Hillary, the national party, and the Congressional committees to join him in rejecting K-Street cash. If you're trying to anger the establishment, this is a good way to do it.

And here's another: you go around the country describing the choice facing the country as "the establishment elites versus the American people," pointing out that the system is:

controlled by big corporations, the lobbyists they hire to protect their bottom line and the politicians who curry their favor and carry their water. And it's perpetuated by a media that too often fawns over the establishment, but fails to seriously cover the challenges we face or the solutions being proposed.

Hillary couldn't credibly give that speech even if she wanted to. Note in particular his appropriately harsh words for the elite media. He may not have been planning to run against the press, but once it tried (and failed) to bury him, it made sense for him to blast the corporate media, and blast them he has. At the You Tube Debate, he used his video to condemn their obscenely skewed priorities, and later, opposing media consolidation, he called on Hillary and all Dems to refuse contributions from Rupert and other Newscorps execs. Edwards doesn't like the mainstream media, and as Jeff Cohen discusses here, they don't like him.

So if you're keeping track at home, Edwards is opposed, both in rhetoric and reality, to the elite Dems of DC, K-Street, and the corporate media. You should also know that Wall Street pimp Jim Cramer calls him Public Enemy Number One," and that the netroots are one his important constituencies, and that in addition to Bonior and Elizabeth Edwards, other important players on his campaign are two anti-Walmart activists and the most antiestablishment of the big name consulants, Joe Trippi.

In terms of antiestablishment cred, Edwards may not be say, Zack de la Rocha--he's a mainstream pol, after all--but he puts Hillary Clinton to shame. Note to big bloggers: it's fine if you don't want to support Edwards (or Obama.) Really, it is. Many good progressive aren't. But please please please don't rationalize the decision with bullshit.

Tags: Chris Bowers, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, K-Street, Taylor Marsh, the establishmnent (all tags)



Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

I didn't have time or space to include Obama, but I'd say in this area as in many areas, he lies somewhere tween Edwards and Clinton.

by david mizner 2007-10-09 08:10AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Which one could argue is where many Americans themselves lie...  IMHO, Obama's policy stances aren't what have caused his campaign to plateau, its other things (mainly his lack of time on a national stage)

by yitbos96bb 2007-10-09 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II
David -one of the BEST diaries I've read!!
Thank you so much for exposing the hypocrisy of so-called "Progressive" bloggers!
Want more Blue Dogs?  Chris Bowers has the instruction kit.
by annefrank 2007-10-09 08:59AM | 0 recs

I don't understand the part about "insiders".  A government as large as the US requires "insiders" to run it.  A Senator's staff is miniscule compared to the WH staff or even a governors staff.  Where does Edwards find people for his administration that know where the levers are that can translate ideas into policy?   Won't the next president have to go back to former Clinton WH officials (the last Democratic administration) to staff an administration (insiders)?  If they don't, they run into Nannygate and other problems trying to vet the nominees.  Plus Bush has filled the ranks of government with incompetent partisan hacks.  These people need to be purged or placed where they can't cause damage because they put the interest of the Republican Party above the interests of our country.

I would like to see fewer debate shows and more emphasis on the "team" that a president would bring.  I have no idea who Edwards or Obama would bring in as their staff.  I do have some idea who Clinton would bring.  As someone who wants competent government, I am not impressed by "outsiders" like GWBush.

by bakho 2007-10-09 08:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Insiders?

First of all, GWBush was not an outsider, he was connected to the most prominent Washington insiders except for the Texas buddies he brought with him.  

There are competent people all over the country in various organizations and universities.  Yale, Harvard and Georgetown are not the only sources of expertise.  

Edwards was one of the most successful lawyers in the country, he values people who work hard and earn their way to a position.  

Hillary is a hard worker but to keep the status quo with some minor adjustments and just more competence in doing the same thing.  

Edwards is about changing the game to have Washington serve the American people.  That is difficult to do.  You both have to know the inside game and you need to keep an outsider perspective.  There are legislators that do this.  Many other succumb to the culture of the ruling class.

