Monday, February 11, 2008

Good post-mortem on the Edwards campaign

Ther's a lot of meat in this analysis, so I'll just quote a snippet.

Typical was this horrible editorial by the Nation, which didn't endorse a candidate (Obama) until Edwards had dropped out of the race. The Nation's editors praised JRE's partisanship and populism, noting that he was "the only leading candidate to connect the war and the home front, bravely arguing that an ambitious domestic agenda would require cuts to the military budget." But what, according to the Nation, was the argument against him? He wasn't getting enough support! Around and around we go.

He has not managed to consolidate the traditional Democratic base, and while he has loyal supporters among organized labor, he has not sewn up union support across the board, nor has he excited a cohort of previously disenfranchised voters. Perhaps some have been turned off by the media's relentless fixation on the "three H's"--haircuts, hedge funds and houses--symbols of the gap between his populist rhetoric and his lifestyle.

Do you see what happened? JRE wasn't consolidating the base partly because of crappy MSM coverage, and rather than counter the crappy coverage, the leading liberal publication (and part of the base) cited his failure to consolidate the base as reason not to support him. The Nation let the MSM select our candidates.

The author also points out that the blogosphere didn't rally around Edwards because a lot of mainstream bloggers aren't as opposed to free trade (aren't "economic liberals"), and so didn't glom on to Edwards' strident fair trade message. For the record, this blogger is about as economically liberal as you can get, and I was very much attracted to Edwards' fair trade message. Trade was something that made me gravitate toward Kucinich as well.