Why John Edwards

My name is Michael Conrad. I am a General Director with Team Edwards, a coalition of supporters working together to nominate and elect John Edwards. I am writing this for two reasons. One is to introduce Team Edwards to other supporters of John Edwards.  The second, and far more important reason, is to lay out a few reasons for supporting John Edwards that I feel have been overlooked.  There many reasons to support John Edwards. Instead of listing all of them here I think it would be best if I did this in a series. Consider this the first part.  

For the first time in a long time the Democrat who best represents our values is also the most electable.  That is just one of the reasons why I feel it is so important for the progressive movement to come together and support John Edwards' campaign.  This diary would be far too long if I went into detail about all the reasons to support John Edwards, but after the jump I'll list some of the things he has done that make it clear that he is the bold progressive leader that both our party and our country desperately needs. If you dispute the point that John Edwards is the most electable Democrat I would like for you to check out the latest post on our blog.  If you are already a John Edwards supporter you will be able to find information that will help you when engaging fellow Democrats about supporting John Edwards.


So why John Edwards?

Like I said before, he is the Democrat who best represents our values and is also the most electable Democrat in the race. For far too long we have had to weigh our desire to see our convictions represented in our candidate against our need to win.  Finally we can throw that scale away.

John Edwards is the best communicator of progressive values.  He does not need to tear down the party in a pathetic attempt to build himself up.  Whether by enforcing myths about fighting terrorism, taxes, or trade, every other major Democratic candidate (Senator Clinton, Senator Obama, and Governor Richardson) have at one time in this campaign thrown the party under a bus when it suited the image that they wanted to project. When John Edwards criticizes our party he focuses on the need for our party to have more backbone and political courage.  And he often does it to the face of Democratic leaders. The moment I knew that this was the campaign that I and many other progressive populists had been waiting for was when John Edwards told the DNC that now is the time to stop trying to reinvent the Democratic Party, now is the time to reclaim the Democratic Party.

At both of the recent debates it was clear to me that John Edwards is the best communicator in our party.  I am obviously biased, but I am confident that if you watch the recent debate when it is replayed tonight on CNN you will see exactly what I am talking about.

We need to remember that the ability to communicate effectively is what gets people elected.  I am clearly not a Ronald Reagan fan.  He did terrible things to this country as well as others and shrugged it all of by stuffing his face with jelly beans. But he was able to communicate.  And that is why, not some conservative fantasy that the country loved his policies, he won two elections by wide margins. Bill Clinton is a very effective communicator.  While I am glad that President Clinton was in the oval office instead of a Republican I think that he squandered an opportunity to be a truly great president instead of just a good president. NAFTA, Ricky Ray Rector, his support for the huge amounts of money wasted on "Missile Defense", and his failure to act with regards to Rwanda are my reasons for not being the biggest fan on President Clinton. But, he was a very effective communicator and for this reason was, and still is, a very popular president.

Immediately after he learned that President Bush had won re-election Clinton was quoted as saying that Democrats need to remember to speak to people who are concerned about social issues.  Personally, I believe that national security concerns (another issue that John Edwards has recently showed bold leadership on) was the main reason why Bush was re-elected. But Clinton is right about the need to speak to people who are concerned about these issues.  Clinton also was right to point out that we should not change our positions on these issues, but we do need to address them.  And no one speaks with more candor about social issues than John Edwards.

I would like to wrap up this diary by pointing out the need for a nominee who puts political courage ahead of political calculation.  John Edwards has also run a very bold campaign and displayed the type of political courage that will be needed when a Democratic president attempts to make the end of the War in Iraq, Universal Health Care, Energy Independence, or any of the other things that are being focused on in the primaries a reality.  

John Edwards' recent confrontation of the Bush doctrine of a "War on Terror" is a great example of this. Confronting one of the most widely used and effective political frames in recent memory was not an easy task but it was something that someone, for the long-term well being of both our party and our country, needed to do.  What makes this decision even more important is how it was made. Edwards had a few seconds at the most to decide whether to raise his hand when the question about a "war on terror" was asked.  Not only was he the only major candidate not to raise his hand, he did not stop there.  

He showed progressive Democrats why engaging conservative myths is important, that it is possible, and how it can be done.  Every counter-terrorism/national security expert that I have seen speak (usually on C-Span's "Book TV") has made it clear that the Bush administration has made us less safe, increased the number of terrorists, and fueled their hatred for us.  As Edwards himself pointed out, we need to give those on the fence (and there are many) a hand to our side, not a shove to the other.  Edwards confronted this conservative myth publicly and vigorously and he offered a substantive alternative to the Bush doctrine.

There are many other examples of John Edwards displaying the bold leadership that we are looking for, and that is what I would like to end with. I like to call it the "John Edwards First and Often Only" List. It is a list of times that during the course of this campaign John Edwards was the first, and often only, candidate to do something of importance.   This list was first posted on our blog on Monday April 2nd. Soon after it became very hard to keep track of all of the examples of Edwards demonstrating leadership during this campaign so this list has not been updated as often as we would have liked, but I think it gets the point across.

