In its never ending search for a young face to stick on the party brand, many Democrats several years back turned to John Edwards. Here, thought some, was the answer to a prayer. Young, articulate, good looking, seemingly intelligent, a combination of Kennedy style charm and Clinton's southern accent, John Edwards seemed to have it all.
The Democrats have moved on. They found their young face du jour in Barack Obama and rejected John Edwards. Of course Edwards now is persona non gratis pretty much everywhere. He cheated on his wife suffering from cancer, may have broken campaign financing laws, and has simply destroyed whatever public image he once had. Obama did get elected, but his lack of experience has sunk his presidency into a morass it may never emerge from.
Republicans sometimes are guilty of trying to follw a model rather than set the curve. It rarely works. Republicans are not the party of the young and slick. Let's leave that to liberals who want an image that makes them feel good rather than a substantial candidate. As we move towards 2012, let's be careful as we select our candidate. We need experience, knowledge, and aggressive commitment to principle, not just a GOP version of Obama's youth and hollowness. We want a presidency, not a perpetual campaign. Our nation deserves no less at this critical juncture.
Picking a person because of how they look and how that image will play could lead to disaster. Just ask the Democrats.