January 21st, 2008
09:41 PM ET
14 years ago

Schneider: Edwards' skillful response

MYRTLE BEACH, South Carolina (CNN) - John Edwards just gave a very skillful answer on a question that could have been a trap. He was asked about the historical candidacies of both Clinton and Obama, and what role gender and race will play in this year's election. He provided a convincing answer - that he isn't going to try to meddle in the process people use to choose a candidate - that sounded above the whole race-gender fray that has dominated that back-and-forth between Obama and Clinton of late.

- CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider

Filed under: Bill Schneider
soundoff (118 Responses)
  1. PRLatinaAZ

    I commend CNN for allowing Edwards the time to shine...God willing more debates continue where the front runners go on to slam themselves ...and Edwards walks away with the prize. 🙂

    January 21, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  2. Becky Montgomery

    I am just imagining how many drinking games are going on with people taking a shot every time they hear the 35 years or day one thing. WHEN is someone going to call her on the 35 years "fairy tale?"

    January 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  3. Marianne

    I agree with Natalie. I do believe that Edwards' policies will HELP African- American and all hard working American more than either of the other candidates. I believe that Edwards' offers the best specific strategies that will get our country back on track and restore a true democracy again. His strategies are the only ones that seem plausible to address the problems created by powerful corporate lobbyists and Edwards seems committed to and capable of really taking on the fight need to make changes. According to opensecrets.org his campaign finanaces are solvent. Althoug his opponents Obama and Clinton have raised more money their finances are in debt. This could be an indication of how they will run the country; raising more money with corporate contributions and still running a deficit.

    January 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  4. Tyrone

    Edwards is the only true Progressive in the field and he is doing well as always, his biggest problem is the media is not giving him equal air time because the media just whats to get there share of the campain dollars. Edwards is being out spent 10 to 1 but he is still in the race and his message is being heard. People listen to what he has to say, Edwards is the best choice for ALL AMERICANS!

    January 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  5. Dontbuyit

    John Edwards is so much the better candidate staying above the fray saying this tit for tat pettiness does not give any child healthcare or helps families with foreclosures. He is clearly true to himself and will not pander to anyone.

    January 21, 2008 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  6. Shawn

    I think Edwards was the Most impressive tonight. Hillary and Barack were too busy fighting each other. This is really getting old. I was in favor of Hillary, then Obamma, then Hillary again... I am now leaning toward Edwards. I just wish that Richardsons was still in it, I would rather vote for him.

    January 21, 2008 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  7. Karen

    Don't believe Edwards doesn't have a chance! He has only just begun! More and more people are realizing the truth he speaks and lives. There are many more delegates to be won. And know this: Edwards is the ONLY remaining candidate of both parties that has passed votesmart.org's presidential courage test.

    January 21, 2008 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  8. Julie lesko

    John is skillful. If he had sprung for some national ads he would be alot further than he is. His budget is one third of the other two.

    January 21, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  9. Larry

    If my decision was based on just tonights debate Edwards would get my vote!
    Again, it's probably too late.

    January 21, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  10. Harman

    Edwards gained footing and presence. Clinton and Obama lost ground due to their bickering.

    January 21, 2008 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  11. dennis

    Sen. Edwards comes across as the most passionate and sincere of all democratic candidates when addressing the issues of poverty. Specifically, his desire is to eliminate poverty.
    The solutions to any problem has to start with the vision. To me, eliminating poverty is a goal. I have not heard any candidate-specifically Edwards, describe the "vision" of what a poverty free democracy would look like. Only when this is addressed can we even start to discuss the viabilty of acheiving such a wondrous goal.


    January 21, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  12. Kevin Johnson

    John Edwards was both passionate and articulate. He did a great job for the limited amount of time given to him. CNN should have had a stopwatch on each candidate and gave them equal or near equal time. It would be interesting to actually see the time each candidate was given.

    January 21, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  13. Karen

    Given the riff between Obama & Hillary, perhaps John is vying for the running mate position again?

    We have 3 good candidates to critique here – GO DEMS!

    January 21, 2008 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. Karen

    Pay attention to John Edwards. He is the most plausible candidate-willing to stand up to moneyed intetests such as drug companies, insurance companies, oil companies, etc. Those companies are who are holding you back today. Look at his policies. His economic and health care policies and war exit strategies were initiated before the others. Obama's policies will not cover all Americans for health care and Hillary is in bed with the oil companies. Read the details people. Listen to the candidates. Who is the straight talker? Who talks about the issues and not platitudes and ideology? Who gives us a pragmatic plan? If you pay attention, it is John Edwards. The big moneyed media (80% is owned by a few moguls) ignores Edwards because he threatens their very existence by standing up against corporate money and their lobbyists. That is why Congress is dysfunctional–the lobbyists who represent corporations. John Edwards vows to change that. You have not heard about his message because he takes no money from them like Obama and Hillary. You decide. More of the same? Not me. I have a brain and a backbone.

    January 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. Karen

    Edwards was overtalked by Obama but I liked his answers! He did well.

    January 21, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  16. Jen of Jen n Pat

    I just want to give a big kudos to Natalie, because I think she made a great comment. One I hope many people read and absorb.

    John speaks for me, for many many Americans, who struggle with the current Health care system, with the situation in Iraq, with major reforms that are desperately needed for the infrustucture of our suffering country.

