. . . Monday July 26, 2004

Edwards Steps Up to the High Bar

Yeah, we’ve got the parties and the speeches and the schmoozing and the Clintons and the Sharpton, but this week really comes down to one key question: Will John Kerry pull it off? Will he give a speech better than the one most people expect and thereby send his campaign into high gear heading for the final lap (ok, the final hundred or so laps).

In politics, one of the key strategies is to set the bar low. Keep expectations moderate and then beat them. Kerry, in that regard, is positioned perfectly. A little Lincoln mixed with a little swift boat and he gets there.

But what about the other John? There is almost no real buildup to the speech that we all basically assume will be fantastic. Edwards got the nod as running mate in large part because he gives good stump. No one doubts for a minute that Edwards will suck down the requisite numbers of Diet Cokes and absolutely rock the house. It’s so accepted that it’s a non-story.

The man is a great speaker. But that is tough place to set the bar.

Concentration is important!