Elizabeth said thats not how John Edwards will campaign if he gets the nomination, she noted the Democrats didn’t air one ad in North Carolina in 2004. They were up in Louisiana for about two seconds.
She went on, “They didn’t run one ad in Tennessee, because Al Gore didn’t carry it in 2000. Kansas? Thomas Frank wrote a whole book about What’s the Matter with Kansas. And Oklahoma, what state could be more Republican than Oklahoma? OK Montana.”
“But all those states have Democratic governors. Democrats can win all across this country. OK, maybe John won’t win Utah.”
“But I know the Red Sox won’t win if they don’t show up in Colorado, that maybe the only way they don’t win. You can’t win if you don’t show up. You can’t spot the other team 40 points.”
This is absolutely right in my judgment. The geographical Red/Blue divide is often much less pronounced than it has been made out to be, the electoral maps in the 1990’s elections don’t look exactly like the 2000’s. Edwards message of economic populism, and of course, dissatisfaction with the war, has the opportunity to cut into Republican leads in enough rural and exurban voters to throw entire new states into the mix. There’s no reason the thread the needle if you don’t have to.
Earlier in her speech Elizabeth had recounted the now familiar story about John’s father’s career as a Mill Worker. She added one element I hadn’t heard before, after working his way up coming straight out of high school to being a manager in the plant, John’s father Wallace was forced out because he didn’t have a college education. He continued to work as a consultant, but couldn’t get health care due to a pre-existing condition. That forced his mother to quit the antique finishing business she ran to find a job with health benefits, which happened to be a union job as a postal carrier.
Elizabeth related this part of the story in reference to Edwards universal health care plan, which she promised would mean that, “No American will ever have to leave a job they love or stay in a job they hate because of health coverage again.”
As a policy point, this is a huge selling point for universal health care both as an efficiency gain allowing American workers greater opportunity to seek their highest potential and as a pure freedom and economic security issue for every family. As a political point, I think it is the Edwards’s personal connection to these issues that give John Edwards the real potential to reach into so-called red states and turn them blue.
On another note, health coverage is personal to Elizabeth and John because of Elizabeth’s fight with breast cancer. Elizabeth, in response from a compliment about how well she looked, and she did look good, said she expects to see the high school graduation of her children including the seven year old in contrast to the whispering campaign that she is too sick for John to run or be President.
Cross posted at Boston for Edwards
Update: Video via Youtube
Now that website is going to take you into an “incredible” journey that will most likely cause you as a rational and well grounded human to dismiss as total nonsense. Still I take at face value his concept that the United States in the very, very near future goes from fifty states down to five. Any number of futurist scenarios given our current “government” would lead to similar logical conclusions.
I like Dean’s concept of a Democratic 50 state strategy. It was proven out in the last round of congressional races (we stole some seats in Red states – alas trying to keep those seats by failing to challenge Bush has created a stalled and ineffective Congress).
However, I don’t believe that it works in a presidential race. Reading that Mrs. Edwards thinks the fact that we didn’t spend campaign resources in North Carolina or Ten is a factor in losses in 2000 and 2004 saddens me somewhat.
If a Democratic nominee / ticket can’t win their own home state (s) and loses the election, we have to seriously question the candidates. Voters in most states recognize that having the President or VP elected from your state should be a benefit. ( CT and MA voters got the concept in 2000 and 2004)
Let’s face it, Gore wins Ten and we never hear about hanging chads in FL. Edwards lost his home state in 2004 and appears unable to carry it in this election but we are supposed to buy into a presidential campaign plan that spends resources in Red states.
Makes for a great campaign rally speech but poor campaign operations policy.
By the time of the convention, the playing field is frankly set. There will be some variation on which states can be won, but in any case the nominee will be wasting time in campaigning in Alaska.
It’s the DNC’s job to find the issues and message, and put in the resources, to expand the map. By August 2008, the states will largely be set. Now, we can debate which candidate opens up the field the most (not a debate where I see Edwards succeeding), but it is nice to see Elizabeth embracing Howard Dean’s ideas 4 year after her husband did what he could to end his campaign.
I was there too, I didn’t realize you were there. Next time introduce yourself, I’m always holding a cheap mini-DV on a stick. Are you going to the Edwards event in Exeter at the Exeter Town Hall at 4:45 pm on Monday?
And I think she’s actually wrong, with them out there campaigning all over and doing crazy stuff like telling the truth we might just steal Utah.
Hey, I’m OK not running ads in Wyoming and Utah. But, here’s the list of states which have gone Dem at least once since 1976.
I’m not arguing for the same per capita spending in each of those states, and obviously there’s some synergy to be gained if there are good gov, sen, or house races. Sure, the south seems to be solid GOP [esp GA and LA] right now, but it seems that WV, KY, TN, VA, and NC are all soft, and if the DCCC could get some Dems running competitive races in VA, even moreso.
Bottom line? How about a 40 state strategy. Or, how about a candidate pledge to spend 10% of donations form a state back in that state? Sure NY and CA probably don’t need the ad coverage, but the candidate could even make sure it “bled” into PA/NJ and OR/NV/AZ if need be. Just blabbering.