Stop following me!

By Megan McArdle

Matt Zeitlin notes Elizabeth Edwards getting a bit weird:

Elizabeth Edwards has been straddling the line between the unafraid, aggressive left wing clarion voice of her husbands campaign and gaffe prone, petty attack dog. With her reaction to Hillary’s health care plan, she may have finally crossed over to just being shrill:

Elizabeth Edwards accused Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton of copying the health care plan outlined more than seven months ago by her husband, John.

The New York senator has failed to lead on an issue in which she has extensive experience, Edwards said.

“Does Mrs. Clinton’s plan seem very familiar to you?” Edwards said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Mrs. Clinton has — seven and a half months after John unveiled his health care plan — unveiled a health care plan that is in every material respect just like John’s.”


So, Elizabeth Edwards is criticizing Hillary for…being too much like her husband? If this doesn’t make sense to you, you’re not alone. Would Edwards be more happy if Hillary came out with a plan that didn’t have a mandate and didn’t have a public option? Would Edwards criticize her less if she came out with the Bush/Giuliani plan? For Clinton, coming out with a plan very similar to Edwards’ isn’t “failing to lead,” it’s the exact opposite. Is Edwards tarred with trying to implement a similar system and massively failing? Do various right wing media types have a prefab story line for Edwards plan, with cute names like “EdwardsCare 2.0″ or “Son of EdwardsCare”? Of course not, for Clinton, she’s making her self a target to her opponents by coming out with this plan. She is taking a risk to a central achieve progressive goal, and that should be commended, not scorned.



This would seem more of a time for a jokey "Why not elect the guy who thought it up?" response, not this slightly whiny tone. There's a weird, protective, send-a-woman-to-attack-a-woman vibe about this. What's next? Des she sue Ms Clinton for alienation of affections?

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2007/09/stop-following-me/1964/