Before I go I wanted to ask something. Is there anyone else who would like to see John Edwards debate Rudy Giuliani on Iraq/Foreign Policy in General /National Security/Terrorism?  Personally, I think that the only problem is how the media would spin it. I truly believe that Rudy is overplaying the fear mongering/invoking 9/11/claiming that anyone who disagrees with him thinks that we deserved to be attacked on 9/11 card. If you want to get an idea for what the debate would look like compare Edwards' answers at the debate on Iraq/Foreign Policy questions to Giuliani's answers on the same topics. Anyway, it's just an idea, but I would appreciate any input.

Anyone who would like to be involved in Team Edwards can find my contact information on our blog.

The "John Edwards First and Often Only" List

1st candidate to respond to DFA (Democracy For America) with a clear position / plan for ending the war in Iraq.

Note: Recently DFA asked the presidential candidates to respond with a clear, detailed plan for environmental action (on issues like energy independence and global warming) and once again John Edwards was the first candidate to respond.

1st and only of the "big 3" candidates to publicly support the 2006 Kerry - Feingold amendment to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq (both Obama and Clinton voted against it).

1st and only of the "big 3" candidates to support cutting off funding for the escalation of the war in Iraq (both Obama and Clinton stopped short).

1st and only of the "big 3" candidates to make it clear from the outset where he stood on the recent Senate vote on the War in Iraq. Edwards made it clear from the start that he opposed any bill without timetables. Meanwhile Senators Obama and Clinton did not indicate which way they were going to vote and engaged each other in a game of "chicken" (a term Senator Obama should be familiar with) instead of showing leadership. In the end they were among the last to vote. Senator Obama voted first and the Senator Clinton, in typical fashion, followed. At the debate Senator Obama claimed that Edwards was 4 years late to show leadership on the issue. In reality, since late 2005, Edwards has been demonstrating leadership on the issue of ending the war. On three of the most important Iraq related issues, Kerry-Feingold, cutting of funds for the surge, and the recent vote in the Senate, John Edwards showed leadership while Senator Obama played it safe, even though his early opposition to the war gave him the moral authority to lead.  

1st major candidate to support Jim Webb's Iran legislation.

1st major candidate to endorse and campaign for Ned Lamont against Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate race. Edwards was also the 1st candidate to call for Lieberman to drop out of the race. Edwards said that because Lieberman had just run in the Democratic primary and lost to Lamont, he should honor the result of the primary. Edwards was neutral during the primary, unlike Obama and Clinton who supported Lieberman.

1st and only major candidate to spend no money on polling in the first quarter of 2007.

1st candidate to release a substantive, truly Universal Health Care plan.

1st candidate to release a comprehensive plan for Energy Independence / to combat Global Warming.

1st and only candidate to release a plan for Rural Recovery.

1st candidate to lay out a specific and detailed National Security doctrine - Smart Power.  He is also the first and only candidate to release a comprehensive plan specifically to fight terrorism.  

1st candidate to say no to debate on / legitimizing FOX News. Not once but twice. Both times FOX news was scheduled to host a Democratic debate John Edwards was the first candidate to say no, and the only one to make it clear that he did so because FOX News is bias and he did not want to legitimize a Republican spin machine.

1st candidate to call for the resignation of Alberto Gonzales.

1st candidate to call for the resignation of Paul Wolfowitz.

1st candidate to accept the offer from the SEIU to work a union job for a day. He is also the only candidate to actually work the job a union worker. The other candidates gave an interview to union workers.

1st and only candidate to mention the passing of the late great Molly Ivins during his speech to the DNC's Winter Meeting. You cannot knock the other candidates for not mentioning her. They stick so closely to their prepared remarks and just because they didn't mention her doesn't mean that they don't respect her. But in brining attention to her passing John Edwards displayed an important respect for powerful progressive voices.

1st and only major candidate who was no support on K Street and is doing nothing to change that. Edwards is not accepting lobbyist money while other candidates, like Senator Obama, pledge to take no lobbyist money but their  finance team contacts the spouses of lobbyists and urge them to give money to the campaign.

Tags: John Edwards (all tags)




The first question:

Are you paid by Edwards campaign? Do you have any financial link with Edwards campaign? Any mean any, salary, event organization fees, consulting fees etc.

Please disclose to us, then we can decide whether to take your opinion seriously.

by bryandem 2007-06-10 01:14PM | 0 recs
Brayndem, are

you paid by Clinton campaign?

What a joke your comments are.  

It is clear that this diarist is not with any campaign.  

As for you, I doubt the Clinton campaign would be so stupid as to hire someone with such poor people skills or lack of ability.  

by littafi 2007-06-10 01:21PM | 0 recs
Seems like a sensible question.

Why would s/he be a troll for asking someone with the screenname 'TeamEdwards' whether s/he's an employee of John Edwards?

What makes it "clear that this diarist is not with any campaign?" And as for "poor people skills or lack of ability...."  your trollishness is showing.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 09:37AM | 0 recs

I have no link with the Edwards campaign. We make that clear on the blog. We are a coalition of GRASSROOTS supporters.

I can see why Edwards having grassroots support bothers you though. I can also see why the continued leadership that he shows bothers you. And lastly I can see why his consistent perfromances in general election polling (there is a special treat just for you in our most recent post on our blog) makes you angry.
Jealousy can lead to alot of anger and Senator Clinton has none of those things.

