Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

Obviously us die-hard Edwards supporters would like to see Edwards doing better.  

We all realize that for some reason economic issues have not come up in the debates - which is odd.  To many Americans job security and trade are big issues but we realize the main stream media and "hosts" control the coverage.  Anyhow I have a few suggestions for broad themes that I think would help the campaign.

Macro Idea 1. Run as an Outsider, who's not a lifelong politician and not backed by the Washington DC Lobbyist insiders.  This also naturally marries with the broad theme of change.  No one who lives and breathes in the DC swamp who's been there for 20 years is likely to change the system.  (a natural contrast with Hillary)

It's clear the establishment does not like Edwards, why not use this to advantage.  Congressional approval is falling below Dick Cheney territory.  Running against DC is a win-win situation and draws automatic contrasts with Hillary.

Micro Edwards has never taken money from corporate PACs.
Open secrets  shows Edwards having a paltry $20 from PACs (either an accident or mistake) with Hillary at $236,000.

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summar y.asp?id=N00000019&cycle=2008

This ridiculous hit piece by Politco shows Edwards taking $500 from Federal Lobbyists (again an accident that is being given back) compared to ~$220,000 to Hillary.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/060 7/4481.html

Macro Idea 2. Do something to "undo" if possible some of the ridiculous haircut coverage.  Edwards made his money in the private sector, he did not make it as a lobbyist using ties to congress (Fred Thompson) or on corporate boards or exploiting 9/11 (Giuliani) but he is a self made man.  I know he says he wants to make sure everyone should have the same chances as him but it hasn't broken through.

Edwards is not against capitalism, he's all for it, but just to try to make sure everyone has a fair footing.  By emphasizing his success before getting into politics it also softens the completely bogus hypocrisy meme.

It could also be addressed directly by trying to do something with a haircut but this would require more creativity.

Micro Edwards went only to public schools his whole life and is an American success rags to riches story.  It's worth repeating -  The "Harvards" include the other Democratic frontrunners.  This success story is worth repeating.  He doesn't owe his wealth to washington DC or being a politician.  Contrasts with the Cllinton's, Thompson, and Giuliani.

Macro Idea 3.  Come out against Bush's Immigration Bill.
This is hugely unpopular.  Most americans outside the blogosphere heavily oppose it.  Union workers seem unhappy with it.  Americans (outside the blogosphere) instinctively don't believe in rewarding illegal behavior with citizenship.  This would bring lots of free press for Edwards and distinguishes him from others on the Democratic side.  I'm fairly certain this wouldn't lose any votes in Iowa or NH or SC.

micro This can simultaneoulsy be opposed on humanitarian and populist ideals.  It is highly unlikely and kind of mean to expect families to split up to follow Bush's bill.  Further I think many people are worried about wage issues.  The biggest pushers of this bill are multinational corporations who want more H1B visas, and the Chamber of Commerce PAC that want cheap labor.  This reinforces good issues for Edwards.

http://www.opensecrets.org/lobbyists/ind ex.asp

Macro idea 4.  More inovative ways to use the internet.  I know there are lots of bright consultants but why not take suggestions on narrow issues from time to time to see if the grassroots have any useful ideas?

I'm hoping to see more innovative use of the internet and YouTube only type "commercials" MADE BY THE CAMPAIGN that could break through and get free media air time.

Edwards seems to be pushing through that he is the Issues Candidate and this theme is worth continuing.

If you have any cash Edwards could use it .

http://www.actblue.com/entity/fundraiser s/16315

what are your thoughts?

concern trolls need not respond.

Tags: John Edwards (all tags)

Comments

32 Comments

as an aside

I hope the Edwards camp puts out a release.

Billy Graham's wife died in NC today.

by TarHeel 2007-06-14 03:12PM | 0 recs
Re: as an aside

I am sorry to hear about Billy Graham's wife.

by robliberal 2007-06-14 03:49PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

Maybe have people donate to a fund for charity to see Edwards get his head shaved military-style?

It'd be humorous and would humanize him. And may deflect the criticism.

I don't know. Something should be done. Unless they can just wait it out and let it pass.

by adamterando 2007-06-14 03:25PM | 0 recs
and trivialize him too. nt

by jforshaw 2007-06-14 03:37PM | 0 recs
Re: and trivialize him too. nt

I don't think HRC's song contest trivialized her.

by adamterando 2007-06-14 03:53PM | 0 recs
How about the new song

on Youtube about someone loves Obama?

by dk2 2007-06-14 06:20PM | 0 recs
Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

I'm a fan of him gettign the Tester crew cut, maybe at Tester's barber in Montana.  50 state campaign, progressive values, self-deprecating humor.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-14 03:38PM | 0 recs
horrible idea

If he's on edge now, this idea will push him off the cliff. Absolutely horrible.

by lambiel 2007-06-14 04:14PM | 0 recs
Re: horrible idea

Alright so maybe it's horrible. I'm just throwing out ideas. What would be the best way? Just ride it out?

by adamterando 2007-06-14 05:17PM | 0 recs
Re: horrible idea

The damage has already been done. If i were him, I would just let this go.

by lambiel 2007-06-14 05:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

The "Harvards" include the other Democratic frontrunners.  

