In 2007, John Edwards, whom I thought of as a slick phony politico in 2004, but who has since proven himself both genuine and politically savvy, is carving out what might be referred to as the "Dean niche" for himself. He's coming at the race from the outside, blasting Beltway insiders Obama and Clinton for being, well, pussies, about the anti-escalation measure. Here's what Edwards said at a recent DNC meeting:
Democrats had to use all their "vigor and tools and strength" to block the surge and begin a withdrawal. "Americans are counting on us not to be weak, political and careful," he said. "It's time for political courage."
If Edwards can pull off the Dean "outsider with a cause and an online grassroots support base" strategy, and treads carefully enough that the media doesn't have an excuse to gleefully destroy him like they did Dean, he could be a real force to contend with in 2008.
Think about this. Obama is a real X-factor in this race. All we know about him is that he's a great, charismatic speaker. But really, when it comes down to it, who the hell is he? He's like the Manchurian Candidate. Smart, politically savvy, everyone loves him, and he's a media darling, but -- what is there to him?
And Hillary had better not win the nomination, that's just a fact. She cannot win the election, and quite frankly, I don't want her to win, and I might even vote against her. But I've already stated my views on Hillary.
The point is that Edwards looks to me more and more like a serious candidate with a shot in hell at winning. And one that I would like to see win, which I can't say about Kerry in 2004. Unless somebody fabulous like Barbara Boxer comes into the race in the next few months, I think I'm set on Edwards.