Edwards Drops Out–Who Can Catch His Followers?

John Edwads dropped out of the Democratic contest for the nomination as candidate for the presidency but left in his wake uncertainty as to who would capture the voters he was attracting. His departure places new pressure on Clinton and Obama to address his issues of poverty and concern for the underclass of America. Edwards refused to indicate who was his choice for the presidency, but undoubtedly his exit requires Clinton and Obama to come up with ideas that would capture the support of those who were voting for the fromer senator.

Barack Obama continues making a connection to the legacy of John F. Kennedy, a figure who is in the minds of Baby Boomers. However, Obama fails to realize for the elderly of this nation, the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman is much more significant than the brief interlude when Kennedy was president. Edwards understood union people connect with New Deal legislation which finally gave freedom for unions to organize workers against the power of corporate interests. Edwards knows how to speak with a working man who dislikes the “guys in the suits,” a different conception than what Obama argues when he calls for people to come together. It is the men in suits who wield power over the lives of working people and John Edwards knew how to arouse that feeling. If Obama wants that group, he will have to change his words and program.

Hillary Clinton is gaining the support of the elderly and union members. Obama is most probably gaining the support of youngrer Democrats and Baby Boomers. Unfortunately for Obama, a higher percent of the elderly and union people vote in primaries and that is why Clinton won in Florida. Will Obama be able to address those people and their needs? If he does not, he will not gain the nomination.