I would suggest against implying the other candidates are liberal ivory tower elitists.

This is after all the democratic primary not the republican one.

by sterra 2007-06-14 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

I like this idea too.  I sick of the Yalies to be honest (except for a couple I know who are cool).  I even know some cool folks who went to Harvard.

But damn if the country doesn't need some public school pride to get going.  this is America.  As Trent said, we don't need a parliament and as I say, we don't want government by Oxbridge.

g'night.

by Orlando 2007-06-14 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

I would prefer it if he say claimed that he thought his college was better than harvard rather than just dismissing Harvard.  

by sterra 2007-06-15 02:07AM | 0 recs
Re: Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

Maybe it's my elitist Oxbridge education speaking, but I don't think this is a good angle to take, as it's too easily turned on the rest of the Democratic candidates if Edwards loses the primaries. Populism is not anti-intellectualism.

If it's part of a rag to riches narrative, pointing out that you have to be more than smart to get there, then fine. Otherwise it's just beating on a group who aren't even really the right target.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-15 02:38AM | 0 recs
I meant to emphasize

that Edwards is a rags to riches stories who did not come from privledge and went to the cheapest schools possible.

by TarHeel 2007-06-15 02:54AM | 0 recs
I'm not advocating anti-intellectualism

I'm betting a lot of voters - Hillary's sweet spot of low info - don't know Edwards' biography.

by TarHeel 2007-06-15 04:28AM | 0 recs
I got an idea

win in Iowa! Thats what I would suggest.

by okamichan13 2007-06-14 05:30PM | 0 recs
Re: I got an idea

Of course! But I'm trying to think how to preemptively negate the Al Goreification of Edwards in the media when he's the nominee.

by adamterando 2007-06-14 06:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I got an idea

It's a good idea for you to brainstorm like this.

You might want to join Team Edwards.

http://teamedwards08.blogspot.com/

TeamEdwards08@gmail.com

We're all about Edwards supporters working together to nominate and elect John Edwards.

One more thing.  Everyone should remember that every campaign goes through "the valley" at least once or twice.  Pundits always say that everyone is a "dead man walking" at least once.  It happened to Kerry in 04'.

And I can't stress the point about the national numbers enough.  Too many casual Dems who won't vote so they don't matter, fluid support, and including Gore make them worthless.

Who would you rather be?

Obama with the money and the media but without the electability and with an Iowa hurdle.

or...

Clinton with the money and the media and the national polling but being completely unelectable and knowing that at any second the "other shoe" regarding her husband could drop.

or...

Edwards with the issues which will become more important later, the electability that will become VERY important later, and the lead and the oraganizational advantage in Iowa but with 3rd place in national polls and with 3rd place in money but more than enough to compete in the states that matter.  Oh, I forgot the calendar that very much works in her favor.

I'm not sure that anyone can claim that they know how this will turn out.

by Team Edwards 2007-06-14 06:31PM | 0 recs
Re: I got an idea

Signed up.

by adamterando 2007-06-14 06:36PM | 0 recs
Re: I got an idea

Right on.  People forget that national polls don't matter until post Iowa.  And the spotlight on fundraising in so ridiculous.  All of the "big 3" will have more than enough to compete in the opening states.  Edwards wins Iowa and he will have all the money he needs and then some come pouring in.

A lot of people on here are forgetting that even the Democratic elite who hate him now because he is running a bold campaign and ruining their big business connections will want a winner in the end.

Edwards does great when matched up against Republicans.  As far as the hair cut thing, it is disapating.  His unfavorable rating has even dropped.  Unlike Obama who has gone from 59/33 to 50/44 in two months.  Then there is Clinton who is stuck at 47/51. The party moved based on electability at the end last time and they are likely to do it again.  Edwards has his electability, he has the issues, and he has his lead in Iowa.  Obama and Clinton are both really struggling when matched up with Republicans.  Sooner or later they are going to get pegged as unelectable and that, not some hair cut story, is the kiss of death.
 

by Team Edwards 2007-06-14 06:22PM | 0 recs
they're working on that

He's got a few campaign stops tomorrow, then he and Elizabeth will be in a bunch of places in eastern Iowa on Saturday and western Iowa on Sunday. They are not taking anything for granted here, nor should they.

by desmoinesdem 2007-06-14 06:24PM | 0 recs
Re: they're working on that

I think the key is  to point out his differences with Clinton in ending the war.

Clinton talks about leaving a residual force to carryout  missions to protect the oil fields, the border's of syria and Iran , and engaging Al Queda
terroists organizations within Iraq.

The pentagon recently released a report , that recommended this approach and it would take 40,000 troops.

This will not end the war in Iraq with respect to american involvement.

Edward's must delineate his plan for getting american troops out of Iraq with little or no residual force from Hillary's proposals. He must state that her propoosal's will not end the Iraq war with respect to american involvement and combat.

This is the premier issue of the 2008 campaign.

by BDM 2007-06-14 07:05PM | 0 recs
A bit snarky

but I really don't think he needs to change much, just keep focused. I'm real curious to see how 2Q fundraising does.

