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Why John Edwards Failed in 08

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message David Patterson
       First let me state emphatically that failure is just a temporary condition. I find it hard to believe that we have heard the absolute last of John Edwards. Having said all that it's time to wonder what went wrong for John Edwards in this Presidential election cycle. Something simply has to grab the public. It's an intangible. Barack Obama has this intangible, something about him is generating a momentum and people are feeling it and joining his campaign. Some skeptics say that Obama is a media creation and has been hand picked by the Establishment and given opportunities. I disagree to a point, Barack obama was given some exposure but that doesn't explain the public's overwhelming positive response to this man and his message. Just look at the crowds, it's simple, people like him.

     No one in this campaign has had the exposure that Hillary Clinton has had. Hillary even had this sense of inevitability about her campaign. But the fact is these seeming advantages have not been enough. In spite of her well oiled, corporate financed machine and total Media coverage, she has failed to really capitalize and generate any kind of momentum or stimulate the imagination of the American public. She's basically running on her familiarity; perhaps some of her support comes from those who look back to the 90's wistfully, being a woman has a novelty to it, but that too is just not putting her over in any kind of meaningful big way. To say in the end that she's not catching on because she is is just another establishment bore won't explain how John McCain is suddenly doing so well in the Republican camp.

     The qualities or tools of Barack Obama, like his good looks and public speaking skills, while impressive, don't add up the intangibles of his success. Mitt Romney has these attributes and plenty of money to show them off but he is not generating any real momentum. Inevitability isn't carrying the day for the Republicans either. Guiliani seemed to be the inevitable Republican nominee just a few short months ago. He has since languished and withdrawn from the campaign in spite of his so called, publicly perceived, 9/11 heroism. It just didn't carry the day, no lasting momentum. To say that a candidate must have charisma, looks, charm and be an inspirational speaker all fail to explain the resurgence and rise of John McCain. To top it off, John McCain doesn't even have an original new thought or program in his message.

     Timing, as in being at the right place at the right time, does that explain anything about certain candidate's success? Perhaps, but even timing can't explain the failure of John Edwards to connect with the electorate. His message of fundamental economic inequality is what if not right on time for this election? You can say Edwards was slighted by the media but the truth is his message received enough coverage. He has been a frequent guest on all the News Channels. Whatever this intangible is that's working for Obama and McCain, Edwards this time around didn't have it. Whatever momentum that Edwards felt he may have had from 04 didn't even materialize votes for him in South Carolina. John Edwards is still young. His message is strong regardless that it just didn't resonate and add up to votes for him this year. John Edwards will learn from this. His failures in 04 and 08 may be just a spring board for 2012.

     Glib talking(Huckabee), revolutionary ideas(Ron Paul & Dennis Kucinnich), Money(Romney), Corporate money and massive media(Hillary Clinton), or inevitability are just not enough to stimulate the public's imagination and build momentum in these Presidential Elections. It takes an intangible. You never can exactly define what an intangible is, but somehow, you know it when you see it. we've had other firebrand, inspirational Black candidates before(Jesse Jackson) but he lacked that intangible magic that is now propelling Barack Obama. John McCain defies practically all the preconceptions of what a successful presidential candidate should be. He's perhaps too old, not strikingly handsome and he is not an inspirational speaker with an interesting message at all. Yet there he is, boring us at every step of the way to his nomination.

     Right now the "mojo' is working for Barack Obama and John McCain. However, the American electorate can be fickle and perhaps never more so than this year. So to say that one of these two will be taking the Presidential oath of office next January may be a little premature. Though we might know a little more for certain after Super Tuesday,  there still could be enough time left for plenty of strange turns and surprises. For both the Democrats and Republicans.  
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I am a simple man of eclectic interests and tastes with no particular academic credentials. I still perceive, think, read and write somewhat. Writing music is a hobby of mine

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