Monday, December 18, 2006

Edwards-Obama: The People's Ticket?

As we enter into 2007, Presidential politics will slowly begin to creep in the into minds of America's voters, sparking a 23-month marathon until election day on November 4th, 2008. As the latest round of Presidential contenders and pretenders gear up, I am becoming convinced that the Democrats dream ticket for 2008 is former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and the junior Senator from Illinois Barack Obama.

Both Edwards, the son of a North Carolina mill-worker and Obama, the son of a Kenyan college student, have life stories that re-enforce the feel good ideals of "America the Land of Opportunity". I believe it will help them relate to working class and poor voters who have felt disconnected from the Democratic Party's middle-class mainstream messaging over the last 10 to 15 years. "He's (John Edwards) low-key, down-to-earth, a nice guy." says David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register

Edwards-Obama or Obama-Edwards can excite the base of the party (unions, people of color, the working poor, young people and students) that have given unenthusiastic support for the last two Democratic nominees. Instead of campaigning against Bush, they'll have someone to campaign for. Their progressive populist positive message of hope is grounded by a down home, common sense perspective that eludes many of the Democrats elite. Vision, innovation and reform in plain talk for the people, with a dose of charisma, poetry and theater.

I know it's real early and Hilary is still the one to beat, I still think she's too 90's. This month John Edwards will announce his candidacy from the Lower 9th ward of New Orleans, the community hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. A recent poll in Iowa had John Edwards in a commanding 36% - 16% lead over Hilary in the Iowa Caucus and 40% - 8% lead among Iowa's democratic party county chairs, it appears Edwards grassroots efforts since 2004 are paying dividends as 2008 approaches.

To quote Joe Klein from TIME, "And that 8% among county leaders — i.e., the people who really take this stuff seriously and drag people out to the precinct caucuses — sure seems dire. It may just be that Clinton hasn't been out to Iowa recently, hasn't yet given the solipsistic cornheads the full-frontal embrace they demand of contenders. Or it may be something a bit more chronic: "You hear a lot of 'I like Hillary, but...' talk out here,", says David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register"

I expect Barack Obama to make his announcement in early 2007 after receiving "Rock Star Treatment" in Iowa and New Hampshire. Grassroots groups like Run Obama and Draft Obama have popped up all over, put this commercial on you tube.

His recent appearance in NH has been compared to a Rolling Stone concert, "In all my history, nobody's ever had a crowd this big, this early," said Charles Campion, a veteran party strategist based in Boston, as he watched Democrats assemble Sunday afternoon in Manchester.

"He had the true spirit we're looking for," said Kathryn Frieden, a physician from Manchester. "I do hope he runs. I haven't been so excited by someone since JFK, when he was campaigning when I was 10 years old."

Some say we haven't seen this type of enthusiasm for a political candidate in years, I think it's something the Dems shouldn't ignore in the disconnected circle of Washington's inside players.

In the next edition: Nas, and is Hip Hop really dead?


lou said...

My concern about Edwards/Obama is inexperience. Edwards has one term in the Senate and Obama less. Now, do I think someone who has spent half their life inside the Beltway is the only type of person who can be President? Absolutely not. But experience counts in terms of who people will be comfortable voting for and a ticket with this little would even give an idealist like me slight pause.

I really like both Edwards and Obama and it's going to be a tough choice. Even tougher if Al Gore gets into the race. How about a ticket of Gore (ton of experience) and Obama. Or either Edwards or Obama with Bill Richardson, who has been a governor, Cabinet member, U.N. Ambassador, and Congressman, and is Hispanic to boot!

kharimosley said...

Good points, I don't know about Al Gore though. Bill Richardson is very interesting

Keegan said...

Bill's comin up strong. Watch out, the man is tackling North Korea and proving himself a world leader. He would help pull hispanics and folks in the west. But he's trailed the field in almost every poll. But if these young bucks go at it, they might clear the way for someone to sneak in...

Nish said...

I think you bring up a good point regarding experience Lou, but as a minor point, Kerry had tons of experience foriegn and domestic that only worked ultimately against him because he was seen as a flip-flopper by the undecided voters. So whether experience matters to the voting public I am not sure. I also agree that Bill Richardson would make an interesting prospect. Did you mean Edwards or Obama as Pres and Richardson as VP? I don't know about Gore either but I do think that people (voters and supporters) are going to have to start making up their minds sooner rather than later.

Nish said...

Hey Keegan-good to hear from you. Has Bill R been making any waves in the west? I haven't heard much about him other than his resume? Anything politically speaking?

Keegan said...

yeah you to brother nish, yeah he smashed his opposition last time around, i think 68% or more. his opponent wasn't anything but its still a good showing. hes supported progressive policies but has to walk a fine line on immigration. the child of a boston business man and a mexican mother could easily be pigeon-holed in our border state.

now who else here is already thinking caucus????

Read T. Scott said...

The idea of an Edwards/Obama ticket makes me extremely excited. I understand lou's comment of an Edwards/Obama ticket being inexperienced but I say this, the Republicans will nominate John McCain (I am almost certain) the definition of an Washington insider. If Edwards/Obama run as fresh, new, bright, and young, they can trounce on any Republican that is nominated. If McCain is the nominee then lets compare Edwards and Obama to McCain. Edwards is 53 years old, compassionate, smart and full of pratical ideas that America needs. He has detailed plans and is running an honnest campaign. Obama is 45 and a rockstar with great ideas. He is the leading crusader on cleaning up Washington. Both of these men symbolize freshness, and the breath of air we all need. If they run as the a "Fresh Start" ticket they could win. They are both able to be president. McCain has been a senator for about a million years and is in bed with Jerry Fallwell and George Bush, people he denouced in 2000. He is flip floping and is for the Iraq war. He will be 72 years old in 2008. He will be the oldest president ever. Edwards and Obama would be seen as energetic and new, and McCain would be seen as old and tired.