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Atypical Involvement.

I know this doesn't seem like something I would do, but I'm volunteering at a John Edwards campaign event taking place about ten minutes from where I live later today. It's not a committment to the Edwards camp, not yet anyway. Mostly, it gets me out of the house. (You know, two young children out of school . . .) Plus, I'm hoping they'll give me a truncheon and put me in charge of crowd control.

Kidding about that last. Mostly.

The Democrat race will be two races: the contest to be the "Not Hillary," and the main event, the Hillarykrieg. Obama, Gore and Edwards seem the most likely candidates to become Not Hillary. The third tier includes Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Tom Vilsack, Wes Clark and Keven Federline.

My instinct is that Obama has burned too hot, too soon. I have nothing concrete to support that opinion, just a feeling. He's climbed way up on that pedestal, and the wind blows strong up there.

Gore has his anti-war stand and his environmental cred which makes him the Kos candidate -- if he wants the gig and if I'm right about Obama.

Edwards may grab some labor support off his anti-Nafta position, and his strong move to domestic issues, in particular poverty (focus group says: um, what?) might be a wily move to snag a piece of the African-American vote and the southern progressives (both of them.) He may also be guessing that Iraq will have faded a year from now and we'll be cocooning. And anyway, if he's looking at Gore as his main competition for Not Hillary he knows he won't carry off the greens and the war weenies, so the economic progressives and labor are what's left.

Or it could be Edwards is just doing what he thinks is right.

Okay, stop laughing. It could be.

The rest are running for Veep. Richardson brings major resume and Hispanic votes. Biden brings foreign policy creds and, um, Delaware. God knows what Dodd or Vilsack think they're doing. And Wes Clark is a pair of portable testicles in case Hillary, Gore or Edwards has to go tough on foreign policy.

And I understand K-Fed may have some interesting home movies.

There's this to be said for the Edwards people: they've chosen a brilliant headquarters location in the development called Southern Village right here in pleasant-if-dull Chapel Hill, NC. I lived in Southern Village -- think The Truman Show meets The Prisoner -- until recently. The Edwards office is across the street from a coffee shop and a pizza joint, upstairs from an Asian restaurant and a sports bar. Coffee, pizza, Chinese, steaks and not one, not two, but three bars.

Now that, my friends, is campaign planning.

Oh, wait. I forgot John Kerry. But then, so did you.

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“Atypical Involvement.”

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