Notice how Senator Clinton has now gotten so angry and frustrated with her being behind in Iowa that she has now began to push poll against both Edwards and Obama. She even goes so far to say that her stand on Iraq is one of "conviction". If her convictions are that we were right to invade Iraq then she is running for the nomination of the wrong party. I can see why she is so desperate in Iowa though. Every credible Iowa poll (ARG is not credible, they are consistently off, and I am not the only one to point this out) shows Edwards ahead. There is one Zogby poll that shows them tied, but even the most consistent set of polls will have it's outliers.

So besides a lead in worthless and irrelevant national polls (even the pundit class agrees that they are no good unitl post Iowa or maybe post New Hampshire) what does she have? Oh and a pollster who is also her chief policy advisor and a union busting hack doesn't count?

by Team Edwards 2007-06-10 02:18PM | 0 recs
bryandem does not act like he wants to find ...

... out information if its not what he wants to hear ... he acts like he'd rather spread smear and innuendo.

So this is no big surprise:

We make that clear on the blog.

For example, he has a smear diary up based on a Business Week article based on a Raw Story article, which Raw Story has already corrected ... the whole story revolved around a confusion over the tax status of the charity that Edwards set up for the things he did like bringing 700 college students to work in NOLA. Turns out ... shock, horror ... it was not a tax-exempt charity, and everything was indeed on the up and up.

by BruceMcF 2007-06-10 02:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Nice diary.  Thanks.

I see you have met the local Clinton troll.  Just ignore her.  

by littafi 2007-06-10 01:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Thanks. I would have taken your advice if I would have seen it first. One thing I am not is perfect. Next time I'll just ignore her. I think Elizabeth Edwards (sorry to bring her up but she has a point here) said it best when she talked about how she often writes angry responese to the people who say mean or ignorant things about her husband. But then she keeps herself from pressing send. I'll have to try that.

by Team Edwards 2007-06-10 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

I like the tagline "John Edwards First and often Only"

by MassEyesandEars 2007-06-10 01:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

I support Hillary Clinton.  She is far and away the most qualified to lead our country.  As far as Iowa goes, John Edwards better win there or his political career is over.  He doesn't have any strength anywhere else; which I find amazing considering how long he has been campaigning.  

As for polls, you cannot discount all the national polls and then claim the head-to-head polls (for the general) have any clout.  The bottom line is that John Edwards has the support of 11 to 15 percent of the electorate nationally, and very low numbers in most of the states.  How is he going to fix that?    

He has to knock out Obama.  If he is able to do that, which is a stretch at best, he will be face to face with Hillary, who has been working for the American people before anyone even heard of John Edwards.  

And no, I am not a troll for Hillary anymore than anyone here (including the diarist) is a troll for John Edwards.

by samueldem 2007-06-10 02:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

... you cannot discount all the national polls and then claim the head-to-head polls (for the general) have any clout

Why not? Precisely why is it not reasonable to rank the polls:

  • polls in early states that are used to being early states
  • polls in other early states
  • polls on favorable/unfavorable
  • polls on head to head match ups
  • meaningless national preference polls that Big Media relies on as a crutch in lieu of political journalism.

by BruceMcF 2007-06-10 02:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

"He has to knock out Obama.  If he is able to do that, which is a stretch at best, he will be face to face with Hillary, who has been working for the American people before anyone even heard of John Edwards."

Working for the American people like carpetbagging to a senate seat in a state where she had no connection but is considered to be the best jumping-off for a presidential run?  

Working for the American people like sitting down on the job when we had a real chance for universal healthcare, letting corporations, insurance companies and PhRMA set the agenda?  

Working for the American people like introducing flag-burning amendments, being belligerent on Iraq, Iran, and other foreign affairs issues, and other senatorial malfeasances?

Or working for the American people like dedicating a professional career to fighting corporations that wrong the defenseless, fighting for the labor movement, and standing up to enter the political non-winner issue of poverty back into the political conversation?

by Peter from WI 2007-06-10 05:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

If you like Bush - you're gonna love Hillary. Woot!

by annefrank 2007-06-10 06:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

She is far and away the most qualified to lead our country.

Based on what exactly?  

by justinh 2007-06-11 05:17AM | 0 recs
Reclaiming the Party

Yes, John Edwards gets that we need to reclaim the party from the DINOS and return it to it's core values of standing up for economic opportunity and social justice.  He is running as the repesentative of working society.  He is running to be "a lobbyist for those who have no lobbyist".  He has joined the progressive movement that now is a majority movement.  It's just that the Republican lite Democrats haven't caught on.  The people are far ahead of them.

The guy will eat Rudy Guiliani for lunch.  I lived in NYC.  Rudy is a ghoul. Zippo charisma or communicating skills.

by Feral Cat 2007-06-10 02:57PM | 0 recs
Nice diary - and couple more firsts

First major candidate to call for closing of Gitmo.

First major candidate to call for rejection of the Korea trade pact.

First major candidate to call for allowing for gay family immigration (Obama and Clinton say they support this now but arent not currently sponsors of the Senate bill).

by okamichan13 2007-06-10 03:26PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

I did not think he did so great in the last debate.  The biggest soundbite that came from it was from Obama with a slam on him.  His "I don't know what a rich person is" was immediately ridiculed.  Edwards did not do well in the dabate against Cheney in the last election so I don't have much confidence in any one-on-one debates with him.

by reasonwarrior 2007-06-10 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

>>>>The biggest soundbite that came from it was from Obama with a slam on him.

