Marc Ambinder speculates that John Edwards may be getting ready to go for the jugular at tonight's debate based on campaign manager David Bonior's remarks on TV yesterday. Here's what Bonior said:
With all due respect … the Clintons did not deliver on health care," Mr. Bonior said. "They had a very important choice to make back in '93: whether to do the North American Free Trade agreement or health care. They implemented the North American Free Trade Agreement that put literally millions of workers out of work in this country and destroyed, basically, our good trading relationships we had around the world. And then in the interim, they lost any capital they had to get health care passed. … The fact of the matter is it's been an absolute disaster on health care.
I'll wait and see if that happens. Let me observe, though, that throwing the long ball on trade is a time-honored method of running a populist insurgency in the Democratic primary and John Edwards actually tried it as recently as his 2004 race against John Kerry down the stretch. It hasn't yet worked. The innovating thing about the Edwards campaign thus far is that it's leveraged his personal qualities -- charisma, southern accent, boyish good looks -- into the opportunity to put forward base-pleasing platform items that are substantially more intellectually rigorous -- and substantively ambitious -- than this kind of thing.
At any rate, there were certainly some problems with NAFTA, but I don't really think you can seriously maintain that it led to a massive increase in unemployment or ruined our trading relationships around the world.