And I think Edwards can work with insiders just as long as the agenda is clear.  He knows them, he just won't cater to them.

by pioneer111 2007-10-09 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Yeah, Edwards worked for a hedge fund, gets creamed about it, yet he's the only one who supports tax reform to make hedge fund managers pay more of their fair share in taxes.   What does Congress do? They allow the loophole to continue and the hedge fund managers will only have to pay 15%, whereas the union man will have to pay more.  

Thanks Congress.  I'm standing with the man who is for the people, not just rich types.

by benny06 2007-10-09 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Yeah, Edwards worked for a hedge fund, gets creamed about it, yet he's the only one who supports tax reform to make hedge fund managers pay more of their fair share in taxes.

That is not accurate. In fact, closing the loop holes on investment income for wealthy investors has been a part of Clinton's stump speech since the begining of the campaign.

She hit this theme quite hard in a campaign Q&A event with Warren Buffet and uses Buffet's story about his tax rate being lower than the workers who clean his office in most of her stump speeches.

I don't follow Obama's speeches quite as closely, but I know that he has been hitting the same themes.

I am not aware of any Democratic presidential candidate who has not voiced a desire to correct some of the inequalities in the tax code and the economic hit on the middle class over the last seven years of the Republican agenda.

by hwc 2007-10-09 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Talking about paranoia on by comment.  The Senate is in recess this week.  I was not even referring to Obama or Clinton.

by benny06 2007-10-09 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

I was not even referring to Obama or Clinton.

You did say, "he's the only one who supports tax reform to make hedge fund managers pay more of their fair share in taxes," in reference to Edwards, did you not?  That, while not directly referring to Obama or Clinton, does claim that they (and the other non-Edwards candidates) don't support said reform.

by aaronetc 2007-10-09 02:14PM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

I think all Democrats want to close loopholes, but Hillary wants to do it without upsetting her connections and so it seems to be a far more tepid approach.

Her policies are not what people look at in supporting her.  It is nostalgia and her connection to Bill Clinton.

She often votes the right way but never calls on her colleagues to do the same.  It makes me suspicious of her real intentions.  

by pioneer111 2007-10-09 08:55AM | 0 recs
You're wrong about Hillary
Edwards was first to propose increasing taxes on hedge fund managers and private equity firms.
Obama and Hillary followed - a few days later.
This is well documented in Economist, BusinessWeek...
by annefrank 2007-10-09 09:03AM | 0 recs
unanswered question

I've been asking a question for ages, but no Edwards supporter has given me a straight answer. Can you help me out.

Edwards claims to be appealing to the 'netroots', 'grassroots', he has regularly polled over 40% on dailykos. If he's really that popular, why can't he raise money from small donors at grassroots level?

Clinton raised $8 million and had 100,000 new donors last quarter, Obama is still very popular. Ron Paul is ahead of Edwards, even freaking Thompson is ahead of him.

So why? Is his 'grassroots' appeal just a mirage ?
If the influence of dailykos grossly exaggerated?

by areyouready 2007-10-09 08:24AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

Edwards is still struggling to establish his 'brand' nationwide, and has a much smaller election machine established behind him than Clinton or Obama. In simple terms, they have larger nets and bigger boats, which means they catch a lot more than him.

I personally find 'fund raising' to be one of the more worthless indicators of a candidate's popular support, since the methods behind raising money are varied and tied to a whole group of influences not connected with voting.

by dexf 2007-10-09 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

Yeah, but Ron Paul, who has zero chance to be elected, has more individual donors because he somehow has captured the imagination of some on the moderate right and Independents.   You would think that Edwards, while not necessarily competetive with the Obama and Clinton fundraising machines, would be kind of the Ron Paul of the Democratic party, but he does not seem to be nearly in that range of self-propelled netroots excitement.  

by georgep 2007-10-09 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question
I can assure you - the public knows more about Edwards haircuts than Ron Paul's policies.
The DLC and DC Establishment - which includes the corporate media-  derailed Dean's campaign - and they've been doing everything they can to derail Edwards - wanting him to shut up!
Listen to Edwards statements! I suspect he's aware of a lot of unspoken maliciouness from "The Firm."
by annefrank 2007-10-09 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

And Ron Paul may very well be financed by Democrats wanting to upset the Republican nomination.

by Hillary Lieberman 2007-10-09 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

That's not true. Dailykos helped Howard Dean raise tons of money. So why a guy polls at above 40% regularly on dailykos, he just could not get the real love - money? Why would the fringe candidate Ron Paul beat him handily in that department?