Obama has run a campaign projecting himself as always being opposed to the war.  But the informed know that's not true since he's voted to fund it - and he certainly didn't like Edwards pointing that out or his conflict in deciding HOW he was gonna vote on the last bill - even leaving his supporters in the dark until he cast his vote.
Rather than use the time prior to the vote to encourage senators and rally supporters to encourage their senators to vote "no" - Obama was silent. That's not leadership.

Do you suppose you could ask yourself why the corporate media keeps running the clip of Obama slamming Edwards - while implying those raising the most money are the true "winners"?
IOW - per the corporate media, those raising the most corporate money are truly "presidential" material because they'll support corporate interests - not ours.

by annefrank 2007-06-10 07:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards
I was hoping for more out of Edwards in the last debate, but was only a little disappointed. It was clear he entered the debate with an agenda, executed that agenda, and did a decent job of it. It's tough being the "other" top tier guy.
It seems like we have a gagillion more of these things before the first vote is cast, so I'll hold my final opinion for now.
by LandStander 2007-06-10 08:24PM | 0 recs
Regarding National Polls

The reason why I consider general election polls to be far more credible than national polling is because when they poll general election match ups (especially Rasmussen who does it quite often) they are pretty good at filtering those who are not likely to vote in a general election. Far more people vote in a general election than in a primary.

The national primary polling often includes far too many casual Democrats who are not likely to attend a caucus or vote in a primary. From what I have seen casual Democrats tend to support Hillary Clinton.  This is probably because they think that they are supposed to support her.  Many Democrats have an emotional attachment to her because of the huge deal that was made of the Lewinsky/Impeachment scandal. All of watched both of the Clintons get hit far too hard, for far too long, for all of the wrong reasons. I have some serious issues with Senator Clinton but none of them have to do with her gender, which appears to be the source of some of the GOP hatred for her.

If anything National Polling seems to register name ID. The names that the respondents are most familiar with are the names that they are most likely to give. I could be wrong about this but I think that this is part of the reason why Clinton and Giuliani have such a large lead in national polls. Personally, I think that if there was a polling firm that could somehow eliminate all responses from those who are not going to participate in their primary/caucus the national polls would look something kind of like...

Obama - 27%
Clinton- 27%
Edwards - 20%
Richardson - 6%
Biden - 4%
Dodd - 2%
Kucinich - 2%
Gravel - 1%
Unsure - 11%

Give or take a few points.  

lot of the support for all candidates seems pretty fluid right now.  As the issues and electability become more important I believe that John Edwards will do even better. He is already seeing increasing support in states like Oklahoma (where he is tied), Kansas, Georgia, and Florida (where polls are all over the place, but one showed him ahead).  

My point is that if you consider that...

1 - National polling is not very good at eliminating those who are not going to be a factor.

2 - How fluid the support is.

3 - The drastic changes that took place in the national polling in 2004, 1992, and 1988 in the final weeks leading up to, and especially after, Iowa and New Hampshire.

You see that national polling is not worth a whole lot.  The media wants to be able to give their audience some kind of indicator.  This is part of the reason why they focus so much on fundraising reports. But the media is not concerned with whether or not those indicators are accurate or not.

Like I said before I am not the only one who feels this way.  Even though their networks was not very happy with them doing so Candy Crowley, Mike Murphy, and Lynn Sweet (sp?) all mentioned this in the last week.

They did say, however, that statewide polling in the early states is more reliable.  Especially if it has been consistent. An example that was used - John Edwards in Iowa.

Why do you think that both rival campaigns have "Iowa memos" that at the very least bring up the consequences of skipping Iowa?

by Team Edwards 2007-06-10 04:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Regarding National Polls
Yes - most of Hillary's and Obamamania's support is based on name rec. Well- it certainly can't be on their positions - caused they've released few proposals.
In fact, I heard Obama speak and speak and speak on C-span tonight - but he offered no specific solutions to our country's problems. Like Hillary, he's being handled by PR and marketing people. John Edwards has Elizabeth.
by annefrank 2007-06-10 07:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Regarding National Polls

Wasn't John Edwards the 04 VP nominee...and isn't Obama a freshman Senator - Name rec.?

by gb1437a 2007-06-10 10:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Regarding National Polls

Obama is the most prominent black politician in the country and has been since his 2004 race.  The media has focused on Obama much more than Edwards for the past two years.  That does a lot to improve name recognition.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 01:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Regarding National Polls

But Edwards is still better known. I'm not saying Obama isn't getting there when it comes to name recognition, but Edwards has been on the national scene longer and was the VP candidate last time.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 09:41AM | 0 recs
First and Only on Iraq?

John Edwards was not the first and only Democrat to vote to get into the damn war in the first place. He was one of many to do so, unfortunately. He was not the first and only to buy Bush's crap on Iraq without actually reading the National Intelligence Estimate, unfortunately he was one of many on that one, too.

Edwards only started talking big on Iraq after he left the Senate and didn't have the power to do anything. I might still vote for him, but that doesn't set him apart from Clinton or Obama for me.

by babusrinivasan 2007-06-10 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: First and Only on Iraq?

It's amazing that once you're out of the senate as a representative for an entire state and get out of DC, you're able to clear your mind.  

