Tuesday, May 12, 2009

John Edwards: He's No. 1 (in unpopularity)

Democrat John Edwards can now claim a singular distinction -- the lowest approval rating of any N.C. politician.

Eleven years after they elected him U.S. senator, only 19% of N.C. voters have a favorable opinion of the former presidential candidate, according to Public Policy Polling,a Democratic-leaning firm in Raleigh. At 69%, his unfavorables are the highest the firm ever recorded.

Though PPP has only been in business since 2001, it's a pretty safe bet that no other N.C. politician has ever had worse numbers than the candidate who cheated on a wife with cancer.

Elizabeth Edwards, despite dredging up her husband's scandal in a new book tour that raises questions about her own involvement in her husband's cover-up, was viewed positively by 58% of the voters in the poll.


David McKnight said...

John Edwards has done a tremendous amount of good for the Democratic Party nationally and in the state of North Carolina, where for the longest time, many state residents seemed to be on the outside looking in when it came to striving for meaningful involvement in politics and public policy at the highest levels of government.

Here in the Research Triangle Park region, at least in the view of this native Charlottean, local Democratic strongholds in the most liberal urban counties of Wake, Durham and Orange, have become political snakepits where it seems that the main objective is to trip up or shoot down anyone from any other region of North Carolina who seeks to have a positive impact in statewide politics whether they have a personal or occupational connection to the Triangle area or not.

John Edwards, though he made Raleigh his home in an impressive legal career in earlier years, brought his Moore County and Sandhills region upbringing to bear on a major quest to direct the attention of the people of this country to long-neglected issues of economic fairness and viability which had gone largely unattended since the heady reform days of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Many of the exciting developments occuring now both in the U.S. Congress and within the Obama Administration here in the spring of 2009 might not have become politically feasible or possible had it not been for the extraordinary journey of John and Elizabeth Edwards along the presidential campaign highways and byways of this country from Iowa to New England and from the Carolinas and the South to California and the West Coast.

John Edwards' record of accomplishment, promise and leadership in two campaigns for the presidency and one for the vice presidency is more likely to withstand the tests of historical and political review than some of the unfortunate sniping which has been directed his way in recent months.

Could Charlotteans and Piedmont citizens have been happy knowing that just about any goals their children may have in the way of public service, education and governmental careers at the state or national levels could be vetoed in an instant by supposedly "liberal" political schemers and detractors having the single "advantage" of living "close to the action" in and around Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill?

Thanks to John Edwards, the native South Carolinian who forged new trails toward political, economic and educational fulfillment in North Carolina, old barriers against public service career aspirations by young people from Murphy to Manteo have been rolled back so that now, "the sky's the limit."

Martha Brock said...

While I know of your record of contributions in public affairs, Mr. McKnight, I cannot agree with your defense of John Edwards. I was one of those duped into supporting him for President, when he knew he could destroy his party's chances at any time by a revelation of his misdeeds.

What is being revealed about the Former Governor of NC and the former Senator of the US is making me ashamed to call myself a Democrat. While I will always be a small "d" democrat, the party needs to start address the ethics issues in our state to keep from losing its credibility.

B. Brown said...

Both Mr. Edwards and Mr. Easley when compared to their peers will certainly be no worse politicians. No one will ever pass these ill-advised litmus tests narrowly-based on political party affiliation or when the person acted or as implied here transgressed in a human manner. Look at the individual and assess both the good and the bad.

Anonymous said...

Its so amazing to watch devious hypocrisy of whites turn against each other these pc days in some idiot 8th grade reverse psychology stupidity. This is a very strange thing.

Political idiot pundits or cartoonists destroy whites male or female rightly at every chance YET they cringe like yellow belly coward holdbacks on Obama. Whats up with that? Letterman and Leno who have routinely trashed white politicians for ages are now frozen when it comes to Obama and refuse to even comment on their motives. Newspapers are guilty of the same of such incredible hypocrisy it stinks to high heaven but proves their gutlessness.

Clearly they show their own racism since under the law you can be equally guilty by admission as ommission.

The funny thing is blacks have no problem with Edwards or other whites unless they are standing in the way of their guy Obama and in which case they will do what it takes to eliminate the opposition. We saw that with Edwards and Clinton in 08.

The same thing occured in the 80s when Jesse Jackson ran and got the kid glove treatment.

Edwards or Palin or Bush or any other whites should be fair game in the political arena but clearly blacks are excluded from any criticism even the president of the USA. Unreal.

Many have long observed that liberals of any race are the worst racists on the planet. White liberals are the worst racist of all and prove it everyday. Silence = death. Guilty by ommission!

Anonymous said...

lol. so true. its ok to treat whites like *hit these days but not minorities.

David McKnight said...

Well, appreciating Ms. Brock's concerns about perceptions of such important offices as U.S. senator and governor in this state, can we keep moving the discussion toward what it is that we would like to see emanate from these offices in the way of leadership for North Carolina and where we would like to see this state move in the second decade of the new century?

