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January 31, 2008

The Edwards Exhibit

No-Edwards

(click for full size)



(BNN contributer Alan Chin is in N.O. this week, and may be sending us some images of the last day of the Edwards campaign.  In the meantime, I wanted to return to the beginning.)


From the first day he entered the presidential race, the NYT treated Edwards like a phony.

In this headline, “Exhibit A” can be read two different ways.  More objectively, it describes Edwards’ use of New Orleans as an example of what is wrong with our country and our political values.  Because of the dubious tone of the article, however — packaged with another one slapped on the end of it reporting how Edwards had just sold his Georgetown house for $5.2 million — there is another, less friendly read here.  In this light, the city of New Orleans, and particularly, this group of kids behind him, serve as an exhibit for Edwards.

Of course, Edwards’ announcement — the candidate in jeans, against the backdrop of the Lower Ninth Ward — did employ political theatre.  That a lot of people — including The Times — however, would interpret this as an exploitation of New Orleans, or a manipulation of the poverty issue, or  a fake show of compassion (which is what was hinted at in article after article, and surely played a large role in undermining the candidacy) is incredibly cynical.

I’m not putting forth the argument, by the way, that Edwards was a perfect messenger.  But I am curious to see now — without Edwards to address it — how much America’s decaying corners continue to merit any form of exhibit.

New Orleans Is Exhibit A as Edwards Opens His Presidential Campaign (12/29/06 – NYT)

Abruptly, Edwards Ends His White House Bid (NYT – notice the comment about the three “H’s.”)

Update From Breck World (or: Who’s Wearing John’s Pants?) (BNN)

Taking Aim At Edwards (BNN)

The NYT’s Edwards Clip Job (BNN)



(image: Amanda McCoy/Getty Images.  December, 2006.  New Orleans. nytimes.com)

  • http://www.sherrychandler.com Bluegrass Poet

    At least Edwards looks like he knows how to wear those workmen’s clothes.

  • http://www.jaxxattaxx.com/ black dog barking

    “Exhibit A” in the NYT headline reminds us of the Official Narrative — Edwards is a Lawyer. And before I could stop myself I’d checked his haircut. They certainly catapulted that propaganda. Well played, Big Media.
    The business model of the NYT has no interest in speaking about or to the poor in New Orleans or anywhere else. What do the poor buy? What need have they of advertising?
    Look at ‘em in that image, tucked in a corner of the backyard; out of the sight, out of mind.

  • Linda

    I’m actually quite sick of this whole primary season and big media. The best voices don’t stand a chance. We have lost our voice. Now it is choice between “Ms. I can control anything” and “Mr. Hope and Kumbaya”.

  • margaret

    The only people being “used” in this election, were used by the Democratic Party to get the African-American vote: Edwards was, and is sincerely concerned, and has put his money where his mouth is, with his poverty institute in NC. It is tragic, that a person of his integrity and intelligence and creativity can’t get his message out through so-called “liberal” newspapers, like the Times. The results of the upcoming election will not be the result of our choices, but those decided for us by “who knows?”

  • Cactus

    I’m so bummed out that Edwards was forced out so early. Since I’m in one of the ’super Tuesday’ states, I’m also angry that I didn’t get a chance to vote for my first choice. Once again, the corporate media has decided who will and who will not get to run for president. Unless one of them does something spectacular, it looks like neither Obama nor Hillary can beat ‘bomb, bomb, bomb Iran’ McCain.
    Incidentally, for an interesting take on the Obama phenom, check out Andrew Sullivan’s December article in “The Atlantic.”
    http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/print/200712/obama

  • http://tekel.wordpress.com tekel

    I agree with part of what Cactus says, but not all of it.
    I live in Oregon, so we haven’t voted yet either. But I’m actually thrilled that Edwards has dropped out before Super Tuesday. Given the demographics from South Carolina and the results from yesterday’s poll at Dkos (which I’ve liberated here), an Edwards withdrawl might represent the one thing that will force Hillary to bow out before the convention.
    If Hillary is the nominee, McCain wins the election. With Edwards gone, it looks like I might have one less thing keeping me up at night. And if Hillary loses most or (dare to dream) all of the SuperTuesday states, then Obama can ignore her and refocus on destroying the Republicans.

  • Charlie Hall, Eureka, MO

    I voted absentee for Edwards in Missouri last week since I’m an out-of-state college student. If I could vote on Tuesday in person, I’d still vote for him.
    Say goodbye to The Last Good Politician; My humble prediction is that the words “poverty” and “union” will never again be used by a presidential candidate, ever.
    Goodbye John. Just like with RFK, there was real hope, and now………

  • Cactus

    All due respect, Tekel, I just don’t see Hillary dropping out. She has wanted this for years. She came on the stage acting as if it were her due, her privilege. That irritated a lot of people, including women. She has learned some humility over the past few weeks, but it has been a hard lesson for her. If she drops out, it will only be in the bitter end.
    OTOH, I have seen Obama learn on his feet. His debate performances have improved greatly which gives me hope that he will learn just as fast after 1/21/09. Perhaps Edwards dropping out was his wake-up call.
    Sorry, Bag, this is totally OT.

  • http://tekel.wordpress.com tekel

    Cactus said: I just don’t see Hillary dropping out.
    no argument there. She won’t step out voluntarily unless things get REALLY ugly for her, but I think that JE’s departure pushes the needle a considerable distance in that direction. ( see, we’re really ON topic :-P )
    But back to the discussion of imagery- anybody want to give the over/under on when we start seeing that picture of John McCain crying on GWB’s shoulder again?

  • Cactus

    tekel: I’ve been sending that image to everyone I know for months. Just doin’ my part.

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