The blow-dried Kingfish | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The blow-dried Kingfish

Posted By on Tue, Jan 1, 2008 at 3:23 PM

unknown.jpg

Entering to the strains of Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising,” John Edwards started an Iowa State University campus event pretty much on time, an exception for the almost always late Edwards.  About 250 folks were on hand to hear his “Marathon for the Middle Class” closing argument.   And, as promised, the former trial lawyer gave a full-voiced populist attack on the “corporate greed [that] is destroying the middle class…and is stealing your children’s future.”

In the speech, Edwards—introduced by his wife, Elizabeth, and the first lady of Iowa—described the“epic fight” with insurance companies, drug companies, oil and gas companies, and other “entrenched monied interests” that only he could lead.  Most tellingly, Edwards said that negotiation with those interests “will never happen when I am president.”  In the 25 minute speech, Edwards used the word “fight” dozens of times.  His rhetoric made obvious just how soft the populist language being used by Obama and Clinton in their closing arguments. 

Most recent Democratic presidential candidates for president who have employed populist themes, e.g. Dick Gephardt, have tended to focus on labor organizations as the instruments through which change would come.   Edwards, the trial lawyer, presents a post-union populism recognizing that unions will never be a force in American life.   It makes sense that this son of the South—where unions have never taken hold—would see other means of creating this change, a la Huey Long.  And, in the South, trial lawyers have often been that force, although the justice has been a bit more ad hoc than is the case with organized labor. 

At the close of the speech, the themes of Edwards’s 2004 “two Americas” speech came back in.   In 2004, Edwards was unclear how those two Americas would become “one.”   Now, he’s clear: only a hard-nosed fight against those in keeping Americans divided by wealth will produce that change.

After the speech, Edwards did a press availability where questions focused on process, particularly the degree to which Edwards delegate numbers can grow through gaining second choice votes.   The Edwards campaign thinks that most of the second choice votes will come from nonviability candidates (like Richardson, Biden, and Dodd), but they also have hopes in rural areas of picking up votes from the less organized Clinton.

The countdown to Thursday night begins.


Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by jaybarth

  • Office space

    My fellow travelers and I had a little field trip today that was incredibly insightful into the cultures of a handful of the campaigns, including those of the three Democratic frontrunners.  And, the differences in the office cultures are indicative of the stylistic differences of the candidates more generally.  For a good piece on those differences, go here.
    • Jan 2, 2008
  • The turnout game

    Before a flurry of activities begin later in the day, we're having a little down time to catch up on sleep, recaffeinate, and generally gird ourselves for the intensity of the next 36 hours.   The candidates are all over the state today before reconverging on Des Moines for events this evening.  Of course, while a lot of attention has been paid to the last round of polls (especially the well-respected Des Moines Register poll that's been critiqued heavily by the trailing Edwards and Clinton campaigns), tomorrow night is really about how many turn out and which demographic groups turn out.   For comparison, in 2004, while it's a little unclear exactly how many Democrats participated, it probably was just under 120,000.  We have to go back to 2000 to get a decent comparative number on the GOP side; that year, about 90,000 votes were cast.   Go to the jump for an analysis of how varying turnouts could affect the leading candidates.
    • Jan 2, 2008
  • The turnout game

    Before a flurry of activities begin later in the day, we're having a little down time to catch up on sleep, recaffeinate, and generally gird ourselves for the intensity of the next 36 hours.   The candidates are all over the state today before reconverging on Des Moines for events this evening.  Of course, while a lot of attention has been paid to the last round of polls (especially the well-respected Des Moines Register poll that's been critiqued heavily by the trailing Edwards and Clinton campaigns), tomorrow night is really about how many turn out and which demographic groups turn out.   For comparison, in 2004, while it's a little unclear exactly how many Democrats participated, it probably was just under 120,000.  We have to go back to 2000 to get a decent comparative number on the GOP side; that year, about 90,000 votes were cast.   Go to the jump for an analysis of how varying turnouts could affect the leading candidates.
    • Jan 2, 2008
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Mitch Landrieu on the removal of Confederate tributes in New Orleans

    You want to hear the words of a strong mayor? Read the speech delivered by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu on the removal of the last of four Lost Cause tributes in the city. THIS is a strong mayor. Brilliant.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017

Slideshows

  • Arkansas vs Ole Miss at War Memorial stadium in Little Rock, Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018. After leading for much of the game, Arkansas lost 37-33 when Ole Miss scored the game winning Touchdown with less that 2 minutes left. 
  • Margaret Clark Adventure Park
    New sculptures, preschoolers play area dedicated in Riverfront Park in Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation