John Edwards: Stock Falling

They say a week is a lifetime in politics, and the events that have happened during the past few days perfectly illustrate this.

There are several other good sites out there that rank the candidates in terms of their likelihood of securing the nomination, such as National Journal, Political Derby, The Fix, etc. I suppose I could do that too, but for now I'm going to opt for a regular analysis of each candidate's position based on my own observations.

First of all, John Edwards is in trouble. The Bloggergate fiasco dealt his campaign a major blow. It got in the way of his messages on health care, Iraq, and citizen activism. It also reinforced the budding negative caricature of him as a too-slick weathervane that has no core convictions and is all too eager to please someone if that translates into support. The way he handled this was simply atrocious.

First of all, it's unbelievable that neither he nor anyone on his staff took it upon themselves to do a bit of background checking before they hired the two female bloggers. Had they done a bit of research first, they could have avoided this situation altogether either by having them scrub the offensive posts from their personal blogs, not hiring them, or at least preparing press releases or statements to counter the criticisms that would inevitably surface. But they dropped the ball there.

Secondly, it took him too long to make a decision on their fate. He seemed to be caught flatfooted. Do I support them? Do I cut them loose? Do I cave into the right wing noise machine? Do I cowtow to the liberal nutroots? Do I condone these bloggers' incendiary statements? Do I defend my staffers? Does my defending them make it seem like I endorse what they said? Are bloggers more important than Catholics? Nobody knows what Edwards was thinking while he was isolated in his bunker while the bottom was falling out from under him. But the fact is, it took too long and that made him appear vacillating. What would Edwards do if he were confronted with a Supreme Court vacancy? What would he do if America were the victim of another terrorist attack? The President is supposed to be a leader, but leadership is definitely not something he exhibited regarding this really stupid affair.

Of course, both bloggers resigned because they were becoming a "distraction." So John Edwards ended up getting the worst of all worlds: This controversy stepped all over his message, he potentially offended Catholics, he lost credibility among the liberal blogosphere, Bill Donohue his allies can claim his scalp, and he has to go through the trouble of finding new bloggers to add to his staff! But in light of everything that happened, would you be enthusiastic about working for such a campaign? Who's in charge?

Edwards is generally regarded as the #3 Democratic candidate for now. However, if he has too many more gaffes like the last one, he may be overtaken by Dodd, Vilsack, or Richardson. And don't look for Edwards to run on the bottom half of the ticket either.

1 comment(s):

Reginald Harrison Williams said...

Here's an interesting thought: do blogs really matter to the common democrat?

Plenty of them are blue collared workers and not all of them are familiar with the cyberspace tool known as blogspot (grin).

Perhaps he may have dodged a big one...but no more missteps must he make.

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