Friday, January 25, 2008

Raleigh N&O Flacks For John Edwards

Syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer tells readers today [excerpts]:

[Former Senator John] Edwards has made much of his renunciation of his Iraq war vote. But he has not stopped there.

His entire campaign has been an orgy of regret and renunciation:

As senator, he voted in 2001 for a bankruptcy bill that he now denounces.

As senator, he voted for storing nuclear waste in Nevada's Yucca Mountain. Twice. He is now fiercely opposed.

As senator, he voted for the Bush-Kennedy No Child Left Behind education reform. He now campaigns against it, promising to have it "radically overhauled."

As senator, he voted for the Patriot Act, calling it "a good bill . . . and I am pleased to support it." He now attacks it.

As senator, he voted to give China normalized trade relations. …

He now campaigns against liberalized trade with China as a sellout of the middle class to the great multinational agents of greed, etc.

Breathtaking. People can change their minds about something. But everything? …

What is different about Edwards is his endlessly repeated claim that the raging populist of today is what he has always been. That this has been the "cause of my life," the very core of his being, ingrained in him on his father's knee or at the mill or wherever, depending on the anecdote he's telling. You must understand: This is not politics for him. "This fight is deeply personal to me. I've been engaged in it my whole life." …

The audacity of the all-my-life trope is staggering. By his own endlessly self-confessed record, his current pose is a coat of paint newly acquired. His claim that it is an expression of his inner soul is a farce.

A cynical farce that is particularly galling to authentic and principled left-liberals. "The one [presidential candidate] that is the most problematic is Edwards," Sen. Russ Feingold told the Post-Crescent in Appleton, Wis., "who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war. . . . He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record."

It profits a man nothing to sell his soul for the whole world. But for 4 percent of the Nevada caucuses?

Now take a look at some of what the Raleigh News & Observer’s Rob Christensen reports today on its front page. The story begins :
The speeches this week end with a poignant moment: Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards joins hands with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley to lead the crowds in singing "Amazing Grace."

The music of Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys now has more prominence than "The Rising" by New Jersey rocker Bruce Springsteen, the unofficial campaign anthem at Edwards' rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire.

The campaign's tone has also changed as Edwards has returned to his native state for Saturday's South Carolina Democratic primary. Edwards' basic message of the need for "economic fairness" remains. But some of the edge has been rounded off.

In front of politically moderate South Carolina Democrats, Edwards no longer uses phrases such as "corporate greed" or talks about corporations stealing children's futures.

Instead, Edwards emphasizes his Southern roots and his understanding of small towns where textile mills have closed and of the decline of rural America. And he promises never to forget these people if he gets to the White House.

"No one has to explain to me what happens when the factories and the mills close and the jobs leave," Edwards said in Lancaster. "That is the difference of having a president who comes from here, who understands what is happening here. ... I will not forget where I came from when I'm president."

Edwards comes from a career as a trial lawyer which made him a multi-millionaire and enabled his to recently build a 30, 000 sq. ft. house. But the N&O’s story doesn’t mention that.

The N&O continues:

Edwards has struggled against the better-funded campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama in the first three contests, in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada. …
After first saying he wouldn’t do it, Edwards applied for public funding of his campaign. He’s received millions in taxpayer dollars.

The N&O’s story doesn’t mention that but it does go on to serve up this home cookin’

"I remember very well going to Friday night high school football games," Edwards said in Lancaster. "I played in a few myself. I remember going to church Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night. I know very well what your lives are like and are built around."

Edwards strikes a chord with some voters in the hard-hit upstate textile belt.

"He can relate to the cotton mill people," said Glenn Fuller, 57, a retired highway patrolman from Gaffney. "He knows about how we're raised, the values of the South."

Norman Hutto, 57, a retired state employee from Gaffney, said Edwards understands the region's economic problems. "He has a sense of what life is like around here," Hutto said.

The N&O serves up more home cookin’. It’s all here.

Krauthammer’s column is here.

A while back I complained to an N&O editor that the paper flacks for Edwards.

“Oh, no,” the editor replied. “If anything, we’re a little tougher on Edwards then the other candidates because we want to be careful not to seem to be giving him a break.”

Well, yeah. And the N&O also says it’s “fair and accurate.”

Hat tip: Mike Williams


bill anderson said...

Remember, the N&O flacked for Crystal Mangum a couple of years ago. Guess they recognize a good prostitute and pay homage.

Anonymous said...

It is passing strange that any thinking person can take Edwards for anything but a pathetic, foppish ambulance chaser. He has absolutely no principles--as we can see by his total dishonesty about his own voting record. I think it was Ann Coulter who was accused of calling him a "queer;" she later apologized for insulting gay people. He and the N&O deserve each other.

Anonymous said...

On the bright side, this type of lying is nothing new to politics but it is now much harder to get away with it. Even if the MSM will allow it, the new media won't.

Debrah said...

This letter is in the H-S today, one which I wrote in reply to a column written by Duke Gang of 88 William Chafe.

The Santa from New England is still trying to promote radical behavior which he did so well during the Lacrosse Hoax.

My hope is that people everywhere will confront the Duke Gang whenever they take to a forum to spew their bigotry and archaic views.

(I was very surprised, really, that Ashley allowed someone to criticize one of his 88 buddies.)


Obama transformative

I was amused by the feverish effort put forth by Professor William Chafe [Forum, Jan. 20] as he attempted to whip up the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. into one more akin to Malcolm X. Even Malcolm evolved into a more moderate position once he moved away from radical Islam.

Education is a powerful thing. Pity so many in the academy are hermetically sealed inside a 1960s bell jar.

The difficulty that Chafe and his ilk will have for the duration is that the thoughtful, intelligent and truly educated people of good will are not buying his brand of tired and overblown rhetoric any longer.

We were all treated to an alarming dose of Chafe's illogical histrionics when he wrote a column comparing the lacrosse hoax with the case of Emmett Till.

King never said that white men or anyone of any other race should be saddled and framed for a crime that never occurred just so bitter, opportunistic people can exercise their perversions and their own racist hatreds.

Barack Obama is a threat to this soiled and obsolete mindset. He is able to reach across all self-imposed borders which many wish to construct.

Obama is a charismatic, transforming and able man who more than anyone on the political stage exemplifies how much progress this country has made and the true goals of MLK Jr.

Those who cannot or will not evolve will be left behind -- as they should be.


Tarheel Hawkeye said...

Debrah: Nice letter. But, do you honestly believe Obama is all you say, or are you enamored of him simply because KC is an Obama fan?

Debrah said...

TO 10:17 AM--


A little of both, I should admit.

KC is my baby.

On a more serious note, it is mandatory that the Clinton disease of the 90's be put out to pasture.

Even some very staunch Republicans are impressed with Obama. One acquaintance of mine who is 20 years my senior likes Obama a lot.

He's not an ordinary candidate and that's what scares the filthy Clintons.

Obama is the only hope.

Edwards is pathetic.

JWM said...

Dear Bill,

I wonder if the N&O has ever reported more than once and in passing that Edwards campaign is publicly financed and that he'd promised not to take public money?

Anon @ 3:47,

I don't go with Coulter playing the gay card.

I agree Edwards hasn't demonstrated any political principles other then the "elect me" principle.

Anon @ 6:07,

You're right. It's nothing new and that it's harder for them to get away with it is a "bright side."


You're letter is first-rate.

I plan to include it in a post tomorrow.

To Tarheel Hawkeye and Debrah,

You've provided an exchange people can think about.

Carolina Kennedy in an NYT op-ed on 1/27 says things which bear on what you're talking about.

Thank you to you all,