edwards swings and misses

Presidential candidate John Edwards missed a chance to deliver a stinging rebuke of right-wing conservative commentator Anne Coulter and, by extention, the Republican Party. Instead, he offered what came across as a tepid response to an epithet hurled by Coulter. In a press conference in Berkeley, California, Edwards said, “I think it’s important that we not reward . . . . umh . . . . hateful . . . . uhh . . . . selfish . . . . childish behavior.” Edwards looked and sounded tired.

While the tepid response in no way injures his candidacy, nonetheless, under the glare of a number of TV news cameras, Edwards displayed little “pep” in defending himself and, as bad, missed an opportunity to “frame” this incident in a way that moves uncommitted Democrats toward his camp. Edwards also missed a chance to steal the spotlight from Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton, whose dueling Civil Rights commemorations that same day in Selma, Alabama was closely followed by the national media. Coulda-shoulda-woulda! . . . There’s always next time.

(For perceptive analyses of Coulter’s comments, see write-ups in Daily Kos and Salon.com. In addition, Robert Scheer’s weekly syndicated column in the SF Chronicle touches on how this helps Edwards.)

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