Some presidential candidates, such as every Republican running, are unacceptable due to the views they promote. Sometimes a candidate such as John Edwards is unacceptable regardless of his views. Beyond his bases of support in portions of the blogosphere and the trial lawyers, many have recognized that John Edwards is simply a know-nothing political hack who will say anything for votes. I believe that this is why the media concentrated so much on issues such as his haircut. While trivial on the surface, it was their way of noting that Edwards is a light weight.
Since then many more stories have come out, often characterized by displays of hypocrisy. For example, we’ve seen Edwards attack his opponents for taking lobbyist money, only to find that he’s the major Democratic candidate who has both been the most secretive about his fund raising and who is most indebted to a single special interest. Edwards made lots of noise about foreclosures on Katrina victims until it was discovered that he not only invested in a company responsible for this but actually worked for one. Edwards has claimed to be holier than the other Democrats on Iraq, only to be shot down by Obama who actually opposed the war which Edwards supported. Edwards both attacks other candidates for attacking each other, and, besides often attacking the other candidates himself, runs the most divisive campaign which at times appears to be designed to ensure the Democrats become a minority party for another generation.
As the race continues I suspect the media will continue to attempt to warn the country about what they see in Edwards. An example of this can be seen in The New York Observer. They quote Edwards in criticizing Hillary Clinton for triangulation. His criticism may be valid, but comes off as less meaningful when they note a similar fault in Edwards:
At a press conference in midtown to announce the endorsement of the Transportation Workers Union for his presidential campaign, Edwards told reporters that he would be labor’s greatest champion.
TWU president James Little said that the more than 200,000 national active and retired members of the union–including about 36,000 in the New York local, led by Roger Toussaint of MTA-strike fame–were endorsing Edwards because he would not “triangulate” and would be a clear voice for labor.
During a short question-and-answer period after the announcement in the Broadway headquarters, a Daily News reporter asked the seemingly straightforward question of whether TWU members and other public workers should be sanctioned if they strike. The champion of labor dodged the question.
He said the law should be changed in America to make it easier for workers to organize. He said the collective bargaining process should be strengthened. He said he had walked on 200 picket lines in the last two years.
“Those are the things that I would focus on,” he said.
But, the reporter insisted, should public workers be allowed to strike without fear of sanctions? “I stand by my answer,” said Edwards.
He took another question. It was the same one, this time from a New York Post reporter.
“I’ll stand by my answer,” he said.
All candidates evade questions and this might not be so newsworthy if not for the manner in which Edwards attempts to portray himself as superior to his opponents. At least he might think twice before attacking another candidate after he has evaded a question such as this, especially as reporters are reporting the connection.