Sunday, January 06, 2008

John Edwards' Version of Change: Dirty Politics

In last night's debate John Edwards made the following statement, and it was very clear in the context that Hillary Clinton was the "forces of status quo" he was referring to:

"Everytime [Barack Obama] speaks out for change, everytime I fight for change, the forces of status quo are going to attack. Every single time. And what we have to remember - and this is the overarching issue here, because what we really need in New Hampshire and in future state primaries, is we need an unfiltered debate between the agents of change about how we are going to bring about that change."

Given that Edwards has clarified what he means by change as ending corruption: ending the influence peddling by lobbies and so on, his new line of attack is that Hillary Clinton is actively supporting corrupt practices so she should not be allowed in primary debates.

I watched the debate last night, along with its post-debate analysis, and I watched continuing analysis of the debate this morning on Meet the Press and This Week with George Stephanopoulis. This speech by Edwards was replayed endlessly, but nobody mentioned how utterly outrageous it is. Edwards provided no evidence that Hillary is the champion of corruption, and he couldn't because it's bullshit. It's the dirtiest intraparty politics I've seen since Lyndon Johnson.



Joseph said...

Interesting, because of all the times I've seen Edwards speak, watching him saying that last night was the first time I found myself thinking "slimy lawyer doublespeak" as he was saying those lines.

Pundits seemed mixed on it, but I remember George Stephanopolis saying Hillary's strong eaction to it - that was when she interrupted with her defense that talking about change was not activating change as she has done for 35 years - was "not her best moment" in the debate. Found that strange as I was actually thrilled she struck back since it was an underhanded and shitty little tactic Edwards employed - implying she was scum while he "and Obama" (joined at the hip, per Edwards) were the good guys.

I talked with my mom today and she said she wanted to reach through the TV at that point and smack Edwards backhand. It did seem a 'good guys against the uppity woman" moment, even in my mind. I found myself wondering if most women viewing the debate may have had a similar reaction. If so, Hillary might have just picked up a point or two of the women's share of the vote just due to that little exchange.

Just thought it was interesting that Stephanopolis regarded it a low point in her performance, which he found good overall, while I found it one of her best reactions in the entire debate.

Anonymous said...

First of all - I have trouble figuring out who's running - John Edwards or his controlling wife Elizabeth - she's been attacking Clinton from the get go.

Edwards got rich, very rich on slimy legal suits - slip/fall/injury type stuff - who's he to criticize anyone?

Edwards is the US version of Jack Layton.

He also talks like a sissy - he needs to tidy up that valley girl southern drawl - it's irritating and rather effeminate.