First off, someone forgot to give the Palm Beach Post the message ? the new UNC center isn’t about Edwards’ ogling of 2008! Look at this irresponsible headline about his Manchester speech: Edwards speech latest sign of politicians testing 2008 waters.

In Manchester, Edwards sat down with Drew Cline‘s The Union Leader and dished out the following statement about conviction and politics:

I intend to speak out and stand up for my core beliefs, my convictions, with passion, and I think that?s what the country?s hungry for. I think the country wants leaders who believe strongly, who are grounded in those beliefs, and who will stand up for them and fight for them. And I think that?s the kind of leadership the country wants.

Pause, stifle a yawn, continue.

What I saw traveling the country, both in my Presidential campaign and as a vice presidential candidate, is a hunger for strength, conviction and ideals.

Policy nuances matter in governing, but for the most part, most Americans are looking for somebody who they know has a strong set of beliefs and that they?ll always be steady and stick by them. And I think the Democratic party as a whole has a core set of values and beliefs. I know that I do and I think that?s what we need.

I don?t think it?s about right versus left or steering to the middle. I think that calculated, strategic maneuvering is not what we need. I think what we need is to stand up for what we believe.

I suppose his new core conviction that voters need someone with a core conviction is better than his “message of hope” last year that was essentially “I have a message of hope.” But is Edwards forever to be plagued by the rejoinder, “Can you be more specific? What, exactly, are you talking about?” I’m guessing he will, so long as he makes such bland utterances as “I intend to speak out and stand up for my core beliefs, my convictions, with passion.”

The implicit lack therein just reminds me of a grandfatherly aphorism that ends with “or get off the pot.”