I am further convinced dailykos' influence is in sharply diminshing. Their past influence was generally to generate buzz and to push stories into the MSM.
But these days, they have written lots of frontpage diaries, and MSM is starting to get tired of them, and not much has been quoted by MSM anymore since those rantings are not original.

Basically they can't get their message out, and they can't raise money either... If they choose a loser again....

by areyouready 2007-10-09 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

Don't forget, though, that Edwards isn't all that popular with netroots frontpagers.  This diarist is bringing up Chris Bowers, who clearly is not buying into Edwards (even though he gave money to him in the beginning.)  We have also seen the same development throughout the blogosphere.  It is perhaps because those people are well-informed, were strongly involved in the 2004 campaigns and remember what Edwards stood for then.  He now emerged as a different candidate, which is not easy to just jump onto for the older 'roots guard, because core conviction and consistency is an important aspect to many.  When someone changes around like this, it is usually viewed with some apprehension until some time has passed to confirm those changed convictions as truly part of the fabric of that particular politician.

by georgep 2007-10-09 09:05AM | 0 recs
LOL!! Hitch your star

to Bowers, George.  Go for it.  Bowers made an ad for Richardson.

The change begins in Iowa.  The rejection of Clinton by America begins there.

by TomP 2007-10-09 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: LOL!! Hitch your star

I am actually the one laughing here, Tom.   Anyone can support whoever they like, including Bowers, you, Chris Matthews, et al.  All I said was that Edwards is not that popular with the seasoned netrooters.  That has many reasons (I brought one important one up above,) but it is what it is.  In a big way the netroots are already embracing Clinton, apparently undetected by yourself.   You'll see soon enough that the netroots will be hugely supportive of Clinton after the nomination process is over.  

by georgep 2007-10-09 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

PRIOR TO 2007 - there were DK front page diaries on the DLC and the Clintons' Centrism that's damaged the Dem Party for 20 years - detailed in Kos/Armstrong book - Crashing the Gate. Now - those diaries are MIA.
But there are lots of FP diaries supporting "better Democrats" challenging Blue Dogs cultivated by the Clintons.
The problem with Centrism is it has no core values but is useful for po$itioning. And when most Blue Dogs and Centrists get in - they become so embedded with the Establi$hment to maintain their seats - that they seldom turn Left.

And the media reinforces the deception by calling all Democrats "liberals."

by annefrank 2007-10-09 09:39AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

So why a guy polls at above 40% regularly on dailykos, he just could not get the real love - money? Why would the fringe candidate Ron Paul beat him handily in that department?

I'd say the comparisons don't make any sense here. Alright, piece by piece.

Any comparisons to Dean and the 2004 cycle are irrelevent; completely different set of circumstances and influences involved. I'd strongly doubt that it was DailyKos influence that generated the buzz. DK was part of a larger and unorthodox campaign that hit a method of fundraising that had been largely ignored up until that point. DK and the other blogs helped generate buzz for Dean which translated into publicity to reach traditional donors and largely unused internet donations to reach a largely progressive base. Now, all of the candidates are using elements of that fund raising model, and all of them are connected into the blogosphere as part of their election strategy.

Despite what people might say, John Edwards is not an 'outsider' candidate. It's a good sound bite, but it's also not true. A former vice-presidential candidate is never an 'outsider'. I'd say the slowdown is because his momentuem has seemed checked, his campaign has a couple of gaffes attached to it, and he's drawing from a divided progressive base. Again, unlike Dean who was pretty much the only candidate for the netroots, there are significant Obama and Clinton camps online, all tapping from the same pool of donors.