Legislative leadership is very different from executive leadership, and i think that what we've seen from the past 2 years from John Edwards, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton shows that there is one candidate who is ready to take progressive leadership into the White House and be the first president to be one of us.

by Peter from WI 2007-06-10 05:18PM | 0 recs
Re: First and Only on Iraq?

He always wanted Bush to use inspectors and to get a coalition.  When Bush invaded and began to mess things up Edwards voted against funding the war $87B in October 2003 - vote of 88-12.  So he acted while still in the senate.  The war was still popular but Edwards began to speak out against it.  What he apologized for in 2005 was for maintaining that it was right to give a sitting president the authority to negotiate with all the tools available.  What he realized was he was wrong to not consider that Bush was there and not to trust him.  

He was one of the first to repudiate his vote and then to actively try to change public opinion.  It has been an uphill battle.  Obama and Hillary kept voting for the funding until May 2007.

by pioneer111 2007-06-10 05:53PM | 0 recs
Re: First and Only on Iraq?

Edwards has moved farrrrr awayyy from the DC lobbyi$ts and corporati$ts - but Hillary and Obama are very much a part of them.

by annefrank 2007-06-10 07:10PM | 0 recs
Re: First and Only on Iraq?

Hillary is. Obama isn't. He talks to lobbyists, but guess what? So does John Edwards. Neither of them take lobbyists contributions.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

We'll I disagree with a lot of what you said but I reced you anyways. It's good to get real writing shown off.

Here some of the stuff that I disagree with.

1st and only of the "big 3" candidates to publicly support the 2006 Kerry - Feingold amendment to set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq (both Obama and Clinton voted against it).

He also wasn't in the Senate.

In reality, since late 2005, Edwards has been demonstrating leadership on the issue of ending the war. On three of the most important Iraq related issues, Kerry-Feingold, cutting of funds for the surge, and the recent vote in the Senate, John Edwards showed leadership while Senator Obama played it safe, even though his early opposition to the war gave him the moral authority to lead.  

In reality, that's when John Edwards was not in the senate had no more say then anyone of us who have opposed the war from the beginning.

1st major candidate to support Jim Webb's Iran legislation.

Again, you can't support legislation unless you're in the Senate. We'll you can, but it doesn't matter anymore then the rest of the majority of Americans who don't want an Iran war.

1st candidate to release a substantive, truly Universal Health Care plan.

Dennis Kucinich?

1st candidate to release a comprehensive plan for Energy Independence / to combat Global Warming.

Again, Dennis Kucinich?

1st and only major candidate who was no support on K Street and is doing nothing to change that. Edwards is not accepting lobbyist money while other candidates, like Senator Obama, pledge to take no lobbyist money but their  finance team contacts the spouses of lobbyists and urge them to give money to the campaign.

There has been no proof of that ever happening. It might have, but really who cares? Just because you are married to a lobbyist doesn't make you a bad person, you're not lobbying for anyone so why does it matter. It's just a smear.

by Populista 2007-06-10 05:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Edwards while in the senate in 2003 voted against funding the war $87B because it was not being handled as promised.  He was trashed in the press for that vote.

Hillary and Obama continued to fund it until 2007.

by pioneer111 2007-06-10 05:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Edwards while in the senate in 2003 voted against funding the war $87B because it was not being handled as promised.

That's just Edwards making a commitment then trying to skip out on it because the polls changed.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Edwards voted against war funding in Oct. 2003. Don't you remember how Rethugs called him "anti-America" and a "terrorist"?

by annefrank 2007-06-10 07:13PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Obama wasn't in the Senate in 2002 during the AUMF vote.  So because he wasn't in the Senate you're saying his opposition didn't matter.

When Obama entered the Senate he didn't even give a speech on Iraq for 10 months, until the end of 2005.

After Obama entered the Senate, he voted on several military supplementals for Iraq, voting each time to continue and reauthorize the Iraq War.

And the diarist would do well to qualify the 1st "major" candidate, as Kucinich is not a major candidate.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 01:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

He didn't vote to "reauthorize" the war. Edwards voted to authorize the war and once that was done Obama voted to fund what was a done deal.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Rather than use the power of the purse to restrict the president... yes very bold.

Edwards was the first in the field to vote against a supplemental (in 2003).  Obama was supported the supplemental before he voted against it.  Hm...  sounds familiar.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 09:38AM | 0 recs
The power of the purse

wouldn't restrict the President. Cutting off funding wouldn't lead to a responsible conclusion. Bush is the most stubborn President we've possibly ever had. Bush would just leave the troops there and blame Democrats for the increase in casualities due to lack of funds. He's a lame-duck who has nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting into a game of chicken with Democrats.

The biggest difficulty with this situation is the fact of who is in the White House. With a more sensible President this wouldn't be nearly so difficult.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 10:00AM | 0 recs
What qualifies as "support"

I appreciate the fact that you rec'd the diary even though you had many substantive differences with it.  Any writing ability I displayed was likely done so accidentally, so the next part of the series is likely to disappoint you.

