John Edwards will drown in the GOP noise machine

   John Edwards has a bittersweet poltical appeal. He has all the political charm and charisma in the world. He however will be shot full of holes by the GOP, and he will be subjected to a persuasive character assination that will ultimately lose him the election. I think John Edwards would make a great president, but I don't think he'll get there.
1) He's a trial lawyer -
John Edwards made his money by suing people. I know he generally sued on behalf of sympathetic people, but that is immaterial for most Americans. Trial lawyers are such an unpopular group, and suing is such an unpopular solution, that  the GOP slander campaign will drown him out. If you don't hear the counter argument from Edwards, the case sounds pretty believable. A profiteer sued people and then took a cut for himself at the expense of his clients. He doesn't care about hard work, he just tries to make a quick buck. We generally here both sides of the political banter, but most of America ignores the counter-points and any nuances. They will further use his past to make his emotional appeals untrustworthy.

Here is a list of his cases:
http://news.findlaw.com/newsmakers/john.edwards.html

Too many of these sounds like lawsuits that blame someone else for personal responsibility...imagine the commercial. We didn't hear it this time, because Edwards was only the veep.

38 year old commits suicide. John Edawrds sues psychiartrist. John Edwards collects over $500,000.

Man is injured after mishandling a package. John Edwards sues delivery company. John Edwards collects $750,000.

Delivery goes wrong. John Edwards sues because doctor didnt do a c-section. John Edwards collects  over $1,500,000.

Girl injured by pool drain. John Edwards sues over lack of warning labels. John Edwards collects $6,250,000.

John Edwards, when there's people suffering, he's driving them to the court house.

2)  He's a populist -
Populism is dead in America. Textiles are a dying industry and everyone knows it. People are worried about protecting jobs in new and developing fields, but blanket protectionism is a loser. Free trade is popular in America, and free trade with levelled playing fields is even more popular. Edward's protectionism is not, and his message will not play outside of the union vote. More people in America buy clothes than make them. People care about prices at Wal-mart more than saving dead industries. Edwards will be crucified on a cross of gold.

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16 Comments

Edwards
Populism is dead in the U.S.?  If it is, then the Democratic party is dead.  It's not dead.  It's only sleeping.  Waiting for the right candidate and/or party to awaken it.  I believe Edwards can be that candidate.  At this point, he's the best shot we have, for a variety of reasons.

Oooh.  He's a trial lawyer.  Representing people against big corporations.  I'll take that attack any day.  If that's the best they have, it ain't much.  Anyway, any candidate will have to deal with the "GOP noise machine."

by Paleo 2004-11-30 02:03PM | 0 recs
We need MORE of this kind of lawyer...
The insurance industry and the GOP is paying a number of Washington PR firms to push these blatant lies about 'trial lawyers'.

In other words, the whole "Lawsuit Crisis" frame is a fabrication...

There's an excellent article here:

The Myth of America's 'Lawsuit Crisis'
http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/20082

An excerpt:

"According to the National Center for State Courts, a research group funded by state courts, personal injury and other tort filings, when controlled for population growth, have declined nationally by 8 percent since the 1975, and have been falling steadily in real numbers since 1996. The numbers are even more dramatic in places with rapid population growth, like Texas, where the rate of tort filings fell 37 percent between 1990 and 2000. Even in liberal California, the rate of filings has plummeted 45 percent over the past decade. And those overly sympathetic juries Newsweek derides as so eager to dole out big bucks to injured victims?

In 2001, they voted against plaintiffs in 75 percent of all medical malpractice trials, according to the federal government's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). "

by ultraworld 2004-11-30 02:18PM | 0 recs
They already slimed Edwards
and they lost.  He went up against Lauch Faircloth (albeit an ineffective campaigner) and the Jesse Helms slime machine and he beat them, fair and square in red NC.  Not only that, but any democrat who gets picked regardless of biography will be crucified by the GOP.  Thats the only way they win... by sliming the choice and making them unfit.  The question isn't will the GOP crucify John Edwards, the question is: Will he Rise Again?
by flavorflav12 2004-11-30 02:40PM | 0 recs
Re: They already slimed Edwards
I don't think that Edwards has been slimed.

