A friend of mine reminds me of this from EJ’s July 7 column:
Putting a Southerner on the ticket was essential. Since 1960 five of the eight Democratic tickets that included a Southerner have been elected. The tickets without a Southerner went 0 for 3. Edwards allows Democrats to contest North Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia and Arkansas. Democratic optimists — yes, it’s a stretch — think Edwards’s native South Carolina might also be in reach.
Forcing the president to compete on terrain he had mostly considered safe alters the election’s dynamics. And in the primaries, Edwards’s appeal seemed strongest in constituencies that the Democrats must win over. He ran especially well among rural voters and appealed simultaneously to blue-collar whites and upper-middle-class professionals.
It’s early yet. But it seems to me this analysis isn’t holding up too well. To be fair, I blame Dionne less than I do the Kerry campaign which has used Edwards like he’s political saffron — just a pinch will do.
It almost makes you wonder if the Clintonites on the Kerry campaign care more about keeping Edwards from being the natural 2008 front-runner than they do about getting Kerry into the White House. But that’s way too conspiratorial. Right?