    John carries himself in a way that would represent our country well. Strength, concern for the poor and disinfranchised, economic growth, immigration issues being handled fairly and benefitially for the whole of America, education plan changes, and will fight those who have been profitting off our suffering and losses.

    John we're still here for you.

    There's still a chance, keep fighting!

    January 21, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  17. lisa

    Edwards unlike Clinton does not view African- Americans in a patronizing manner.I think he was extremely successful with that question. He shows a respect for the American voter.

    Hillary behaves as though she's entitled to the Presidency. She behaves as though she's done her time and it's time for America to pay her back, with the Presidency.

    Hilalry is making a big mistake by continuously trying to tell African Americans who they should choose. I predict this will backfire against her. I think she is engaging in this because she fears Obama. She is aware that unlike past African-American presidential candidates, Obama is the first real viable one.

    January 21, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  18. jane

    Edwards' dilemma is lack of cash. The main stream media is ignoring his candidacy because little revenue will come their way in the form of advertising if Edwards is the nominee. He is the most progressive among the 3, Hillary demonstrates skill, and Obama demonstrates inexperience. All are great presenters, but we need a true leader. Guess it all boils down to money after all. What a shame!

    January 21, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  19. Tom (Independent)

    I think Obama's longterm goals for race, justice and equality will do much more to help the African American community then Hillary. However, Edwards appears to have stolen to the show with his approach to these questions.

    January 21, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  20. Bob L.

    I truly hope that this debate was widely viewed across the state of South Carolina tonight. Barack Obama is a wonderful speaker. Hillary Clinton has been the wife of a Governor, Preseident, and is now a Senator. John Edwards has been a Senator and a trial lawyer.

    During the debate tonight these three very qualified candidates had an opportunity to stand before the American public and make their individual cases. John Edwards deserves far more coverage than he has been getting because he has been been the one candidate to stay committed to his stated policies and philosophies.

    When Hillary "Found her voice", for that moment that she actually spoke with that voice, she sounded like John Edwards.

    January 21, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  21. genie

    The Democratic Party has arrived at 3 very, very strong candidates! All candidates have great sensitivity to the needs, concerns and causes of the majority of the citizens in the United States. One candidate though is obviously very entrenched in the values and ideals of the past, and current political processes in this country which truly need revising in the interest of all Americans. That candidate is Senator Clinton! She will carry this type of "experience into the White House' and go forward with it into the future from 'day one."---Senator Edwards spoke less angrily tonight than he has in the past. His rise from poverty and his understanding of the needs of people in poverty is commendable but we had a "war on poverty" 40 years ago and I heard nothing specific from the Senator about programs to end it. ---I think that Senator Barack Obama won this debate as a person of vision, judgement, and clarity of purpose in terms of allowing the people of this country to input into the affairs of this nation! He will lead from the bottom up - sounds like that means with the respectful input from all Americans before making decisions in their interest. His response on health care was the most practical that I have heard – His program doesn't cover everyone, because how can that be financed? His programs do though cover those most in need in a sound fiscal manner. Lastly the Clinton argument about Obama praising Republicans is ludicrous!!! Senator Obama was asked to review past presidents and state who he thought most influenced "change" in this country. The questioner did not give a value to change, i.e. good, bad or praiseworthy. Obama honestly answered that the President who he felt created "change" in America was a republican, Ronald Reagan and he is correct. Prior to Regan, there weren't nearly the number of homeless Americans as we now have and who have grown exponentially from that time to this! Middle class Americans had far greater economic opportunities prior to since Ronald Reagan. Health Care for American citizens was for better prior to Reagan and subsequent administrations who saw health care costs rise due to the interests of profit making insurance companies who were concerned with profits not with health care. Barack Obama was correct that the Ronald Regan presidency brought "change" to this country. The argument that he characterized the nature of that change is rediculous whether coming from Senator and President Clinton or from the news media as it has seemed so important to CNN and other cable networks.----–Barack Obama won this CNN debate Genie

    January 21, 2008 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  22. Julie lesko

    "The main stream media is ignoring his candidacy because little revenue will come their way in the form of advertising if Edwards is the nominee."

    It is hard for me to doubt this. I challenge any member of the media to speak to this statement. Somebody, please speak up. Wonder what Anderson Cooper thinks?

    January 21, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  23. Angela

    I was so impressed with his passion and his cool-headed, intelligent response that I could seriously change allegiance from Hillary to Him.. I deeply hope that if either Hillary or Obama gets the nomination that Edwards gets the VP.
    They all seem to be on their game tonite.

    January 21, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  24. Carole (VA)

    I agree, Edwards has a strong case to make, and is being given short shrift in the media. I guess a plain ol' white guy isn't as good for the ratings as a black and a female. I hope his performance tonight propels him to higher percentages of votes so the media will HAVE to cover him equally. I think the media are way too anxious to call the party winners. How 'bout some equal coverage, and letting the process work; reporting the news, not predicting/predetermining the news?

    January 21, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  25. barry oblas

    Edwards is the only candidate among the dems (and the republicans) who has a vision for America and is willing to share it with the people, and take the risks that goes along with being a visionary. Clinton is solid, but feels like a retread, and Obama seems to get lost in his rhetoric.

    Nobody, repeat nobody has mentioned that all three candidates stated that McCain was the Republican front runner. That surprised me. How come he's been annointed?

    January 21, 2008 11:21 pm at 11:21 pm |
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