Don't you think that people are beginning to catch on in a big way? Even their own special interest groups are bitching about it. I don't think the 'rats from a sinking ship' phase is that far away...

At a certain point, people begin to wise up.

Younger people, in particular, have very good bullshit detectors. They grew up with this stuff..

In that group, the GOP is less than irrelevant...

by ultraworld 2004-11-30 04:53PM | 0 recs
People see what they want...
People believe what they want about the spin. And people want to like John Edwards. And now he can talk about the need to "protect the quality of medical care for our families", etc...and tie it in a personal way to his wife's cancer.

That's one of the things Edwards can do that made Clinton so effective...he talked about his motivation and his feelings in a way that people bought into. Edwards is the best hope we've got right now. He has a message and he knows how to deliver it.

For crying out loud, George W. Bush went AWOL, did coke, and god knows what else and he got elected because people found him to be real, so they sympathised and didn't want to hear bad things about him. Most negatives, the trial lawyer thing included, really only hurt you bad if people don't like you. If they do, they blame the person making the accusations.

Bottom line: Edwards has a message. He delivers the message well. He's VERY likeable. He'll weather the negatives because his candidacy will (unlike Kerry's) be about more than just himself (so trashing him doesn't weaken the philosophical rationale for his candidacy) and people will want to overlook faults.

Edwards is the guy. You're going to have to do better than the "trial lawyer" label to stop that train. Hillary? Please. Kerry again? Come on, another week or two and Edwards would have had the nomination. Dean? Edwards will eat him alive.

by redsoxkangaroo 2004-11-30 05:26PM | 0 recs
Re: People see what they want...
Any combination of Dean/Edwards or Edwards/Dean is very powerful.
by Gary Boatwright 2004-11-30 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: People see what they want...
I like what you're saying, and have always thought Edwards only gets better the bigger the challenge.  Here is my only problem with Edwards in '08... what does he do for the next four years?
by flavorflav12 2004-12-01 06:13AM | 0 recs
The trial lawyer meme only works with freepers
This is an astro-turf issue drummed up by the Natl. Assoc. of Manufacturers and the Chamber of Commerce. It plays well on talk radio and fizzles in every poll. The American people understand what trial lawyers do and whose side they are on. In fact, this is an issue Dems should use to crush the Republicans if they try to pass legislation.

Nobody favors "blanket" protectionism. The issue is between free trade and fair trade. Dems have some work to do on this issue, but it's a winner. Rumors of populism's demise have been highly exagerrated.

by Gary Boatwright 2004-11-30 03:51PM | 0 recs
It also works with surgeons
But they're a rather small voting bloc.
by EvanstonDem 2004-11-30 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: It also works with surgeons
It doesn't even work with surgeons if they're educated about the issue. This isn't a legal issue it's a medical issue. Something like 10% of doctors account for someting like 80% of malpractice cases. It's almost impossible to discipline a doctor and that's the responsiblity of the medical profession. Physician heal thy profession!
by Gary Boatwright 2004-11-30 05:53PM | 0 recs
Insurance industry shares the blame..
by forcing doctors to spend so little time with each patients and by trying to 'speedup' - basically, to ration health care everywhere, which cannot help but increase the number of 'accidents'

I have heard that the average doctor visit is around six minutes now... Thats not your doctor's (oh, or  'provider's') fault, its managed care's for forcing them to stuff so many patients into each hour..

by ultraworld 2004-11-30 09:08PM | 0 recs
You're so wrong
For starters, you don't seem to understand the concept of medical malpractice. One of my sons suffered a brain injury at birth in circumstances similar to the Edwards case that you describe. I fail to understand how my child, my wife or I can be considered personally responsible for this brain injury.

Based on what I've read, Edwards generally chose cases of clear malpractice so that the question was the degree of liability, not whether there was any liability.

