Via Mike Allen and Ben Smith at The Politico:
John Edwards, battling signs he may be left behind by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, is seeking to reinvigorate his candidacy with a new focus on New Hampshire and a renewed emphasis on his populist “two Americas” message, advisers say.
The Edwards advisers say they have concluded that voters may not perceive sharp distinctions within the Democratic field on Iraq — an issue where Edwards was in the vanguard with a starkly anti-war stance that has dominated his campaign’s message.
So Edwards will try to differentiate himself by stressing a message of economic fairness that could appeal to the lower-income and union voters who are essential to his success. The focus is also designed to put him in a strong position with unions as they begin their formal endorsement process in late summer.
In a speech Thursday at New York’s Cooper Union, Edwards plans to talk about “one America of opportunity” and preview an agenda that includes tax policy that rewards work instead of just protecting wealth.
He plans to talk about alleviating middle-class debt by reining in predatory lenders and creating opportunities to lift Americans out of poverty by saving families money on the cost of college, gas and health care.
Only one problem with your “Two Americas” theme, Mr. Edwards …