It's the end of the fundraising quarter. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are probably going to have raised over $20M in thirteen weeks, again. Meanwhile, the candidate who has the most specific proposals, and the most heartfelt message, is being relentlessly attacked by the right-wing noise machine. What gets them into a tizzy is not really that his advocacy for the disadvantaged, while not giving up all worldly possessions like Saint Francis of Asisi, is "hypocritical". It's that they're terrified he might actually mean it; that, like FDR (who was born
to wealth, but did more to help the impoverished than anyone else in a generation), John Edwards is "a traitor to his class", a wealthy man who intends to level the playing field, making things a little fairer for people who, like him, were not
born to wealth. The right wants Edwards out of the race now, so they don't have to worry about him later.
Edwards, despite having made a terrible error in supporting the war to begin with, has been clearer about getting out than the other two candidates. Obama folded on the timeline/funding issue far too quickly, when Edwards was taking out full-page ads encouraging the Dems to stand firm. (And from what I hear, it's Ellen Tauscher -- the conservative Dem who represents eviladmin
's district -- who is behind the next effort to put some leverage on Bush, by demanding that he at least pay
for these "unforseeable" supplemental costs, by repealing some of his tax cuts. Where's Obama?) Edwards is also the only candidate on either side with a serious universal healthcare program. (Obama's program, while interesting, is not universal. And Hillary, despite having had fourteen years to think about what she'd do differently if offered another shot at fixing the healthcare system, has not offered a plan at all, and only vaguely promises that she'd get universal care by the end of eight years in office.)
I think Edwards has an excellent shot at the nomination; he consistently polls in the lead
in Iowa -- not that you'd know it from the media coverage -- and he won South Carolina last time, and easily could do so again. (Both Hillary and Obama are counting on the African-American vote in SC; if they both scramble for that portion of the vote, and split it, Edwards could clean up.) That leaves him needing to win either NH (tough, though not impossible
) or NV (not so tough, since the Las Vegas unions like him a lot, and Richardson may pull most of the Hipanic vote away from Hillary and Obama) to have wins in three-of-four early states, and huge momentum for this election's Super-Tuesday-on-Steroids (CA, NY, etc).
But he does need to stay in the race, which means hitting his (relatively modest) fundraising targets, to ensure that the mainstream media doesn't say, "We don't think you're a serious candidate anymore, so we're not going to fund reporters to follow you around." Which of course is a self-fulfilling prophecy -- take away the "media oxygen", and the public will basically forget about a candidate. It's a crummy system, but it's what we've got. So I hope you'll consider chipping in
-- even five bucks helps -- to keep John Edwards in the race.