kolmapäev, juuli 07, 2004


EJ Dionne brings the smackdown on Republican talking points on John Edwards. He starts with possibly the most damaging quote I've seen yet on the experience issue from Orrin Hatch:

"You've been a great governor," Hatch declared of his rival for the Republican presidential nomination. "My only problem with you, governor, is that you've only had four and going into your fifth year of governorship. . . . Frankly, I really believe that you need more experience before you become president of the United States. That's why I'm thinking of you as a vice presidential candidate."

In other words, shut up.

Then EJ makes the very important point that Republicans were going to whine about anyone Kerry chose:

Republicans were in a foul mood because Kerry's choice of Edwards as his running mate muddied up all the story lines they were itching to trot out. To understand why Edwards was the best choice for Kerry, consider what the Republicans (and, yes, the media) would have said if the nod had gone instead to Rep. Richard Gephardt, the clear runner-up in the vice presidential stakes.

Kerry would have been described as "insecure" at the prospect of standing next to the "charismatic" and "populist" Edwards. Fearing being "upstaged" by the equally ambitious Edwards, Kerry would have been accused of making the "obvious," "uninspired" and "comfortable" choice. Gephardt's experience would have been trotted out to turn him into the "tired" face of the "old" Democratic Party. It would also have been said that Kerry, the "elitist Massachusetts liberal," had "written off" the South and rural America.

Absolutely true. And note that I emphasized "the media." I'm reading today's papers and seeing that the Times and the Post have both pretty much adopted GOP talking points without any analysis. John Edwards is liberal and inexperienced. John Kerry chose him for purely political reasons. They're dishonest because they criticized each other during the primaries. Neither paper makes much of an effort to scrutinize these allegations. They've been immediately welcomed as part of the new Kerry/Edwards media storyline. They're stated as fact. And yet, articles also acknowledge that many Republicans are reluctantly admitting anonymously that Edwards was the right choice. Given that, why are they report what the Republicans are saying publicly as anything other than typical political posturing? Why do they give legitimacy to arguments they know are disingenuous? Probably because they're so damn liberal.

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