Ron Paul is raising from an entirely different pool, and unlike Edwards, who is looking at a left wing positioned run, Paul is going up the centre and hitting the Libritarian leaning donors. He's unique in his race, where as Edwards isn't. The comparisons don't fit.

As for the diminished influence in DK, in three years it went from the fringe candidate to being courted and positioned strategically by all of the candidates. I'd hardly call that diminishing.

by dexf 2007-10-09 10:15AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

Perhaps he is just bad at fundraising.

by sterra 2007-10-09 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

That's not true. Howard Dean was not good at raising money, but whenever he whipped out that magical 'bat', money just kept on pouring in.

If there are really lots of kossacks committed to Edwards' cause, you would imagine he could at least match the fringe candidate Ron Paul's ability to raise money.

This just tells me dailykos influence has been grossly exaggerated. There's a reason MSM democratic politicians are ignoring their daily demand.

by areyouready 2007-10-09 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

Actually I think the actual difference is that Edwards just isn't nearly as good a candidate as Dean was.

Dailykos for example has a lot of support for edwards, but you don't see websites actually endorsing him because they don't trust him.  Obama is also widely supported and in my opinion more strongly supported (instead of being the anti candidate)

So I think that dailykos does have influence.  It just is that no one really likes edwards.  Even the people who support him based on policy grounds or the fact that hes a white man.

by sterra 2007-10-09 08:57AM | 0 recs
Answered question....
Yes - even the "informed" netroots are not immuned to the corporate media's conventional wisdom that Corporate Democrat$ like Obama and Hillary are the "best" candidates.
It's obvious why the corporate media has promoted a 2 year senator as a rock$tar for prez. Obama knows why he's running - and it has nothing to do with being elected prez.
by annefrank 2007-10-09 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

Pure nonsense.  The blogosphere has become the blogo s'fear filled with people that are afraid to make a solid choice.  They want to be part of the insider game now.  

People love Edwards when they meet him.  His supporters are strong in their support.  Why does Hillary have so little support and Obama is in between.  It is not just policies, it is that they like him once they get to know him.

The blog owners can't decide what their role is.  so they have gone wishy washy.  Just like some of the unions they want a sure thing this time.  They have become risk aversive in the big contest.  They still are doing not badly in the local contests.  

Also Edwards has raised the most money on ActBlue.  But he is reaching out to the grassroots through the Small Change for Big Change events.

Edwards was always a better candidate than Dean, but Dean appealed to the netroots.  And Dean was great, but had his main support throught the blogs.  Edwards has reached out to them, but has a constituency outside them, the unions and and organizations that help people.  He is not focused on the netroots in the same way as Dean was.  It is a good thing.

by pioneer111 2007-10-09 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

The Dailykos participation keeps changing.  Four years ago there was a strong push in the blogs to support the change candidate.  It didn't work as expected.  This time the blog owners are holding back so it is the everyday guest bloggers that are putting out the word, but that is not the same as rallying around the candidate.

Edwards has a strategy to win the nomination.  It is not the traditional path.  He is appealing to a constituency that is not as used to donating to political candidates.  And he has built up his donor base.

Clinton and Obama have a more formidable fundraising machine.  

My suspicion is that Edwards was always considering public financing but wanted to see how the others would do.  He knows money is important but that it is not the only factor.  He is choosing where to put his energy.

The truth is that Edwards is excellent at fundraising if you look at history.  However this year there are more sources that want to give to Democrats and they will give to perceived front runners.  And Clinton and Obama have been superb at running as the viable candidates.   So they have attracted more sources.

We will see which strategy will work.  I still believe that Edwards will be the best for the country, but people have not always voted for their best interests.  Yet Edwards has won against tremendous odds before.  I hope to see that happen again.

by pioneer111 2007-10-09 09:06AM | 0 recs
He raised a lot more than Ron Paul

He has raised over $28 million.

