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Toby Barlow Headshot

Is John Edwards the Energizer Bunny of 2008?

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I'm fascinated how, amid the Punch n' Judy show of "Hillary's people said this about Obama" and "Oprah said this about Obama" and "Bill said this about Hillary," John Edwards still remains so firmly in the race. It's pretty stunning. He just keeps going and going and going.

It gives me this weird feeling that maybe the people of Iowa are ignoring the hysteria and possibly even listening to the candidates on the issues. Oddly enough, it seems they might be taking their civic role seriously, despite the sudden arrival of Magic Johnson and Chuck Norris in their midst. I don't know how they do it, I couldn't. I'm too big a Walker Texas Ranger fan. But the people of Iowa seem to be different.

It's possible they've noticed that Edwards is the one candidate talking about the hardships being faced by our disappearing middle class. Maybe they've caught on to the fact that he's the one person with a realistic plan for health care and a realistic approach for addressing climate change. Maybe minorities and working women have even noticed that, surprisingly enough, he's the candidate who is speaking loudest and most forcefully about the bread and butter economic issues that actually affect them.

I have to admit that I came to Edwards filled with skepticism, just like I first looked to Obama with hope. But the more I watch them wrestle with the critical issues of our times, and the more I listen for the notes of plain truth buried beneath the bullet points and the polished rhetoric, the more I get the feeling that Edwards is the most capable candidate out there.

In terms of historical precedent, I would certainly prefer it if he was an African American woman of Hispanic descent, but as they say, nobody's perfect.