John Edwards, it seems.
Of course, you have to take advice from your opponents with a grain of salt. That said, I’ve been telling folks that Mike Huckabee was always the toughest candidate on the GOP side, and I wasn’t lying.
Now, it seems that Mike Huckabee, the southern governor, finds himself at the top of the heap in Iowa with the southern senator, John Edwards:
Edwards leads with 30 percent in a poll of Democratic voters who said they intend to participate in the Jan. 3 presidential caucuses, followed by Clinton with 26 percent and Obama with 24 percent. When the sample was narrowed to the most likely caucus-goers, based on several questions, Obama leads Edwards by less than a percentage point with 27 percent, with Clinton in third place at 24 percent.
Edwards holds a significant advantage, however, among a group who could be key to the first contest of the presidential year: those who say their first choice is someone other than the top three. Under Iowa Democratic Party rules, candidates who poll less than 15 percent in the first vote at each caucus around the state are eliminated, and their supporters get a second chance to vote for another candidate.
Edwards is on the cover of the newest Newsweek, and inside I found some interesting tidbits about the 2004 race:
The Kerry-Edwards union was uneasy from the start. There were little things: Edwards wanted to lead audiences in his “Hope is on the way!” cheer. Kerry thought “Help is on the way” sounded more dignified. Neither man would budge, and they wound up using two different slogans. There were also larger differences. When Kerry came under the Swift Boat attacks over his war record, Edwards urged him to fight back early. Kerry believed it was beneath him to dignify his attackers with a response. (Emphasis mine)
Sometimes people like candidates for academic reasons. I like Edwards for his political instincts. He won’t be afraid to call them like he sees them (“Hope is on the way!”) and his first impulse will be, when attacked, to hit back.