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John Edwards is Trippin' Out
10-23-2007
I have often commented that, this time around, John Edward’s retooled populism has been an uneasy fit for New Hampshire’s political culture and economic climate. Today’s Washington Post has an interesting piece detailing the extent to which former Howard Dean strategist, Joe Trippi is playing an increasingly pivotal role in shaping Edwards’ aggressive, populist message on the stump.
 
Trippi received great praise in Democratic circles for his innovative use of the internet as a political mobilization tool in 2004, but he was much less successful in also helping Dean shape a political message that would resonate beyond antiwar activists on the left.
 
So, while Edwards is smart to directly engage Hillary Clinton, there are real limitations to the impact he can have with a recast, Howard Dean-style message of angry populism. Such a Trippi-inspired approach might help Edwards with some Democratic activists in Iowa (although Dean lost there, too), but it is not likely to help him with many voters here in New Hampshire.


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