You literally cannot type without lying, can you?

by DrFrankLives 2007-10-09 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: He raised a lot more than Ron Paul

Ron Paul has more individual donors, which is where the crux of the argument lies.  You would think that Edwards gets a lot of individual donor support, even if it is low-Dollar amounts, given the amount of vocal support he has on some of the blogs.  

by georgep 2007-10-09 10:25AM | 0 recs
Re: unanswered question

Edwards has 150 K donors and has raised some 4 mill via Actblue, so the premise of your question is off.

by david mizner 2007-10-09 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Thanks for taking the swipe at Taylor... I really dislike her writing and will leave it at that, although I can be a lot harsher in how I describe her writing, grasp of reality and personality in general.

by yitbos96bb 2007-10-09 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

In the post I link to, she pretends not to know the difference between taking money from a crooked people--somethings pols can't avoid--and systematically taking money from corporations.

Marsh is in the tank and it ain't pretty.

by david mizner 2007-10-09 10:19AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

David, you certainly entitled to your opinion, but this piece strikes me as more anti-Hillary than pro-Edwards. Don't mistake what I mean - I am not saying this is a hit piece, because it isn't.  You wrote a thoughtful, reasoned piece, and reasonable people can disagree. It just seems that you spent most of your time telling me why you don't like Hillary as opposed to telling why Edwards is a great candidate.

by Denny Crane 2007-10-09 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II
A Hillary prez will further the Bush-Clinton dyna$ty.
During the 90s the Clintons and their Centri$t policies moved the Dem Party closer to the Repubs. The Clintons have never tried to build an activist base - in fact, the DLC admits abhorring activists, grassroots, and netroots.  They - uh - get in the way of the DC Establi$hment.
Wanna be a pimple on K Street's butt?  Vote for Hillary.
by annefrank 2007-10-09 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

I'm sorry...but there has to be a point where you actually start to add something to discussions rather than just firebombing and cheerleading.

Even crappy analysis/arguments are better than no analysis/arguments.

We don't need to see you post the same 4 things everytime someone writes the word Clinton

by world dictator 2007-10-09 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

She may be doing well among unmarried women, but her real base is composed of wealthy Washintonians:

Actually, the polls show that Clinton's base lies with all of the major constituent groups of the Democratic party: blue-collar workers, middle class families, African American voters, Latino voters, GLBT voters, eldery voters, etc.

In fact, the polling shows that she is the least attractive candidate to the high-income "elites" in the party. Although she carries all Democratic voter groups, her strongest support comes from high school or less on the education scale and the lower tiers of income levels.

by hwc 2007-10-09 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

You are right.  I believe David Mizner confused this with Obama, whose major demogroup and biggest fundraising source are "elites," well-to-do post-graduates.

by georgep 2007-10-09 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Confused?  Or is purposely misleading?  

by FilbertSF 2007-10-09 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Nice to see that Chris hijacked and commented on your post.  Why can't he stay at his own site?

by Vox Populi 2007-10-09 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

;-) Obviously joking.  Good post David.

by Vox Populi 2007-10-09 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

The main problem with such arguments is that the democratic party tends to see such arguments as "I don't care about liberal social issues one bit and you shouldn't either."

It only appeals to the people who aren't affected by such issues.

by sterra 2007-10-09 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

David - great post.  To me, this is the gaping chasm between Edwards and all the other remotely plausible (sorry, Dennis) candidates.

Anybody here read the Illuminatus! trilogy?  There's a passage somewhere in there where Simon Moon recalls his elementary-school teacher handing out literature, to take home, on the importance of voting.  He discards it, telling the teacher, "My parents say that no matter whether Eisenhower or Stevenson wins, he'll get his orders from Wall Street."

I want a President who will give Wall Street and K Street some serious pushback.  Hillary won't be that President, nor will Obama or Richardson.

And I want a Democratic Party that can't decide whether or not it's in Wall Street's pocket either.  We need a Democratic Party that's committed to doing what's best for the people.

by RT 2007-10-09 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Nice reference to IT. I support Edwards because of the Wall Street difference more than anything else. That's where is stands in strong contrast to HC and BR especially. I can't tell how Barak Obama will deal with pressure from Wall Street. I have a feeling that he might grow in office and be able to stand up to them after a year or three. But I know John Edwards will stand up to them from day one, and that's why I support him today.

by robin oz 2007-10-09 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

The thing that pisses me off about front-pagers like Chris Bowers (whom I otherwise dig, don't get me wrong!), is their constant insistance that the big three (BO, HC, and JE) all support "leaving residtual forces in Iraq". No need to distinguish between the candidates on this, that would get too complicated. Therefore they are equally bad.