I disagree with you about what constitutes "support".  John Edwards was the VP candidate in 2004 and therefore a natural candidate in 2008.  He was, and still is, one of the most visible Democrats in the country and therefore he had a unique opportunity to affect the debate. The reality is that there were political consequences for Edwards expressing support for things like Kerry-Feingold, and that is why I believe that he demonstrated leadership in each of these instances even though he was not in the Senate or running for president (officially) at the time. Maybe I should have used the term "1st major candidate to express a need to support..." instead.

I respect Congressman Kucinich.  He definitely speaks from the heart.  However, when I wrote about Edwards being the first "major" candidate to do something it was often because the only other candidate who had done what Edwards had done was Kucinich.  Does Kucinich deserve credit for being way ahead of the curve on a lot of the issues? Yes.  But Dennis Kucinich is almost certainly not going to be our nominee.  

I appreciate your input.

by Team Edwards 2007-06-11 02:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Great and welcome to Mydd, glad to have you here.

Edwards is my choice for 2008.

by dk2 2007-06-10 07:02PM | 0 recs
Borrowed your list

for the Edwards Nightly ROundup for tomorrow on Dkos..keep you eyes on the site around 7 est and you will see it published under my name. Come join the fun.

by Chaoslillith 2007-06-10 11:22PM | 0 recs
Re: Borrowed your list

I am a big fan of what you guys do on Daily Kos so that means a lot to me.

by Team Edwards 2007-06-11 02:09AM | 0 recs
Hey we are all in

this insane messed up world together so we need to try to fix it together.

Hope you come by the Edwards diary later tonight.

by Chaoslillith 2007-06-11 09:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

During the N.H. debates, John Edwards commended Barack Obama for joining him in releasing a detailed healthcare plan and then went on to say he was proud to be the first candidate to do so. The problem, however, is that neither claim is true. First, Edwards was not first to release a detailed plan, as Dennis Kucinich had already co-drafted and introduced legislation outlining a detailed plan long before him. More significantly, though, it would be a major challenge for anyone to consider either the Edwards or Obama plan as "detailed"; both plans containing so much gray area that they raise critical questions more than providing answers.

Both plans provide no hard figures on their websites for prospective supporters to consult, even though Obama finds it appropriate to provide one figure: wildly he claims his plan will save families $2500 a year without any corroborating figures to support this. What's worse is both plans make sweeping claims like the ability to provide affordable coverage to all citizens, the guarantee of controlling private insurance companies from rating patients and denying coverage, a network for consumers to obtain fair premium rates and deductibles and as alluded to above, a community rating that will once again establish the pooling of risk that the for-profit, private insurance system has undermined and virtually destroyed.

  Again, the problem is neither candidate tells us how they will do this. How will they prevent the private insurance companies from rating patients, as insuring lower risk clients and denying coverage or charging significantly higher rates for the sick is the only way to actually pursue profit in the insurance industry. They very conveniently call their coverage "comprehensive" without citing any figures, rates or even criteria for evaluating such things. That is, they don't tell us what will qualify as "comprehensive": it could be $5,000 deductible for all we know. Further, they gloss over significant details, eg: Obama briefly mentions "participating" providers in one sentence in the whole plan, without telling us the criteria here either. Participating providers means a network, so now we are talking about some people having to change physicians that they have established critical relationships with and the possibility of long travel or waiting lines (see: rationing)  for access to these participants. And then there is the complete neglect of one of the most crucial areas in need of reform: the interference of private insurance companies interfering in the doctor-patient relationship, influencing medical decisions in the name of profit.

  Edwards and Obama avoid the simplest and most sensible solution. They avoid standing up for the American people, in the name of what should be a citizen's basic right: access to healthcare. They avoid doing what the majority of other developed nations, from Canada to much of Europe, have already done to ensure care and well being to all of their citizens. They avoid making the most economically sound decision, by enabling the U.S. to spend less each year on healthcare while proving all citizens with comprehensive coverage. They avoid doing away with for-profit, private insurance. But, why?

 One has to wonder what good reason there is not to convert to a single payer, not for-profit healthcare system. We spend 2.2 trillion dollars a year on healthcare, twice as much as any other country, and yet we do not get better care. Study after study finds us lacking here. There are 45 million+ Americans who are without any coverage and 50 million+ who are underinsured: half of all bankruptcies being related to healthcare and 3 out of every 4 of these bankruptcies had health insurance! They were underinsured, many not even knowing so until the time of need came. And yet we spend 2.2 trillion? That's because of the 30% waste. Take 30% of 2.2 trillion dollars and put it towards healthcare and you solve the problem.
This is the system that Dennis Kucinich has proposed, the only Democratic Candidate to do so. His co-sponsored bill, HR676, has already been introduced to Congress and gained the support of over 60 Reps., various Unions and healthcare professionals. The plan extends the non-profit Medicare system to all, using only 3% for administration. The Dean study found that 95% of families would save money by switching to this system. The average family premium is currently about $3,000, under HR676 it is only around $1,900. No more co-pays, no more not denial of coverage, free choice of provider for comprehensive medical coverage; including dental, vision and psychiatric. This is not socialized medicine, only government single payer insurance. The doctors are still private.

 And what about costs? The current healthcare system is clearly unable to control costs. The rise in health costs has been astronomical in the last ten years. Only a single payer system can accomplish this by cutting out the overhead, setting rates fairly and according a national budget, and by being the only healthcare insurer, having enough clout to actually control the costs of pharmaceuticals. Really, the reason that single payer makes the most sense is because it makes the most financial sense. Not only are we spending less as a country, not only are 95% of families saving money, but businesses also save by not having to pay for employees, which has taken its toll on American companies unable to compete with foreign companies who have single payer systems. GM reports that the cost of healthcare adds an extra $1,500 to the price of each car.

