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The Man to Defeat George W. Bush: John Edwards
April 27, 2002
By Prion

Editor's Note: Democratic Underground welcomes articles promoting individual Democratic candidates for political office. Publication of these articles does not imply endorsement of any candidate by the editors of Democratic Underground.

Many of you have probably seen the Presidential Preference polls. Usually Gore is in first place with a simple plurality, Hillary Clinton is second, Tom Daschle is third and the rest are below. Usually there is one guy in last place or near last place that most of you have never heard of. His name is John Edwards. What you do not know about John Edwards is that he has what it takes to defeat George W. Bush.

Who is John Edwards? John Edwards is the junior Senator from North Carolina. He has been described as having the combined political skills of John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton. He has also been described by Time magazine as the “Democrats’ New Golden Boy” and as the “Sexiest Politician” by People Magazine. He has also been described by Republicans as Bill Clinton without the scandal. John Edwards has what it takes to be president. He has charisma, personality, southern charm and is a telegenic centrist. Being an authentic southerner, John Edwards has the ability to win back the south and energize the Democratic base and win over moderates, to produce a winning coalition.

According to Bush Administration officials, John Edwards would be the most formidable candidate to challenge them in 2004. He is a fresher face than Gore, more moderate than Hillary Clinton or John Kerry, and more charismatic than Tom Daschle or Dick Gephardt.

Is a fresh face important? Since the civil war, several major party candidates have run multiple times for president. Of them, only one, Richard Nixon, ever became president. Those same polls that show Gore ahead of all Democrats, Hillary Clinton behind him and Tom Daschle behind her, show that if any known Democrat ran against George Bush, he or she would cause a massive defection of “Bush Democrats,” leading to a Bush landslide victory. Clearly, we do need a fresh face.

Is ideology important? Well think about it. Since 1968 five liberals have run for President and all lost. One won very few states and another won only one state. If you combine all five liberal candidates, three southern states were won. President Clinton ran as a moderate and broke the Democrat’s loosing streak in Presidential politics. He had huge Electoral College victories and won a total of thirteen southern states. A liberal cannot win the south. This is not opinion, this is proven fact.

Is charisma important? If you look at every Presidential race since 1980, the winner was much more charismatic than their opponent. Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Bush were all more charismatic than their opponents. People vote for people they like, not people they dislike, even if they think that the person they dislike has better ideas.

John Edwards gained Senate fame when he defended President Clinton during his Senate trial. He gained press fame when he made Al Gore’s short list for a running mate. And he made enemies when he humiliated right-wing extremist and Bush nominee to the federal bench Charles Pickering, and crushed the nomination. When the primaries come around, John Edwards will need to gain fame with base Democrats if we are to see 2004 be a repeat of 1992.

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