posted on February 07, 2007 12:52
For decades Democrats have lived by two rules of political survival: Support the death penalty. Don’t raise taxes.
So now Lieutenant Governor – and would-be Governor – Beverly Perdue calls for a death penalty moratorium. Though she hastens to say she still supports capital punishment.
And John Edwards says he’ll raise taxes to pay for health care. "You cannot have universal health care without a revenue stream,” he said.
Obviously, they’re talking to Democratic primary voters. More liberal, more anti-death penalty and more pro-tax than your general election voter.
Perdue and Edwards are playing the Final Four strategy: You can’t win Monday night if you don’t win Saturday.
Edwards is also wrestling with the ghost of Howard Dean. Like John Kerry and the other 2004 presidential candidates, he had calculated then that the place to be was in the center – where he could beat George Bush.
Then Dean scared the pants off centrists by speaking for “the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.”
Edwards isn’t making that mistake again. And he’s putting himself in far better position to win the hearts of minds of “real Democrats” than Hillary and, so far, Obama.
Perdue’s move causes problems for Richard Moore – especially among Democratic liberals and African-Americans. His counter will be to question her credibility: She was for the death penalty before she was against it.
Many Democrats will like what they hear from Edwards and Perdue. They consider it truth-telling. They think rich people ought to pay for better health care for all Americans. And they think prosecutors may be railroading innocent people onto Death Row.
It may be a losing game plan Monday, but it’s a winner Saturday.
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