Edwards: Pluses & Minuses

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AP Photo EdwardsPresidential candidate John Kerry's choice of 1st time Senator John Edwards as his V.P. candidate and running mate will likely not harm Kerry's campaign any more than any other choice Kerry could have made. Edwards brings many pluses and two important minuses for those whose decision may be swayed by Kerry's choice one way or another by his VP choice.

Edwards has a public charisma and is eloquent in his public speaking. Edwards has an astute mind capable of debate and via his legal training as a trial lawyer, has the capacity to decipher basic, central issues amidst a flurry of chatter, spin, and political hyperbole. His recognition of the dual caste society of have's and have-not's under Bush's slow and tepid economic recovery struck a chord with workers around the country and especially in the South where manufacturing jobs have not recovered. This recognition is an example of Edward's ability to sift to the underlying basic issue which voters are concerned about.

Edwards also has a southern accent having been raised in the South, and comes from working class beginnings. According to some pundits, this will serve as a plus for Kerry's campaign in November and in some key battle states like Florida. Kerry's professional career has focused on assisting and serving the common working person and this will resonate with workers as well. There are considerable pluses which will likely add some measure of votes to the Kerry campaign in November.

In the minus column Edwards has little experience in federal Government serving now only his first term in the Senate. He has no foreign policy experience to speak of and has held no executive positions of note in his life. Should he ascend to the Presidency through the unfortunate incapacitation of President Kerry, his role as Commander in Chief will be scrutinized, criticized, and possibly even undermined by his lack of experience in these areas.

More damaging for the Kerry campaign however, is Edwards status as a wealthy investor who stands to gain considerably if a host of major corporations and businesses profit during his tenure. For third party and independent voters, Edwards adds nothing to the credibility of the Kerry campaign to perform the duties of office with the welfare of the nation and the majority of its people uncompromised by personal and special corporate interests.

The GOP is wasting no time going on the attack, if one can call it that, with a 60 second ad which portrays Edwards as Kerry's second choice. I personally see the potential damage in this. Kerry's willingness to consider McCain and attempt to bridge the divisiveness which is diminishing Congress's ability to function and splitting Americans across the country into heated political warfare portraying Americans as enemies of Americans was a shrewd and noble move on Kerry's part, I thought. McCain having rejected the idea out of hand simply diminished my respect for McCain, while knocking my respect for Kerry up a notch. Nonetheless, this ad portends the GOP's determination to make Kerry's VP choice a liability to Kerry's campaing in any way it possibly can.

Much discussion is taking place on TV political shows about the increased role of the vice president, some even characterizing the role as having become a co-presidency under the Bush/Cheney administration. There is merit to the argument, but, whether the role of co-presidency by Dick Cheney was one of necessity is not in doubt. With a President such as George W. Bush, plain spoken simple guy that he portrays himself to be, a strong leader such as Dick Cheney as co-president was made necessary by the President's deficiencies, in this writer's opinion. Regretfully, Dick Cheney's agenda as co-president was not bound by the oath of presidential office and thus Cheney has in many ways pursued agendas such as Haliburton's no competitive bid appointment to Iraq war support, in place of obligations to hold American tax payer costs to an appropriate minimum.

It remains to be seen if Sen. John Edwards will serve as co-president under Kerry, but, it would appear from Kerry's experience and career in government that the need to depend upon his vice president will not be as necessary as President Bush's has been. In all, it appears to this writer that Kerry's choice will add more than it detracts from his campaign. But, the proof will be in the November 2 returns.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on July 6, 2004 5:10 PM.

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