John Edwards had 12 minutes less than Obama and 5 minutes less than Clinton.  If you were to read the New York Times, you would wonder if Edwards was even at the debate.  

Yet, a focus group of undecided voters overwhelmingly found Edwards to be the winner.  Why are voters so damn dumb?  Don’t they know that it is all about the celebrity candidates?

Come around after the fold for more.

(Charts created by JamesS)

From NBC’s Helge Fuhst

Obama spoke the longest during the debate — a total of 34 minutes. Clinton was second, speaking 27 minutes. John Edwards spoke for about 22 minutes.

OBAMA: 33:57, answering 28 questions

CLINTON: 27:06, answering 23 questions

EDWARDS: 21:42, answering 19 questions


What did Obama say in those 34 minutes?  Is it only me or is he just boring?  I hear a lot from Barack about Barack, Barack, Barack, but not much about real change, real change, real change.  Does anyone remember a substantive point from Barack?  I don’t.  I remember Clinton on attack a lot.  

Yet, Edwards scored with voters.

Edwards Declared the Winner by a Focus Group of Undecided Nevada Voters. On Fox News, Frank Luntz’ focus group from Las Vegas of thirty undecided Nevada Democrats declared Edwards the winner. Luntz:

“How many of you thought John Edwards won?” [1/2 crowd raises hand]

“How many of you came in supporting Senator Edwards?” [About 3 people raise hand]

“On issue after issue, we’re going to show this to you tomorrow night, his language actually scored better than Senator Clinton and Senator Obama.”

This is one of the answers John Edwards gave that may have impressed undecided voters:

Or this on America’s veterans.  We may have as many as 200,000 homeless veterans.

Or this answer:

When Russert turned the discussion to the war in Iraq, Edwards noted that Obama and Clinton were voicing similar ideas about when and how to pull U.S. troops out of combat. He said his commitment to a U.S. withdrawal was stronger.

“I think there are real differences here, and they’re not subtle,” Edwards said, vowing to “have all combat troops out in the first year that I’m president of the United States.”

“I will end combat missions,” he said. “And while I’m president, there will be no permanent military bases in Iraq.”


Or Race and Elections, an issue the press loves and one about which Clinton and Obama have embarrassed themselves in the least two weeks.  Oh, the melodrama of HillObama.  Meanwhile, we hurtle toward recession, or worse (see My diary from Sunday: NY Times: The Recession is Here and will be Worse than You Think), and people still die in Iraq.  But melodrama is so much fun for our political elites and the media.  But not for working folks who may lose jobs and homes.  It ain’t fun at all.

Another answer that real voters care much more about than the Hillary/ Barack melodrama.

John Edwards-Economy: MSNBC Debate

On the Promise of America:

On issue after issue, John Edwards reaches the voters. But the media seeks to bury him in favor of celebrity feud.  

If you want real change, you must work for it.  It will not be given to you.

Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.

We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Letter from the Birmingham Jail

Yesterday was the anniversary of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.  John Edwards spoke of what it means to him:

“Today we honor the incredible life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was a man of peace, a man of principle and a man of profound conscience.

“As someone who grew up in the segregated South, I have seen firsthand the change we have achieved thanks to Dr. King and all those who shed their blood, sweat and tears. Our country is forever changed thanks to Dr. King’s work and the work of so many other Americans who were determined to restore the promise of America.

If we are going to truly honor Dr. King, the heroes of Greensboro, Selma, Birmingham and Orangeburg, and all the heroes of the civil rights movement, then we must be honest that we still have work to do. The fight for civil rights and equal rights and economic and social justice is still going on across our country. Today, we still live in two different Americas – one America for those who are doing extraordinarily well and one for everybody else. We still have two school systems, two health care systems, two systems of justice and two economies.

“America can do better than this. We’ve seen that a group of people with the courage to stand up for what’s right can struggle and survive, and even change the course of history. Today, let’s commit ourselves to igniting the revolution of values that Dr. King dreamed about, to speaking out against unfairness and injustice, to making sure the voice of every American is heard and to building One America.”

Edwards Statement In Honor Of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday

On Friday, January 18, 2008, let’s show America, and the media who sneers at activists and people’s movements for change, what those undecided voters saw: John Edwards is the right person to lead our movement to the White House and begin the work of creating One America.

Our dream shall never die.  It will be fullfilled as we work for and create it.

On January 18, 2008, contribute to