03 May 2007

John Edwards

It's been a while since I've written and a lot has happened/is happening. YAY! I like it when there's a lot going on...as always.

This post is dedicated to my new boss and all he's doing to become the next POTUS.

A few articles, a few videos and we'll see if I can't convince you to, at the very very least, keep your eye on him over the next few and very important months.


Edwards Rejects the "War on Terror"

No Baloney Candidate
by Joe Klien, Time Magazine
26 April 2007

'"I want this to be a country where everyone has the same chances I had," John Edwards recently told a large crowd at the Electric Park Ballroom in Waterloo, Iowa. "I want to live in a country where you can go from having nothing to having everything." He paused. "Not sure I want to live in a country where people pay $400 for haircuts." There was a bolt of laughter. "So embarrassing," Edwards said. "So embarrassing."

I'm not sure I want to write a column about his $400 haircuts either. I doubt Edwards had any idea how much those trims cost. Presidential candidates don't think about those sorts of things. They're scheduled for the barber; they go; someone pays. Sooner or later, the public will have to make a decision about whether Edwards--with his haircuts, 29,000-sq.-ft. house and lucrative hedge-fund employment--walks the populist walk that he talks. For now, though, let's give him the benefit of the doubt and say, furthermore, that it's a very good sign that Edwards has responded to the haircut fluff with self-deprecating humor rather than defensiveness or abject apologies.

In fact, the tone of the Edwards campaign has been impressive from the start--from the moment, during Christmas week, that he announced his candidacy by helping clean up a devastated neighborhood in New Orleans, without buttons or balloons, without a bombastic prepared text. Also impressive was his first appearance as a candidate on Meet the Press, a show that had totally boggled Edwards in 2004. Tim Russert hammered the candidate repeatedly on his support for the war. "I was wrong," Edwards said plainly, sans baloney. But most impressive has been Edwards' willingness to step out and get specific on some major issues in a way that none of his opponents have.

Edwards says his first act as President will be to send Congress a universal health-care plan--and he has proposed one, with all the gory details. He would require all employers to provide health-care coverage for their employees, and he would provide tax credits, according to income, to all those currently not covered. Edwards says this would cost $90 billion to $120 billion a year, and he would pay for it by eliminating the Bush tax cuts for people earning more than $200,000. This is a breathtaking gamble: that a politician isn't presumed dead on arrival if he proposes tax increases during a campaign. By the way, Edwards says his second act as President will be to get on an airplane and start traveling around the world, mending fences after the arrogance of the Bush years. "After Iraq, there's going to be a temptation for us to withdraw from the world and deal with the problems here at home. We can't do that," he says. That's also a courageous statement, given his populist constituency, which tends toward isolationism.

Edwards is similarly bold about global warming. He favors a mandatory 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, with an auction for the rights to pollute. He believes the auction will raise $30 billion to $40 billion, which he would spend on conservation and renewable-fuel technology. Like Al Gore, he is opposed to the construction of any more coal-fired power plants. Unlike Gore, he is opposed to a carbon tax. But the 80% reduction in carbon emissions, if successful, will cause the same sort of increase in energy prices that a carbon tax might. "It's time we asked Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. There are some hard things we're going to have to do together," Edwards says. Good line.

His crowds are not as large as the throngs turning out for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, but they are huge by traditional Iowa standards. "Why is everybody here?" Linda Hearn asked her husband Dave, the former Webster County Democratic chairman, as she scanned more than 350 of her neighbors who had turned out to hear Edwards in Fort Dodge. "Because this is it," Dave replied. "We've got to get it right this time." That sense of seriousness is pervasive, and Edwards' response to it--his specificity on the issues--is a gamble that may well pay off. "I like the way he dives into issues," said Terry McGrane, a Waterloo machinist. McGrane's wife Mickey agreed but in classic Iowa fashion said she's still shopping. "Maybe Clinton," she said. "But I want to hear her details too."

Edwards has weaknesses: his knowledge of foreign policy is limited; nor does he know much about the U.S. military or national defense policy. He recently opposed the U.S.--South Korea trade deal, which would bring significant economic benefits to U.S. companies and consumers. There are probably better ways to get to universal health insurance than his plan. If his bouts of conspicuous consumption continue, voters may find him untrustworthy. For now, though, Edwards is demonstrating two of the qualities I most value in a politician: self-deprecating humor and real courage.'

The videos are in this order:
1) Edwards on Faith and Honesty
2) Edwards' entrance to Congressman Clyburn's Fishfry in Columbia, SC
3) Edwards on his Rural Recovery Plan

Edwards Rises to the Moment

John Edwards: The People Party Candidate of 2008

So there's some food for thought!

Hope you're all well-


At 8:36 AM, Blogger Maria said...

Thank you for that article! This is exactly why I am enticed by him as a candidate-- I love that he puts it out there to be decided BEFORE the election. I do not want to hear general ideas-- I want to know what the candidates really think. If it ends up different once they work with Congress, so be it. At least I knew where they came from!

At 4:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

looks like trouble.

What we need is a people's movement to knock out the current power structure. Neither the democrats or the republicans are doing what is necessary to bring a swift (immediate) and just (must provide reparations for the Iraqi people) end to the occupation of Iraq.

It's illegal and immoral. The new congress has a mandate, yet they are not doing enough. They need to apply more pressure.

The situation in Iraq is made worse by the presence of US troops. US military is exacerbating violence and sectarian tensions / conflict. The solution is to withdraw.

We are headed toward chaos in Iraq. Might as well pull the troops out to save lives.

The actions of the USA are making the world a less safe place to live in. The actions of the USA are provoking and exacerbating extremism and global terrorism. It's horrible.

At 1:23 AM, Blogger Susie said...

Who are you anonymous?

At 10:22 AM, Anonymous Baba said...

Good post.


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