Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Edwards will announce later this month

John Edwards will be a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for president, according to the AP.
Edwards, who represented North Carolina in the Senate for six years, plans to make the campaign announcement late this month from the New Orleans neighborhood hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina last year and slow to recover from the storm.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they did not want to pre-empt Edwards' announcement.
It's become fashionable in the progressive blog world to declare that one is not going to take sides, but reserve the right to comment upon, object to and (my personal favorite,) ridicule statements made by prospective candidates. Which is all fine and dandy.

NPI's official position is that we most likely won't endorse a candidate in the primary, although that could change if circumstances change.

(Yes, that's a somewhat inconvenient position, but we don't even know for sure yet who might decide to get in the race.)

At any rate, my personal, non-official position is that Edwards deserves a good, long look by progressives. Yeah, okay, he'll be attacked for being a lawyer who tended to sue large corporations rather than defend them, but the insane right will just make stuff up and Jeff Greenfield will make "botched jokes" about any Democrat that starts to gain traction in any case.

The obvious factors that warrant a long look are Edwards' progressive populist message, his smart, lovely and articulate spouse, and frankly the Edwards' life story. Maybe the latter two shouldn't be such big factors, but the media environment is unlikely to change much in the next two years, however much we wish it would.

As for Edwards' southerness, which many list as another strength, I think it's fine but not crucial. This year's mid-terms clearly showed the way forward for Democrats is through the west.

Picking off a state or two in the south wouldn't hurt, but people who are told every Sunday that Democrats kill babies aren't likely to suddenly start voting for any kind of Democrat, southern or otherwise. That could change, however, as the war in Iraq goes on and the Republicans start looking at a massive nationwide defeat.

There's some chance that the GOP will only be able to count on a few states in the 2008 presidential race. Utah, Texas and Georgia come to mind. But for now we must assume the electoral map will more closely resemble the 2004 version rather than some kind of 1984-in-reverse.

As for the question thrown around lately about whether the U.S. would elect an African-American or a woman, or even an African-American woman, my opinion is yes, but only under the exact right circumstances.

The circumstances are that the woman, or African-American, or African-American woman, would need to be a cabinet level official with a love of classical music who is never held responsible for policy disasters during her tenure. Offhand, I can't think of anyone on the Democratic side that meets those criteria.

Which leaves, at this point, Edwards.

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