I think Edwards has a bright future as one of the few Democratic politicians who can comfortably talk about the morality of his political positions and the immorality of Republican positions.

by EvanstonDem 2004-11-30 04:14PM | 0 recs
Bhopal...
is a good example of why the Repugs should not be allowed to give corporations the green light to rape America..

Thousands dead.. average payout to survivors of dead victims after 20 years of appeals..  $500

(those who were 'just' blinded got much less)

Be afraid, be very afraid...

by ultraworld 2004-11-30 04:57PM | 0 recs
Edwards
I expect right now he is worried about Elizabeth and not much thinking about this kind of stuff.

That said, they will try to make a big deal about the trial lawyer thing, but I'm not that sure how well it will fly.  He sure has a lot of positives going for him as far as personality..

I always did like him.

by JWC 2004-11-30 04:57PM | 0 recs
Lawyers and doctors
Many of the posts have taken my post out of context. I am not speaking on the issues. I am speaking about how the issues play with the public. I, like most of you, think that the lawsuits Edwards pursued were legitimate, necessary, and not ambulance chasing. My point is that it just doesn't matter. The public isnt going to dig into it in the same manner that we will. The disctinction between a legitimate and illegimate lawsuit is immaterial. If they can make high casualty rate Swift boat duty on the rivers of Vietnam into a major campaign weakness and sign of cowardice, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and injury lawsuits will be a slamdunk. I don't want to send another candidate up to the stump to get slaughtered by the engines of deception that are the Republican party. We're not going to be dealing with a Jim Bunning campaign staff in 2008. It's going to be Karl Rove and the rest of his death squad.

We need someone without a past that will be become fodder for the right-wing spin machine. We need someone with a bit of a track record, but not enough to really attack. Barack Obama is charismatic, a good empathisizer, and most importantly he lacks the experience that makes the right-wing lie machine move. He's been a teacher at U-Chicago and a state senator. He's not even a millionaire...what a surprise, I haven't seen one of those mentioned in a while for a high office.

I know many people have angrily agreed with me that lawyering is a worthy profession...but here are some stats from Gallup...i should've put these in the normal post. Again, these are not my opinions, but the public's opinions. If we were all the kings and queens of America, they wouldn't matter.

Question:       qn14o_FormB      Field Date:      7/5/2002-7/8/2002
[SPLIT SAMPLE] For each of the following groups, please tell me whether most of the people in them can be trusted or that you can't be too careful in dealing with them? How about -- Lawyers?
Mean: N/A           Total N: 515
                  %     N
      1     Most can be trusted     25.35     131
      2     Can't be too careful     70.08     361
      3     OTHER/DEPENDS (VOL.)     2.74     14
      4     DON'T KNOW     1.66     9
      5     REFUSED     0.17     1

Percent saying profession has high or very high ethical standards:

Medical Doctors : 67% 5th /21
Lawyers: 18% 19th /21

Question:       qn8      Field Date:      1/20/2003-1/22/2003
Do you think patients bring -- [Form A: Read 1-3; Form B: Read 3-1] -- Too many, About the right amount, or Too few -- lawsuits against doctors?
Mean: 2.47           Total N: 1007
                  %     N
      3     Too many     56.88     573
      2     About the right amount     22.61     228
      1     Too few     13.14     132
      4     DON'T KNOW     7.30     74
      5     REFUSED     0.06     1

by srolle 2004-11-30 05:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Lawyers and doctors
You're still wrong. Look at polls about Congress. Everybody distrusts Congress and politicians, but they generally approve of their own Senators and Representatives. Edwards doesn't have to worry about the slime machine because his character and reputation shine through. He will be judged as an individual and not as a lawyer.

If we try to pick a candidate based on who Drudge, Limbaugh and Hannity won't be able to slime we'll have a longer quest than Diogenes search for an honest man.

Obama needs at least and preferably 12 years in the Senate. He's a young man and he will probably be one of our greatest Presidents. Just not in 2008.

by Gary Boatwright 2004-11-30 05:58PM | 0 recs

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