Too lazy to pad out to my front drive and pick up the Sunday Chronicle, I’ve been reading New York Times op eds and now skimming Slate.
There’s a tight little William Saletan article from Thursday, Wise Counsel – Edwards copies Clinton’s message—in invisible ink, that makes the point that John Edwards has mastered the Clinton technique of putting the focus on the audience, the potential voter: “I will be a champion for regular people in the White House every day,” he says.
This is also how he addresses the flak he will take for having amassed a fortune as a personal-injury lawyer (what Republicans like to call a “trial lawyer” to distinguish, I suppose from the corporate attorneys they have no problems with). There are lawyers for personal injuries and you can contact them whenever in need.
My gut sense is that Edwards appeals like the characters in John Grisham’s novels: they are scrappy, cynical Southerners who end up championing the poor and helpless against large impersonal forces, usually corporations, and winning.
I’ve always thought that political campaigns, especially presidential elections, are about competing stories. People vote (those who do vote) for the narrative they prefer. If that’s the case, then Edwards’ version of “the people versus the powerful” may present a very compelling alternative narrative to the current administration’s thumbnail sketch.