Our love for Edwards is fully on the record. No snark.
Edwards is the "Crusader Candidate". And we really appreciate that.
Edwards was the first Big 6 candidate to grant us an interview. And we really, really appreciate that.
Edwards is smart and scrappy and consistently benches above his weight (a mill worker's son who rises to be a candidate for President generally does).
And, it is almost impossible to overestimate the advantage Edwards has having already been through (and survived) the "microwave" of a presidential campaign.
We believe Edwards, not Obama, is the most serious threat to a Clinton nomination and that he is the candidate best positioned on the Democratic side to win the 2008 general election.
Conventional wisdom might love Obama as the Clinton upset candidate right now but we think conventional wisdom is wrong.
And every 23 seconds brings a new media cycle.
So back on the Trail we go.
We went and saw John and Elizabeth Edwards host a town hall meeting on UNH's campus in Durham last night.
The Union Leader has the story here.
The AP's Beverly Wang has the story here.
Noted Nugget That Other Clackers Missed: Brigid Murray, one half of the brother/sister team running the Brentwood ice-cream shop Sweet Scoops, brought a container of homemade ginger ice-cream to the event last night for Elizabeth Edwards.
Brigid, who wanted only to donate the ice-cream and asked for nothing in return, told us that she hoped the ginger would help settle Elizabeth's stomach during her cancer treatment.
Brigid also told us that she had sent a container of ginger ice-cream to White House spokesman Tony Snow.
That's bi-partisan love.
Noted Nugget Two: Edwards New Hampshire Press Secretary, Eddie Vale, (graciously) took the ice-cream from Brigid and promised her that he would make sure Elizabeth got the ice-cream. We're sure that he did.
Edwards' town hall event last night was a presidential level event (20 months out!). His staff (in New Hampshire at least) is as good as the Clinton and McCain staffs are at putting together well-produced, well-attended events.
That's no small thing.
Noted Nugget Three: John, we love your politics. You're stump speech makes us tingle ("Its time for Americans to be patriotic about something other than war") Can we get a hell yeah!
Your politics are closer to our politics than any other candidate out there right now.
That said, your Iraq War answer stinks (so does the Iraq War answer of all the Democrats except for Kucinich and Feingold).
If you think the war is truly lost ("a festering sore") pull the war funding immediately. There is no other way to stop this thing and everyone knows it.
Troop caps, time lines and Congressional Resolutions - that's all crap.
It's a war - you're either advancing or you're withdrawing. The only people that think there is a 3rd way are the politicians in Washington and the pundits they are spinning.
We're just saying.
But back to everything else.
Edwards might also be the best public speaker of all the candidates that we cover. Smooth and polished, Edwards is comfortable in front of an audience.
Maybe too comfortable?
It's no secret that the rap on Edwards is that he is "pretty" (empty, blow-dried). We think that rap is groundless.
Edwards is "pretty" only in the sense that he has boyish good looks. So what of it?
You have got to be pretty (get it?) stupid to try to dismiss the mill worker's son running (so far successfully) a SECOND time for President as "pretty".
Yes, we did notice that last night Edwards used his entire opening statement to talk directly at the TV sticks and virtually ignored the audience members in the room with him.
While behavior like that doesn't threaten our Crusader love affair with Edwards we do take Note.
But when it was time for him to come back to the here and now (give and take) of the 45 minute Q & A portion of the event Edwards was right there, chatting happily and easily with the rank and file (Clackers included).
It was almost as if he got us flowers.
It is going to break our heart if we are wrong about him. No snark.