In the governship, for example, in the old days, the governor would ride a train here and there across the railways of North Carolina to go make personal appearances or attend certain functions, many of them arranged by the governor's office but at least some of them requested by responsible constitutent groups. Now the governor has both the right and the duty to travel throughout the state from time to time to respond to the stated needs of responsible local groups and organizations. So the governor must have some sort of transportation that people can agree to.

What would happen if someone elected governor were to say: Okay, thank you for choosing me as your governor. I will be in Raleigh and you know where you can find me--at the Governor's Mansion on Blount Street or in the executive Office of the Governor in the state government complex. If anybody wants me to travel to Rutherfordton, Lumberton, Salisbury or Roanoke Rapids to make a speech, then you are going to have to sit down with the editors of The News & Observer and the leaders of the Legislature and come up with a way for me to go out and back from Raleigh that is satisfactory to you and your many fellow critics of how the Governor's Office is supposed to operate.

This would forced the pundits and the political insiders to say just what it is they expect a governor to do or not do when it comes to traveling out from the state capital for various reasons throughout her or his term.

Mecklenburg County native James Knox Polk hardly left the White Hosue during his four-year term from 1845-1849 except to go on a traditional goodwill tour of the Northeastern states, which Southern Democratic presidents often did to reassure their Northern congressioanl friends of their devotion to leading the entire Union.

Well, in strictly intrastate political, educational, comemrcial and cultural matters in The Old North State, the time has come for editorialists, legislators and the public to come to some sort of judgment of the extent to which they wish any incumbent governor to be available for travel appearances within the various sections of the state of North Carolina.

B. Brown said...

Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States and there were 43 white guys that held the office before him. It's mind boggling that Anonymous is complaining that the President is getting kid glove treatment because he is black. How about we like the President regardless of his race. We find him to be an upgrade over his predecessor and we are optimistic that he will successful lead the country in finding favorable solutions to its many problems. What a bunch of self-absorbed sore losers!

Anonymous said...

It is collective ignorance and bigotry to call Obama black or African all the time.
American Africans need to get on their knees and eternally thank the white elite for being allowed the privlege of coming here as slaves after being sold off by the tribal chiefs as rejects. Slavery was their savior. Lets be honest for a change. Thanks Eric Holder. Your boss BHO is caucasian raised European American whose ancestors owned slaves and the 44th president with insignificant African blood who abandoned him as a small baby.


Martha Brock said...

Mr. McKnight,

I was mainly addressing the subject in respect to former Sen. John Edwards. You don't even want to get me started on the ethical misdeeds of the former Governor Mike Easley. Let me be brief--according to financial records quoted by the News and Observer, Easley had the funds in his campaign accounts to have paid (as he should have) for trips to his home at Southport or to other locations, both in and out of the state. So why did he not use these funds for those purposes?

While I realize most folks will not be too interested in their rise to power in NC, but both Edwards and Easley by-passed the party structure and got elected primarily on the basis of their media personalities, not their resumes or their service to the people of NC.

Maybe the voters need to be reminded of that in future campaigns. As to what I hope for the future, I hope we can have more accountability from those who govern and more transparency in the actions of legislators and the administrations of the future. They can travel around the state to do that, but they also need to practice open government in Raleigh, too.

Anonymous said...

Edwards was exactly what America needed coming up fully self made as a conservative Democrat and not a part of elitist liberalism.
Technically he should have been the DNC nominee in 2004 instead of the idiot Kerry and should have never given up his US Senate seat. We know the reason he lost in 2004 barely and this was because of his plain jane overweight wife who refused to lose weight along with her very drab attire and unspectacular demeanor.
Edwards would have beaten the Bush silver spoon brat handily and sent him back to Texas like voters did crybaby basketcase Daddy in 1992 after one term.
This would have prevented 4 more years of Bush neocon war mongering lies and destruction plus stopped the Great Depression II.
Edwards was not a sellout wishy washy slick Obama Chicago radical but was true to his word. Obama has continued Bush policies and flipflopped on everything but stem cell but thats OK with his voters as long as he in the WH. Messiahs work in mysterious ways as we know and shouldnt be questioned or critized even though clearly AIPAC controls this puppet like they did Bush.
The media took down Edwards for the 3rd term of Bush-Obama since thats exactly what is occuring. Edwards was set up by the neocons just like they tried to take out Clinton with the Monica rig and impeachment waste. Neocons knew they couldnt control Edwards or Clinton(s) so they had to be purged.
When you stick a carrot in a donkeys face dont be surprised if he dosent bite. Hetrosexual males are only human. Thats not a sign of weakness just being male.
It is however condesending and arrogant for the media to give minorities a free pass and should be an insult.
In politics everything is fair game. Cut the double stadards. Trying to protect anyone in politics is disingenious and condesending at the worst level along with unprofessional and unAmerican. You dont walk on eggs when it comes to any knuckleheaded politician of any party or any race. Pathetic. Meanwhile we see gas rising again and nothing but war war war .. Buts thats ok. Right?