I'm not sure how many troops BO and HC will leave, but I've heard 30,000-40,000 tossed around for HC. JE says he intends to withdraw all combat troops and leave 3,000 or so non-combat troops. You might think that's too many, but it's substantially less than 30,000-40,000.

However, Bowers et al. don't ever tell you how many troops each candidate plans to leave in Iraq. Instead they bitch about how all three are equally guilty of the residual forces sin, and praise Bill Richardson for claiming that he will withdraw all troops, overlooking BR's ties to Corporate America and the hawkish Clintonesque foreign policy establishment, as well as his not-ready for prime-time public persona.

by robin oz 2007-10-09 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Excellent post, David.

That Bowers quote simply is amazing.  I think the MSB lives in a completely different world from progressives.  

by TomP 2007-10-09 09:07AM | 0 recs
Simple answer to why: HE DIDN'T GO TO AN IVY

You think these Ivy-league stuffed shirt pseudo-liberals like being beaten regularly by a graduate of a land grant university and a public law school?

The coziness of the Ivy-league mafia in DC, on both sdes of the political divide, is one of the true barriers to any real change in that city.  The press, the Republicans and the Democrats, they are all rife with Yalies and Hahvahd boys.

This is not a "they're all the same" polemic, a la Nader (also an Ivy, by the way - Harvard Law Review editor).  But it is absolutely the case that a sense of cultural and educational snobbery surrounds these people, and they get offended when someone from outside that sector tries to break in.

Bill Clinton, for all his wondrous talent, did not have to break through that wall once he became a Yalie.  That was it.  He was in the club.  Imagine how bad it would have been if he had come to Washington as a preternaturally gifted politician with a Rhodes Scholarship and degrees from Arkansas and University of Texas Law School.

John Edwards is the preternaturally gifted politician with degrees from NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill.  Surely he can't be good enough to enter into that subdivision of the Ivy League known as Washington, DC --  why, he might challenge the Heathers!

by DrFrankLives 2007-10-09 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Simple answer to why: HE DIDN'T GO TO AN IVY

The fact that people like you think things like this is why you don't understand/why you can't convince people to vote for your candidates.

Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to bash the "Edwards left" but this part of the party seems to seriously have an inabilty to comprehend how people with a different world view think.

Anyone who's been in politics should know that having a good idea isn't enough. You can't just say "I have this really great plan for the economy and if you don't like it then you're dumb, an establishment person, or an elitest,etc".

Believe it or not, there are people who have an honest disagreement over issues.

As a candidate in third place, Edwards should be focusing his message on why his populist ideas are good for everyone regardless of their world view. But most importantly he needs to explain why his populist ideas are not imcompitable with their world view.

by world dictator 2007-10-09 10:03AM | 0 recs
Thanks for the lecture

but you're naive if you don't think there is an affinity in DC among Ivy-league elites for other Ivy-league elites.

by DrFrankLives 2007-10-10 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

Nice try, but...

Me thinks that Bowers and Marsh are right on point, here.

by BigBoyBlue 2007-10-09 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

How so? Explain. Elaborate. Persuade.

by david mizner 2007-10-09 10:23AM | 0 recs
Okay What's the Battle Plan?

" In the case of politics, we're talking about the mainstream media, K-Street, Wall Street, DC thinktanks, DC-based consultants, Congress, and the political parties themselves."--Mizner

Edwards loves to talk about how he will fight the establishment as you define above. Throw in healthcare companies, insurance companies etc. What's the battle plan for fighting the establishment Mr. Edwards? Especially now that you have identified the enemy.  That's the problem with Edwards. Just like the Royal Bank of Scotland television commercials. ALL TALK NO ACTION!

Oh and get this, while talking about ridding us of the establishment. Our reverse Robin Hood Edwards makes sure he has eaten from the  trough of uber capitalist hedge funds. Burp! Left overs anyone?

by superetendar 2007-10-09 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Okay What's the Battle Plan?

