'04 Defeat Begat '08 Edwards

'Sunny centrist' now the fighter the ticket needed, say loyalists
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 4:11 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful, former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., speaks with the media following a speech to members of the United Auto Workers Region 4 Conference at the Grand River Center in Dubuque,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The John Edwards of the 2008 campaign is a changed man from the VP-candidate who stumped across America with John Kerry four years ago, notes the New York Times, and Kerry loyalists can't help being frustrated watching Edwards displaying the aggression they pined for then. "A lot of what I'm seeing now, I wish I'd seen in 2004," said Kerry's former communication director. 

In a post mortem of the difficult Kerry/Edwards campaign, high-level staffers say Edwards refused to respond to GOP attacks forcefully, insisting on taking the high road. “We were getting our heads taken off and he was still talking about two Americas,” said one key player. Now they're seeing the fruits of those mistakes, as Edwards emphasizes conviction and bold ideas, and is quick to turn confrontational.