2008: Edwards - Day 2
Dem contender John Edwards truly gained the upper hand over his 2008 rivals with a whirlwind day of campaigning today in New Hampshire. Raucous cheers coming from overflow crowds at most of his Granite State events shows that, although initially written off by many (okay...PB included) as a Dem has-been, JRE is the new comeback kid. Well - at least early on.
Over a year ahead of the nation's first presidential primary, so many voters turned out Friday to hear Democratic hopeful John Edwards' call for a new spirit of American activism on problems ranging from poverty to global warming that hundreds were left standing outside in freezing temperatures.
Nearly a quarter of the crowd of more than 800 were unable to squeeze into the elementary school cafeteria where Edwards was to speak.
The former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee ended up giving his introductory remarks outside, using a microphone that broadcast his voice inside, before heading indoors.
"What we're asking is for you, the people of New Hampshire, not to wait for the next election to take responsibility," he said. "Identifying a problem and talking about hope is talking about tomorrow. We can't wait until tomorrow."
At his events and in his many TV appearances throughout the day, Edwards showed that he has learned a lot from his brief run in '04 and his dismal ride with the derailed Kerry campaign. While in his announcement speech and some other events he remained the stilted and smirking trial lawyer working to steal your money, his TV spots and Q&A's with supporters were considerably more realistic and powerful. You must admit that he has the ability to charm a lot of people.
But can the southern heartthrob really win the Dem nomination in this year of moderation and giant juggernauts (i.e. Hillary and Obama) with a new leftist ideology and a grassroots/Deaniac/techie campaign?
If his first day is any indication, John Edwards will be running a very different kind of campaign than he did three years ago — one that just might help him stand out among the dozen presidential wannabes who will be all over Iowa and New Hampshire in the next several months.
The press was raving how Edwards drew more to his NH events than even Barack. Can this teeming adulation last? Or is his posse simply stuffing the events with hungry Granite Staters looking to get out of the semi-cold?
JRE must be moving up the '08 ranks if he can get right-wingers angry about his new country estate.