Yes, to call Edwards the “Oprah” candidate could be slightly demeaning I think, but I also think it accurately describes the visceral level to which Edwards is trying to appeal to Democratic voters, something he must do to continue the momentum of a second-place Iowa finish (first would have been best, of course, and Obama is the justifiable frontrunner at the moment, but all of this could change one way or another in a short time).
(By the way, Klein mentions Sandy Lakey in his column, and this notes that Edwards defended the Lakeys in their suit against Sta-Rite, the company that manufactured the defective pool drain that disemboweled the Lakeys’ young daughter Valerie.)
As Klein so accurately notes…
Where other campaigns routinely feature outside politicians and famed surrogates, Edwards is more likely to tour with the sort of guests you'd see on daytime talk: Ordinary people who have undergone extraordinary hardship. Where the other candidates closed their Iowa campaigns with sincere speeches laying out the arguments for their candidacies, Edwards ran a commercial where a burly Iowan spoke emotionally of the moment when Edwards leaned down, stared his seven-year-old son in the eyes, and promised to fight for his father's job.Boy, does it ever. Witness this nonsense from the New York Times over the weekend…
This irritates the Press Corps. It's schmaltzy and raw.
Mr. Edwards has a strong populist message, but it sounds a bit odd coming from a former tort lawyer and hedge fund executive who ran as a completely different person in 2004. One of his ads features an out-of-work Maytag employee who said Mr. Edwards promised his 7-year-old son: “I’m going to keep fighting for your daddy’s job.” We’re still waiting for Mr. Edwards to explain how he, or any politician, can turn back the tide of economics and globalization. We’d prefer if he explained how to make it work for all Americans.That's a particularly snotty and elitist observation given the gory job numbers from last month and the depressing economic forecast for this year (neither of which is the fault of the American workforce, as usual, but due to cyclical economics exacerbated by corporate greed and malfeasance).
And Bob Herbert (who definitely should know better) pronounced the Edwards candidacy as “all but literally on its knees” here (and speaking of “the old gray lady,” it looks like their “new hire” had a problem today).
With all of this in mind, here is a post from Prof. Marcus over the weekend that links to a fine analysis by Daily Kos diarist JedReport concerning the extend to which Edwards is covered (ignored?) in the media.
I’m doing what I can to help Edwards finish no lower than second in New Hampshire, setting the stage for a must-win South Carolina primary. Will it work? Nobody knows. But I can tell you right now that our dear corporate media cousins, many of whom have names made of initials, will be just tickled to death if it doesn’t.
And all I’m going to say concerning the Repugs and New Hampshire is that I’m going to laugh my ass off if somehow “Senator Honor And Virtue” loses, because you can’t go to the bathroom or wind your watch these days without someone predicting that he’s going to win.