Has Edwards Argued Himself Off The Ticket?
Iíve read several accounts of the Democratic debate last night in New York City, jointly hosted by CBS and the New York Times. Several things jump out at me about what transpired. First, in his last-ditch efforts to differentiate himself enough from John Kerry to gain a few victories tomorrow in places like Georgia and Ohio (neither of which may happen), John Edwards has probably written himself off the ticket. As Dan Balz of the Washington Post notes in an analysis this morning, Edwards tried that age-old tactic of arguing he is better because Kerry has been in Washington all these years, and he (Edwards) hasnít been.
This earned a good deserved slap-down from Kerry, who also pointed out that Edwards hasnít exactly been talking up his concern for jobs and outsourcing in his five years in the Senate. Balz surmises from looking at last night and from what he is hearing from inside the Kerry camp that there isnít a lot of warmth and regard between the two, and as I said over the weekend, if Kerry wants to adopt a strategy aimed at the South (Graham, Breaux, Nunn, or Cleland), the Midwest (Gephardt or Tom Vilsack), or the West (Richardson), there are better options with more seasoned and experienced people.
Second, from the same debate, both the Post news piece and John Wagner of McClatchy Newspapers, in his piece from the debate, noted that the panelists frequently cut off the candidates in midstream while they were answering the questions. The most notable for me was this:
Several minutes of the hour-long debate were taken up by Sharpton complaining that the panelists were trying to "stifle the discussion" and reduce him "to window dressing" by not giving him enough time to talk. "Well, I'm not going to be addressed this way," said Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller, one of two reporters who joined Rather on the panel.
"You don't let us finish answering questions," Kerry complained to one questioner, Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times, which co-hosted the debate with CBS.
"You're in New York," Bumiller replied tartly.
Really Ms. Bumiller? Will you treat Mr. Bush the same way when he comes to New York the next time? Nice to see that Bumiller has a backbone with Democrats. Of course, this is the same Bumiller who puts her kneepads on whenever she gets within two zip codes of George W. Bush.