Not Good-bye. Just Until We Meet Again.

Wed, January 30, 2008

Democrats

John Edwards’ campaign website says that he is scheduled to give a “major policy address on poverty” this afternoon in New Orleans.

CNN, MSNBC and other major news outlets are reporting that this scheduled speech is now going to be his farewell address to the Edwards’ troops.

While I knew there was a good chance this day would come, I was heartened by Edwards’ statements recently that he would stay in the race until the convention.

I knew that was probably not the most realistic scenario, but when you’ve committed to a candidate — as with any relationship — it’s hard to see it end.

If, indeed, his next speech is one to bow out of this race, I hope that he will keep working on the one big issue that drew me to his campaign in the first place — his commitment to find ways to end poverty in America. To make sure that children don’t have to go to bed hungry anymore. To ensure that families have places to live and decent schools for their kids.

I don’t envision either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama taking on that fight. After all, the poor don’t have money to give to campaigns and vote in fewer numbers than those in the middle and upper classes.

While he may not be fighting for the White House after today, if fighting poverty and hunger is the cause of his life, I hope he will continue to fight for those causes. An article online today at Time Magazine says:

Edwards’ challenge from the beginning of his presidential quest was to stay relevant.

For me, fighting poverty is relevant. John, we haven’t had a good gadfly for a while — what do you think?

Cross-posted at MOMocrats.

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13 Responses to “Not Good-bye. Just Until We Meet Again.”

  1. Florinda Says:

    Guess who just put an absentee ballot for next Tuesday’s primary in the mail this morning, completed last night and suddenly rendered inconsequential?

    As you say, it was probably bound to happen, but I would have rather seen it happen after “Super Tuesday.” In any case, let’s hope Edwards remains part of the policy conversation.

  2. Julie Pippert Says:

    That policy was for me, I think, the tipping point that put me in favor of him.

    I’m very disappointed right now.

    I think the other two are just too big picture.

  3. Anali Says:

    I was really torn between Obama and Edwards and had recently decided to support Obama. I also had been thinking about how much each candidate cares about the Democratic party. I believed that if Edwards cared more about the party than himself that he would bow out gracefully. He’s a good man. I really hope that he is the VP! We need him!

  4. Julie Says:

    “I don’t envision either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama taking on that fight.”

    I don’t understand. Barack Obama has been talking about taking on poverty his entire campaign. He has not accepted money from corporations and lobby groups, has been a staunchly populist lawyer and policy-maker in Chicago and Illinois, and guess what? He’s even inspiring minorities, the young, and the poor to vote and even donate money! He is continuously receiving $1-$10 donations from people who wish they could give more, but just wanted to show their support.

    I think he and Edwards have very similar views on what is wrong in America. An Obama/Edwards ticket would be virtually unbeatable, or alternatively Edwards being appointed to Attorney General would give him the power to take on the corporations while representing the people of the United States.

    I’ve been a longtime reader and have kept my mouth shut until now. I just wish the snarky jabs at the other candidates didn’t shadow your admirable support for a great candidate (i.e., the negative tainting the positive).

  5. PunditMom Says:

    But Obama doesn’t have the kind of plan that Edwards does. And it’s doesn’t seem as personal to Obama as it was to Edwards. For me, that was the magic.

    For Edwards, poverty was issue number one. For Obama and Clinton, it seems that it’s something they talk about and have a policy on, but not a priority.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  6. manzoid Says:

    Just curious — how much legitimacy is there to Edwards’ claim to have devoted his life to fighting poverty?

    Edwards was in the Senate for 6 years. You can see the 200-or-so bills he co-sponsored during that time here:
    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/?&Db=d107&querybd=@FIELD(FLD004+@4((@1(Sen+Edwards++John))+01573)):

    He did co-sponsor a number that seem related to helping poor people. But I don’t see a record of him really speaking out and leading on the issue of poverty when he was in Congress.

    It seems like he really picked up the issue after he left office in 2004. In 2005 he became the director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at UNC Chapel Hill, he reacted vigorously to the Katrina disaster, and in 2007 he co-edited a book called “Ending Poverty in America: How to Restore the American Dream”.

    So, isn’t this a fairly recent cause for him? It’s a great cause, and his populist fervor is impressive and much-needed within the Democratic party, which has a tendency to wander to the center out of expediency. But, I just wonder if there’s anything substantive to his statements about devoting his whole life to that cause.

  7. manzoid Says:

    Russ Feingold (of McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform) on Edwards’s record


    The one that is the most problematic is (John) Edwards, who voted for the Patriot Act, campaigns against it. Voted for No Child Left Behind, campaigns against it. Voted for the China trade deal, campaigns against it. Voted for the Iraq war … He uses my voting record exactly as his platform, even though he had the opposite voting record.

  8. Mrs. Chicky Says:

    Like you I’m sad this is happening but not surprised. Maybe we’ll still see him in the running as a candidate for Vice President.

  9. karrie Says:

    You were the first person I thought of. I’m sorry.

  10. PunditMom Says:

    Manzoid, is it practical to expect a candidate to be perfect? To be all things to all people, not make errors in judgment? I admit, Edwards is not perfect, but I thought he was the best of the bunch.

  11. manzoid Says:

    I believe he sincerely feels the righteousness of his cause. I’m glad an earnest populist is influencing this race.

    I’m merely wondering why he says he’s been fighting that fight for “all his life”. That doesn’t square with his record.

    It’s not just a quibbly detail, it’s the foundation of his pitch, that he’s been fighting his whole life for the people. *shrug* I don’t see it beyond the past few years.

    Anyway, it’s just an observation. All the candidates, including Obama, have their varying inauthenticities. The electorate craves and abets some amount of myth-making. Some corners have to be cut here and there to turn well-meaning but pragmatic politicians into the requisite heroes.

  12. Shannon Says:

    Just wanted to stop by and give you my best. Thought of you when Edwards withdrew. Although I’m an Obama supporter, I liked Edwards too. Edwards did a great job of focusing on the inequities of the “two Americas.” I, too, hope he will continue to work on these issues.

  13. Minnesota Matron Says:

    I’ll admit to a bit of Obama fever because there’s some contagious good energy there. But looking at the bottom line message: Edwards was all about my core beliefs. I’ll miss that populist voice.


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