Edwards Campaign “Jumps the Shark” in Attacking Clinton

John Edwards took his act to Hanover, New Hampshire with a speech which wound up creating a controversy among Democrats. Edwards made what is being seen as an attack on the Clintons when he said, “The American people deserve to know that their presidency is not for sale, the Lincoln Bedroom is not for rent, and lobbyist money can no longer influence policy in the House or the Senate.”

As both Jeralyn at Talk Left and Taylor Marsh have noted, using the Lincoln Bedroom has long been a conservative talking point for attacking the Clintons. In a post entitled Edwards Jumps the Shark, Taylor Marsh provides examples of Bob Dole using this attack line in 1996 and George W. Bush using it in 2000. Edwards shows yet once again his lack of sincerity when he attacked other Democratic candidates for attacking other Democratic candidates last month.

The problem with Edwards’ message goes much deeper than whether he attacked the Clintons today. There have been multiple episodes of hypocrisy which contradict Edwards’ message in today’s speech as well as his overall campaign theme of being more pure (or an actual Democrat) compared to the other candidates. Edwards has avoided honest disclosure of the indentities of his major fundraisers. Having a remarkably high percentage of campaign money coming from a single source, the trial lawyers, makes him no less tainted than candidates who receive contributions from a variety of lobbyists. Following the 2004 election Edwards created his Poverty Center which turned out to be a way to continue campaigning, and paying staffers, without being subject to FEC regulations. After Edwards has spoken out against foreclosures on Katrina victims, it was discovered that Edwards had worked for a private equity fund in 2005 and 2006 which was responsible for many of the actions he is now campaigning against. In this speech, as in so many others, Edwards once comes off as the politician who will say anything to get votes.

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