Edwards Has a PR Problem

Thanks to the caucuses’ arcane viability rules, John Edwards appears to have finished with only 4 percent of the vote in Nevada, but that’s probably not the case. Edwards actually has 4 percent of the delegates assigned, not 4 percent of the popular vote. Edwards probably ended up with 10-15 percent of the popular vote, but that doesn’t matter. The number that gets broadcast all over the country is that nasty and brutish number four . The same thing happened to Bill Richardson and Joe Biden in Iowa.

Edwards’ campaign has to figure out how to spin a 4-percent finish into momentum for South Carolina’s native son primary. It won’t be easy. Edwards doesn’t have much traction in the polls , nor much money to counteract dead-man-walking talk. Plus, Obama continues to dominate the anti-lobby, Americans-want-change vote.

Here’s what Edwards can try to do: make a last stand in South Carolina’s primary on Jan. 26. This sounds like common sense, but Edwards doesn’t seem to be paying attention to that these days. He just gave his I-finished-in-third-but-I’m-not-giving-up speech in Georgia, not South Carolina. Georgia votes Feb. 5, which is more than 2 weeks away. Plus, it has a large black population, a demographic in which Obama trounces Edwards. Edwards needs a good-news peg before then, and the only place to get it is South Carolina.

We know Edwards is comfortable talking about mills, his daddy, and that he grew up in the Palmetto State. Plus, he won there in 2004. Just because Obama and Clinton look like they have the black and establishment Democrat vote locked up, respectively, doesn’t mean Edwards should stop fighting in South Carolina. After all, he’s best at that .