The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It's John Edwards Day!

I haven't made it a secret that I'm a big fan of Al Gore. And I'm pretty keen on John Edwards and his commitment to finally burning the corpse of supply-side economics and scattering the ashes. I've probably even mentioned how much I enjoyed one blogger's suggestion that the ideal ticket would be "the best of the two previous presidential candidates and the best of the vice-presidential candidates." At any rate, Edwards is running a more substantive, issues-driven campaign than anyone else in the race.

*That means, naturally, that he's being picked on as much as any other candidate, but he's also getting more of the MSM's lazy one-liners than any other candidate. Which sucks. But his campaign has found an awfully shrewd way to combat what looks like the 'invented the Internet' quip of 2008:

What they seem to be doing is working to make the haircut story bigger, not smaller. They want it to be an issue. They're trying to change what people think about when they think about John Edwards' hair. Instead of "What a phony," they want people to think, "God, that press corps is so ridiculous, why can't they talk about something that matters? Why do they have it in for John Edwards? Just what about him scares them so much?"

Check out the video, if you didn't see it last night.

*Something else that has bothered me about the treatment Edwards is getting is how eerily dismissive a lot of respectable liberal writers and pundits are of his mission. I've seen them make smarmy haircut jokes as if we aren't all totally aware that every politician has to spend a lot of time and money looking good since the legendary Nixon-Kennedy debate. I've seen them fret over the question of whether a self-made millionaire can be a genuine foe of poverty, as if a millionaire who holds the non-wealthy in contempt (a la the entire GOP field) is the "authentic" and desirable candidate. Then there's that FDR character-- an American blue-blood if there ever was one who did more than anyone to help the nation's poor. In short, it's idiotic, disingenuous, and a sad way to treat the only candidate who's talking about it.

So I was really pleased to see commentors at the Prospect take a stand when they perceived the bloggers there to be treating him dismissively. It caused quite a bit of backpedaling among the bloggers (aside from one irritating contributor who strenuously avoids self-examination), and was the first time I've seen such a strong pro-Edwards pushback.