Man Without Qualities

Saturday, November 06, 2004

John Edwards In 2008 II!: Deep Delusion

The bizarre media infatuation with John Edwards goes on ... and on ... and on, completely cut loose from any moorings of his actual accomplishments or campaign performance.

The latest symptom of this curiously persistent disease, to which members of the fourth estate are more vulnerable than hospitalized nonagenarians are to pneumonia, can be found in the Los Angeles Times in the form of an article that manages for many paragraphs to extol the potential in this Vice-President manque without ever mentioning that he would not have been re-elected as a Senator from North Carolina, or that his recently demised Presidential ticket just lost his home state by 13% and lost the adjoining state of his birth by 17%. Yet the Times airily blathers:

[John Edwards] remains a fresh-faced 51. And though his career as a North Carolina senator ends with the new year, he is viewed as a top contender for his party's presidential nomination in 2008.

Yes, his career as a North Carolina senator ends with the new year - and polls showed for months before he decided not to seek another term as Senator that his Senate career would end whether or not he sought that office again. No, according to the Times, the Senator's big problems seem to be finding some way to keep in the public eye and his wife's cancer. That he contributed essentially nothing to Kerry-Edwards' performance except his advice to John Kerry to go to the courts in Ohio, advice now universally regarded as terrible, is apparently not worth a mention.

What the heck is wrong, wrong and wrong again - over and over and over - with the Times and the media generally when it comes to John Edwards?

MORE: From Maguire:

Historian Douglas Brinkley, author of a wartime biography of Kerry, cautioned that Kerry's diary included mention of a meeting with some North Vietnamese terrorists in Paris. Edwards was flabbergasted. "Let me get this straight," [Senator Edwards] said. "He met with terrorists? Oh, that's good."

Let me get this straight - Edwards did not know this? Kerry mentioned it in his 1971 Senate testimony.

All relevant evidence indicates that Senator Edwards is every bit as clueless and just as much of an empty suit (outfitted with trousers possessing a full wallet) as Maguire's story suggests. One of the causes of John Edwards' failure in the Senate (and he is a Senate failure by any standard of success I have ever seen applied to a Senator) was his often-observed ignorance of basic Senate activities and his failure over six full years to garner any reputation for having command of any significant area of legislation. Foreign policy? Not a clue. Taxation? Tax the "rich," close the "loopholes" - the rest defeats him. Too technical. Let the staff take care of it. Environmental regulation? He's against pollution and, of course, "toxins." Tort reform? Please. He did not craft a single meaningful tort reform bill in his entire Senate history - yet that is supposedly his area of "expertise." Apparently being able to cobble up a profitable jury argument is not the same as understanding the big picture of tort - the way, say, Richard Epstein manages. Labor law? Nope. International trade? Say what. Defense? Boring. Intelligence? Nada. Nunca.

Yet the media adores John Edwards! He's the future of the Democratic Party!

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