 Edwards and Obama propose a Medicare-like program that would compete with the private insurers, adding that the market may then "evolve" into a single payer system similar to the one I've just described. But, what they don't mention is how unlikely this would be. In fact, the government program is bound to fail in this competition since the private companies are going to insure the healthy and let the government cover the sick and thus spiral in costs. This is against the whole idea of risk pooling which is the reason we have insurance in the first place. They say they won't allow this, but don't tell us how. They say that the competition between the private plans and the public ones will work to drive prices down, but they leave this ominously vague as well. Consider that under their systems anyone content with their present coverage can choose to stay on that plan. Consider, further, that if there are "competing" plans there must necessarily be some difference between them and the difference will either be in cost or coverage. And this will lead to an either/or situation of either low cost, but undercovered or unaffordable coverage. Neither option solves our problems.

by parmenides08 2007-06-11 02:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards
Correction: Obama's plan does create a public insurer, but doesn't allow it to compete with private insurance companies. See Ezra.
by philgoblue 2007-06-11 05:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Doesn't it strike anyone as somewhat strange that the guy has been running for 5 years now? If he was really so interested in social change, why didn't he work for it directly, ala Al Gore? Obama worked on social justice and poverty issues BEFORE running for office. What did Edwards do? He made a shit ton of money. Money is fine, but while he was busy doing this, did he also take time to work on a grassroots level? No, because his interest in poverty has never been genuine, and is motivated entirely by political expediency.

Edwards is fooling you now the way that McCain fooled you in 2000.

Barack Obama is the only true progressive on the democratic ballot, and despite his alleged lack of experience, he is the only one besides Al Gore who had the presence of mind to call Iraq an idiocy when both Edwards and Clinton were busy authorizing the use of force WITHOUT EVEN READING THE DAMN INTELLIGENCE REPORT!!!

I am really appalled by how easily the blogosphere has been wooed by Edwards and his bullshit. If he looses now, and the country shifts to the right again, he will run in four years as a "centrist" or a "moderate" or whatever else is expedient. There is absolutely nothing genuine about him. And your long list of firsts is, by the way, a long list of things Edwards did to please you, and not because of any personal conviction.

by alipi 2007-06-11 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

You are beyond foolish.  Edwards was born the son of a mill worker, not exactly a prestigious or wealthy trade.  Of course he cares about poverty.

While Barack Hussein Obama was busy not making speeches about Iraq, John Edwards was leading the fight for raising the minimum wage in several different states.

While Barack Hussein Obama was trying to figure out where he currently stands on the Iraq issue, Edwards was clear from the beginning that he would vote against the supplemental.

Barack Hussein Obama is politically dishonest.  All politicians are.  And he is just another politician, nothing special about him.  I'd rather see Hillary Clinton sitting in the Oval Office than ever imagine the nightmare an Obama presidency would bring.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 09:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

I'm glad to know that I am "beyond foolish", but that doesn't change the facts that I am concerned with. Lets review:

1. Edwards voted for a war, without reading the intelligence. I don't care WHAT he did recently in opposing a supplimental on which he will not have to vote anyway, I care what he did back when he thought nobody was looking. Also its funny how you say that Edwards opposed the supplimental from the beginning, as if to imply that he has not waivered on the issue. Clever trick, right out of the Republican playbook.

2. Obama opposed the war from the start like Al Gore and unlike Edwards and HRC. I'm sorry to tell you that there is no way to make this FACT go away, although you would clearly like to do so. This one fact alone qualifies Gore and Obama and disqualifies Edwards and Clinton, if our criterion is choosing a president with good judgement. If you disagree please tell me, in addition to how beyond-foolish I am, why specifically you disagree and based on what.

3. Barack Obama was interested in working in his community well before he had political aspirations, whereas the correlation between Edwards' presidential ambitions and his concern for the poor is undeniable (you mentioned the work he did on the minimum wage bill, work he did in politically important states in the year after his first run and two years before his second run at the presidency - is this your measure of authenticity?). Also, its good to know that he was born poor. So was Obama, so was I, and I fail to see your point.

You repeatedly call Sen. Obama dishonest, yet have not offered any support for this assertion. For the sake of the beyond-foolish in the audience, would you deign to do so now?

PS Its cute how you use Obama's middle name the way that they do on Fox News. I'm glad its his middle name that concerns you and not his record. Apparently I am too foolish to comprehend how Sen. Obama's middle name relates to his abilities, so perhaps you could explain it to me?

by alipi 2007-06-11 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Edwards worked on poverty issues for much of his life. He was working with faith groups helping the poor for years before even getting into the senate. He has talked about this a number of times as have others. He and Elizabeth opened after school community centres for kids. His whole legal career was about helping people who had suffered due to callous and powerful corporations. It was about standing up for the little guy against giants. Don't relegate his legal career to simply making money.

by Quinton 2007-06-11 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

1. John Edwards is the most "electable."

This argument is basicly based on witchcraft. It is absolutely impossible to look at current national polls or head to head match-ups and accurately determine who the most electable Democrat will be in 2008. This is the sort of thinking that got us John Kerry in 2004, and it's nonsense. You can spill some chicken guts on the ground and read all kinds of omens in the way the entrails fall... but it means nothing. The plain fact is that all three TT candidates will likely be the next President if they are the nominee--even Hillary Clinton.

