A voter torn between Barack Obama and John Edwards just asked Edwards why he was the better choice.
Edwards, speaking at the Cedar Lodge Steakhouse in Manchester, Iowa, said there were two reasons. First, he said, he was alone amongst the candidates willing to fight to take power from the entrenched Washington lobbyists and corporations and give the power back to regular Americans. Then he presented what he described as the political reason.
“This is not an academic exercise and we have to win,” said Edwards, raising the issue of electability. He cited a scroll he saw a day before the debate on CNN which said “Edwards beats all Republicans.”
“What they did was they polled each of us—me, Obama , Clinton, I think it was just the three of us—against all the leading Republicans and there was only one Democrat who beat every single Republican: me. And there was only one who beat them by significant margins.”
(Although the polls he cites are recent, Edwards has made the notion that him as the Viable Democrat a central part of his pitch since the beginning of the campaign.)
He continued, “If you want to win, and I don’t believe any of this matters unless we win—if you want to win, you’re looking at the guy who can go everywhere in America with a real message of fighting for change and the things we have been talking about there today, and compete every single place in this country. You should caucus with me.”
He received a big round of applause.