Saturday, July 28, 2007

John Edwards' Video Campaign --July 28, 2007

The last couple of days I have been looking at Clinton and Obama video. The next few days I want spend some time looking at video from John Edwards and Bill Richardson. We will start with Edwards.

The first video is from the YouTube debate. It is provided by the Edwards campaign. When I finished watching the YouTube debate I remembered the story Edwards shares in this clip. It is among the most powerful arguments for universal health care I have heard, made all the more powerful by the fact that I know medical professionals who annually visit 3rd world countries to perform the kind of procedure Edwards describes.

You should watch it and then tell me why you are not writing your Congressman in support of universal health care.

The second clip is titled John Edwards -- Haircuts, etc. If you are from either coast you don't understand just how deep and wide the roots of populism extend in mid-western soil. Williams Jennings Bryan, an adopted son of Nebraska, gave voice to a kind of agrarian populism that dominated the rural mid-west for generations. Central to agrarian populism is the belief that the Eastern elite is the enemy of the common man. In this video Edwards makes an argument that would be very familiar to both Bryan and his supporters--the grandparents and great grandparents of the mid-western farmers listening to him in Creston, Iowa. They are out to get him. They want to stop him from fighting for them.

Ben Smith of the Politico, one of the elite journalists who pushed the $400 haircut non-story, has the video up at his site. Reading his commentary it is obvious that he just doesn't get how powerful Edwards argument is to a rural mid-western audience. For the descendants of populists like William Jennings Bryan, it isn't a stretch to believe Edwards when he says "They want to shut me up." Edwards' audience has a pretty good idea just who he is talking about.

Edwards is going to do well in Iowa and the rest of the mid-west. He should do well in the south. The question is how well his populist message will be received on the coasts.

UPDATE: Sister Toldjah is equally clueless. Edwards hasn't flipped out. He knows exactly what he is saying and who is listening.

ABC's Jake Tapper is clueless as well. Unlike Hillary Clinton, Edwards isn't complaining about being a victim. He is asserting that he is going to stand up to "them" for "us." Edwards is claiming the status of "defender." "They" are never going to silence him. I have a hunch Edwards' audience would include Jake Tapper and ABC News as part of "them."