Is Edwards's Hillary Critique Sticking?

by Noam Scheiber | November 9, 2007

Obama's quote about John Edwards in today's Washington Post interview seems to be getting a little attention. It caught my eye, too. Here's what Obama said: 

"John wasn't this raging populist four years ago when he ran" for the previous Democratic nomination, Obama said. "He certainly wasn't when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He was in the U.S. Senate for six years, and as far as I can tell wasn't taking on the lobbyists and special interests. It's a matter of, do you walk the walk that you talk?"

"If John wants to make the comparison between the work I did as a community organizer--or as a civil rights attorney or as a state senator taking on special interests--to him working as a trial lawyer making millions of dollars, I'm happy to have that discussion."

For what it's worth, I have a piece in our forthcoming issue assessing the authenticity of Edwards's populist shtick. (Short version: it's pretty authentic.) In the meantime, it's worth pointing out that, authentic or not, Edwards's critique of Hillary is starting to seep down to the grassroots. Among other examples, a liberal group called Iowans for Sensible Priorities endorsed Edwards today. In explaining the decision, the group's executive director told ABC: "[Clinton] didn't answer any questions 'yes' or 'no ... She has a refusal to commit to anything"--which sounds like it could have come right out of Edwards's mouth.  

We'll see in the next several days if the polls reflect the same thing.

--Noam Scheiber

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