Why Aren’t We Hearing More About John Edwards?

Posted in 2008 Primary, Around The Nation, Commentary, Election 2008, Media at 10:44 am by wcnews

While I’m aware that John Edwards hasn’t won a primary yet it is curious why he’s pretty much getting a media blackout. It’s somewhat of a chicken-and-the-egg argument. He hasn’t won therefore he’s can’t win and the media, his fundraising is lagging and therefore the media is justified in giving little of their time and attention to a campaign that likely not to win. Or is his fundraising lagging and he can’t win a primary because the media won’t give his campaign the coverage because it would rather cover the two-person tussle, that’s cheaper for the corporate owned networks, between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?

While it’s nice that Obama didn’t want to go back and rehash the ’90’s, by becoming president instead of Clinton, it’s too bad that he and Hillary have instead decided to go back and rehash the ’60’s. And of course this plays directly into the theme for the Democratic Primary that political pundits and the traditional media are attempting to sell to the public - it’s a two-person race, no matter what the reality is. This Fire Dog Lake post, The Polls You Won’t Hear Much About, makes the assertion that national head-to-head match-ups show several things:

1) McCain is by far the GOP’s strongest candidate in the general election.

2) John Edwards is by far the Democrats’ strongest candidate in the general election.

3) Hillary Clinton is the weakest Democratic candidate in the general election.

4) Barack Obama is in between Edwards and Hillary Clinton in strength in the general election.

There’s more:

Of course, this is just one pollster, and though Rasmussen is probably the best of the lot, it behooves us to look at other polls to see if similar patterns obtain. Luckily for us, CNN has been doing nationwide head-to-head polling as well, and in their December polling, the same patterns manifest: Edwards is the strongest Dem, Hillary is the weakest, Obama is somewhere in between — and John McCain is the GOP’s strongest player. CNN’s current January polling is somewhat kinder to Clinton, but it’s also missing Edwards, so there’s no way to see if the patterns still hold with him in the mix.

The upshot of all this: If Hillary’s the Democratic nominee, we could very easily lose to any likely GOP nominee. If Obama’s the nominee, he does OK so long as he doesn’t face McCain. But if Edwards is the nominee, we’re sitting pretty. Which, I suspect, is one reason why Big Media hates John Edwards so much and does everything it can to destroy him. (Speaking of which: KingOneEye at DailyKos pointed out this morning how the NYT is ignoring a key result of its own poll on the race — namely, that as more people get to know him, Edwards’ favorability rating keeps going up.)

He’s very likable and has the best progressive and economic message of all the big three left in the Democratic race. And the corporate media is making the Democratic nomination a race between the two weakest national candidates of the big three, and is continuing their long love affair with John McCain. Can’t you just picture the general election media coverage in you head now?

But, as far as Edwards is concerned, it’s out of sight out of mind. Given all of that it makes me wonder whey Edwards is becoming less and less talked about in the corporate MSM?

During the Power Ranking segment on Monday’s Hardball, Chris Matthews decided to snub Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, choosing instead to insert the floundering Rudy Giuliani into the list. Not one word about Edwards, but Tweety believes that Rudy is still in the hunt for the GOP nod, giving him the last slot in the rankings.

Surprisingly, (or not) Matthews had just shown poll numbers from Nevada showing a virtual three way tie among Democrats, but apparently that, being right on the important issues of the day and having a solid primary season thus far, wasn’t enough to propel Edwards over Rudy — who is going broke, plummeting in the polls and is throwing everything he’s got into the Florida race to try and save his joke of a campaign. There’s a real power player if I’ve ever seen one.

It is the corporate media. Therefore I’m betting it has more to do with this than anything else, U.S. corporate elite fear candidate Edwards.

Ask corporate lobbyists which presidential contender is most feared by their clients and the answer is almost always the same — Democrat John Edwards.

The former North Carolina senator’s chosen profession alone raises the hackles of business people. Before entering politics, he made a fortune as a trial lawyer. In litigious America, trial lawyers bring lawsuits against companies on behalf of aggrieved individuals and sometimes win multimillion-dollar settlements. Edwards won several.

But beyond his profession, Edwards’ tone and language on the campaign trail have increased business antipathy toward him. His stump speeches are peppered with attacks on “corporate greed” and warnings of “the destruction of the middle class.” He accuses lobbyists of “corrupting the government” and says Americans lack universal health care because of “drug companies, insurance companies and their lobbyists.”

That’s music to many Americans and my ears. While I’m sure to be called a “conspiracy theorist” or worse. Despite what my good buddy KO says, this all just seems a little too neat and tidy that the most progressive voice in the Democratic Primary is getting little mention in our corporate owned media.

What do you think?


  1. reed said,

    January 15, 2008 at 11:13 am

    I think I wish the Texas primary wasn’t still a month and a half away and that we used IRV, so I could vote Kucinich -> Edwards -> Hillabama and it would make a significant difference. At least there is still a slim chance it will matter - and I will vote for Edwards if he’s still in it - but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. wcnews said,

    January 15, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    IRV would be great.

  3. remerson said,

    January 16, 2008 at 12:53 am

    Edwards’ major problem is lack of money because he took public funds; his frankly-Populist approach may be one of the reasons the MSM is so afraid of him, relating back to their corporate owners and pressure from the corporate advertisers.

    He was the strongest, most articulate, and most concise of the three in the Nevada debate. Hillary, as usual, was the shrillest and playing games. Obama seemed pretty much worn out.

    For some reason, Chris Matthew, post-debate, was fawning over Hillary. Maybe trying to overcome recent attacks on him by her supporters for their perceived enmity on his part.

    It’s still a very long campaign.

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