The 2004 John Edwards

Outside of Dennis Kucinich, Edwards is the only Democrat who is currently preaching some kind of new economic populism. He said he will not fret over a balanced budget, will raise taxes to provide health care and thinks that it is not time for "baby steps,"
but rather for "transformational change."

This is music to the ears of some of the Party's base. It has prompted Time Magazine to ask: Is Edward's the Howard Dean of 2008? His populist appeal has appealed himself to much of the left -- even Alex Cockburn gave him a passive compliment on C-Span two weeks ago. And on Dailykos, Edward's is dominating the straw polls. (Update: He is also in first place at MYDD.)

However, while Edward's rhetoric has been decent, one has to wonder about his sincerity. Scott Lehigh's op-ed in today's Globe makes a very interesting point about Edward's influence over the 2004 presidential race, when he was John Kerry's running mate.

On a Feb. 4 appearance on "Meet the Press," for example, Edwards said he was very critical of himself for that vote, adding: "Anybody who wants to be president of the United States has got be honest and open, be willing to admit when they've done things wrong." Clinton's refusal to repudiate her vote is "between her and her conscience," he said at Feb. 21 forum.

That confessional stance has won Edwards considerable credit with Democrats.

Yet as John Kerry's 2004 ticketmate, the former North Carolina senator was anything but eager to acknowledge error on Iraq. Instead, according to several Kerry-Edwards campaign aides, Edwards argued repeatedly that the two should stand by their votes, even after it had become apparent that Iraq had neither weapons of mass destruction nor collaborative ties with Al Qaeda.