Washington, D.C.—Now that madman Dean has been squashed back into his hole, the Democratic powers that be can kick back and figure out what to do next. First, they’ve got to come up with a way to keep the primary season alive so California can go through the motions of voting. Then they get to the fun part. Who should run against Bush: Kerry or Edwards?
We all know about Kerry. He’s a war hero and he can fly a plane, and it doesn’t hurt that his wife is personable and loaded. Still, he’s never done much of anything; he slides back and forth on a number of issues. Conservatives are going to say he’s from Dukakis’s state and in the clutches of the Kennedy clan. Never forget Mary Jo Kopechne.
Edwards, on the other hand, is pretty terrific. He’s from the South, which gives him an automatic first shot at Bush, and he appears to be beloved by the military. His wife is dynamite. He might even have a trace of populism in him. Best of all, he is a super successful trial lawyer, which means he would eat Bush alive in a debate. He has a few nice ideas, like making health care and schooling available to everyone and not tolerating the two-class system. He acknowledges that racism remains a pivotal problem in American society, especially in the South, where ever since Nixon the Republicans have been pitting young white men against everybody else.
Edwards’s plans for ending the war sound more or less doable, through a combination of UN and NATO. And he’d go after war profiteers like Halliburton. Edwards would definitely know how to polish off the Cheney gang in court, and maybe even how to throw the whole bunch in prison. So why run this guy as vice president? He might turn out to be more electable than Kerry. So what to do? A new quandry for the inside-the-Beltway crowd.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 3, 2004