Friday, January 4, 2008

"A Messenger of Determination"

I can only imagine what would have happened if John Edwards had given this speech to Barack Obama's young and cheering crowd at Hoover High School two nights ago.

According to CNN's extensive entrance polling for last night's Iowa Caucus, 52% of voters made up their mind based on which candidate they thought could "bring about change." Of that group, 51% chose Barack Obama; Clinton and Edwards pulled 22% and 20% from that crowed respectively.

As I went to sleep last night I wondered if the Iowa Caucus changed my opinions about Barack Obama. Specifically, after a (big) win for Obama here it looks like he's going to have tremendous, perhaps unstoppable, momentum going into New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada. Because of the secret ballot format of Iowa Republicans in the caucus process, candidates like Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Fred Thompson are still able to continue campaigning after mixed to poor results last night. On the Democratic side, candidates like Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, and Chris Dodd pulled only 3% of the vote last night despite having a 16% share of the Iowa vote in polls before the caucus. The unfortunate result of the Iowa preference squeeze is the withdrawal of Dodd and Biden, as well as what seems a deathblow to Richardson's campaign.

What Edwards did last night in his post-caucus speech was to redefine his campaign?recommitting himself to working class Americans, providing an unparalleled health care system for all, and fighting to end corporate greed and abuse. They were points he's made for months, but Edwards delivered a ten minute confirmation of purpose for both his campaign and his life, and did more than tout his will to 'change,' he touched the crowd by laying out specifics about the problems that he saw and what he wanted to change.

What besides his frequent mentioning of the word makes Obama any more capable of being an agent for change? Doesn't Edwards have the conviction, the personal and political experience, and the unsurpassed proposals for economic and social change in America?.

You decide.

(all photos: � 2008 by Luke N. Vargas. All Rights Reserved.)

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