Regarding immigration, I think his position is a good one and its a bit too late after what he has said to be against the bill, though he could come out against specific provisions.

by okamichan13 2007-06-14 07:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

I can see Edwards come out against the immigration and run against it like the GOP hopefuls....Althought the Lou Dobbs immigration rhetorics is hot inside the GOP electorate, they are a few Lou Dobbs democrats that hates it because they don't want illegal immigrants to be given a path to citizenship.

Iowa is not liberal and it pretty much moderate/conservative, so it could still play well inside the Iowa democratic electorate there.

The problem for Edwards is, if he attacks this bill as a "tancredo democrats" a lot of folks will see it as 'Edwards playing politics with the issues as usuall"...Edwards came out for the path to citizenship, so if he flips on this issue, specially as his campaign is faltering, it could generate more bad press then good press.

Anyway, i think it's something that Edwards should think about...He'll probably loose some of his latino endorsements, but hey, it's not like those endorsement are doing anything for him at the polls, so he may want to shake things up a bit and do more flip flops on the issues again until he catches fire.

by JaeHood 2007-06-14 08:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Memo To Edwards Campaign (and Joe Trippi)

There's no reason he should oppose an eventual path to citizenship. That's not likely to help him in the slightest. Opposing particular bills is what he needs to do if he wants to make it an issue.

by Englishlefty 2007-06-15 02:40AM | 0 recs
Get back to the Two America's and POPULISM

I have stood by Edwards since he got in this race because he seemed to be the only viable POPULIST candidate on the issues.  His unabashed support of unions, fair trade, and the working class is what set him apart from the other candidates.  Yet I don't see him making that the defining issue of THIS campaign.  Instead he seems to have a Santa Claus list of proposals that leave his campaign in a fog of muddled ideas.  Quite simply, what the hell happened to the "Two America's"?    

For an example let's look at the last debate.  What did Edwards do to distinguish himself from the rest of the pack?  He went after Hillary because she "didn't apologize" for her war vote.   He attacked Obama because he "voted no at the last minute" on the war funding bill (thus setting himself up for the "4 years too late on this issue" zinger).  And then he tells everyone that his first act as President would be to "travel the world to re-establish America's moral authority" (which got a lot of blank stares from the crowd including myself).  But what hurt the most was to see Dennis Kucinich rail against NAFTA and the other lousy trade agreements to the delight of the crowd.  That should have been Edwards issue but Kucinich stole it and got one of the biggest applause lines of the evening for it.  Edwards HARDLY sounded like a populist in that debate.    

And just to refresh our memory, populism is:

 A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite.

I'm also reminded of what Jim Webb said in his SOTU response back in January.

"In the early days of our republic, President Andrew Jackson established an important principle of American-style democracy - that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base.  Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street."

Remember the buzz after Webb gave that speech?  People are hungry for someone to take on Corporate America and do something about the disappearing MIDDLE CLASS.  Hungry for a POPULIST.  But everyone seems to be silent on this issue in 2008.  It's all about Iraq and who has the hottest health care proposal.  And Edwards has gotten sucked into that vortex.  

John Edwards won me (and a lot of others) over in 2004 with his "Two Americas" speech because I believed he was a candidate that was NOT AFRAID to declare class war and speak truth to power about the economic divide.  It was a simple concrete message about the socioeconomic realities in this country and it nearly carried him to victory in Iowa.  It was also a message that stood in STARK CONTRAST to the Clinton free market ideology and the DLC corporatism that have infected our party.   As John Edwards continues to shy away from that message he will have lost the very thing that sets him apart from the other candidates in this race.

by Jambon 2007-06-14 09:10PM | 0 recs
I agree

I thnk the loudest applause at the NH debate was Kucinich saying he'd repeal NAFTA>

 Edwards needs to bring up trade and lobbyists and the multinationals that push through the immigration bill etc...

but Edwards will have to re-emphasize his humble beginnings as a self made man who did not weasel off his elected office position to make money ala Giuliani's consulting firm, or Bill's 10 million in speaking fees.

But yes anything that has more populism is good

by TarHeel 2007-06-15 02:59AM | 0 recs
Re: I agree

"I thnk the loudest applause at the NH debate was Kucinich saying he'd repeal NAFTA"

Not quite. But it was the only applause Kucinich received that night. Yes it'd be nice to hear more about his stances on trade.

by adamterando 2007-06-15 03:47AM | 0 recs
sign up with supercuts

and do a commercial for them donating the money to charity..

making fun of outrageous prices that other places charge..

or something like that

by TarHeel 2007-06-15 06:30AM | 0 recs
Re: sign up with supercuts

I liked the idea when it was raised months ago.  But it will never happen.  

Which is the problem in a nutshell.  

by georgep 2007-06-15 07:06AM | 0 recs
another idea

is to rollout a new policy issue either at a different local barber shop in NH, Iowa or SC or get haircuts at places to point out how his plans would help that place being highlighted.

by TarHeel 2007-06-15 07:10AM | 0 recs

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