In the storm of even-less-concealed-than-usual animosity that was last night’s CNN Democratic presidential debate, John Edwards seemed determined to play the role of calm, expensively-coiffured port. His tsk-tsking, goody two-shoes though it may have been, reflected what a lot of us were thinking. John Edwards wanted his competitors to stop bickering and start addressing some issues.
John Edwards also wanted to talk to the Democratic base about the nature of primaries and a little thing called electability. Whichever candidate came out on top, he said, would have to go toe-to-toe with the Republican nominee- most likely John McCain- and it would behoove voters to consider who would be the most likely to beat him “in every place in the country.” Per CNN.com’s transcript:
EDWARDS: We do well in the big urban areas. The question is: Are we competitive in the rural areas, in the tougher places for Democrats to compete?
And the only thing I would say — and I think it has nothing to do with race and gender. Let me be really clear about that. It’s amazing now that being the white male…
OBAMA: You’re feeling all defensive about it, John. It’s all right, man.
EDWARDS: … is different.
What I was going to say, though, is being able to go everywhere in America and campaign and to compete — and I grew up in the rural south, in small towns all across the rural south, and I think I can go everywhere and compete head-to-head with John McCain.
definitively really clearly ruled out both race and gender, Edwards failed to offer an alternative explanation.
Watch the video here.