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, draftobama.org 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?