Run­ning left

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

“It wasn’t very long ago that I wrote in this space that, in the ar­gu­ment as to whether the Demo­cratic con­test for pres­i­dent is a twop­er­son or a three-per­son race, I was a mem­ber of the ‘John Ed­wards is in the Demo­cratic top tier’ camp,” Stu­art Rothen­berg says in Roll Call.

“I ar­gued his strength in Iowa, clear mes­sage and per­sonal ap­peal make the for­mer North Carolina sen­a­tor a se­ri­ous con­tender for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion, though not quite the equal of Sens. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) in the Demo­cratic sweep­stakes,” Mr. Rothen­berg said.

“I see no rea­son to change that view, but I’ll ad­mit I’m scratch­ing my head more of­ten at Ed­wards’ seem­ingly in­sa­tiable de­sire to run to the left — far to the left — of ev­ery­one in the Demo­cratic race with the pos­si­ble ex­cep­tion of Rep. Den­nis Kucinich (Ohio).

“In­creas­ingly, po­lit­i­cal ob­servers are whis­per­ing that Ed­wards seems to be run­ning much as for­mer Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) did in 2004, woo­ing or­ga­nized la­bor and re­cy­cling a class­war­fare mes­sage. Of course, I’m not sug­gest­ing that Ed­wards’ mes­sage is en­tirely new — in the pre­vi­ous cy­cle, his ‘two Amer­i­cas’ theme ad­dressed is­sues of class and race as well — only that, of the cred­i­ble can­di­dates, Ed­wards has filled the ‘Gephardt slot’ in the cur­rent race.

“While al­most ev­ery­one has nice things to say about the for­mer Mis­souri law­maker per­son­ally, and Gephardt has his share of loy­al­ists, he fin­ished a dis­ap­point­ing fourth in Iowa last time, some­thing Ed­wards pre­sum­ably hopes to avoid.”

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