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Dean Barker of Blue Hampshire doesn't like the answer John Edwards gave on the exclusion of candidates from this weekend's New Hampshire debate:


So much for a united front - had there been a trifecta I imagine we'd see some movement, but Edwards has left ABC the wiggle room it needs to keep out two sitting Senators and a Congressman with in-state campaign offices, delegates, steering committees, etc...

I can give Richardson a pass on this for being mum, since the chance to be up there alone with the "top tier" (how I loathe that term) is a once in a lifetime opportunity for his campaign, especially if he exceeds expectations in Iowa.

But for a guy who openly rails against the corporate media and whose supporters have top rated diaries on dKos such as "MSM Continues Blackout of John Edwards," it's pretty ironic. Scratch that; I shouldn't hide behind niceties - it's hypocritical. And it dishonors the eloquent support for him witnessed daily by me on this site from so many fine minds.


Maybe so, but strategically it makes sense for Edwards. His success is tied to how he does in Iowa, but at the very least, he could use this New Hampshire platform as a way to hammer at Obama and Clinton on Iraq. At best it would be a follow up on Iowa success, at worst a Hail Mary pass leading into the primary. He can still do this with several candidates on the stage, but not to the same affect.

And of course it would please the front running senators to have all of the candidates on stage. A smaller debate--perhaps even a three way debate--opens up potential 2-on-1 kind of scenarios. More than three is chaos, and it only allows for canned messaging and timed responses. With New Hampshire rapidly approaching, Obama and Clinton would rather not be given enough rope to hang themselves with. It's the final push, and they simply want to get their message out in the final days.

Edwards seeks to wow and contrast. He may get his chance now, but only if others are excluded.

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