The battle plan:

1. Run for Democratic Presidential Nomination and come from behind to win.

2. Kick the ass of the loser nominated by the Republicans next year.

3. Work with Democratic-controlled congress to pass far-reaching agenda outlined at Edwards has great legislative proposals that can pass and will make a positive difference for all Americans as well as the rest of the world.

by robin oz 2007-10-09 10:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Okay What's the Battle Plan?

Ahh, so Edwards plan, as you outline in #3, to defeat the much hated establishment is to do things in a conventional, traditional establishment way, by working with the establishment congress to rid us of all the establishment. Hmm.

So, really, there's no actual battle then to go with them fighting words? But what will John Edwards do if there are not enough Democrats in the House and Senate? What will he do if he has to deal with the very establishment Blue Dog Democrats?

John Edwards thinks life is a courtroom act. Shout em down, fight em, beat em. That's his mantra. But in reality he is stuck within the framework of a conventional presidency working within a conventional constitution in a pretty middle of the road conventional country. His man the barricades against the establishment act is tiresome and shallow.

by superetendar 2007-10-09 03:55PM | 0 recs
More confirmation of Hillary's frontrunner status

These front page diaries by supporters of Obama and Edwards have become more about Hillary than about their own guys...

Echoing I guess the worry in the Obama and Edwards camps that Hillary is pulling away...

by SaveElmer 2007-10-09 10:43AM | 0 recs
Re: More confirmation of Hillary's

None that you'd like...

by SaveElmer 2007-10-09 06:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The Edwards Difference, Part II

I think we need to come to the realization that, by far, the majority of people who vote Democratic are not bloggers, are not activists and are not even self-described progressives. They're just average Joes who go to work, come home, watch some TV, eat some dinner, turn on the PC to send an e-mail or two and then go to bed. They don't race home (like many of us) to mydd or dailykos to rail against the injustices created by one of the worst administrations in US history (or some such similar subject).

Couple this with the fact that the race for president really boils down to a popularity contest where name recognition trumps all and what do you end up with? SOS...same old stuff: middle-of-the-road Democratic presidents with middle-of-the-road agendas unwilling to rock the Washington, DC boat.

Why do establishment types like Wall Street execs consider John Edwards the anti-Christ? Because to them, his message resembles the teachings of Karl Marx. Since when did the monied, privileged class, Republican or Democrat ever give a rat's ass about the poor? Or hell, even for the plight of blue-collar workers? Bottom line, Edwards' message is far too progressive (read leftist) for their taste. And, why is Edwards so popular with the blogosphere? Conversely, for the exact same reason.

IMHO, we are at a breaking point on many issues:

Climate (what will we do when America's croplands turn to dust?)
Heathcare (our healthcare system is in so much trouble I don't even know where to begin)
Jobs (Will a vibrant economy for jobs become nothing more than a distant memory when corporations have outsourced every job they possibly can? R.I.P. Middle Class...and the American Dream)

One would think that eight years of Bush would be a wake-up call to America that we can't go on with government/politics as usual. If Hillary becomes our candidate, whether she wins the presidency or not, I think I'll have to come to the realization that nothing will ever change and that a progressive agenda that could address some of these hyper-critical issues will never come to pass. Yes, she'll enact some progressive legislation but without true, infrastructural change it will be nothing that an ensuing Republican president can't undo (and then some).

If Edwards wins, then and only then will I believe that the TV-watching, beer-chugging, Big Mac-slogging beast
has finally awakened and detached their ass from the couch and have put down the TV remote and have proclaimed, "they ain't takin' the TV!" but quickly followed by "it's time for me to get involved in changing my country!"

by desertjedi 2007-10-09 01:01PM | 0 recs
I like the front page candidate-oriented posts,

but I don't like the online "feuds" and this tendency towards personal attacks. The personal stuff shouldn't be front-paged. It comes off as kind of juvenile.

Edwards is my favorite candidate, also.

by Mark Wallace 2007-10-09 02:30PM | 0 recs


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