Folks, color me shocked. The Washington Post has a story about John Edwards that actually gets HIM. Starting with...
His demeanor is more serious and his elbows far sharper than four years ago.
and ending with....
When asked about those two candidates, Edwards offers a stock response: "I'm just honestly keeping my head down and doing my work." But at the end of a long day, he also added, "I've never worked harder in my life."
this article GETS Edwards in every way. That last sentence, by the way, should scare the crap out of the competition. This is the John Edwards that won every courtcase by OUTWORKING the competition, who said the key to being a great lawyer wasn't being the smartest or the best orator, but being the one who is willing to still be up at 10pm on Saturday working on closing arguments.
And, THIS is the hardest he's ever worked. I think everyone is in for a surprise when the fundraising numbers come through, because I imagine John Edwards working like no candidate has before to raise money from all sorts of donors, big, small, and micro.
More after the break.
The article also gives lots of information about Edwards standing up to the Fox debates, which resulted in their being cancelled - Go Dems!
In the interview, Edwards said the activists' concerns had no influence on his decision. "I saw the list of debates that we had and the list of things we're doing specific in Nevada, and I said, 'Why are we doing Fox?' I said, 'No, tell them no.' " Asked whether he knew about the bloggers' concerns, Edwards said, "I didn't personally know, no."
He called on Saturday to say: "The correct answer to that is I was generically aware that the Net-roots hates Fox. I did not know about any specific activity about this."
When I told John Edwards that his use of "escalation" had stirred the netroots, that they considered that one of "their" words, he genuinely seemed to have no idea. His response was an instant, "Well, that's what it is!" So, on one hand HE ISN'T reading the net, his wife is, his staff is, but he isn't. On the other hand, he's thinking like us - naturally.
There is lots of good information in the article. Bob Shrum says...
"I think he has a strategy to meet the party where it is," said veteran strategist Robert Shrum, who was an adviser when Edwards first ran for the Senate in 1998. "It's a party that wants fundamental change, not just in Iraq but on issues like health care. He's going to meet the voters where they are. I think he believes, and I think he's correct, that the old strategy of triangulation won't work in Democratic primaries -- and certainly won't work for him."
And, why the difference?
Edwards's moves have raised eyebrows inside the party among those who wonder whether the differences indicate a genuine evolution or pure political calculation.
"Some of what is being characterized in that way is the result of me being strong and clear about where I stand and not being soft and muddy," Edwards said during an interview Friday after a day of campaigning in western Iowa. "I think that we're in a place in American history where any serious presidential candidate and the president of the United States need to be clear what they want to do for the country."
But in the next breath he defended himself as someone whose compass has remained fixed. "I should make absolutely clear: Nothing has changed about John Edwards as a human being and my value system," he said. "It's exactly the same as it's always been, which is wanting to give people the chances that I've had."
I know that I am MUCH more excited by John Edwards this year than I thought I would be, I assumed I would support him, but his stances, his approach, it has energized me.
I can't wait for the debates, I just hope by then that many of the long-shot candidates have dropped out, so we can have a more focused and substantial debate.