John Edwards and Wal-Mart
Ever since one of John Edwards' volunteers tried to use Edwards' name in order to get one of the very scarce Playstation 3's a week or so ago - many people have been weighing in on how silly it is for Edwards to be attacking Wal-Mart. I think it makes perfect sense for Edwards to attack Wal-Mart. Just understand - he's really not attacking Wal-Mart.
Edwards has two targets with these anti-Wal-Mart screeds. One he wants to bring down and one he wants to raise up.
Edwards' main target is Hillary Clinton. He wants to both bring her down and be able to present himself as a clear choice to her. Hillary was on Wal-Mart's board of directors for 6-years. Wal-Mart's home office is based out of Bentonville, Arkansas. To deny Wal-Mart - Hillary Clinton will have to deny her past. She will have to be disloyal to some of the very people who helped her and her husband get to where they are today. Clinton will either have to embrace the non-union Wal-Mart or she will have to abandon old friends. She'll have to take a stance FOR unions or AGAINST loyalty. John Edwards wants to make her squirm while she makes her choice and for as long after as he can.
Look for Edwards to start talking more and more about loyalty as a key attribute of leadership.
The second group that Edwards is pimping with his anti-Wal-Mart rants are the netroots crowd. They like to think of themselves as superior and both wouldn't be caught dead shopping at Wal-Mart or allow a Wal-Mart in their city without a fight (see San Diego). These elitists are the same people who put Howard Dean in the lead in 2004 and they like feeling important and if donating money to a guy fighting Wal-Mart like Edwards helps them to feel like they are determining the course of the history of this country - who is John Edwards to argue?
Edwards needs something to set himself apart from the rest of the 2008 Democratic field. He's betting on Wal-Mart. Looking at everything else he has to offer (or lacks to offer) - it may be his best bet.