Didn't say easy to identify with. Said doesn't falsify his associations with the everyday man.
Please. You actually think any real "everday" farmers associate with Bush 'cause he puts on a big belt and clears the brush? If it weren't so sad, the notion of Bush the common man, of Bush the outsider would be truly hysterical. Elite prep schools, Yale, Harvard, grandpa's a senator and, oh yeah, daddy was president. But I'm a Washington outsider, just a common man of the land. Did you know that Bush is afraid of horses? That there are no real farm animals or crops on the ranch? I suppose that to the extent that your everday farmer considers the clearing of the brush to be crucial to his/her identity, then his or her associoation with Bush isn't "falsified."
Meanwhile, no matter what you think of Edwards as either a person or politician, the fact of the matter is that he made his way through life with absolutely none of the advantages that guaranteed that Bush would prosper. To the extent that Edwards talks to the families of manufacturing industry workers who are trying to send their first child to college, he's speaking from real, accurate life experiences.
Whether or not Edwards was a good senator, whether you view his legal career as ambulance chasing that helped bankrupt doctors or as giving a voice to the little guy against the big corporations, and whether he is/was qualified to be president or vice president is certainly a debatable matter on the merits. But the notion that, based on their life experiences, Bush's association with ordinary Americans is more real than Edwards's association is truly laughable. Of course that's different than what folks perceive. I don't dispute that Bush is seen by many as a fairly ordinary guy (though I don't think this is based on the widespread belief amongst farmers that Bush is one of them)--he's been very successful in projecting that image. It just doesn't have the slightest bit of truth to it in reality.
Edit: I should add that while I am not a Bush supporter, I don't think his persona is fraud. Like I don't think he's secretly this high society, word-parsing, nuanced, intellectually complex person. He is who is he is and I say in all seriousness that he does have some admirable personal qualities. But that doesn't change the fact that he's always had the luxury to be able to take on whatever identity he feels like (i.e. skull and bones member, failed congressional candidate, failed oil man, failed corporate executive, the perfect last name to front the Rangers' ownership group, etc.).
I'm from the deep South, grew up in a trailer park, and know his target demographic very well. The fact is, appearances on TV 'at the ranch' in his pickup truck, and especially his appearances at NASCAR events, are sufficient to convince common people he is one of their own. Your points above sound eerily similar to some of the points I tried to raise to my neighbors back home, but they could not be swayed. Kerry was the 'ol rich guy' while Bush was the commoner. Odd, huh?
I too am a huge Edwards fan, but his showing in the VP debate was pretty average. I was a little dissapointed, Cheney did a great job of painting him as a young and inexperienced candidate.