Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Warner v. Edwards

Dan Conley who worked for Edwards in Iowa during the last campaign blogs the following strategic problem for Warner.

To win the nomination, Warner cannot just focus on Hillary Clinton, he must first knock John Edwards out. Possible? Sure ... the Pittsburgh Steelers won on the road three times this year to make the Super Bowl. But does that make Warner smart money? Where will Warner knock Edwards out of the race, in Iowa, where he was arguably the strongest candidate down the stretch in 2004? In New Hampshire, where Warner's tax history will come under significant scrutiny? Or how about Edwards' birth state, South Carolina? Warner's lack of a southern accent may prove a liability against Edwards who knows how to turn on the drawl for effect better than any politician since Bill Clinton.

Given all this, how can anyone conclude at this moment that the odds of Warner attaining a double knockout of Edwards and Clinton is more likely than an underachieving Warner campaign feeding an Edwards knock out of Clinton? Read entire blog.

I would agree with his assessment of Edwards as a primary challenger as I don't see Bayh or Vilsack being strong challengers. Warner will have to knock out Edwards to bring the race down to a two-person race with Hillary. It either has to be Iowa or New Hampshire although unlike Conley, I don't think the tax increase will hurt in NH and Edwards 2004 performance is not predictive of his 2008 performance.


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