2. John Edwards "best represents our values."

Barack Obama best represents my values. And I suspect the reason you think Edwards best represents "our" values is that he is clearly the most poll driven candidate in this race. If you want to know Edwards position on any issue just check the latest polls. He voted for the war when that was popular among Democrats, started to oppose it when that became popular among Democrats, called for cutting the funds when that became popular among Democrats... etc.

I have no doubt that if Edwards is the nominee he will be the next President. I also have no doubt that he will be far better than what we have now. But will he make the best President of the choices we have before us? Not even close. The last thing we want is a President sitting in the oval office who checks the polls of Democratic or popular opinion before every decision. We need a President who has a mind of his own and has the ability to see the big picture.

We need Barack Obama.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

We need Barack Obama.

Yes we do.  In the Senate, that is.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 09:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Yes we do.  In the Senate, that is.

Yep. Giving the State of the Union.

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 09:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Umm... the Senate is a legislative body, so I fail to see how he'd be giving a State of the Union there.

And even if you meant the building, the SOTU is given in the House chamber.  So... try again.

by Vox Populi 2007-06-11 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

So we need him in the house... the White House.

(see, I can be as cute with my comments as you can. "We need him in the Senate.... indeed!)

by Mystylplx 2007-06-11 09:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

I don't remember seeing polls showing Kerry beating Bush in 2003.

by jallen 2007-06-11 01:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

What truly bothers me is the dishonesty lodged in his apology for his mistake.  We now know the NIE report was available to him, a report by our own people which seriously questioned the existence of WMDs, the connection to Al-Qiada, and the imminent threat.  He seeks to brush over his vote by saying it was a mistake without detailing what the mistake was.  He said in the last debate he was fully briefed and didn't need to read the report.  He said in the first debate he should have trusted his intincts more.  These admissions, far from soothing me, just makes the issue more troubling.  

I'm for another candidate, true.  But at the end of the day I'm a Democrat and will be voting for a Democrat and electability was raised in this thread.  So, please, I would like an answer - knowing what we know know, if his intincts were otherwise and he was fully informed, how does someone make a speech the day after September 11th, 2002, and say these words by mistake?

"As a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I firmly believe that the issue of Iraq is not about politics. It's about national security. We know that for at least 20 years, Saddam Hussein has obsessively sought weapons of mass destruction through every means available. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons today. He has used them in the past, and he is doing everything he can to build more. Each day he inches closer to his longtime goal of nuclear capability -- a capability that could be less than a year away."

"The path of confronting Saddam is full of hazards. But the path of inaction is far more dangerous. This week, a week where we remember the sacrifice of thousands of innocent Americans made on 9-11, the choice could not be starker. Had we known that such attacks were imminent, we surely would have used every means at our disposal to prevent them and take out the plotters. We cannot wait for such a terrible event -- or, if weapons of mass destruction are used, one far worse -- to address the clear and present danger posed by Saddam Hussein's Iraq."

by dougdilg 2007-06-11 01:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

But at the end of the day I'm a Democrat and will be voting for a Democrat and electability was raised in this thread.  So, please, I would like...

Not sure I get your train of thought here. First clause of first sentence implies you'd vote for Edwards if he's nominated. Second clause  mentions electability theme, but doesn't say what you think about it. Next sentence begins with "So" and thus seems to have something to do with the first sentence, but doesn't seem clearly connected to the preceding thought. Are the two thoughts supposed to be connected in some manner, or is that just a subsequent unrelated thought, as in "OK, you want to talk about electability, that's your thing, but I want to talk about Iraq/NIE/AUMF, that's my thing."

by Rob in Vermont 2007-06-11 08:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Pretty simple and I seriously doubt you are confused at all, but I'll play along. Edwards believability is key to his electability, and from what I've seen his Iraq statements are troublesome and cut right to this issue.  I asked this question 7 hours ago and the only response has been yours which doesn't even attempt to answer it.

by dougdilg 2007-06-11 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: Why John Edwards

Actually, you should give me the benefit of the doubt - my comment was sincere.

As for no one addressing the meat of your comment, it may well be because the issue you bring up has been discussed by yourself, me, and many others in a number of other threads.  This issue may be key to your thinking about Edwards - it's just not key to everyone's thinking about him - so don't be surprised if you don't elicit a ton of responses every time you bring it up.  Edwards is my favorite candidate primarily (but not exclusively) because of his policy focus on poverty in the U.S. and worldwide; this is key to my thinking about him - but if I wave this flag in every comment section (and without clearly connecting my thought to the theme of the current discussion) I don't expect to necessarily elicit a lot of interesting responses.

by Rob in Vermont 2007-06-12 04:18AM | 0 recs
Edwards Wasn't First on Lieberman/Lamont

You said:

Edwards was also the 1st candidate to call for Lieberman to drop out of the race.


Bill Richardson was the first to call on Joe Lieberman to drop out of the race.

by Ken Camp 2007-06-11 09:05PM | 0 recs


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