Obama v. Edwards; Krugman v. Obama

First Read is reporting that Obama is turning up the heat on Edwards:

At a town hall here, Obama directly questioned Edwards’ record in the Senate, contrasting his record with Edwards’ in regards to taking on the special interests. “The reason now that I raise this issue of the special interests is because everybody now in the campaign talks about how I am going to fight for you. Like Sen. Edwards, who is a good guy — he’s been talking a lot about, ‘I am going to fight the lobbyists and the special interests in Washington.’ Well the question you have to ask is: Were you fighting for’em when you were in the Senate. What did you do? Because I did something, immediately upon arriving in the Senate, despite the fact that it wasn’t a popular position to take.”

Obama added, “And that will give you some sense of whether or not folks are real are fighting for when they get into the presidency.”

Is Obama surprised by this? If we listen to Obama’s critics (such as those married to his opponents) Obama is quite young and inexperienced. Apparently, based upon such criticism of Obama, he was only five years old when John Edwards was in the Senate (writing papers back at the Madrassa kindergarten about his own plans to be president). Therefore I guess it is necessary to explain some things to Obama about John Edwards:

John Edwards is a trial lawyer. He is trained to take any side of any issue based upon such high moral principles such as who is paying the bills. Edwards has taken advantage of such training as a politician. When he was in the Senate he played the role of a moderate. Moderates don’t go “fighting for ’em.” He tried to win the nomination to run for president but he lost. He decided to do it again (starting somewhere around November 2004, if not sooner) but this time decided to play the role of populist reformer. That means that this time he talks about “fighting for ’em” every chance he gets. Next time Edwards will try something else. Maybe he’ll be a right wing evangelical, maybe he’ll be a libertarian, or maybe he’ll return to his childhood dreams and become a cowboy. (It worked for Ronald Reagan). Edwards is a good lawyer and he can play any role he damn well wants to. (Don’t get me started about using junk science to win cases.)

Obama is being attacked for a number of reasons beyond being young and inexperienced. Many in the net-roots are upset that Obama wants to govern as opposed to fight Republicans 24/7 for the next eight years. I guess this marks one of the differences between the more partisan Democrats and us independents who lean towards Obama (unless one of the second tier candidates–the ones with the real experience–pull an upset and look like they might be able to win). Paul Krugman never got over the fact that Obama out-smarted him earlier in the month and is determined to continue his attacks. Now Krugman calls Obama the “anti-change candidate” and prefers John Edwards and the “populist tide.” If “change” means following the ideas of this year’s John Edwards then I’ll vote for the “anti-change” candidate.

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  1. 1
    gracie taylor says:

    I thought this was an outstanding op-ed. I do not often agree with Brooks but this is a good analysis. What are your thoughts?


  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    It was very good. I am planning to have a post on it, but so far today was too busy weeding through all the comments from Paul supporters to see if any were worth putting through and responding to a handful.

  3. 3
    Harry Truman says:

    Disagree. All leading Democratic candidates, not just Edwards, are trained in law, and all of them are trying to frame themselves in a manner that that they think the voters will accept. The reason Edwards is appealing is because he is running as a liberal, something which Democrats have by and large stopped doing. Clinton and Obama are playing it safe by running as centrists. This will make it hard for the average voter to distinguish them from Republicans when the general election rolls around. Edwards learned from his mistake of running as a centrist in 2004, Obama and Clinton haven’t.

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