Monday, February 09, 2004

I went to see John Edwards Friday night here in Knoxville. Overflow crowd. Standard stump speech, which is to say, awfully good. I tried to get Glenn Instapundit Reynolds to go with me, and even tried to get the candidate for an Instapundit bloggerview [I just made that up; pretty good, huh?], but we couldn't get it set up on short notice. Glenn then decided to veg out instead.

What I like about Edwards is (a) his message, which promotes hope for the future and the democratic concept of helping those that need a helping hand; (b) his positioning, which is as close to Clinton 1992 as any candidate in this race; and (c) his electibility, which is the strongest in the field. I also think it's cool that he plays Creedence Clearwater Revival/John Fogerty out of his tour bus.

Unfortunately, the tracking numbers don't look good for Edwards, who could really use a win here in Tennessee or in Virginia. On the other hand, Edwards has been endorsed by the Union of Needletrades, Industrial, and Textile Employees, 500,000 strong.

Interestingly, it's all perception. In terms of delegate count, Kerry has about 400, and Edwards has 116:

Going into Maine's caucuses, Kerry had captured 409 delegates, compared with 174 for Dean, 116 for Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, 82 for retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, 12 for New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton and two for Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. To win the nomination, a candidate needs 2,161 delegates

Not an insurmountable lead, especially with 75% of the delegates yet to be chosen. Question: why is the media portraying this as a done deal for Kerry? Don't they know that when they say it, that makes it true? And, it doesn't make sense; it's a much better story if the nomination continues to be contested. Example: "Each needs a primary victory in Virginia or in neighboring Tennessee to slow the Kerry juggernaut, reports CBS News Correspondent Joie Chen. " Since when is Joie Chen the last word on electoral politics?

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